New Simulation Game: Botany - Ethical Debates in Cybersecurity with Participants from the International Futures Program

In the scope of the International Futures Program,  implemented by the German Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with “German Society for Foreign Policy” (DGAP),  CRISP had the pleasure to implement a simulation game on the complexity of cybersecurity and possible reaction to cyber-attacks, when they come from an external source.

For half a day participants from the International Futures had the possibility to debate ethical questions around the topic of cybersecurity and cyber defence strategies of nation states. The game specifically examines the influence of external cyber-attacks on electoral processes and which defensive or offensive strategies attacked nation states have to guarantee fair elections. Slipping into the roles of different stakeholders such as politicians, as well as representatives of Intelligence agencies, privacy organisations or social media giants, participants were required to decide how a nation state should react to a cyber-threat coming from an external source. Ethical questions emerging from this discussion mainly regarded privacy vs. security topics, the potential violation of international law, whether or not this kind of cyber-attack should be considered an act of war, which agencies should be responsible to navigate and reaction, and finally the authorization of a nation state to apply offensive strategies to fight a cyber-attack.

Participants came from all over the world and were highly motivated and engaged to not only understand the complexity of the topic, but also, to develop creative solutions.