That said, I think this piece raises the issue of cyber security in the modern nuclear age. Though Anonymous does not have access to US nuclear information or technology, it is not out of the realm of possibility for a motivated, well funded group to have this ability. This is especially true in light of the US-Israeli Stuxnet virus that caused Iranian centrifuges to spin themselves to destruction. Cyber safety and security are a big concern, yet, like Anonymous’ lack of interest in the actual US warheads, the problems relating to cyber activity are much more acute when looking outside the US.
Getting back to Iran, a robust cyber infrastructure pertains to more than just weaponry and can also affect the economy and the environment. Recently there was rumor that the nuclear plant at Isfahan was leaking radiation. If this actually happened, either due to faulty programming or a cyber attack, the residents living nearby would be forced to flee and the local water and soil systems would be greatly affected. Considering that many emerging nuclear states build nuclear infrastructure near population centers (i.e. Saddam Hussein ordered the construction of nuclear research facilities in Baghdad, especially under mosques and hospitals), a programming failure would also drain the economic vitality of cities. Furthermore, accidents relating to military to nuclear weapon programs are nothing new. In 1957 a level 6 disaster (on the International Nuclear Event Scale, both the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi disasters are level 7s) occurred at the Mayak weapons facility in the Soviet Union. That same year, a fire occurred at the Windscale Piles nuclear weapons facility in the UK, creating a level 5 disaster. Fast-forwarding a bit to 1962, the Béryl incident irradiated over 100 French troops and the current French defense minister at the time.
Though these events happened in the past, new members to the nuclear club have ineffective cyber security or safety to avoid accidents. Anonymous may not have the “warheads,” but the problem of safety and digitization should be addressed. In between weapon freezes and reductions, arms control should tackle its cyber gap.