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Bruce Schneier: A Cyber Cold War Could Destabilize the Internet 124

moon_unit2 writes "In an op-ed piece over at Technology Review, Bruce Schneier says that the cyber espionage between the U.S., China, and other nations, has been rampant for the past decade. But he also worries that the media frenzy over recent attacks is fostering a new kind of Internet-nationalism and spurring a cyber arms race that has plenty of negative side-effects for the Internet and its users. From the piece: 'We don't know the capabilities of the other side, and we fear that they are more capable than we are. So we spend more, just in case. The other side, of course, does the same. That spending will result in more cyber weapons for attack and more cyber-surveillance for defense. It will result in move government control over the protocols of the Internet, and less free-market innovation over the same. At its worst, we might be about to enter an information-age Cold War: one with more than two "superpowers." Aside from this being a bad future for the Internet, this is inherently destabilizing.'"
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Bruce Schneier: A Cyber Cold War Could Destabilize the Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:24PM (#43161265)

    Both the US and Chinese governments would love to have control over the internet. They would both love to know what each and every one of their users is up to. Perhaps they are colluding to make this easier for each nation's citizens to swallow.

  • Espionage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:33PM (#43161365)
    I like how Bruce points out that most governments are more interested in espionage than 'cyberwar'. Spying on their own citizens seems to be a popular hobby of governments. Hopefully more people will become familiar with encryption and proxies.

    "But remember: none of this is cyberwar. It’s all espionage, something that’s been going on between countries ever since countries were invented. What moves public opinion is less the facts and more the rhetoric, and the rhetoric of war is what we’re hearing.

    The result of all this saber-rattling is a severe loss of trust, not just amongst nation-states but between people and nation-states."
  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:33PM (#43161985) Homepage

    I think the phrase "Whoosh!" applies.

    Fictional hyperbole? Yes. Yes it is, as is the current Chinese cyberwar conspiracy. That is the whole point of quoting Senator McCarthy's 1950 speech almost word-for-word. I did add a bit of introduction and changes references to "Communism" into something more modern, but otherwise the paranoia is his, not mine.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:46PM (#43162103)

    Fuck China.

    Any hardship we endure by cutting off these liars, thieves and crooks should be considered penance for being stupid enough to trust them in the first place.

    Letting the 1% fatten themselves on trade with China, is like cutting our own collective throats.

  • by Eugriped3z ( 1549589 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @04:29PM (#43163409)

    Schneier points out three things that make sense.

    • Espionage is old news, it's ongoing, and it's hyped beyond reason. ("Cyber-espionage is old news. What’s new is the rhetoric...")
    • We individuals aren't informed by our governments, and our ignorance is preyed upon. ("Unfortunately, both the reality and the rhetoric play right into the hands of the military and corporate interests that are behind the cyberwar arms race in the first place... Arms races are fueled by two things: ignorance and fear.")
    • We're purposely being fed fear, uncertainty and doubt. ("Nationalism is rife on the Internet, and it’s getting worse.")

    He then went on to suggest that medi-hype and jingoistic nationalistic rhetoric breed fear, obfuscate ignorance and fuel arms races.

    You should be more concerned about what your are being asked to ignore. The systematic dismantling of progressive politics in this country is diminishing social stability by creating a permanent underclass in a country that claims to be the world's most powerful and encouraging a hubris among those who believe they can have everything they ever wanted by leaving our future to the benign management of a formal corporate cleptocracy.

    BTW if you really want to give up a little freedom for enhanced security from government or the benevolence of wealthy people who will run things for you, perhaps you should consider hopping over to the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb