Accession Number:



Sailing the Cyber Sea

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



To successfully navigate stormy and uncertain seas requires operating by an internationally agreed-to set of standards and norms affectionately known as the Rules of the Road. There are rules like these that apply to all the global commons -- what we in the Department of Defense have classified as domains, namely, land, sea, air, and space. There is now another domain. This is, of course, cyberspace, which is referred to herein as the Cyber Sea. Upon it, we set sail each day in the company of a billion other adventurers -- many embarking on voyages with distinctly crossed purposes. Over the last 10 years, for instance, the number of Web sites devoted to what we in the West consider Jihadist terrorist sites has increased a thousand-fold, exploiting the freedom of the Web as a forum to spread poisonous propaganda, raise funds, and recruit converts. Jihadists also use the Internet as a virtual classroom to teach others how to make bombs and plan attacks. This leads to an important question How do we -- individually and collectively -- balance free and open access to such a virtual realm with the protections and regulations necessary to ensure our continued access to an environment that is safe and secure and contributes to the prosperity of humanity as a whole If we are going to successfully exist in this domain, we need to do so together, combining the military and civilian, foreign and domestic, and public and private sectors. For example, NATOs new cyber defense policy is a coordinated multinational approach to enhance our collective and individual cyber defense capabilities to prevent threats and improve our responses to cyber attacks. In the 1980s, the international community came together to negotiate UNCLOS. Now, we need to contemplate a similar undertaking regarding the Cyber Sea. This can only happen if all interested parties adopt a common vision for security built on trust and confidence, and achieved through coordination, cooperation, and partnering.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement: