Age of Deception

My latest book project is Age of Deception: Cybersecurity and Secret Statecraft

The information age is the age of deception. Global networks carry both information and disinformation. Digital systems enable both communication and espionage. The same governments that champion democracy subvert trust, while the same companies that improve security invade privacy. Meanwhile, popular rhetoric about ‘cyberwar’ leads to hype and confusion, while skepticism downplays the risks of ubiquitous digital dependence. This book charts a middle way between exaggeration and complacency by viewing cybersecurity through the lens of intelligence.

Cyber conflict is a new variation on old patterns of espionage, subversion, and counterintelligence. But what is intelligence? Intelligence is an undertheorized concept in international relations. Problems of war, peace, and deterrence have received much more attention. But a new wave of scholarship on secret statecraft has begun to emerge. This book contributes to this literature by explaining both the timeless nature of secret statecraft and its transformations in the cyber era. In short, this book is about secret statecraft in the 21st century.

Through a series of detailed historical studies of intelligence and cyber campaigns, the book explains how secret statecraft works by subverting cooperative institutions for competitive gain. This differs fundamentally from the overt struggles of war and coercive diplomacy as well as from peaceful commerce. Cyberspace is the most complicated cooperative institution that humanity has ever developed, which means that cooperation-enabled conflict is more pervasive than ever. This book will be of interest to technical professionals who want to understand geopolitics, IR scholars looking for a theory of intelligence and cybersecurity, and anyone curious about the future of conflict.