Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare (Wired)
Chloe Diggins & Clint Arizmendi wrote a fascinating article for Wired on what, in my and the author’s opinions, will become the sixth domain of warfare: the human mind.
Consider the following from the Wired article:
This new battlespace is not just about influencing hearts and minds with people seeking information. It’s about involuntarily penetrating, shaping, and coercing the mind in the ultimate realization of Clausewitz’s definition of war: compelling an adversary to submit to one’s will. And the most powerful tool in this war is brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies, which connect the human brain to devices.
BCI technologies are not some far flung concept for the future; they are in development and use now. Check out the article for further illustration, but we’re already on the doorstep with this stuff. Furthermore, DARPA is all in on this.
I started thinking about this after reading Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense by Jonathan D. Moreno. Quick description, via Amazon:
In his fascinating new book, Jonathan D. Moreno investigates the deeply intertwined worlds of cutting-edge brain science, U.S. defense agencies, and a volatile geopolitical landscape where a nation’s weaponry must go far beyond bombs and men.
A quick interview with Mr. Moreno:
Cyberspace is ubiquitous because it’s in our washing machines and thermostats and cars and electrical grids. What about when it reaches our minds? It’s already in our bodies (see wifi enabled pacemakers). We’ve got a brainwave sensing headband that can turn on your beer tap through the power of your thoughts (InterAxon’s Muse, and I’m getting one, by the way). When do we stop talking about cybersecurity and start talking about neurosecurity? We have difficulty reconciling national security and anonymity/personal liberty/privacy now, without any discussion of the inner recesses of the human mind. Imagine the legal debates just over the horizon.