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America's War on the Web

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | 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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Better Article.... (5, Informative)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052884)

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.

Re:Better Article.... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053056)

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 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 where someone mentioned while it was a bit scary to think of such a thing, it was the next logical step in tech warfare.

Better Yet: Al-Qaeda Operations +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053135)

; How may I direct your call [] .?

  Spreading democracy and freedumb to Iraq. My ass.

Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

Re:Better Article.... (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053189)

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.

Re:Better Article.... (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053115)

By following that "link", you'll also get your "recommended daily allowance" of "scare quotes" in "giant headlines".

Cyber-terror Unlikely (5, Insightful)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 8 years ago | (#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."

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (2, Funny)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052919)

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.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052923)

You idiot! They are not trying to protect you from Al-Qaeda. They are trying to protect themselves from you so they can stay in power. You will realize this when King George gets re-elected for his third term.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (1)

ccarson (562931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052934)

*looks around stupified*

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053195)

If by "gets re-elected" you mean "dissolves the senate permanently," then yes. The last remnants of the old republic have been swept away.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (4, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (5, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#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."

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (2, Insightful)

cat6509 (887285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053015)

"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.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053106)

I think the very reason Osama has not been captured is because he's a Ludddite!

If he was using P2P and swapping Stacey Keibbler vids like the rest of us, the CIA would have his ass in no time.

Sadly he's still on dial-up and passes on files larger than 250k.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (-1, Redundant)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053039)

While true there are a handful of people in this world that could take down the entire internet singlehandedly. They won't do it but they could. The potential does exist that oneday one of these guys will either lose their mind or somehow be forced into terrorism does exist. Though what does it tell you about these terrorist or people who do these things in general that the people who are smart enough to cause the most damage generally don't. Alas one could abduct a nuclear scientist and achieve the same result couldn't they??

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (2, Insightful)

Loualbano2 (98133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053077)

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 other things aren't being done. I am sure there's someone out there trying to get those things done too.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053082)

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.

Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053152)

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 say "Oh, we don't have to worry about that, those sand rats could never work a computer!" is the moment you realize your bank accounts have been drained (do that to a couple thousand people and create a mass hysteria where people don't trust banks.)

Just because they're misguided and brainwashed doesn't mean they can't use technology. In fact, some of them might say the same about you (the misguided and brainwashed part.)

Sure, but cyber-warfare VERY likely (4, Interesting)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053202)

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 [] . 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. :)


Re:Cyber-terror Unlikely (1)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053206)

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.

They've already attacked (2, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052893)

Someone has been dropping spam bombs on my mailbox for years now.

Is this new? (1)

smoor (961352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052894)

I have two reactions. Is this actually new information?

If it is, God help us. Since the Defense Department "invented" the internet, shouldn't they have kind of been working on this for a while now?

Re:Is this new? (5, Funny)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052922)

"We brought the Internet into this world, and by God we can take it back out!"

Re:Is this new? (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053127)

Yes, there have been stories like this for years. Its not like this is the first time "Cyberwarfare" has been funded in the US or other countries -but don't tell anyone else that. It better to think only the big, bad USA would/could do such a thing.

sure why not (1, Flamebait)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052897)

Why not dubya seems to be making war everywhere else :op

Seriously though as someone working in government IT I see lots of places where security is very much lacking, money needs to be put into securing government IT systems right now as the recent articles on security at the DoJ shows. Investing in anything IT related but internal security is just stupid.

The lines blur once more. (2, Insightful) (960072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052898)

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 []

Re:The lines blur once more. (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053073)

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 are, and it does erode civil liberties in some way, then we have something to talk about. But the fact that the Pentagon "has plans" for many scary-sounding things isn't really news or anything to get alarmed about.

Re:The lines blur once more. (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053087)

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.
Hey! Look at me create the logical falacy called the "slippery slope." I even took time to allude to it with the mudslide comment!!!!

A little bit of paranoia keeps you safe. Too much paranoia makes you speak with "foresight" of which the Oracle at Delphi could only dream. Just remember... drum up emotional appeals, use logical falacies to attack conservatives and you too can be modded insightful!

Re:The lines blur once more. (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053112)

This concerns me as well. If the War Against Terror expands to the Internet, how will the administration manipulate/ignore our Constitution to better fight it? Are anti-Bush websites now terror suspects? Can they search GoDaddy's records for sites they deems questionable to determine if the owner is in the U.S. and can possibly be prosecuted? I'm waiting for the next enemy combatant term that will render our rights incapacitated until further notice.

"What he's saying, on the internets, isn't speech. It's not. If it were speech, he'd be talking, like I am now. I'm giving a speech. Therefore, I am a speech giver. This person on the internets...he isn't talking, so therefore the Constitution does not apply."

How much is too much? And when it becomes too much, who can we rely on to help us? The Supreme Court? Congress?

Re:The lines blur once more. (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053114)

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.

Re:The lines blur once more. (1, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053121)

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?

Re:The lines blur once more. (2, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053184)

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 critical of US policies, or Bush administration policies, they should get scrutiny from the US government. Sedition is not a civil liberty. I'm not saying the site owner should be necessarily arrested or the site shut down, but the same people who are crying over lost civil liberties now will be whining "why weren't you tracking these people?" when the next attack occurs.

Re:The lines blur once more. (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053204)

E.g. an American creates an anti-us website,

Now why would an American create an anti-U.S. web site?

the US really are troublemakers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052910)

perhaps the real threat isn't Al Queda but USA, the world is certainly a more unstable place now becuase of their little excursions, didnt anyone tell them in school that making friends is the best way to stop enemies

All's fair? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052915)

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?

Re:All's fair? (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053154)

No. Destroying the internet can have very real negative
financial impact for a lot of people.

Aren't there supposed to be new features in the routers to
disconnect distributed denial of service attacks? The routers
will just disconnect the pentagon subnet or limit their packet
rate until it's not even noticable.

I wonder how much KBR will get for the contract to implement this ;)

Cyber Attacks (5, Funny)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052917)

Submit the targeted server to Agent CmdrTaco. His legion of followers will take care of the rest.

smac is ever appropriate (5, Insightful)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052924)

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

Re:smac is ever appropriate (1)

IAMTHEMEDIA (869196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053000)

So it was said in Alpha Centauri, and so it shall be done. Allthough that theory is totally discounted by the recent rise of China.

Let me guess... (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052928)

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!

Re:Let me guess... (1)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053097)

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 state's activities, overseen or not, are unconstitutional (don't forget, constitutionally, if the feds aren't specifically tasked with a given activity, it is forbidden to them). What's the point of assigning oversight committees to verify that illegal activities are carried out in the properly illegal manner? Would you like to see an oversight committee in charge of monitoring the illegal and immoral military detention of civilians without charges? How do you oversee such an activity? The usual standard is to verify that the actions of the state conform to the law, but when the law itself is both immoral and unconstitutional, what purpose is served by oversight?

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Swisssushi (817358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053143)

You mean who will monitor the monitors? Well, then one must ask who will monitor the monitors of the monitors.

All kidding aside, when will our government, heck people in general, realize that you cannot stop the thoughts and speech of others. You can mitigate the repercussions, but you cannot force people to think and speak a certain way. Russian tried and failed. China is still trying and failing, the US is trying and failing.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Kaihaku (663794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053167)

A pity, I'd be fine if it were the Doctor.

Wall of the 'US internet' (2, Interesting)

haluness (219661) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:Wall of the 'US internet' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052997)

Wall "OFF". Wall of the US internet would be something really cool - like maybe a huge LCD showing all the current servers or something? To wall off something is to surround it with a barrier.

Re:Wall of the 'US internet' (1)

haluness (219661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053034)

Point taken :)

Though I have to agree, a country wide wall of LCD's would be impressive!

So much for the shared experience (1)

Wilbur_Mercer (965268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052936)

This is the level of behaviour we expect from children.

Re:So much for the shared experience (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053080)

This is the level of behaviour we expect from children.

You noticed too? I thought I was the only one who thought Slashdot was invaded by a bunch of angsty, uniformed teenagers.

Hmmm.. (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052938)

Now which internet are they talking about?

Scary (2, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052945)

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 how their money is spent, and generally promote freedom and democracy. I can see why the Pentagon would be so frightened by the Internet.

Sorry to tell the pointy-heads in the Pointy-gon, but you're going to have a hard time bringing down even small portions of the Net. Perhaps you can take out individual sites, or even clusters of sites that reside on the same server farm, but I doubt they could take out enough to stop Internet traffic. They could certainly disseminate false or misleading information, but hey, people do that everyday already. As to dominating communications around the planet, the only thing I know of that can do that is the sloar wind. I think the Pentagon would have itself a cyber-Vietnam on its hands if it ever tried to 'attack the Internet'.

Re:Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053047)

and you think that the net will survive an emp strike on the backbones by the pentagon when it cant even survive a backhoe ?
the military uses military solutions and not civilian ones when they really want to destroy something. that includes non-nuclear emps using FCGs and the like. a coupla emps at a major backbone and most of the net is down. all the other routes will clog up and shut down as it happened so often before (although with backhoes instead of emp strikes).

Re:Scary (1)

bpd1069 (57573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053081)

If said website or network does not exist in the Root A servers, the site is gone... Seems simple enough eh?

And do you really think the intelligence arms of any of the bracnhes of the military, or in collaboration with any other outside of the military would bat an eye to develop, test, implement, and strategize in it use to use against its perceived enemies, foreign or domestic?

wake up man, those guys don't answer to anyone anymore... not to you, me, congress or even the Office of the President.

Re:Scary (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053185)

The DOD would have to have control of the root servers, which they don't have, to take said website off the root servers. In fact the very structure of the internet prevents such a case. The root servers don't contain information on each website, instead those are delegated out to the likes of Network Solutions, and other local domain name providers. The DOD would have to infiltrate either those providers, or completely alter the code of the root DNS servers to provide an exclusionary list.

The Pentagon is expected to have plans for EVERY conceivable operation, be it the invasion of Canada or the UK, to an attack on the internet. Just because said plans are on the shelf doesn't mean that an operation is going to happen. But planners still have to keep updating those plans, in case the President ever called them to use it.

Re:Scary (1)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053163)

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 did change fairly dramatically is the state. I wouldn't be surprised if such legislation is both introduced and passed into law.

If it's illegal for Americans... (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052948)

to fund terrorist organizations, does that mean no income taxes on April 15?

Re:If it's illegal for Americans... (4, Insightful)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053181)

Oh, for some mod points:). The type of proposed behavior (distributing lies, shutting down civilian communications channels to inspire FUD, etc.) is precisely the type of behavior ascribed to terrorists (plus, of course, blowing things up, and we all know how good the state is at that task).

PsyOps + Internet Advertising (2, Funny)

Hunter-Killer (144296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052950)

Instead of seeing "Punch the monkey and win an Ipod", we might get "Kill Osama and win $25 million".

Re:PsyOps + Internet Advertising (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052978)

I think I alredy saw that one... Seriously!

America's war on * (4, Insightful)

Archon (13753) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:America's war on * (2, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053088)

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.

Re:America's war on * (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053146)

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...

Re:America's war on * (1, Insightful)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053174)

Hi, how are you? I'm the mentally retarded child that donated money to help Tsunami victims in Asia. Private sector contributions []

US Contributions [] Should we talk about how America responds to the aids crisis? famine? The tons of workers that volunteer time to help those in need around the world?

Based on your statement, the US responds to ANY stimuli with some type of war machine. I think the points I've made disprove your assumption and show you have a biased opinion of the USA. I'm sorry to hear that.

Re:America's war on * (-1, Offtopic)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053193)

Don't even try. Trying to rationalize with the crazy left-wing slashbots who throw those rhetorical moltov cocktails into the fire is like spitting into the ocean. Just let it go. He'll get modded down eventually.. despite the fact some other lunatic modded him up.

Fox News (1)

IAMTHEMEDIA (869196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052957)

Does this mean we will be seeing Rush Limbaugh and Faux News compatible websites? [] vs. [] who provides more informaton folks? Ignorance is Strength, for the jackass in control.

Boooooo! (2, Insightful)

ehiris (214677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052971)

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.

In other recent news... (2, Insightful)

zuki (845560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052974)

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.


Interweb, you are going... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052975)


This is getting ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052981)

There is no national security problem. Look here rugfact/american_users_spend/table2.html [] Just with those drugs, cocaine and heroin, there are an estimated 300+ tons of the stuff coming into this country annually, and it would be easier to teach my mom to do a sed substitution than a WMD substitution for the cargo.

But there is no profit in that!

Well, unless your on this list: g []

OK. Now about people just walking into this country. There are 5 million people illegally living in the US, source: s/illegalalien/#Table1 [] They are even talking about making illegal immigrants being illegal! Gasp.

Whining in 5...4...3...2... (2, Interesting)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Whining in 5...4...3...2... (1)

haluness (219661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053067)

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 posts in this thread that describe the dangers of state governed media (especially when that state is not the state responsible for the region in question)!

Re:Whining in 5...4...3...2... (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053118)

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 your government is the most incompetent millitary organization in the western world. I bet even third world countrys these days secure communication for their millitary.

Suddenly to wave a flag in your face and say cyberspace is a big deal is simply a farce. If 'you' think the internet's a security risk today, your government should've thought of it years ago.

Re:Whining in 5...4...3...2... (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053209)

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.

What a fantastic idea! (5, Insightful)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:What a fantastic idea! (2, Insightful)

wuffalicious (896539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053175)

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."

Get some PRIORITIES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053014)

A contrived "war on the web"? Who gives a shit? How can we focus on that when Brian Bouchard is about to revolutionize the computing world? [] Linux was nothing; Brian's got this OS stuff all figured out.

Look folks, we're at war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053018)

Our president has declared war on people who don't think we are at war.
These fiendish scoundrels lurk in the dark corners of our communities, ready to leap out and make us think. They must be stopped.
We must not question motives of those fighting this war lest we fall victim. Think of the children!

Weapons Treaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053025)

Or, we could be civilized and either initiate or sign on to an Internet Weapons Treaty (like the Outer Space Treaty [] ). Oh, wait, that's way too PRE-911 thinking, isn't it?

It's Happening Now People (5, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Yet another way to erode civil liberties (1, Insightful)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053038)

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 web site, or even by breaking into a bank's web site. Terrorists like the idea of disrupting our economy and lifestyle, but that isn't the primary goal, that goal is a byproduct of the act of terrorism.

The goal on 9-11 was to kill as many people as possible. The economic fall-out was just gravy as far as the terrorists are concerned.

Even if we hardened our networks, and we preemptively attacked the IT infrastructure of the bad guys, do you think it would have prevented 9-11? The first think Osama did after 9-11 was stop using his satellite phone. He found much lower-tech ways to communicate (and we still can't catch the bastard).

It's a waste of time and money, and another excuse to bug the law-abiding world.


Re:Yet another way to erode civil liberties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053196)

Ahh, but its a perfect excuse to divert tax money into someones private bank account. As is the war on drugs and terror. A lot of money goes missing or is just unaccounted for during wartime.

Would information warfare be...? (1, Troll)

voteforkerry78 (819720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053042)

Would information warfare be locking Muslims in libraries and then throwing books at them?

OK let me get this straight (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053048)

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.

War on the internet? (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053053)

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 if we did such an idiotic thing. It's amazing what people are willing to give up and put up with for the illusion of "security" after 9/11. Terrorism can fester in a free society, it's just a fact. Instead of attacking the terrorists themselves, why do we constantly look for other ways to secure our nation? Nation building in Iraq, surveillance at home, and a war on the Internet for "security's sake," everyone is willing to accept the next restriction before it is even mentioned.

Señor Bush... (1)

number6x (626555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053219)

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."

Simple answer (1)

Monoliath (738369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053065)

PGP encrypt your data if the issue of it's privacy is that critical to you. I've been doing it for years and showing others how to use PGP / it's benefits.

You can only protect yourself, and educate others how to do the same.

Heh, I think someone mentioned this already but the DoD, seeing that they are the 'inventors' of the internet, should have been up on this a long time ago. I guess a lot of people never really expected this kind of growth and dependency of such an infrastructure.

Hindsight is always 20/20 I guess :\

My first question (2, Insightful)

underpope (952425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053066)

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.

no big surprise (1)

SupremeDiety (658660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053068)

the military has been after the EM spectrum since 2002. it's no big surprise that they see the FCC as a terrorist threat, and demand regulation over the air.

/. it! (2, Funny)

cl191 (831857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053098)

Just post the URL of such website and before you know it, it will be slashdotted back to the stoneage.

Cyber Terror? Is it Really That Terrifying? (2, Interesting)

Firewalker_Midnights (943814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053099)

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 understand the fear of DDoS attacks on government electronic infrastructure, but the important stuff shouldn't be accessible from outside sources at any rate.

On top of that, why would one require a whole militarization of what overly zealous and patriotic hackers have been doing for quite some time now? Bankroll their cause if you're so interested in combating an enemy digitally.

No more "military intelligence"? (1)

nem75 (952737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053111)

Military and intelligence sources in the US (...)

Gee, finally the allegations of military sources being in any way influenced by intelligence have stopped. It's about time!

Don't do it Snake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053113)

If you hit that button, you'll set the entire civilized world back 10,000 years ....

this makes about as much sense as... (3, Insightful)

number6x (626555) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

I see your DDOS and raise you a JDAM (2, Funny)

TallDave (916610) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053148)

Don't make me Tomahawk your spam.

Help the Katrina Victims!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053149)

This is offtopic but important. Please read and mod up. The people affected by Hurricane Katrina still need your help! Please visit the following link [] and PayPal a donation to help those still in need! Thanks and God Bless.

War on this, war on that... (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053153)

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.

The US has a solipsistic point of view (1)

Rekolitus (899752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053186)

Think — if any other country was planning this, the US would threaten to go to war with them.

Honestly, this threatens practically every other country, I've never seen a bigger justification to go to war with the US. They've obviously gone totally power-crazy under the guise of "keeping people safe from terrorism".

Am I the only one... (0)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053191)

... who feels this seems to be pretty intimidating and ego-centric as a non-American?

That's it! I'm going to make my own protocol and call it "NAP" or "No Americans Protocol".
An attack to my network could then be considered an act of war.. and.. um.. I .. could get nuked :(

This is very intimidating and comes off as very dominant.

Wake-up call for the world (2, Interesting)

Thomas Shaddack (709926) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Hmmm. (1)

the_real_zippo138 (731794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053221)

Teh interwebs are serious business!
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