The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Colin O'Leary is a graduate student in the Program in Virology at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on respiratory virus pathogenesis and interactions between viruses and the immune system. He is also currently a student researcher with Belfer Center's Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project led by Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Prior to starting his PhD, Colin studied radiation biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He holds a B.S. in both Biology and Politics from Bates College.Last Updated: