In the aftermath of the Sergei Skripal poisoning, which sent relations between the UK and Russia tumbling, the UK made clear its intention to retaliate with a cyberattack. This is emblematic of the new reality we are faced with: information-based combat has become a mainstream way to escalate geopolitical tensions and even wage war.

First there was land, then sea, air and space. Now conflict has entered its fifth dimension: cyberspace. As Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson describes it, Britain has entered a “new era of warfare”.

The idea that bullets and missiles can be replaced with an information-based, non-physical form of combat is an uncomfortable one. This is particularly so given that national economies, and indeed our lives, are now driven by data. The so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has created a world in which we seek to have as much personal data as possible shared between the devices we rely on to make daily tasks more manageable.

For further information please contact Linda Bertolissio or Riina Rintanen.