Joshua A. Kroll

Joshua A. Kroll is a doctoral candidate in computer science at Princeton University, where he works on computer security and public policy issues at the university’s Center for Information Technology Policy. 

 

Recent Articles

The Cyber Conundrum: A Security Update

Recent events confirm that we need to rethink our approach to cybersecurity.

 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
In the wake of the debate over the renewal of the Patriot Act, Americans should consider a related problem with implications for their privacy and security: the assumptions behind cybersecurity policy. Several new developments bolster the argument in “ The Cyber Conundrum: Why the Current Policy for National Cyber Defense Leaves Us Open to Attack ” (published in the Spring 2015 issue of The American Prospect ). These developments reinforce the view that U.S. cybersecurity policy is primarily based on the military’s framing of the security problem, at the expense of the online security of the private sector and ordinary citizens. During the Cold War our approach was to undermine Soviet security systems while bolstering our own, but the problem isn’t so simple in an age of shared global technology and online infrastructure. Today, the military’s Cyber Command continues to see online security the same way its Strategic Command sees nuclear security: as a...

The Cyber Conundrum

Why the current policy for national cyber defense leaves us open to attack. 

Kristoffer Tripplaar / Sipa / AP Images
This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A follow-up to this article by Joshua A. Kroll will appear on June 4. Celebrate our 25th Anniversary with us by clicking here for a free download of this special issue . The devastating cyberattacks against Sony Pictures in 2014 resulted in disabling of equipment, release of employees’ sensitive information, disclosure of company secrets and unreleased movies, and ultimately the departure of one of the studio’s top executives. The FBI blamed the Sony attacks on North Korea, and the attackers may have been operating in Sony’s systems undetected for more than a year. Many Americans were left wondering why their government was unable to detect and stop this foreign threat and whether it can prevent others that may be even more serious. At the core of the cybersecurity problem lies the cyber conundrum: Should we undermine security systems or bolster them? During the Cold War...