Wotka World Wide

Monday, March 08, 2010

After the details of the National Security Agency's 'Einstein' cyber security program became known, some other critics started to emerge, pointing out the dangers of the 'cyber war' pretext being used as a way for the government to finally take control of the internet, which has so far remained one of the more open and unregulated areas of American life. This piece is from Wired:

Security companies have long relied on creating fear in internet users by hyping the latest threat, whether that be Conficker or the latest PDF flaw. And now they are reaping billions of dollars in security contracts from the federal government for their PR efforts. But the industry and its most influential voices need to take a hard look at the consequences of that strategy and start talking truth to power’s claims that we are losing some non-existent cyberwar.

The internet is a hack that seems forever on the edge of falling apart. For awhile, spam looked like it was going to kill e-mail, the net’s first killer app. But smart filters have reduced the problem to a minor nuisance as anyone with a Gmail account can tell you. That’s how the internet survives. The apocalypse looks like it’s coming and it never does, but meanwhile, it becomes more and more useful to our everyday lives, spreading innovation, weird culture, news, commerce and healthy dissent.

But one thing it hasn’t spread is “cyberwar.” There is no cyberwar and we are not losing it. The only war going on is one for the soul of the internet. But if journalists, bloggers and the security industry continue to let self-interested exaggerators dominate our nation’s discourse about online security, we will lose that war — and the open internet will be its biggest casualty.

Read the whole thing. And start wondering if all this going on about health care is just a cover so that other essential American freedoms can disappear with less fuss.

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