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U.S. Has Secret Tools to Force Internet on Dictators

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posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 08:35 AM
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www.wired.com...


When Hosni Mubarak shut down Egypt’s internet and cellphone communications, it seemed that all U.S. officials could do was ask him politely to change his mind. But the American military does have a second set of options, if it ever wants to force connectivity on a country against its ruler’s wishes.

There’s just one wrinkle. “It could be considered an act of war,” says John Arquilla, a leading military futurist.


Super! America and war. Even though I do not agree with a government prohibiting people's rights to information, I just can't help but think the U S should mind it's own business. This is just one more reason some other countries dislike us IMHO.


It’s an attractive option for policymakers who want an option for future Egypts, between doing nothing and sending in the Marines. And it might give teeth to the Obama administration’s demand that foreign governments consider internet access an inviolable human right.

Arquilla, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, spent years urging the military to logic-bomb adversary websites, disrupt hostile online presences, and even cause communications blackouts to separate warring factions before they go nuclear. What the military can turn off, he says, it can also turn on — or at least fill dead airspace.


Again I am not understanding why WE feel like we can demand another country to live like us. Can we be more comforted by "what the government can turn off, they can turn on".



In the absence of those options, there’s always the old-school methods of jamming a government’s communication frequencies and broadcasting favorable messages. That’s the Commando Solo’s specialty. “Jamming is something we think about in the context of shooting wars,” says Arquilla, but “it may have its place in social revolutions as well.”


Broadcasting favorable messages? Seriously?
This could really echo of 1984 and Big Brother. It may not be used for propaganda, but it has potential.


The trouble is, if a government follows Egypt’s lead and turns off the internet, it’s not going to be keen to see a meddling foreign power turn it back on.

That act might not be as provocative as sending in ground troops or dropping bombs. But it’s still an act of what you might call forced online entry — by definition, a hostile one.


You guess they may not like it? How many tax dollars were spent studying whether our meddling would raise ire or not?



Arquilla says. “This is far less an engineering problem and far more a political one.”


Isn't it always?

I need to make it clear that I am not celebrating other countries losing rights or being oppressed. I am just really tired of the fact that our government feels like we should be able to tell the rest of the world how to live? What gives us a say? This is why people hate us. The arrogance is a bit much IMO. We could really benefit by cleaning out our own backyard before we start on everyone else's.

Is this a good thing? Should we continuously intrude?

Mods I did search. Please remove if there is a duplicate.




edit on 2/7/2011 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 08:48 AM
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Nice.
We really need to stay out of other country's affairs.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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Such a move would be the commander in chefs call and what is in the national interest. Perhaps such power would be better served from the UN security council as it is global in coverage and while not a physical act of war, it can still be regarded as a hostility. With the UN security council say so, any isolated dictator will have little recourse. But then what if it is one nation on the security council that is in question? Perhaps passing a UN resolution before flicking the switch back on will limit any animosity to a single nation that this act could cause. Some form of international collaboration would limit any blow back that such a move could do. All these new toys that the military has to play with these days does raise some interesting questions.

The main idea of net neutrality is to let each nation sort out its own implementation issues while keeping the channels of communication open. For a dictator to shut down the Internet in a country, it does provide justification for the international community to step in and turn it back on. But then why is America building an Internet kill switch and is online access a basic right? Is the threat of revolution enough to justify closing all communication? What about all the businesses and social infrastructure that is dependant on this technology? Is the rights of a leader to maintain power more important than the nation he is responsible for governing?



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 12:20 PM
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I think the funniest thing about it all is: we have people in our government calling for the death of Julian Assange for bringing information to the people against their government's will. Isn't that exactly what we are contemplating here? I'm all for keeping lines open, whether it's Assange or the US government. I just don't like the double standards.

Good find, OP.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by macman
 


We certainly can't afford another act of war...

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posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


It does appear to be a double standard.

Again I am not for people having their rights abused, but we can't conitnue to police the world IMO. While technology may help people, the potential for abuse it massive.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Double Post
edit on 2/7/2011 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



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