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America's War on the Web 428

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the controlling-the-flow-of-information dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Sunday Herald is reporting that while the US is continuing to pursue traditional means of protecting national security, they are also planning to launch a new wave of 'information warfare' to help combat a perceived growing threat of IT security. From the article: 'The Pentagon has already signed off $383 million to force through the document's recommendations by 2009. Military and intelligence sources in the US talk of "a revolution in the concept of warfare". The report orders three new developments in America's approach to warfare [...] the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyber-attacks against enemies.'"
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America's War on the Web

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  • Better Article.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by toleraen (831634) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:06PM (#15052884)
    A summary with a bit more information (and without horrible formatting errors), including a link to the actual document, can be found here [gwu.edu]. Apparently it's been declassified for a couple months now...but better to get this info out a little late then never I suppose.
    • Either way...I thought at first, it was pretty interesting...till it broke down into a rant about the US wanting world domination...kinda went wacky after that. Strange...the Bush crew is often portrayed as bumblers who can't do anything right, then they are accused of being devious co-conspirators to rule the world. Which is it guys?

      I did like the one point made...as I was cringing a bit about the thought of a country at the touch of a button bringing down another's electronic infrastructure, the part whe

      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:43PM (#15053189) Journal
        It's pretty ridiculous anyway...Major government websites fail security audits every year, and they don't spend any time working on them, they don't come up with intelligent standards...I've got my quarterly corporate audit sitting on the desk right in front of me.

        The right way to do it would be to harden your local security, rather than trying any kind of offense. A good offense is only the best defense if you have a freaking target. If you don't have a target, either you have to invent one *cough*Iraq*cough* or you flail about like an idiot and look foolish.
        • by AndroSyn (89960) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:51PM (#15053247) Homepage
          Not all government websites are painfully insecure. Some branches of the government do take security quite seriously and are quite proactive and have very effective security policies. With that said, its very possible to be both proactive with regards to defense security measures and still formulate offensive actions at the same time. Also there is nothing wrong with planning for hypothetical offensive actions against hypothetical threats.

      • by mspohr (589790) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:19PM (#15053450)
        "Strange...the Bush crew is often portrayed as bumblers who can't do anything right, then they are accused of being devious co-conspirators to rule the world. Which is it guys?"

        I think it's both... They want to be devious co-conspirators who want to rule the world but they really are clueless bumblers.

        Unfortunately, their clueless bumbling is a threat to world stability without any real control ... worst of both worlds.

      • by hazem (472289) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:50PM (#15053659) Journal
        Strange...the Bush crew is often portrayed as bumblers who can't do anything right, then they are accused of being devious co-conspirators to rule the world. Which is it guys?

        I think it's a case of stupid-productive people.

        Given a matrix with two qualities: smart vs stupid, and productive vs unproductive

        smart productive people are the best - they do lots of stuff and do it well
        smart unproductive people are generally non-harmful - they do stuff well, but just not much of it
        stupid unproductive people are generally non-harmful too - they might do stupid stuff, but they don't do much of it

        It's the stupid-productive people that you really have to watch out for. Not only do they do stupid stuff, they do a lot of it.
    • by Dachannien (617929)
      By following that "link", you'll also get your "recommended daily allowance" of "scare quotes" in "giant headlines".

    • by lbrandy (923907) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:53PM (#15053263)
      A summary with a bit more information (and without horrible formatting errors), including a link to the actual document, can be found here. Apparently it's been declassified for a couple months now...but better to get this info out a little late then never I suppose.

      This article and summary seems like a huge troll to me. It's carefully worded to be inflamatory, and appears to be, in large part, wrong. The US isn't preparing for war "on" the internet... as much as it's preparing for a war via the internet. The article goes on to use a bunch of careful prepositional games where I have to guess whether the US is actually thinking about attacking the internet... or considering how warfare will be conducted via the internet. It then goes on to quote a bunch of unnamed military guys saying things that I've never heard them say before...

      Every plan I know of details a plan for electronic warfare using the internet.... yet here you have some terrible editorial trying to stir the spot, feeding into the slashdot groupthink and... stirring the pot. You already have people talking about the US "attacking" the internet. This is just shoddy journalism and bad editorializing to preach to a bunch of sheep. And the sheep cometh...
      • Via & On (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jeff Molby (906283)
        warfare will be conducted via the internet.


        I'm sure they intend to fight via the internet, but that appears to be just the beginning. Page six clearly says "We Must Fight the Net. DoD is building an information-centric force. Networks are increasingly the operational center of gravity, and the Department must be prepared to 'Fight the Net.'"

      • The US isn't preparing for war "on" the internet... as much as it's preparing for a war via the internet. The article goes on to use a bunch of careful prepositional games where I have to guess whether the US is actually thinking about attacking the internet... or considering how warfare will be conducted via the internet.

        I dunno. I think it's a good idea to attack the Internet, given that warfare will be conducted on it in the future. Kinda like attacking the physical planet itself, because warfare is
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:04PM (#15053347) Journal
      Everything you could ever want to know:
      From the Rand Corp. [rand.org]

      They're 'non-partisan', so they are at least making an effort at actually being "Fair and Balanced". And they've been writing papers about Information Warfare since the mid-90s
  • by wiz31337 (154231) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:07PM (#15052889)
    The last time I checked Al-Qaeda uses a rather primitive approach to terrorism. They use incendiary devices in shoes, which often fail, second hand weapons, and other non-technical approaches.

    The website for Al-Qaeda should be near the bottom of the list for the defense department.

    Everyone has the idea that terrorists will one day hack into the power grid and cripple the stock market. They should focus on protecting the power grids from physical attacks before they start focusing on "cyber terrorism" where they could take the grid by "hacking into the system."
    • That's totally not the point. It's George Bush. He's afraid of the new threat across the internet. If people were to realize that they can actually "increas e the si ze of your peen1s", then suddenly Americans everywhere would have "great, gigantic American Penis" while George Bush would have "vely small penis", which as we learned from our friends at South Park, would undermine his ability to manipulate the country.
    • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:13PM (#15052933)
      Most of the protections we've been putting up are (poorly built) against unlikely attacks. However, they are glamourus attacks. Ones that sound good.

      If you realize the main point of these protections is to get people elected, this makes perfect sense.
    • by hal2814 (725639) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:14PM (#15052946)
      Yeah, I even heard the Taliban has a version of the Amish Virus:

      "You have just received the Taliban virus.

      Since we have no electricity or computers, you are on the honor system.

      Please delete all of your files on your hard drive. Then forward this message to everyone in your address book.

      Praise Allah."
    • "The website for Al-Qaeda should be near the bottom of the list for the defense department."

      I disagree, the Internet is a great propoganda tool ( on both sides ), it is ideal for sending discrete messages, some degree of anonmity, synchronizing activities in distant places etc. It is not FUD to say that these capabilities can be exploited to their advantage.
    • Right. Because Al-Qaeda is the only and last terrorist group to ever exist. And because they instituted this thing only to fuck with terrorists.

      Communications in a war or whatever they want to call blowing shit up this week is fairly important.

      Not having an a plan in place to disrupt your enemy's and protect your own communications would be irresponsible, even if there is no official war.

      I do agree with your comment about protecting other things first, but there's no reason to not to this just because oth
    • OTOH, how many stories have we seen of online businesses (usually gambling) coughing up millions to avert DNS attacks? Attacks via the internet that can't be readily defended are already happening. Its just that for now, money is the object.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You are naive. Al qaeda has many members; some of them are essentially armed thugs while others may be highly talented programmers. Do not underestimate Al Qaeda or related terrorist cells; our underestimation of Al Qaeda is probably the #1 contributing factor to September 11.

      They are more organized and better planned than you think. There are undoubtedly people in Al Qaeda who are smarter than you. Their stated goal is to bring instability to the American economy and thus American society. The moment you s
    • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:44PM (#15053202) Journal

      The article may have briefly talked about terrorism, but I suspect the real danger comes from state-sponsored cyber-attacks, like from China. Terrorism is just a convenient explanation to use to the public. You can't come out and say you're preparing for an attack by China now, can you?

      BTW, for those who think that cyber-warfare is a science-fiction concept, I draw your attention to the following analysis of Operation Allied Force [af.mil]. In particular, the section regarding cyber-attacks on surface-to-air (SAM) missile systems to protect our fighters (F-22, F-35):

      Beyond the stealthiness portended by the F-22 and F-35, another promising avenue for dealing with emergent SAM threats may lie in the realm of nonkinetic alternatives. To offer but a glimpse into the more intriguing possibilities in this respect, General Jumper remarked after Allied Force that although information operations remained a highly classified subject about which little could be said, the Kosovo experience suggested that "instead of sitting and talking about great big pods that bash electrons, we should be talking about microchips that manipulate electrons and get into the heart and soul of systems like the SA-10 or the SA-12 and tell it that it is a refrigerator and not a radar." Some of the more cutting-edge variants of first-generation offensive cyber warfare, reportedly tested successfully in Allied Force, suggested the feasibility of taking down enemy SAM and other defense systems in ways that would not require putting a strike package or a HARM on critical nodes to neutralize them. Toward that end, Gen Hal Hornburg, current commander of Air Combat Command, recently reiterated the importance of looking beyond familiar solutions to this looming threat in certain portions of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," where the United States might find itself engaged militarily: "We don't just need jammers and we don't just need Block 50s. . . . We need an array of capabilities. . . . I am looking for kinetic and non-kinetic solutions. I am looking, for example, for space to be able to get down to an SA-10 and convince it to launch all missiles right now or to deny it from launching their missiles right now."

      Information warfare WILL happen, my friends. In fact, it's happening now. No, you won't find that written up in the newspaper. Do a little bit of googling and see what you come up with. :)

      GMD

    • Your conclusion that because Al-Qaeda is primative, terror attacks will not occur online is not a good one. We can't limit our defense to one group. There are many possible threats. Think back to Oklahoma City bombing and Timothy McVeigh and you'll know that terrorism is not limited to Al-Qaeda. I'm glad that the government is working to protect us in this manner as well as more traditional ways.
    • Everyone has the idea that terrorists will one day hack into the power grid and cripple the stock market.

      Here's the problem: if that turns out to be possible, then J. Random Terrorist could do it from half a world away. No amount of concrete and razor wire would protect against a motivated cracker with a laptop and an Iridium uplink.

      They should focus on protecting the power grids from physical attacks before they start focusing on "cyber terrorism" where they could take the grid by "hacking into the s

  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:07PM (#15052893) Journal
    Someone has been dropping spam bombs on my mailbox for years now.
  • Our civil liberties are eroding like a California mud-slide.

    E.g. an American creates an anti-us website, and happens to cross-link an image located on a Pakistani website. Now this is considered an "international communication channel" which justifies to the NSA full sniffing of packets, forfeiture of logs from the ISP, etc.

    Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net]
    • Let's not jump to doomsday conclusions about civil liberties just yet! Set aside the breathless tone of the article and recall that Pentagon planners (just like the military planners in all countries) spend a lot of time planning for a wide variety of potential situations. I'm sure they have plans for the invasion of Canada, too, but I don't think that means Canada needs to increase their defense alert level.

      The real question, of course, is when and how such plans are put into practice, if ever. If they

      • Let's not jump to doomsday conclusions about civil liberties just yet!


        You must be new here :P

        Seriously though, a lot of people seem to forget that the job of military planners is to sit and think about the worse case scenario and have some sort of plan to deal with that. It is part of their job. But, alas, around here, its cause for people to break out their tin foil hats.

      • We need to invade Canada now to stop those them from broadcasting Terrance and Phillip [wikipedia.org]!!!
    • And then we link to the fiasco on slashdot and woops!, the rest of the entire internet is now implicated in some massive foreign conspiracy against the united states.
    • E.g. an American creates an anti-us website, and happens to cross-link an image located on a Pakistani website. Now this is considered an "international communication channel" which justifies to the NSA full sniffing of packets, forfeiture of logs from the ISP, etc.

      Has this actually happened, or are you crying wolf? If so, to whom did it happen, when did it happen, what fallout has there been...? In short, what are the relevant details to prove such an event ever occurred?
    • E.g. an American creates an anti-us website...

      That's an interesting choice of words. Not "a website critical of US policy" or an "anti-Bush website". An "anti-us" website.

      This is why conservatives don't trust American liberals (leftists). We have always suspected the "I love my country but hate its policies" line was really just a public face for "My country isn't perfect so I'm willing to work against the interests of my fellow citizens".

      If someone creates an "anti-us" site, not just a site critica

      • by isotope23 (210590) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:03PM (#15053344) Homepage Journal
        This is why conservatives don't trust American liberals (leftists).

        And its sad that both words have been hijacked. Today's liberal is in reality a socialist,
        while today's conservative would be either authoritarian or national socialist.

        Classical Liberalism [wikipedia.org]
        Classical Conservatism [wikipedia.org]

        It is truly a shame that the country has wandered so far from its roots....

      • by vandon (233276) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:05PM (#15053355) Homepage
        Sedition is not a civil liberty. I'm not saying the site owner should be necessarily arrested or the site shut down....


        Umm...yes it is, at least in the US. It may get you noticed, but it is most assuredly a 1st amendment civil right. Congress may try to take it away, but that is why the courts are a check and balance to congress.

        The Sedition Act of 1918 was repealed in 1921. Legal experts view the Sedition Act as being antithetical to the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution, specifically the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Anti-governmental-defamation laws similar to the Sedition Act are still in place in some of the world's most repressive countries, including North Korea and Libya.

        -and more recently,

        Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. asserted that "if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Many in Congress vilified the decision of the Court. The House unanimously passed a resolution denouncing the Court; the Senate did the same with only three dissents.
    • Our civil liberties are eroding like a California mud-slide.

      I doubt that the government's gathering information by using the internet is anything new. I mean, how much privacy can you expect when the medium is as public as can be. I am more concerned that the content of websites, even those domestic sites which are merely critical of government policies, will be seen as legitimate targets of reprisal because they "aid and abet the enemy" when in fact they do nothing more than promote a view of patriotism th
  • I guess if the electrical and phone grids are fair game, digital communications are too. And if it saves a few lives because folks surrender because they can't email grandma, check the weather, or connect to iTunes (whereas it used to take a bullet to the head) then it's a good thing, right?
  • by umrgregg (192838) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:10PM (#15052917) Homepage
    Submit the targeted server to Agent CmdrTaco. His legion of followers will take care of the rest.
  • by Dolly_Llama (267016) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:11PM (#15052924) Homepage
    Once again, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri proves to be the best game ever made:

    As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

    --Pravin Lal
  • Let me guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:12PM (#15052928) Journal
    The government is going to contract this job out to Cyberdyne Systems in California?

    Seriously, we are able (most of the time) to have oversight on what the government is doing to its own citizens, and that hasn't worked out so well in the US so far... can I mention here things like: The pristine bullet, McCarthy, weather control, and a number of other things that 'seemed ok at the time' but later turned out very wrong, and would have been stopped with oversight.

    WHO (not the doctor or the World Health Organization) is going to monitor those in the government that will be monitoring the Internet? Mr Orwell, we miss you!
    • Oversight? You're kidding, right? Oversight provided by corrupt and/or corruptable officials of the very same state engaging in the activity to be overseen is the best definition of the fox guarding the henhouse. Any information that actually filters down to the public is first edited (for "National security reasons", of course) and classified. Even when oversight is in place, we are far, far from being guaranteed access to accurate information. Besides which, you forget that the vast majority of the s
  • by haluness (219661) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:12PM (#15052929)
    I'd think that the simplest solution would be to (ironically) wall of the US internet. Of course this would allow the rest of the internet to publish what they want.

    So is the US essentially saying that it wants to control (or influence in nicer terms) the entire internet?
  • Now which internet are they talking about?
  • Scary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) *
    The report says the US military's first priority is that the "department [of defence] must be prepared to 'fight the net'". The internet is seen in much the same way as an enemy state by the Pentagon because of the way it can be used to propagandise, organise and mount electronic attacks on crucial US targets.

    It can also be used to say, spread the truth about illegal covert activities by the US against sovereign nations, allow oppressed people to get word out about their plight, give Americans a say in ho

    • I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if we soon see legislation requiring major networking manufacturers to implement backdoors in their equipment, and requiring them to provide access to said backdoors to the DoD. It would not be without precedent for them to try. I'm sure /.ers remember the outcry several years ago over the FBI's attempt to gain backdoor access to all encryption schemes via legislation. While it may be political bullshit to say that "Everything changed after 9/11", the one thing that
  • by Philip K Dickhead (906971) * <folderol@fancypants.org> on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:15PM (#15052948) Journal
    to fund terrorist organizations, does that mean no income taxes on April 15?
  • Instead of seeing "Punch the monkey and win an Ipod", we might get "Kill Osama and win $25 million".
  • America's war on * (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archon (13753) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:16PM (#15052953)
    ... the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet ...

    Is there anything that America doesn't "wage war" against? It's like a mentally retarded child who responds in the same way, regardless of stimulus.
    • by jbeaupre (752124)
      It's a problem of history and symantics. Americans, and probably others, associate the word "war" with a concerted effort to destroy something they don't and shouldn't like (i.e. Nazis). So "war on poverty","war on drugs", etc makes quick sense to people. Unfortunately it's not quite the right word, conveys the wrong connotations, and is cliche. But no one has come up with anything better. Not that there's a shortage of candidates.

      But if you think of one, you'll make big bucks as a speech writer.
    • It's like a mentally retarded child who responds in the same way, regardless of stimulus.

      That's because its leaders (and their supporters) are mentally retarded children who respond in the same way, regardless of simulus...

    • by Eudial (590661) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:53PM (#15053262)
      Is there anything that America doesn't "wage war" against? It's like a mentally retarded child who responds in the same way, regardless of stimulus.


      Furthermore it raises some interesting questions: If, for an example the US government, or an agent thereof seizes narcotics as part of the war on drugs, woudln't the Geneva convention dictate that the seized drugs should be treated as a prisoner of war?

      War comes with responsibilities you know...
  • Boooooo! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ehiris (214677) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:18PM (#15052971) Homepage
    Who decides who an enemy is? Warfare should be used to fend off attacks, and minimize risk and not to ATTACK the information of someone because they have a different point of view.

    Throughout history capturing and using enemy information has been a lot more useful in combat than attacking the information of the enemy.
    • When was the last time America actually fought a war out of self-defense? Most reasonable people (i.e. not proponents of the "War on Terror") say that it was WWII (although I argue against this, since there is ample evidence that Roosevelt was aware of a potential Japanese attack in the Pacific, and maneuvered the Pacific fleet into an indefensible position and ignored the advice of the admiral in charge of the fleet to move it, but that's another debate entirely). All America's subsequent wars have unque
  • by zuki (845560)
    In the light of the fact that the Dept of Homeland Security just got an 'F' on its recent general security practices and server audits, I wonder what if this is really supposed to intimidate anyone....

