World War 3.0: Chaos, Control & the Battle for the Net

Presented at DEF CON 20 (2012), July 28, 2012, 10 a.m. (50 minutes)

There is a battle under way for control of the Internet. Some see it as a fight between forces of Order (who want to superimpose existing, pre-digital power structures and their notions of privacy, intellectual property, security, and sovereignty onto the Net) and forces of Disorder (who want to abandon those old structures and let the will of the crowd control a new global culture). Yet this binary view of the conflict excludes the characters with the best chance of resolving it: those who know that control is impossible and chaos is untenable, a group that Vanity Fair, in an article called "World War 3.o," called "the forces of Organized Chaos." This panel gathers leading proponents of that worldview to discuss urgent issues of Internet governance, which may come to a head later this year in a Dubai meeting of the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union. If government control and anarchistic chaos online are unacceptable, what exactly do the forces of organized chaos propose as an alternative? And what is the DefCon community's role in helping to realize that vision of the Net?


  • Michael Joseph Gross - Author of the Vanity Fair article 'A Declaration of Cyber-War', Moderator
    Michael Joseph Gross is an American author and journalist. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, where he covers topics including politics, technology, and national security. He has also written extensively for publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and GQ. Gross is the author of the book Starstruck: When a Fan Gets Close to Fame, published in 2006 by Bloomsbury Publishing. Gross attended Williams College, and later studied at Princeton Theological Seminary. After graduating, he wrote speeches for Massachusetts Governor William Weld. Twitter: @M_J_Gross
  • Rod Beckstrom
    Rod Beckstrom is a highly successful entrepreneur, founder and CEO of a publicly-traded company, a best-selling author, avowed environmentalist, public diplomacy leader and, most recently, the head of a top-level federal government agency entrusted with protecting the nation's communication networks against cyber attack. Throughout 2008, Rod served as the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he reported to the Secretary of DHS, and was charged with cooperating directly with the Attorney General, National Security Council, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Prior to joining DHS, he served on the DNI's Senior Advisory Group. Rod is unique in having experienced the inner workings of two, highly-charged, often competing, federal security agencies created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, an event that he says, "changed my life." Rod is widely regarded as a pre-eminent thinker and speaker on issues of cybersecurity and related global issues, as well as on organizational strategy and leadership. He is also an expert on how carbon markets and "green" issues affect business. While Director of the NCSC, Rod developed an effective working group of leaders from the nation's top six cybersecurity centers across the civilian, military and intelligence communities. His work led to his development of a new economic theory that provides an explicit model for valuing any network, answering a decades-old problem in economics.
  • Jeff Moss / The Dark Tangent - Founder, DEF CON and Black Hat   as Jeff Moss
    Jeff Moss is the founder of DEF CON and Black Hat. Twitter: @darktangent
  • Dan Kaminsky
    Dan Kaminsky: I play with toys Twitter: @dakami
  • Joshua Corman - Director of Security Intelligence, Akamai Technologies
    Joshua Corman is the Director of Security Intelligence for Akamai Technologies and has more than a decade of experience in security. Most recently he served as Research Director for Enterprise Security at The 451 Group following his time as Principal Security Strategist for IBM Internet Security Systems. Mr. Corman's research highlights adversaries, game theory and motivational structures. His analysis cuts across sectors to the core security challenges plaguing the IT industry, and helps to drive evolutionary strategies toward emerging technologies and shifting incentives. Twitter: @joshcorman