John Arquilla finds links between the hacking community and the Arab Spring – and suggests the government work with hackers instead of pointlessly persecuting them:
Over the years I have had the chance to meet and get to know several of the world’s very best hackers. What they have in common — aside from a kind of startling intelligence — is a deep attraction to the beauty and complexity of cyberspace. They are not motivated by a desire to disrupt; if anything, they are devoted to free, secure flows of information, believing that virtual liberty will often be the herald of freedom in the “real world.” One need only look at the antecedents of the Arab Spring to see how close to the truth this view is.
Beyond recruiting IT industry techs and master hackers — neither of which might, by themselves, fill all Cybercom’s needs — there is one more interesting possibility for filling the ranks: increasing the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The great advantage of AIs — for the most part, think very bright software, not Robbie the Robot — is their speed and accuracy. AIs doing good service in the Navy today, for example, include the Aegis ship defense system and the guidance controls for the Tomahawk land-attack missile. The risk in using them without a human in the loop is that they may have poor judgment — by human standards. So my suggestion is to buddy up AIs with GIs, doubling the force immediately. Smart soldiers paired with smart software.