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Benoit Morel

Carnegie Mellon University


Born in France, Benoit Morel grew up mostly in Geneva Switzerland and completed a PhD at the university of Geneva in theoretical High Energy Physics. He had an extended postdoctoral career in Physics which took him to Harvard, CERN and CalTech. From there he moved to what was then the Center of International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) at Stanford as a “Science Fellow”. His research interest shifted to International Security. From there he became faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where he has been since.


His research interest in security includes Nuclear security (in particular the Iraqi and Indian programs), the Chemical weapon convention and progressively his main focus became cybersecurity policy and in particular its international dimension.

Contact Information:

Benoit Morel,
Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh Pa 15213
[email protected]
+ 412 268 3758

Cybersecurity and International relations

Cybersecurity is creeping in the relations between states. Most nations (in particular the US) are very poorly prepared for what has the potential to be to a certain extent a game changer in international relations. Cybersecurity implies that certain ways to conduct foreign affairs have to be modified. It introduces new threat and new opportunities.

Recent episodes such as Ghostnet, Shadows in the Clouds, Operation Aurora, Stuxnet, Agent.btz, DDOS attacks against Estonia and Georgia, or even the wikileaks, show that cybersecurity is becoming a factor of change in relations between states to contend with. But far too little is understood about this subject to allow any long term strategies let alone international agreements.

Every nation is affected differently and should define a strategy of how to deal with that new component of international relations. This is particularly true for the US which seems asymmetrically affected. It seems to have a strategic disadvantage, as it offers far more targets than any other nations. In this paper we argue that even if each nation is basically a special case and should organize itself differently, collaboration among nations has the potential to make a significant difference as cybersecurity is a complex world and a source of major uncertainty about the future for all of them.