The Government’s backup plan

It isn’t true what they say about the net and nuclear war.

The Government's backup plan

Arpanet, the infrastructure that evolved to become the internet, was designed merely to keep on running should some of its subordinate networks fail, but it was never designed to withstand a nuclear conflict. Nonetheless, the British Government is putting in place the means to keep communications open should the clock strike midnight.

Cybersecurity is now considered one of the UK’s highest national security risks. The National Security Strategy, published in late 2010, describes the net as a “fourth utility” and a “right” rather than a privilege, which is why the Government has earmarked £500 million to protect our national network.

Cybersecurity is now considered one of the UK’s highest national security risks

“The networked world provides us with great opportunities,” the document reads. “But Britain’s very openness means that we can be vulnerable to overseas events… and the disruption of the free flow of information on the internet, on which our service-based information economy depends.”

The risks that face the UK are becoming increasingly diverse. As the National Security Strategy points out, “during the Cold War we faced an existential threat from a state adversary through largely predictable military or nuclear means. The adversaries we face will change and diversify as enemies seek means of threat or attack that are cheaper, more easily accessible and less attributable than conventional warfare.”

The Government is focused on developing a “transformative” programme for future cybersecurity, and aims to work with business partners in advancing our security interests as it does so.

Suddenly, selling off all those decommissioned bunkers is starting to look a little premature.

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