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Politically Motivated Cyber Attacks

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the keep-'em-motivated dept.

Security 78

Orome1 writes "According to a new report, 53 percent of critical infrastructure providers report that their networks have experienced what they perceived as politically motivated cyber attacks. Participants of the Symantec survey claimed to have experienced such an attack on an average of 10 times in the past five years, incurring an average cost of $850,000 during a period of five years to their businesses. Participants from the energy industry reported that they were best prepared for such an attack, while participants from the communications industry reported that they were the least prepared."

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No conflict of interest at all (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807292)

I don't see any problems when a company that sells "security" releases data about the bad terrible things that can happen to you if you don't have the appropriate "security".

And when Merck says Vioxx is safe, we must trust them.

Re:No conflict of interest at all (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807362)

There's a difference between observation, criticism, and DDoS. Concerted efforts to stifle information-- no matter what the information is-- are onerous attacks on everyone who wants the same right to voice their own.

Re:No conflict of interest at all (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807514)

Yes and even if it were true in concept one can be sure that they do the accounting in the most generous fashion. Still one can probably assume the relative ranking of various industries is useful.

Here is something I wonder about. Why do any employers connect their emplyees to the internet? Would it not be a much better idea to have nearly all computers connect to a private intra-net. That way the business functions can all get done. No personal e-mails or outside web paged pretty much means no trojans.

Yes a few people will need to communicate outside for their jobs. Give them a second computer. This will be cheap compared to the consequences of having your business operations hacked.

So that just leaves the corporate website to secure which while non-trivial it is now decoupled from the bussiness operations.

Thus I wonder what the problem with this is likely to be. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Re:No conflict of interest at all (1)

R4wBon3 (952203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33819966)

Then a USB thumb drive enters the picture and your straw-man burns in flames.

Re:No conflict of interest at all (0, Redundant)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807828)

I don't see any problems when a company that sells "security" releases data about the bad terrible things that can happen to you if you don't have the appropriate "security".

-1 Offtopic.

We're not talking about the US Government here.

Re:No conflict of interest at all (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33807954)

Thank you for reminding me why I don't read Slashdot comments. I haven't seen a mob this paranoid or delusional since the last Tea Party rally I went to. (rimshot)

Re:No conflict of interest at all (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808642)

Skepticism and forming your own conclusions is a logical and intelligent manner in which to approach things. If you blindly accept everything you are told you're less likely to learn more about the subject and far more likely to be misled. From one perspective you see everyone as paranoid or delusional, from another perspective you would be seen as naive.

well, you've got to be politically significant... (2, Interesting)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807298)

...unlike Slashdot were bacon and iCraps seem to be the only motivations...

Oh yeah? (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807340)

What about politically motivated psychological attacks by every politician out there? I have yet to see a single politician try to convince me to vote for them...they always focus on trying to tell my why I shouldn't vote for the other guy.

If politicians were forced to talk about themselves rather than the person they're running against, I think the political climate would be quite different (insofar as how people view officials running for election.) Just talking trash about the other guy makes me not want to vote for you, regardless of how much I agree with your opinions, policies, or intentions.

Re:Oh yeah? (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807538)

This is really OT; but while negative ads seem to stick in our heads, the other half are ads touting the candidate's record in a few key areas and one or two of their strategies. Maybe you're not in the USA, but here we get both.

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807666)

Continuing with the offtopicness:

I'm in the US as well...true, you do see ads that focus on only one or two areas of a politician's "accomplishments", but as a whole, politicians tend to talk smack about their opponent more than they talk about themselves. Or at least, that's how it seems to me.

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808330)

It's a brilliant tactic, actually - talk down the opponents track record while mentioning little to nil of their own, and allow the viewer to assume the wanker advertising himself will do any different. After all, it was our fault for making the assumption, right? The politico in the running can't be held responsible if his potential constituents project their own values onto him. That's why these bastards never say anything of substance about themselves.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808708)

I would have to agree, in my experience most political advertising in the US offers little to no useful information. I could mostly care less as I ignore it anyway and would rather look up information on the candidates myself. What makes it worrisome is some people actually base their votes on those ads.

Politicians have no real power. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807702)

Politicians have the illusion of power by signature. The real power are the intelligence agencies that bribe and blackmail politicians into doing their bidding. The real power are the corporations funding the lobbyists who do the bribery, or in some cases the journalists and private investigators who do the blackmail, so lets face it every politician basically reads their script and is like a celebrity.

They go on TV and read a teleprompter. They sign what they are told to sign. Their controllers write their bills, the politicians don't read anything and just sign off on whatever their controllers make them sign off too. Since the average American citizen isn't in control of anything, the foreign national has more control over the political process than the average American citizen, whether it be hacking the voting machine or bribing the politician.

At least if there are cyber warriors the voting machines wont have to be hacked.

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808310)

So you would vote for the guy who takes bribes or beats his niece up, simply because his opposition pointed it out?

