Monday, January 25, 2010

Second, Fight Back Against Evil

Well, it looks like we're hiring cyber-warfare capabilities:

Ms. Clinton pledged that in addition to defending its own companies and cyberspace, the United States would take measures to help human rights advocates, political dissidents and civil society groups overcome their governments' censorship. Until now, the State Department has been negligent in this area; it has misspent -- or failed to spend at all -- money appropriated by Congress for firewall-busting.

A group called the Global Internet Freedom Consortium has been denied funding, even though it says that it has a proven record of breaching the firewalls of both China and Iran. A State Department official told The Post that the group was refused help because it is connected to the banned Falun Gong movement and "the Chinese would go ballistic if we did that." But other officials told us that is not the case; they said that they hoped that the consortium would apply for future funding, which the State Department sensibly plans to spread, venture-capital style, among various groups and technologies.

I did mention that we'd see the rise of cyber-mercenaries--condostieri--as private entities act where our government cannot or will not act. And we won't like the result:

If governments, because our laws don't let them wage war in this realm, encourage these cyber-war companies in the belief that governments can always safely buy their services, the private e-mercenary companies will eventually get so much better than governments' cyber-warfare entities that the private cyber-war companies may wonder why they have to do the bidding of the paying governments.

We'd rightly go ballistic if a private company used physical weapons to fight a foreign government that attacks it, warning the company that defense and foreign policy are the monopolies of the federal government.

So if one day you find out that Google has upped the ante as it battles China (or other governments) trying to interfere with and attack its operations, wonder why cyber-warfare is an accepted business practice.