DOSSIER Nuclear war in the age of internet
- Monday, 30 April 2018
The nuclear age began on 16 July 1945 at 5.29 in the morning in New Mexico. Since then and up until 2009, 2418 nuclear warheads have been set off. The treaty calling for a total ban on nuclear testing was adopted in 1996 by the UN General Assembly and was signed by 183countries. It hasn’t come into force because eight countries have so far refused to ratify it: China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. During the Cold War, the United States Defense Department developed a communications network capable of withstanding a nuclear attack. Arpanet, the precursor of the internet, for the first time eliminated a system of hierarchic connections, which was too vulnerable, and opened the door to a global network where every point is connected to every other one, without key hubs, and thus much less likely to be compromised. It has yet to be tested under a nuclear attack. Could this global interconnection – ideally represented by the web that embraces and envelops the Earth – also act as a deterrent?