passIn an article published a few days ago, on January 15, 2015, Brazilian analyst Paulo Brito points out that there is a significant increase in web threats. He cites the latest research of the McAfee Labs that found in the third trimester of 2014 that the number of suspect URLs passed 30 million samples[1]. Thiago Hyppolito underlines that even though technologies advance at a very rapid pace, “some Internet structures remain virtually unchanged since their inception, which facilitates hacking and threat the safety of users”[2]. In order to demonstrate the fragility of the Internet, he suggests comparing it to a highway.

The actual highway is built on some basic principles that are well known. It involves concrete, road signs (which may be followed or ignored), police and patrol of some kind and, obviously, the roads themselves. The same principles apply to the Internet, he states. There is a physical infrastructure, with instructive and informative signals, some official regulators (governmental bodies and agencies, as well as security companies with regard to protection) and fiber optic roads used to go across the Internet. Knowing these basic rules allows us to access these major highways with confidence and ease. However, there is a universal problem with these infrastructures, similar and real: they age and they are inappropriately maintained[3].

Walfredo Neto discusses cybernetics as resource for state – or national – power, pointing out that in relation to the three traditional dimensions (land, sea, aerospace) and their transformation(s), the phenomenon of territorialization was already present, and is now extending to cover the cyber domain, which, “being originally network and space, demands a new type and form of boundary: the ‘boundary ­ point’, resulting from the technological capacity historically accumulated”[4]. More than that, he continues, “the ‘border ­ point’ brings to the international system the configuration of a new phase of the Theory of Borders and the need for new political and legal boundaries”[5].

In an article published on January 13, 2015, Robert Muggah and Misha Glenny point out that “Brasilia has outsourced most responsibility for the country’s cybersecurity to the military”, and it did so for political reasons[6]. While the armed forces would have enthusiastically embraced this new role, placing them in charge of cybersecurity for both civilian and military networks would be a mismatch, the authors argue.

At the same time, “the military approach to cyber insecurity in Brazil is consistent with a broader effort to find a role for the Brazilian armed forces in the twenty-first century”[7], an issue with which, we can state, numerous national and international armed forces are now coping with, NATO being one notorious and potent example.

[1] Paulo BRITO, “Aumento de ameaças via web”, CiberSecurity. Cibersegurança & ciberdefesa, January 15, 2015, at the Internet address

[2] Thiago HYPPOLITO, “Protocolos antigos, risco para a segurança”, CiberSecurity. Cibersegurança & ciberdefesa, January 14, 2015, at the Internet address

[3] Ibidem

[4] Walfredo Bento FERREIRA NETO, “Territorializando o ‘novo’ e (re)territorializando os tradicionais: a cibernética como espaço e recurso do poder”,  Instituto Meira Mattos, Escola de Comando e Estado-Maior do Exército

[5] Ibidem

[6] Robert MUGGAH, Misha GLENNY, “Why Brazil Put Its Military In Charge of Cyber Security”, Defense One, January 13, 2015, at the Internet address

[7] Ibidem

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