What’s the similarity between drones and software bots (worms, trojans, viruses, etc.)?
They are both riding the same trend.
Here’s what I mean.
Up until recently drones have been toys or dumb missiles. Why? Because they were dumb. The same thing is true with software bots/malware. Until recently, they were more of a nuisance than a threat.
What’s changed? Now they are smart and they are getting smarter fast. In fact, the rate of change is so fast and the potential for improvement is so great, they are literally game changers in modern warfare.
The shift is already happening. Both drones and bots have become indispensable to US policy. It was inevitable because they were so easy to use.
However, that adoption isn’t what’s really interesting.
The United States, in a role it hasn’t played since the end of World War 2 with nuclear weapons, has accelerated the development of this game changing technology and demonstrated how effective these systems are.
Drones in Yemen and Pakistan. Software bots in Iran (Flame and Stuxnet).
By doing so, the US has opened Pandora’s box.
Why Pandora’s box?
The technologies used in these system aren’t just available to big countries (like nuclear technology is). This is tech anybody can use and configure in new ways. In some cases, like Stuxnet and Flame, the software itself is freely available, and is now being analyzed and copied by people all across the world.
The demonstration of these technologies in warfare takes them out of the realm of science fiction and makes them real. It also goads any country with even a modest budget to develop their own.
Another worry is that the box was open is occurring at the very same time the global financial system is coming unglued. In an environment like that, the almost all countries will become hollow states. Hollow versions of what they once were. These technologies, in the hands of a hollow state, screams repression.