In the modern era, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies that they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States. This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next.
Dr. Michael Sulmeyer is the Belfer Center's Cyber Security Project Director at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a Contributing Editor for the national security blog Lawfare. Before Harvard, he served as the Director for Plans and Operations for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. There, he worked closely with the Joint Staff and Cyber Command on a variety of efforts to counter malicious cyber activity against U.S. and DoD interests. For this work, he received the Secretary Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
Previously, he worked on arms control and the maintenance of strategic stability between the United States, Russia, and China. As a Marshall Scholar, Sulmeyer received his PhD (DPhil) in Politics from Oxford University, and his dissertation, "Money for Nothing: Understanding the Termination of U.S. Major Defense Acquisition Programs," won the Sir Walter Bagehot Prize for best dissertation in government and public administration. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Stanford University and his M.A. in War Studies from King's College London. In the mid-1990s, he was the System Operator (SysOp) of The Summit BBS in Santa Barbara, California.Last Updated: Aug 2, 2017, 3:38pm