The Strategy of Anonymity in Cyber Conflict: An Analytical Framework
In 1993, Barry Buzan published The Logic of Anarchy with Charles Jones and Richard Little. In this seminal book, Buzan argued that "interaction capacity" is a key component of the international system. In essence, he posited that the ability of remote peoples to trade, fight, and share ideas affects the nature of global society. Buzan was writing when the Internet was in its infancy. World society has gotten much "denser" since 1993. The Internet is now part of the lifeblood of our global system. However, as more people connect and more human activities move online, conflict has as well. The capacity for anonymity in the cyber world is a double-edged sword that simultaneously helps protect the innocent from government abuses and allows nefarious actors to operate with greater freedom. This paper offers a framework for thinking strategically about the role of anonymity, placing it in the context of offense-defense theory and focusing on deterrence.