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Dual-use technology: how it affects the online industry

Dual-use technology: how it affects the online industry

What is Dual-use technology?
In politics, diplomacy and export control, dual-use items refers to goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications. More generally speaking, dual-use can also refer to any goods or technology which can satisfy more than one goal at any given time. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-use_technology

Dual-use items have a primary commercial use. The target market is either consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B). However, THE SAME technology used for civilian applications also has the potential to become military AND weaponised. And when they say: “have the potential”, they really mean WE’RE USING IT ALREADY IN MILITARY CAMPAIGNS. Simply because the military DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHING BETTER! So they have to make do with what the average Joe or Jane is using.

A simple example of dual-use technology in the real world: somewhere on this planet, in a trench, there is a hand-to-hand fight going on with a portable shovels. Neither of the two sides is involved in agriculture or farming. On the same planet, someone uses a server for their daily activities, whether personal or professional, and that same server is involved in its dual-use purpose. This is not so publicly advertised, but it is highly visible. This has been done without your consent, without your choice, because who would accept this path, as it has significant ethical, moral and financial implications.

This ethical and financial dynamic is problematic today, and it is becoming more and more problematic with each passing year. Technology development cycles continue to accelerate over time. This means that the annual change in technology is greater every year. If the moral and financial paradigm of your IT infrastructure does not matter today, it will in five years’ time. Repeat this across all relevant technology sectors and you get a sense of how much trouble the online segment is in. Soon the 1-to-5 and 5-to-10 year capability gap created by everyone’s forced reliance on dual-use technology will start to feel like a generational shift gap, where as an ‘older person’ you will be ashamed of how the reality looks around you – and it will not resonate with even the most tolerant person.

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Let’s delve into this subject, exploring each documented case, unearthing its repercussions, understanding its reality, and maybe shine some light on its future.

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