In 2021, multiple companies announced their plans for The Metaverse, a completely virtual world to act as the second Internet. However, many have warned that the immersive Internet 2.0 may be dangerous, with some warning of “Metaverse cyberwarfare”.
Metaverse Cyberwarfare will happen
Reported by The Express, AI and spatial computing expert Professor David Reid has warned of multiple metaverse dangers. While the professor believes that immersive technology is the next step for humanity, he believes it won't be an easy one.
Reid explains that the current version of “The Metaverse” is a “Wild West” with multiple companies pushing to make their version the most viable. This has been seen with Facebook parent company Meta who wants to own the idea of metaverses.
However, once founded, the true immersive virtual would could bring conflict with it. Reid claims that “enemy states [will use the virtual world to target each other”. However, instead of physical soldiers, they'll use “biometric data and financial information, creating a new kind of cyberwarfare”. Metaverse cyberwarfare is described as including individuals due to how much data is given away at any given time.
The professor said:
“The amount of information you're giving away, some of the core infrastructures for how our societies work, will all be available in the metaverse.”
Western vs China
An interesting part of Professor David Reid’s theory revolves around the digital separation of the western world from China. In the article, the expert explains that China’s current technological journey will see it isolate itself during the metaverse revolution.
In a sense, there will then be two metaverses: the Western metaverse and the Chinese metaverse. While similar in makeup and aesthetics, they will offer vastly different services due to China’s penchant for censorship. China’s “Great Firewall” is already an issue, blocking a massive segment of the Internet to the general public.
Of course, this is passable with VPNs. This means that the metaverse — another version of the Internet — Chinese citizens will be able to access the “Western metaverse”. Of course, this is all theoretical — so is the concept of metaverse cyberwarfare. However, the dangers of the technology — as far-reaching as it is — cannot be understated.