Controlling Computer Network Operations

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 7, p.121-144 (2001)


CNO; malicious computer-mediated activities; interdependencies created by network-based power; private sector - government cooperation; IT-related security regimes., Dual use information systems; regulation; computer network operations


The development of Information Operations and, more particularly, Computer Network Operations (CNO), has been paralleled by calls to control both the military and the criminal/terrorist use of these capabilities. The need for multilateral action to control criminal and terrorist activity is acknowledged and being pursued through mechanisms such as the Council of Europe. Efforts to control military use of CNO through arms control or multilateral behavioral norms are however being undermined by an unresolved dilemma faced by the leading powers; whether to exploit their CNO advantage for strategic purposes or to protect the global information environment on which they depend. In resolving this dilemma, Western strategists need to take into account two important new features of the security environment—interdependency and the role of the private sector.

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019