Some wars of the future...
1. Microsoft vs. Free Software
Microsoft using patents to try to send free software developers to jail. Use and distribution of "unlicensed" source code becomes a felony. Software producers gain the right to inspect systems for unlicensed software. Outcome 1: free software becomes a historical curiosity, something that "might have become something" but could not survive in the face of a serious onslaught from vested interests. Outcome 2: vested interests realize that they have more to gain by allowing free software developers to do the hard work, and the patent issue becomes a historical footnote.
2. The Fanatics
Silently, a small group of fanatics is building a global network of hundreds of millions of computers. These computers run their software, do their bidding, but are doing so unknown to their nominal owners. The fanatics have tested a series of techniques, starting with large scale proof-of-concept DDoS attacks on popular web sites in 2001. They concentrate now on expanding their domain of control, only stopping now and then to launch 5000, 10000 computers against the small amateur web sites that try to fight them. Via worms, viruses, and spyware, they have a simple mission: control more than 50% of the Windows Internet, and then sell this capacity to the highest bidder. Want to bring down your business rival? That can be done. Want to incapacitate a foreign country? It can be done. Want to spy on your citizens? Possible, and easy. The fanatics have been infiltrated by the agents of state authority but the sheer power of the network they are building seduces and corrupts so that these infiltrators are themselves now among the most fanatical. One might say that there is a war going on between the fanatics and the general public. But the real war is between the original fanatics, and splinter groups, who find the agenda too slow, too pedantic. "Strike now", they cry, "show the world our power!" The young radical fanatics have started to piggy-back the original network with their own infectious software. Another splinter group has already sold its services to a wealthy sponsor, who plans to launch what can only be described as a terrorist agenda, bringing down large parts of the Internet simply to draw attention to his political cause. The original fanatics are aware of the competition and adapt their software daily, finding ways to detect and kill parasites that don't belong to them. This is war between three, perhaps even more groups, for control of the Internet at a level that few people even realizes exists.