    Should they not get their house in order firstbefore thinking about greater things?

    Mmmm... I think I am starting to see a pattern here.

    Z.
  • by Phanatic1a (413374) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:21PM (#15052989)
    While it hasn't yet been modded up enough for me to see it, I'm sure there's already a bunch of whining about how us eeevul hegemonistic Americans are all set to sally forth trampling across the internet in our zeal to wage war.

    Sorry, this is just being smart. Keep in mind how prevalent botnets are, how they basically rule all of Asia, Eastern Europe, most of South America, and even substantial chunks of America and Western Europe. Keep in mind how much spam those networks churn out on a daily basis, how much money they earn the people who own them. Then realize that spam is about the *least* harmful thing they could be used for.
    • I think that smart is the wrong word for this initiative. It's more in line with US policy in the real world (in general) - destroy whatever appears threatening.

      On the other hand with the Interne, if the US was really interested in 'protecting' its citizens it would be making efforts to control its area of the internet (though I admit that thats a vague term).

      If the real goal is to take control over what passes over the pipes - thats just US foreign policy applied to the Internet.

      There are more eloquent pos
    • Wow, you are simply amazing. I don't think anyone on slashdot ever considered that.

      Now taking a more pragmatic approach, how many 'key' systems do you think your government really has plugged into the internet willy-nilly? You think they actually travel the same wires as joe six-pack? Do you really think joe six-pack could DOS your defense network? If you think that then
      1. Its untrue and you're completely trolling to nobody but self gratification
      2. Its untrue and
      • Now taking a more pragmatic approach, how many 'key' systems do you think your government really has plugged into the internet willy-nilly?

        Do you honestly think the only way to significant impact Western societies and/or economies is to attack 'key' government systems?

        IT security is in a piss-poor state across the board, whether we're talking about 'key' government systems or non-'key' civilian systems. For the US military to *fail* to look into that weakness would be a grotesque dereliction of duty.
  • by dark_requiem (806308) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:23PM (#15053009)
    From TFA:

    Secondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media - from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys and personal digital assistants (PDAs) - to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy. Psyops involve the dissemination of lies and fake stories and releasing information to wrong-foot the enemy.

    Wow, now that's a good idea. I sure don't see anything immoral here, and certainly no potential for abuse. After all, the only way to have a stable democratic state which protects its citizens' freedoms is if that state controls the media and uses it to knowingly distribute lies and propoganda. The founding fathers knew this, which was why when they wrote the first amendment, they... Oh wait, that's right. The media is supposed to be independent from the state. A state that uses the media to distribute lies is a mortal danger to freedom, and needs to be deposed, quickly.

    Thirdly, the US wants to take control of the Earth's electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America.

    Do I really even need to comment on this one? Combined with their planned propoganda campaign, they're looking to completely exclude targeted populations from recieving accurate and timely information. Again, if the true objective here was to combat terrorists by spreading democracy, this would obviously be massively counterproductive. But of course we all know that this is not about spreading democracy, or combating terrorism, any more than Iraq or Afghanistan were about freedom and democracy. It is about control.
    • Neat! So our new strategy is making stuff up and putting it on the internet? Let me try.

      "We're thinking that we'll take things to a whole new level." Commented a representative from the department of defense. "You know, when our enemies try to download new ring tones, all they'll hear is the theme song to 'Team America, World Police' whenever they get a call."
  • by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:25PM (#15053026)
    From the Article:

    "IMAGINE a world where wars are fought over the internet; where TV broadcasts and newspaper reports are designed by the military to confuse the population; and where a foreign armed power can shut down your computer, phone, radio or TV at will."

    Imagine? We don't have to imagine, we are already living it!

    The irony is, it's not the military that's waging a ware of dis-information, it's our own government waging a war of dis-information on us! Examples: Terror Alerts, WMDs, Climate Change, Evolution...Contradictory statements are being released by government officials. The government rebrands military operations: The War on Terror, The Global War on Terror, The Long War, or The Global War on Extremism...

    This is indeed an interesting time in which we live.

  • C'mon....our "intelligence" agencies (in the US) couldn't even reliably tell whether or not Saddam had any serious weapons. Do you think these guys will be able to really crack systems that are set up by reasonably smart people? Can these agencies crack 1024 bit encryption? Can they break into systems that meet D.O.D. levels of security? What exactly do these guys think they will accomplish?

    It's a waste of time and money. Terrorists want one thing - BODY COUNT - you don't get that from DOS'ing a bank's
  • The US and DARPA manage to invent a decentralized network capable of widthstanding nuclear attacks, and now that they got it, they want to get rid of it? :-/

    I'd really appreciate it if Mr. "War-on-terror" Bush did something more useful for the internet and getting rid of the ROOT CAUSE of computer terrorism: Microsoft and their crappy OS.
  • Are we starting yet another war we can't win? How about we win the war on terror, or the war on drugs, or the war on anything else we declared war on before we start going after the Internet. I don't understand why a war on the Internet is needed anyway? This country is getting more and more insane by the moment. I was watching CNN one day and they were conducting a poll asking "should we build a wall between the US and Mexico?" and I just imagined the appearance the rest of the world would have of us i
    • I am waiting for Vincente Fox to make a speech echoing Ronald Reagan's speech to Gorbachev... "Señor Bush, tear down that wall, and set your people free."
  • My first question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by underpope (952425)
    The first question that came to my mind when I saw this was, "Which of Bush's big business buddies will this benefit the most?" Of course, that's the first question that comes to my mind whenever I hear of anything the Administration comes up with these days.
  • /. it! (Score:2, Funny)

    by cl191 (831857)
    Just post the URL of such website and before you know it, it will be slashdotted back to the stoneage.
  • Not to trivialize anything that the government would say (oh precious politicians, you do entrance me so) but isn't the whole "Cyber Terror" idea a bit absurd. You have websites that issue propaganda, and the like, sure, but it's not as if you're forced to look at them, you can just close the window and/or block the site. The fact that they exist isn't threatening in anyway, as you can simply choose to ignore it.

    And really large defacements/ DDoS attacks haven't occured much, if at all in recent history. I
  • by number6x (626555) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:37PM (#15053126)
    • Waging a land war in the jungles of SouthEast Asia.
    • Trying to bring peace and democracy to a Middle East dictatorship through bombing and occupation.
  • Don't make me Tomahawk your spam.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:39PM (#15053153) Homepage
    War on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror... now war on the Internet...

    And here I always thought a "war" was "a state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties."

    Well, the Internet is sort of like a party, I guess.

    I also always thought that it was Congress that had the power to declare war, and that it wasn't war until Congress said it was war.

    But, OK, Bush had is way on the war thing, but just let him try issuing a letter of marque and reprisal and a betcha Congress will hit him upside the head with a check and a balance.

  • by Thomas Shaddack (709926) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:44PM (#15053201)
    This looks like the great US of A wants to control information flow in the rest of the world. Here is what the world should do:

    Decentralize the comm infrastructure. As widely as technically possible. Redesign it to fail gracefully. Deploy mesh networking as backup system. For cellular telephony, form a mesh network of both the base stations and the handsets themselves, so even if all the bases are destroyed the handsets still can maintain the network themselves, at least for text messaging. Same for wifi routers and other kinds of comm nodes. As a non-military benefit, this could serve as a fallback for cases of "normal" infrastructure overload.

    Develop and deploy ultrawideband technology for consumer devices, making it difficult to impossible to jam the band using the military EWAR toys. This should also make the communication more robust against non-military noise sources.

    Develop and deploy phase-array antennas for consumer devices, to automatically adjust the antenna patterns according to the position of the comm devices, both saving batteries and rejecting jamming signals from unwanted directions.

    Design the civilian infrastructure to be hardened against both intentional attacks and natural disasters taking out swaths of infrastructure. Make it a matter of national security.

    All the technologies required are already existing. Now they just have to be brought out of the labs and released on the street.

    Last but not least, prepare lower-tech fallback to establish networks disseminating the people's version of truth to counter the occupant's version, as you can not rely on the infrastructure providers. Prepare a diverse range of tactics, from people physically meeting together and swapping printouts and tapes to low-power FM and TV stations made of repurposed consumer equipment (eg. an antenna connected to the modulated output of a VCR - covers only a block or so but better than nothing. Covers significantly more with an output amplifier.) So take out your old book about antennas and read it today. You do not know when your expertise will be needed.

    Be ready. Be prepared. Be Pentagon-proof.

    • So the FBI pressured congress into making it illegal. Suspect they will need to centralize all radio and landline communications to make sure everyone has safe government approved communications. Damn my VCR won't stop blinking 19:84.
      • The sphere of influence of the Congress has certain geopolitical constraints, despite their wishes. The rest of the world may still have it - either natively, or pushed out as a last-week over-the-air firmware upgrade when things start looking interesting.

        Also do not forget the potential of wifi and bluetooth-enabled smartphones, together with user-installable software. I personally do not care if the decentralized functionality is carrier-pushed and legal, or blackmarket and homemade, as long as it is wid

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:54PM (#15053272) Homepage
    The US should always have a strong military but I don't think we should project it the way we do. I think we should mind our own business and I'm sure I won't have trouble finding people to agree with that simple view.

    Recently I downloaded "Why [thepiratebay.org] We [thepiratebay.org] Fight [thepiratebay.org]" a BBC documentary detailing the buildup and creation of the US's Industrial Military Complex. It goes a long way to explain how it happened, why it was useful and why things are the way they are today. It spells out in great detail, for example, how the US put Saddam Hussein into power and GAVE him his weapons of mass destruction. (The US was fine with them using them as long as the humanity they used them against were considered enemies of the administration in power at that moment.)

    Watching this really helped me to change my perspective on what "war" is and how it's being abused by the current "system" in power in the US. In short, it's all about power and making money. It has nothing to do with world peace or spreading democracy. I believe now more than ever before that we can spread peace and democracy through peaceful and genrous means.

    Whether you agree with the information presented or not, I urge anyone to see this. Refute it or believe it. But I think it's quite enlightening.
    • by dark_requiem (806308) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:11PM (#15053401)
      The US should always have a strong military

      As Einstein so famously (and accurately) stated, one cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. Any state with a substantial standing army will have a propensity to USE that standing army. There's money to be made, lots of money. Plus, as history has shown time and time again, people are more willing to surrender their rights to the state in times of war. A large, powerful standing army is a first step to tyrrany. Besides, a massive standing army is not necessary for defensive purposes (such as fending off an invasion), their only purpose is offensive. As long as the US government has access to the strong military you say it should have, it will continue to be used by politicos for political and personal gain.
  • by Detritus (11846) on Monday April 03, 2006 @04:54PM (#15053276) Homepage
    During the Spanish-American War (1898), the American Navy cut the oceanic telegraph cables that connected Cuba to the rest of the Spanish Empire. See Cable-Cutting At Cienfuegos [atlantic-cable.com]. During the first and second world wars, underseas cables were high-priority targets and were often cut.
  • One question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dcollins (135727)
    Secondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media - from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys and personal digital assistants (PDAs) - to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy.

    And elections?

  • by Randall311 (866824) on Monday April 03, 2006 @05:00PM (#15053321) Homepage
    SS Web Agent: Mr. President The Chinese are throttling our server, we need a decision now!
    President: Let's PHP-Nuke the bastards!

Mystics always hope that science will some day overtake them. -- Booth Tarkington

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