In the 17th and 18th Centuries several nation states, including the UK, France and United States all resorted to privateering. Nation states would effectively seek the support of private enterprise to implement and enforce government policy. Wiki states that privateering was ”a way for mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval sailors”.
Government’s would issue licenses to enterprising individuals would be granted permission to conduct warfare under the flag of a nation state. The costs of this venture would be born by the privateer, however any booty seized from enemy ships belonged to the privateer. Merchants, business people and the well to do would invest in such ventures on the chance of making significant profit.
Now jump forward to 2012. Nation states find themselves engaged in another type of warfare which threatens to undermine their economic prosperity, national security and empirical ambitions within the digital domain. Again, nation states have been caught short. A reluctance to recognise the risks associated with the digital age, to public policy, has resulted in under investment. It is arguable that nation states are playing catch up. There are significant shortages of skills, infrastructure and assets needed to wage an effective defence of nation states interests within the digital domain. This means that, as in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it makes both economic and practical sense to outsource elements of the implementation of nations states cybersecurity policies to private enterprise. Relying on private skills, infrastructure, assets and investment to supplement governments resources and finances to reduce risk to nation states economic and social prosperity and digital empirical ambitions.