Sunday, May 5, 2013

Anonymous takes charge, the Web takes down governments

From:  Salon 

The Internet collective's approach to holding power accountable might suit this moment better than any military

Anonymous takes charge, the Web takes down governments(Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)
Decades from now, historians are sure to see September 11, 2001, as the moment when the basic calculus of our national security shifted. The destructive power available to the wealthiest nation-states—nuclear weapons, missiles, vast quantities of conventional arms, hundreds of thousands or millions of professional soldiers—used to assure the nation-state’s continued power. Today, national security is fragile, with power shifting to technologically equipped terrorist groups, revolutionary movements, criminal enterprises, murky collectives such as Anonymous, and even isolated individuals with an Internet connection. We might cheer when Internet-savvy opposition movements overthrow oppressive, authoritarian regimes, but overall radical connectivity sows chaos and instability, undoing the traditional advantages of powerful militaries. With Big Armies (both good guys and bad guys) fighting to a standstill against ragtag but tech-savvy groups, we must take a cold hard look at our military-industrial complex and reconsider some previously unassailable assumptions of military might. Our approach to national security and to the stability of the nation-state needs to fundamentally change if we are to reckon with the realities of the digital age.

Cyber Warfare
Over the last decade, the U.S. national security establishment does not seem to have made much progress figuring out how to preserve national security in the era of radical connectivity. P. W. Singer, a noted scholar on international relations and the future of warfare, has remarked on the foreign policy and national security establishment’s stubborn tendency to view the digital world through the obsolete lenses of the Cold War. Applying a range of Cold War ideas and tactics, deterrence becomes “cyber deterrence,” and ideas like “flexible response” become enshrined in the new doctrine of “equivalence.” In May 2011, the Pentagon announced a formal change of policy: Digital actions can rise to the level of an “act of war,” necessitating a military response. In other words, if someone launches a cyber attack, that’s grounds for the United States to respond with real bullets instead of digital ones.  MORE

No comments:

Post a Comment