I don't blame you...I for one would love to vote for a politician with conviction...assault for example.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809342)

No...if my only choices were "a guy who beat his wife" and "a guy who talks about another guy that beat his wife", I just wouldn't vote.

We have the freedom to CHOOSE to vote in America, not just the freedom TO vote. Not voting is a freedom some people in this world do not have, just as voting is a freedom some people in this world do not have.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812708)

No...if my only choices were "a guy who beat his wife" and "a guy who talks about another guy that beat his wife", I just wouldn't vote.

We have the freedom to CHOOSE to vote in America, not just the freedom TO vote. Not voting is a freedom some people in this world do not have, just as voting is a freedom some people in this world do not have.

If the vote isn't counted, and doesn't matter, what difference does it make?

Or if the vote is counted but lobbyists write and push through all the laws, what difference does it make?

And since there wont be any tougher laws on lobbyists what can you expect?

Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33807354)

If you think about it, the reason people resort to terrorist (or "politically-motivated") attacks is that they feel they have no other recourse: no other way to make themselves heard.

In so-called democracies, this shouldn't happen. If people feel that a company is threatening their environment or killing hapless animals or whatnot, then the people should be able to participate in the democracy in such a way that they can have their concerns addressed. But of course, we don't live in a democracy. All we do is vote, then shut up and let our leaders decide what is good for us. Real democracy will only come when we apply the principles of free software [metagovernment.org] to government.

OK, so there is a second source of politically-motivated attacks: nations trying to sabotage each other. That too is fundamentally a failure of democracy. Because rule of the people implies supersession of national boundaries. Nation-states are relics of kings. When we have real democracy, where everyone in the world can participate in any policy decision, then the idea of segregating people into distinct groups just because of the happenstance of their geography or ethnicity will seem ridiculous.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807410)

Real democracy will only come when we apply the principles of free software [metagovernment.org] to government.

You don't live somewhere with a Home Owners Association, do you? Getting people to participate is nearly impossible even when it results in there being a lot of money levied on them. People would rather do other things. They hardly get out to vote.

And you actually think something like Metagovernment will work?!? Talk about a pipe dream!

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808060)

Real democracy will only come when we apply the principles of free software [metagovernment.org] to government.

You don't live somewhere with a Home Owners Association, do you? Getting people to participate is nearly impossible even when it results in there being a lot of money levied on them. People would rather do other things. They hardly get out to vote.

And you actually think something like Metagovernment will work?!? Talk about a pipe dream!

What good is voting if the machine runs windows XP and is hacked in such a way that your vote wont be counted?

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33808612)

If people don't want to participate, then they don't have to. There is no need for everyone in the world to contribute to Firefox for it to be a viable application. If people want to sit out decisions (and nobody can participate in every single decision), then fine.

The important point is that people need to be allowed to participate in decisions if they want to. As it stands now, if you don't like the way a decision is going in say your City council, all you can do is:

1. go to a council meeting, try to get on the agenda, state your case, and hope the council members will listen to you (unlikely)
2. start a campaign, get party backing, raise tons of money, beat out all the other candidates, and join the city council

The projects of Metagovernment would let you just make proposals any time you like, and if they are good and you can build support for them, then they may attain a consensus and become law.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809718)

People would rather do other things. They hardly get out to vote.

You've bought into the myth that peope stay away from the polls because they're lazy and apathetic. The real reason they stay home isn't apathy, it's disillusionment. Both major parties vote against their interests, the minor parties can't get elected, why vote? I had one person in a bar just the other night tell me they were staying away from the polls "as a protest". I tried to convince him it would be seen as apathy and not protest, and he should vote minor party, but he would have none of it.

Everyone in America knows that the corporations run the country and their votes are meaningless.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (4, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807536)

Do you really think that every minority interest group is going to be happy with the consensus of the majority all the time, every time? You talk about the 'principles of free software' as a panacea, ignoring that the free software movement has the same problems. Some person or minority of persons gets upset with decisions made by a larger group of core developers for a project, and what happens? Fork. The only way that government can fork is by 'segregating people' whether done by geography (which is the most logistically accommodating) or by some as-yet-untried model such as panarchism [wikipedia.org] (which would be a logistical nightmare).

The fact about humans is that you can never please all of the people all of the time. No matter how reasonable a given consensus is, there will always be a minority that feels otherwise, and because there are always a few people playing without a full deck, an even smaller subset of a given minority may be emotional enough to think it's worth killing over. That's not a 'failure of democracy', that's life. Deal with it.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (0, Troll)

mvojtko (1910984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807730)

You will never be able to get everyone to agree to the same things either. Consensus is the best that can be expected. Mark http://recipesforbarbecuechicken.com/ [recipesfor...hicken.com]

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807812)

Thanks for the redundancy so that you could spam some off-topic link. Why don't you take your spam to long dead posts on blogspot like all the other spammer assholes.

Terrorism is stupid. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807876)

1. It doesn't work.
2. It's a declaration of war against the US military establishment.

Now that these facts are clear, we can ask ourselves some serious questions. Why would a government need to fork? If you look at the system you'll see the problem with government is that the US government has too many enemies. Basically the entire world against the US government. Because of this there are foreign spy agencies seeking to control the US government by controlling congress. These foreign spy agencies now have the ability to use corporations to take control of the US government from the American citizen (the worker).

The result is the citizen/worker does not make their own laws. The political families are just families of corrupted puppets serving whoever bribes them or blackmails them the most. There appears to be no one in complete control and if someone is in complete control I have no idea who that is. Obama is in control on paper but he does not write the laws nor does he read them. Neither do any of the political faces, they merely sign what they are told to sign and the whole thing is part of a ritual.

This is why the current laws being passed suck. That being said there is only one solution that I can see, and that is the militarization of the US society. This would mean we'd need cyber warriors, and the idea that geeks can't be warriors must go. The idea that anybody in any profession cannot be trained to fight for the US interest must go. You can't expect your laws to get better if you aren't free. You can't expect to make more money if you don't control the money, or anything for that matter. And you can't expect jobs if you don't control anything.

Once again, politics aren't the answer. Patriotism might not be the answer either. The answer is to improve cyber security, this way it's far more difficult to steal an election by hacking voting machines. This should be your political stance, not democrat or republican. The security of the democratic process should be the only political stance that matters.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808270)

"Terrorism" does work sometimes. It got the Soviets out of Afghanistan and the French out of Algeria, to name but two. In fact many if not most revolutions contain a 'terrorist' component, but that label just happens to vanish if the revolution succeeds and consequently rewrites the history books making the deaths of innocents into political martyrs (which in Algeria especially was really the case, as the French orchestrated false flag terrorist attacks to undermine popular support for the local insurgency).

As for the rest, your post is tin foil hat nonsense. The President does not normally write laws (and any which he might would still have to be sponsored from committee to floor by a congressman), that's what executive orders are for. Further, congressmen, The President, cabinet members, etc. are all too busy to read most laws. That's not a secret. That's why they have a staff. Their staff researches proposed legislation, writes it, reads it, rewrites it, re-researches it, etc. and only briefs their superiors on key points. It's not a grand conspiracy, it's a simple adaptation to circumstances. There are too many bills which are too long for every congressman to read every one. Hell, many of the never make it out of committee, let alone pass a floor vote or actually get signed.

Oh but of course it's the evil, evil corporations who control everything! That's why the government was so unsuccessful at breaking up AT&T in the 80s... oh wait, it wasn't. Corporate interests are no less valid than the interests of an other institutions or individuals. They are a significant part of the economy and consequently the politics of that economy. I'm sick of all the anti-corporatism for anti-corporatism's sake. Everybody wants to ride the wagon and spit at it too.

Stop making excuses. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33808388)

"Terrorism" does work sometimes. It got the Soviets out of Afghanistan and the French out of Algeria, to name but two. In fact many if not most revolutions contain a 'terrorist' component, but that label just happens to vanish if the revolution succeeds and consequently rewrites the history books making the deaths of innocents into political martyrs (which in Algeria especially was really the case, as the French orchestrated false flag terrorist attacks to undermine popular support for the local insurgency).

As for the rest, your post is tin foil hat nonsense. The President does not normally write laws (and any which he might would still have to be sponsored from committee to floor by a congressman), that's what executive orders are for. Further, congressmen, The President, cabinet members, etc. are all too busy to read most laws. That's not a secret. That's why they have a staff. Their staff researches proposed legislation, writes it, reads it, rewrites it, re-researches it, etc. and only briefs their superiors on key points. It's not a grand conspiracy, it's a simple adaptation to circumstances. There are too many bills which are too long for every congressman to read every one. Hell, many of the never make it out of committee, let alone pass a floor vote or actually get signed.

Oh but of course it's the evil, evil corporations who control everything! That's why the government was so unsuccessful at breaking up AT&T in the 80s... oh wait, it wasn't. Corporate interests are no less valid than the interests of an other institutions or individuals. They are a significant part of the economy and consequently the politics of that economy. I'm sick of all the anti-corporatism for anti-corporatism's sake. Everybody wants to ride the wagon and spit at it too.

We are tired of your excuses. You always have excuses fo why congress does not read or write it's own laws. You'll have excuses for why so many lobbyists like AIPAC are writing laws and influencing government. You'll have excuses for why corporations should be able to spend obscene amounts of money bribing and corrupting the political process.

And of course you say the voting machines being hacked is tin foil. You wont provide any solutions either because you don't want the situation to be solved.

How much are they paying you Mr. Man?

Re:Stop making excuses. (1)

Terwin (412356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809226)

'Our reasons are legitimate, their reasons are excuses, Boo them!'

