The Glorious British Empire, upon which the sun has set, needs the ability to wage war in cyber space, according to a British minister.
Armed forces minister Nick Harvey told Reuters that despite cuts to the defence budget and the fact that the UK can’t really afford a cyber army, we should have one.
IT hacks, wearing red uniforms and pith helmets, should have the right to give Johnny Foreigner a good seeing too, Harvey said.
He said Blighty should have an offensive ability to launch computer attacks to deter aggressors as part of a growing emphasis on cyber warfare.
“Enemies should know its capabilities were already “considerable”, Harvey said, almost coming out with “and they will not like it up em.”
Britain announced a £650 million pound cyber war program last month, labelling it a key priority.
Harvey said that the UK faces a variety of threats in the cyber domain and the UK needed to get together an arsenal that was capable of deterrence.
Harvey claimed Britain had the ability to electronically “turn out the lights” of a potential adversary. It is not clear what the threat of a romantic evening by candlelight would achieve in a cyber attack.
A recent parliamentary report said British communications spy agency GCHQ had indicated China and Russia posed the greatest threat of electronic attack on Britain. Both states are seen as having prioritised cyber warfare as a way of getting around US conventional military dominance.
Both countries did badly when Britain faced them on the battlefield, the Charge of the Light Brigade not withstanding. However, time has moved things on a lot.