Cyber-World War III: Origins

7 J.L. & Cyber Warfare 1 (2019)

49 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2018 Last revised: 18 Dec 2019

See all articles by Jon Garon

Jon Garon

Shepard Broad College of Law

Date Written: November 27, 2017


The year has been framed by the emergence of concerted state-sponsored terrorism designed to undermine national elections and state infrastructure. Even state-sponsored cyber warfare may take second place to massive criminal attacks on financial credit bureau Equifax. The year also featured a new level of maturity for cryptocurrencies and the first artificially-intelligent (AI) “female” robot to receive citizenship. Between these dangerous trends, the likely emergence of Cyber-World War III is likely to spread. The remaining question is whether the war will be between the current world superpowers or evolve into the singularity — the point at which the self-aware AI decides to rid itself of humanity. Moreover, these trends are not necessarily independent. The potential for Russia or China to exploit AI as a tool in cyber warfare attack against a cold war adversary could shape AI analysis in a manner that induces the singularity. This is not to suggest that either a cyberwar or a kinetic war is imminent in 2018; rather that future global conflict may owe its origins to the behaviors made public in 2017. This review highlights the recent trends and influences on cyber law with a hope to anticipate the key issues that will shape the coming year.

Keywords: Cyber, Cyberwar, Equifax, Artificial Intelligence; AI; Cryptocurrency; Bitcoin, ICO, Hack, Data Breach, Russia, Astroturfing

JEL Classification: K1; K23; K49; i18; O32; O34; O38

Suggested Citation

Garon, Jon M., Cyber-World War III: Origins (November 27, 2017). 7 J.L. & Cyber Warfare 1 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Jon M. Garon (Contact Author)

Shepard Broad College of Law ( email )

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