If you are going to trot out this old argument, at least try to spice it up with some logical arguments as to why their reasons are less valid than yours.

Anything less makes you look like a whiner to anyone who does not already agree with you, and that hardly does anything with regards to convincing others that your side is in the right.

Personally I believe that the reason all of our legislators get paid for what they do is so that they *can* have the time to review and analyze every bill that they are called to vote on.
Staffs can be important for this, especially for bills that affect parts of the economy that a given legislator may not understand fully, but I consider voting on a bill that you cannot personally explain to anyone who voted for you as an act of nonfeasance at best and usually misfeasance(in cases where they rely on lobbyists) or even malfeasance(where they accept gifts and don't even bother finding out what the bill does).

If they are not going to spend their time serving us, why should we pay them for that time?

Re:Stop making excuses. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811132)

~10000 bills are introduced in Congress every year. Do you think a human being can read 10000 bills back to front in less than a year? Especially now when some bills are more than a thousand pages long? While at the same time drafting their own bills, listening to constituents, meeting with colleagues, staff, committees? Ludicrous.

Does it suck? Yes, but the only way to fix it is to impose a limit on the number of bills that can be introduced, which would naturally have a dramatic impact on how responsive the legislature could be (and it's already slow). That would necessitate a more powerful executive to take up the slack. Is that what you want? A paralyzed legislative branch and a tyrant?

I don't like it anymore than the next guy, but I'm not so simple minded that I think you can hand wave it away as "they're just not doing their jobs".

Re:Stop making excuses. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812492)

~10000 bills are introduced in Congress every year. Do you think a human being can read 10000 bills back to front in less than a year? Especially now when some bills are more than a thousand pages long? While at the same time drafting their own bills, listening to constituents, meeting with colleagues, staff, committees? Ludicrous.

Does it suck? Yes, but the only way to fix it is to impose a limit on the number of bills that can be introduced, which would naturally have a dramatic impact on how responsive the legislature could be (and it's already slow). That would necessitate a more powerful executive to take up the slack. Is that what you want? A paralyzed legislative branch and a tyrant?

I don't like it anymore than the next guy, but I'm not so simple minded that I think you can hand wave it away as "they're just not doing their jobs".

Then maybe they shouldn't be introducing 1000 bills 1000 pages each that they didn't write.

If you don't believe in Democracy just say so.

Re:Stop making excuses. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811368)

See my responses to Terwin and CrimsonAvenger, but one thing that should be addressed. Money is speech. The Supreme Court has said as much time and time again, and it's wholly accurate. Money buys access to media, TV, radio, dead trees, internet, everything. You can call it 'bribery' or 'corruption' but it is no more than a group of individuals pooling resources to advocate for their interests. As I said before, corporations are an integral part of the fabric of the nation, without which we'd be crawling in the dirt waiting for some country with an economy that works (because in large part it's full of corporations) to swoop in with enough "aid" resources to allow a near non-economy to function. You have an irrational axe to grind about corporations, and you're willing to chew off your own leg to solve some imaginary social problems.

Foreign money is speech. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812550)

Because the money comes from and is owned by the foreigners and foreign nationals.

So they write the policies, they write the laws, they basically run DC with AIPAC and other lobbyist groups like them. Don't be surprised when China, Isreal, Russia and many other powerful nations actually use their money as speech to determine our future.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814770)

So you're saying the Constitution doesn't apply to foreigners eh? Glad we can agree that illegal immigrants have no right to due process. Cool.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33820274)

So you're saying the Constitution doesn't apply to foreigners eh? Glad we can agree that illegal immigrants have no right to due process. Cool.

I wasn't talking about illegal immigrants. Nice try.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33823796)

You can't have it both ways, either the Constitution applies to foreigners and they get freedom of speech and due process, or it doesn't and they don't get freedom of speech or due process. That's the whole point of 'equal protection':

[...] nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

14th Amendment, weasel out of that one douchebag.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825452)

You can't have it both ways, either the Constitution applies to foreigners and they get freedom of speech and due process, or it doesn't and they don't get freedom of speech or due process. That's the whole point of 'equal protection':

[...] nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

14th Amendment, weasel out of that one douchebag.

Foreigners don't get to vote and shouldn't.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825850)

They're not voting, they are speaking. The Constitution is clear: anybody can speak, regardless of citizenship. There were no Constitutional considerations about voting before the Civil War, it was up to the states to decide for themselves who could vote. Outside of the overarching conditions set out in the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments the states still decide who can vote and who can't, and in some localities it is possible [wikipedia.org] by law for non-citizens to vote.

It is clear by your ignorant, flat wrong assertions that you have neither the learning nor desire to learn that makes the furtherance of this exchange worth my time. If you would like a civics lesson I recommend you pay for it from an institution designed to render such services. In the meantime try to see that your insufficient grasp of US law, politics, and history do not unduly impede the work of the informed.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33832588)

They're not voting, they are speaking. The Constitution is clear: anybody can speak, regardless of citizenship. There were no Constitutional considerations about voting before the Civil War, it was up to the states to decide for themselves who could vote. Outside of the overarching conditions set out in the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments the states still decide who can vote and who can't, and in some localities it is possible [wikipedia.org] by law for non-citizens to vote.

It is clear by your ignorant, flat wrong assertions that you have neither the learning nor desire to learn that makes the furtherance of this exchange worth my time. If you would like a civics lesson I recommend you pay for it from an institution designed to render such services. In the meantime try to see that your insufficient grasp of US law, politics, and history do not unduly impede the work of the informed.

I never said it was illegal. I never said it wasn't a pattern through history. I said I disagreed with the path we are on. And I don't think foreign money can be considered equal speech when it's speech is worth more than my speech.

With voting every vote is of equal worth, with money not every amount of equal. Even you can figure something like this out.

Re:Foreign money is speech. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33838846)

I never said it was illegal.

Liar. "Foreigners don't get to vote" is an assertion of fact, and the only systemic mechanism for denial is a legal one. It's bad enough that you were ignorant and wrong, trying to lie your way out of it is pathetic.

I could give you a huge analogy about how political spending impacts the electorate, but you're not worth the time at this point. You are clearly a die hard enemy of free speech, as you want to censor any speech you think isn't "equal" because of how much it costs. Take your lies and ignorance and piss off.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810010)

Further, congressmen, The President, cabinet members, etc. are all too busy to read most laws. That's not a secret. That's why they have a staff. Their staff researches proposed legislation, writes it, reads it, rewrites it, re-researches it, etc. and only briefs their superiors on key points. It's not a grand conspiracy, it's a simple adaptation to circumstances. There are too many bills which are too long for every congressman to read every one.

Of course, some of us see a problem in laws being voted on without being read by the people doing the voting. Makes for bad democracy when the voters (be they congresscritters or just plain citizens) vote absent concrete knowledge of what they're voting for (or against).

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810894)

The simple fact is that the US government is too big because the US itself is too big. If you want an efficient government you want a sovereign polis. Aristotle knew it, Machiavelli knew it, but the economic and military concerns have overridden any concern for a pure abstract efficient state. The state does not exist in a vacuum.

The only way to 'fix' the federal government would be to either fundamentally change it, say by imposing limits on the number of bills that could be written/sponsored in a session, or by completely dissolving it and letting the states become sovereign again (which are microcosms of the federal problem so that only partially ameliorates).

Size is not efficiency. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812894)

The simple fact is that the US government is too big because the US itself is too big. If you want an efficient government you want a sovereign polis. Aristotle knew it, Machiavelli knew it, but the economic and military concerns have overridden any concern for a pure abstract efficient state. The state does not exist in a vacuum.

The only way to 'fix' the federal government would be to either fundamentally change it, say by imposing limits on the number of bills that could be written/sponsored in a session, or by completely dissolving it and letting the states become sovereign again (which are microcosms of the federal problem so that only partially ameliorates).

The problem is not that the US government is too big, the problem is the US government is neither efficient or effective. To be effective would mean foreign influence would be kept out of the democratic process. Do we really want foreigners writing the laws that govern us as Americans?

To be effective would also mean limiting the influence of corporations on government while increasing the influence of unions. This would give the worker(citizen) a voice, even if it's limited by the corrupt union boss it's still more of a voice than they have now.

Efficient would be to run the government in a way which is both cost effective and which meets objectives. If liberty is the objective of government, this government is not doing it's job effectively or efficiently.

If the government is trying to drive us into serfdom then they are accomplishing that mission very efficiently.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813706)

The only way to 'fix' the federal government would be to either fundamentally change it, say by imposing limits on the number of bills that could be written/sponsored in a session, or by completely dissolving it and letting the states become sovereign again (which are microcosms of the federal problem so that only partially ameliorates).

Alternatively, we fall back on that Constitutional Separation of Powers thing, and leave the State Legislatures to handle State things, while restricting the Federal legislature to handling only Federal things. Of which there aren't really all that many.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814716)

So you would have been OK with the continuance of slavery in the South? Poll taxes? 'Literacy' tests? These are sincere questions, though they might seem antagonistic. I myself actually would have tolerated a slower, more peaceful end to slavery (as happened in every other country) as being better for the nation in the long run albeit at the continued oppression of some in the short run.

(My wife, who incidentally is black, thinks that the Civil War provided a social catharsis that was potentially worth both the political and human costs, but I can't bring myself to see the equivalency. Then again I lack the perspective of somebody with ancestry that can be traced to actual slaves of the 19th century.)

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817714)

So you would have been OK with the continuance of slavery in the South? Poll taxes? 'Literacy' tests?

All of those things are covered by that Constitutional thing. See, we have this process that we like to refer to as "the amendment process". We can change the Constitution if needed. As was done to deal with Slavery.

Note, by the way, that both poll taxes and "literacy tests" were never actually allowed by the Constitution. And there was a Constitutional solution to both anyway - if you disenfranchise someone, you can't count him for purposes of allotting Representatives.

The problem we have today is that the Congress is spending too damn much time dealing with things best left to the State legislatures. Like endowments for a local monument. Or (yes, it's shocking) education. Minimum wage laws at the Federal level probably did more bad things for the poor than anything else we've done - if each State had set its own minimum wages, they'd all be competing to attract workers (and voters, remember that Representation thing) by setting their own minimum wages (and yes, some States have minimum wage laws over and above what the Congress sets, so it certainly can be done, and would have been done).

Or just amend the Constitution to give it the powers you think it should have. If enough people and legislatures agree with you, it'll happen. If not, well, you're in the minority, so live with it.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824290)

The Thirteenth Amendmendment would have never passed in the 1860s without the Civil War (which disenfranchised many of the Confederate loyalists as a consequence which helped pave the political road to adoption) and the Reconstruction Acts required the passage of the 13th Amendment for the defeated Confederate states to regain their equality and privileges within the Union. So don't hand wave the 'Constitutional process' because that's not how history went down.

Note, by the way, that both poll taxes and "literacy tests" were never actually allowed by the Constitution.

You have a basic ignorance of how US law works then. Unless you can point me to the line in the Constitution that disallows/forbids the practice, than that practice is (Constitutionally) allowed by default. The Constitution is not some Mosaic list of things you can and can't do, it's simply a framework for the federal government and an enumeration of some basic rights. Anything it doesn't specify is left open to state law by definition (Amendment X).

And there was a Constitutional solution to both anyway - if you disenfranchise someone, you can't count him for purposes of allotting Representatives.

I really don't know why I'm bothering at this point, you obviously are completely ignorant of American history, law, and political structure. Ever heard of the Electoral College, dawg? You see, it apportions representation by pure population, NOT suffrage. Women were counted before they were enfranchised. Slaves were counted under the 'three-fifths' compromise before they were freed and enfranchised.

You need to do a lot more reading before we can have a productive conversation methinks.

P.S. Literacy tests were eliminated by federal legislation, not overturned by any court on Constitutional grounds (even though IMO they should have been).

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817810)

(My wife, who incidentally is black, thinks that the Civil War provided a social catharsis that was potentially worth both the political and human costs, but I can't bring myself to see the equivalency. Then again I lack the perspective of somebody with ancestry that can be traced to actual slaves of the 19th century.)

Separate reply, since the subjects were so unrelated.

I'm not black. Some of my ancestors were slave-owners. No doubt at all, I've seen some old Wills.

That said, I agree with your wife, more or less. The social catharsis was important. And it was important that it happen just the way it did - that is, with the South giving it a good shot and almost winning at times.

Anything else, and we'd have had a bloody insurrection going on for decades, if not continuing today.

Once passions had cooled down, being where two old soldiers could meet and say, in effect "We almost beat you, but for [particular screwup that set this guy off]", and getting back "Well, you might be right about that, but I think that [particular screwup that set this other guy off] pretty much cancelled that one out", which leads to "yeah, you may be right - that colonel of your'n surely had his head up his ass that day"...and so on, helped the healing no end.

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809088)

Wow buddy you have your head straight up your ass don't you? Ok, so let's say we take all the geeks, fighters, number crunchers and thinkers nation wide, train them and deploy them in some fashion. Who are you going to fight? If all of the politicians are corrupt who is going to know on a world scale who is bad and who is good? Bomb everybody? That hasn't worked out well for anybody before, hack everybody? They'll just hack back. Start a war with the middle east? All the politicians now want to screw with them and if they are apparently not on the side of their own country then you are just serving "the spy". So where do you propose this great militia should go, who should they kill? Maybe with all of this propaganda going around you feel you need to kill someone but in reality you don't need to. As far as we know the whole 9/11 thing could have been a result of one diplomat making fun of anothers wifes dress. How much do you hear when they talk face to face? Maybe they golf and laugh about all this shit behind closed doors. But somehow you want one group of people to attack another group of people because of politicians who are talking shit in the ears of both sides?

Re:Terrorism is stupid. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813002)

Wow buddy you have your head straight up your ass don't you? Ok, so let's say we take all the geeks, fighters, number crunchers and thinkers nation wide, train them and deploy them in some fashion. Who are you going to fight? If all of the politicians are corrupt who is going to know on a world scale who is bad and who is good? Bomb everybody? That hasn't worked out well for anybody before, hack everybody? They'll just hack back. Start a war with the middle east? All the politicians now want to screw with them and if they are apparently not on the side of their own country then you are just serving "the spy". So where do you propose this great militia should go, who should they kill? Maybe with all of this propaganda going around you feel you need to kill someone but in reality you don't need to. As far as we know the whole 9/11 thing could have been a result of one diplomat making fun of anothers wifes dress. How much do you hear when they talk face to face? Maybe they golf and laugh about all this shit behind closed doors. But somehow you want one group of people to attack another group of people because of politicians who are talking shit in the ears of both sides?

If you want your freedom you have to be willing to fight for it.

Enjoy being ruled by foreign corporations, it's the position you deserve.

There is a choice (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813276)

If you want the USA to be free and have a valid democratic process uncorrupted by foreign influence then you'd have to get all the best minds in the country to fight or challenge the best minds from other countries. If the best minds in our country only think about making money, and the best minds in China, Russia, Iran and other countries are all focused on taking over the USA in clandestine fashion, the result is going to be that the best minds in the USA are going to be corrupted by foreign nationals, foreign spys, foreign money from foreign corporations.

So the best hackers in the USA could be hacking for China trying to rig the US election. Or maybe Isreali hackers are better so their candidate wins the election, and so on and so forth. This has far reaching implications for the integrity of the Democratic process.

Then you have the foreign influence on politicians, on scientists working on nuclear and biological weapons, on professors who grade your science paper, on your classmate who keeps tabs on you. It all has far reaching implications and what you aren't considering is that the USA is currently bankrupt.

The bankrupt USA now does not have the money to fund itself. So now it has to rely on foreign money to fund itself. This reliance on foreign money along with the foreign corporations who now can spend as much as they want on elections, along with the willingness of foreign agents to break the law to rig or hack elections, and you have a country which can quite easily be completely taken over and overrun by a coalition of countries who could divide the US up amongst themselves.

And who would they be fighting over? They'd be fighting over the serfs, the servants, the consumers. You think your wages suck now? You think your quality of life sucks now? Wait until foreigners take this country, then you might find yourself laid off while foreigners take your job.

So you can compete with the foreign countries, or you can submit to them. What other choice is there?

Consensus != Majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809092)

"Consensus" and "Majority" are entirely different concepts. A consensus government is NOT majority rule. If people disagree with the majority, then there is disensus, and there is no consent to the governance in question.

So would that result in less governance overall? Almost certainly. And it definitely would reduce the significance of gigantic governments. Instead people would be much more likely to be governed in small communities.

So yes, you could call each community a "branch" of the larger humanity governance. Fine. We don't need uniform law applying to everyone in the world. As long as distinct communities can achieve consensus within themselves, they can be happy.

And then a weird thing happens. Communities can work together to build larger consensuses. We might not have one big national government that passes all laws on everybody in it, but we can have specific laws which everyone agrees to adopt in these large meta-communities.

You just need to break out of this mindset that huge government is somehow inherently good. What does it bring us that a network of consensus communities couldn't do better? Well, OK, so big governments are great at producing authoritarianism and helping foster totalitarianism. But what else?

Re:Consensus != Majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33816252)

Without huge government, how would we know who to complain about at the water cooler?

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809554)

No matter how reasonable a given consensus is, there will always be a minority that feels otherwise

Note that not as many people as you might think agree with you (or with anyone else in particular) in their definition of "reasonable".

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811476)

That would be, you know, the point.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813800)

That would be, you know, the point.

And here I thought that when someone suggests that not everyone would go along with a consensus "No matter how reasonable a given consensus is" that he was suggesting that "there will always be a minority that feels otherwise" sort of implied that it made sense to use "reasonable" as an absolute.

As in, "I think this is reasonable, and anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot." Which you hear in lot of political discussions, when it comes right down to it.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814544)

You could write entire books [amazon.com] on the subject of what comprises 'reasonable' in the realm of law and society. It's not really a subject that I think can be productively addressed to my own satisfaction in this forum beyond the most obvious and superficial.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33807570)

If you think about it, the reason people resort to terrorist (or "politically-motivated") attacks is that they feel they have no other recourse: no other way to make themselves heard.

...

Way to rationalize what at its best is jackassery.

I sure wish the people who ahve "no other way to make themselves heard" would just STFU already.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (2, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810456)

Terrorism happens whenever people no longer trust the political process... to give the result they want. If a person presses position X, but sees that not-X is more popular and thus X has no hope of becoming law, then they may see violence as justified. For examples see environmental terrorism on the left, or pro-life terrorism on the right.

Re:Terrorism is a result of failed democracy (1)

Synonymous Homonym (1901660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33827886)

Terrorism is what the Directorat uses to keep the people in line after the French revolution.

I'll post the obvious.... (3, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807360)

Critical infrastructure providers represent industries that are of such importance either to a nation’s economy or society that if their cyber networks were successfully attacked and damaged, the result would threaten national security.

WTF are "critical infrastructure providers" doing by connecting their critical systems to the internet?

If they need to connect plants or other things, leased lines aren't an option?

Only "obvious" in a perfect world (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807658)

That might make sense for things like the Energy Industry (which is better prepared supposedly) but not so much for Communications, since their business IS the internet. Sometimes total quarantine just isn't an option. And many of the so-called "critical infrastructure" industries are legally required to be on monitoring networks, so that if one site etc goes down others can pick up the slack (again Energy fits this as the national power grid needs such redundancy). Now you could say that they just make a isolated intranet for such things, but lets be realistic. These are measures legislatively imposed, and the US government is far too bureaucratic to shell out the cash or even approve the necessity of providing such a thing (at least within any useful time-line), and the individual companies are not in a position to accomplish it themselves, even if they were motivated to do anything beyond the legal minimum. Keep in mind we are mostly talking corporations, which are actually legally required to do whatever they can to maximize the bottom line earnings. Above-and-Beyond spending just doesnt happen unless somebody can prove a hidden earing (usually PR or the like)

So yes, in a perfect world each critical industry would only network through dedicated lines, using a unique and secure OS build to confuse and foil would-be attackers, on computers with no USB, and operated by employees that never get disgruntled, overly curious, or lazy. If you believe that's possible Ive got a bridge to sell you.

Re:Only "obvious" in a perfect world (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809750)

There is the fallacy of "this isn't a 100% solution, so why bother?"

If it were up to me, I'd probably implement a solution that went into one place I worked at. They had a private network (only accessible to the dedicated machines, and the corporate network. To bridge the two, they had one machine on the private network which grabbed data from the controllers, then turned it into XML, and pushed it through a serial connection that physically only allowed Tx (Rx was cut) to another machine. The machine on the corporate network had a daemon that read the stream, broke the XML objects up and pushed them to a database where the PHBs could view their report on a Web page, or get an Excel spreadsheet generated on demand.

Of course, the data pushed through the serial cable was not that much. If it were data that was more than kilobits per second, this setup would not work. However, since it was a low bandwidth item, this essentially kept the network with the juicy stuff airgapped from the rest of the world.

Cyber War... (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807438)

This is almost not news. There's been a de facto cyber-war with the Chinese going on for years now; just neither side talks much about it openly.

Re:Cyber War... (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807628)

And the Russians, and Iran, and possibly Al Qaeda and a lot of "domestic terrorist" groups like the ALF. Homeland security produced a report which was leaked on Wikileaks detailing who the targets are.

Re:Cyber War... (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807792)

To be fair, ALF [wikipedia.org] could only be considered a terrorist by cats.

Re:Cyber War... (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807902)

Tell that to the Dept of homeland security.

Re:Cyber War... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807952)

Are you calling the DHS a bunch of pussies?

Predicted Future news: (4, Insightful)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807478)

Politically motivated cyber attack reports are spun into support for new laws bringing the US up to speed with the most draconian technology laws in the world - provide your password or go to jail forever, prove that the drawing is of an adult, and even prove that you have never interacted with anyone who has committed these cyber-crimes or go to jail by association!

Laws aren't what is needed. Use spy agencies. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807614)

If somebody is a politically motivated cyber terrorists, the law isn't going to make a difference as they aren't the kind of person who would respect the law to begin with.

So those laws would mainly affect us and leave them free to hack us and do anything to us basically. The only real solution is for spy agencies and military to train it's own group of cyber warriors or whatever we want to call these people to conduct cyber warfare. This combined with the current laws should be enough.

The law usually creates as many problems as it solves.

Objective (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807582)

How come there's no mention of the objective of these attacks? What could it be, why would you take out energy or communication companies?

Cyber Terrorism = Cyber Warfare. (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33807584)

It's a war. This is not new. Just look at whats going on with Cryptome being hacked in the name of Bradley Manning. I would say ideology is a strong motivator for hacking.

Targeted or underpatched? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33807638)

Are "vital infrastructure" systems actually specifically targeted or have then been attacked by worms/bots because their systems tend to be underpatched?

DDOS attacks as protests? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33807914)

DOSS attacks could be the new form of protests. They could have the same protections as regular protests. They would have to be announced and could last for a limited number of hours per day.

Regular protest cause financial loss anyway, so there's no difference there. But unlike the regular protests people from around the world could participate easily. The media would cover the protest just like any other, so you'd get attention to the issue as well.

It's what anonymous already does in a way - they announce their ddos attacks in a public call to arms.

Re:DDOS attacks as protests? (1)

cmr-denver (1315039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811092)

Wouldn't this make the internet into a cyber-france?

Bet BT/Transocean/Haliburton blames.... (1)

amcdiarmid (856796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810892)

Stuxnet for sinking their battleship!

ta30 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33811586)

intentions A8d

Financially motivated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813438)

Just look around you. Politics are always Financially motivated.
I am not financially motivated too, I only work because it makes me happy. I just enjoy getting payed.

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