The Battle For Cyberspace: Beware Those Bearing Gifts...

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posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:37 AM
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The Battle For Cyberspace: Beware Those Bearing Gifts...



Hello again ATSers and thank you for giving me a few minutes of your time.

In a series of threads, over the past few years, I have sought to lay out what I see as the most important issue of our time – the battle for cyberspace. Granted some do think me foolish or frivolous for putting such a high value upon something that many see as trivial entertainment. But to me this is the defining battle of a generation. The old saying that knowledge is power proves, historically, to be very true. Just ask the Church about those centuries when only priests could read or write. They might have their own, melancholy terms for that period of time. Those of us not in the clergy, however, have our own term for those years. The Dark Ages. In this culture, at this time the paradigm has shifted. Literacy has a brand new definition. It no longer just means an ability to read and write. In fact some experts currently predict that the skill of writing, and even reading are becoming obsolete Being replaced by a new dictum... An ability to effectively interact with information technology. Currently that still means reading and typing. But soon? Well odds are that computers of the future will be more like the touchscreen on a fast food cash register – intuitive use of images and symbols – that do not require our current paradigm of literacy to understand or master.

He who controls the floodgates to the digital world will be like those priests of the dark ages – only exponentially more powerful and influential.

That is why I put such persistent stock in this subject.

To this point, in my own threads and others, we've managed to peg down some basic information that we can use as a yardstick for predicting possible or probable motives.

Thanks to ATS member NoRegretsEver we know that the NSA has a cozy and powerful new home in Utah. One that can handle amounts of data...

Actually let me allow them to brag about “Bumblehive” in their own words:


Data Storage



The storage capacity of the Utah Data Center will be measured in "yottabytes". What exactly is a yottabyte? There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte; a thousand terabytes in a petabyte; a thousand petabytes in an exabyte; and a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte. A yottabyte is simply a thousand zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 gigabytes. Some of our employees like to refer to them as "alottabytes". 

The steady rise in available computer power and the development of novel computer platforms will enable us to easily turn the huge volume of incoming data into an asset to be exploited, for the good of the Nation. 

Code Breaking


Several years ago, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough in our ability to break complex encryption systems commonly used in secure applications across the internet. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm is used by much of the world to encrypt data in email programs and web browsers. The AES 256-bit encryption key is the standard for top-secret US government communications. Computer experts have estimated it would take longer than the age of the universe to break the code using a trial-and-error brute force attack with today's computing technology. 

In 2004, the NSA opened the Multiprogram Research Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to build a classified supercomputer designed specifically for cryptanalysis targeting the AES algorithm. In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched the Titan Supercomputer, which is capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second or 20 petaflops. (1 petaflop = 1 quadrillion instructions per second). 

The nearby classified NSA Oak Ridge facility has also made a stunning breakthrough that is leading the agency on a path towards building the first exaflop machine (1 quintillion instructions per second) by 2018, capable of breaking the AES encryption key within an actionable time period. Eventually, by advancing the depth of our technological breakthrough, we expect to reach speeds measured in zettaflop and one day, yottaflop. 

And you thought your Pentium i7 with the 2 Tb drive was the bomb.

From one of my previous threads, we know that Cybercommand is very much interested in social engineering, particularly as it pertains to the Internet.
Oh, and they are also hiring a few thousand folks – including civilian contractors ( read hackers ).

Add that to the common knowledge about The ”Critical infrastructure / cybersecurity Executive Order that President Obama issues on the twelfth of this month ( 02/12/13 ) - The recent Internet conference in Dubai where the US rather inexplicably seemed to champion the cause of online openness against Russia and China ( Akin to one gangster wiping out another for control of territory perhaps? ) - The now fervent insistance that Chinese hackers are the greatest threat to the US... ever... and one begins to see a common theme at play.

Cyberspace, it appears, is the new Manhattan... the real estate worth building empires upon.
That is why the following troubles me so much. I will share the words, and then comment upon them afterward:

FCC wants free WiFi for all



The FCC is aiming to create a free super WiFi network, putting the agency at odds with wireless companies and market advocates.

The FCC’s vision is in line with companies like Googleand Microsoft, who are seeking to develop the “Internet of Things”, in which even common every day items like refrigerators and cars would be connected to the Internet.
“The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient’s heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town,” reported the Washington Post Monday


~Continued...
edit on 3/1/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:37 AM
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The Washington Post report states that the source of the opposition to the FCC’s new goal is a “fierce lobbying campaign” launched by the $178 billion wireless industry. The lobbying campaign in support of the proposal, however, is just as fierce.
“That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor,”reported the Washington Post.
Institutions such as billionaire philanthropist George Soro’s Open Society Institute have published papers advocating for a public utility-style Internet.

Now this story is not without a wrinkle. While no formal or official comment has been made ( that I can find ), either confirming or denying this. A noted and respected industry analyst has responded by saying:


Telecom analyst Jeffery Eisenach is calling out the Washington Post about a story it ran on the FCC’s supposed ambitions to offer free nationwide WiFi, calling the piece “almost entirely fiction.”
The Washington Post alleged in a story Sunday that a plan by the FCC was in place to create a free WiFi “super network,” putting the agency at odds with wireless companies and free-market advocates.
The story blamed a “fierce lobbying campaign” sponsored by wireless carriers for the opposition to the plan, but Eisenach —  a principal at consulting firm Navigant Economics — contended that such a plan was nonexistent.


So there is a possibility that this is all for naught. However, barring no official response from the FCC or anyone else in authority? I feel justified in continuing to speculate about potential motives for such a move – should one be in the works or even just on the drawing board.

The Digital Trojan Horse





If there is truth to this rumor, I have no doubt in my mind, at all, that the propaganda machine will roll out, full tilt ( possibly the above insider who denies the rumor is firing the first volley in such a campaign ) - doing everything it can to get us to focus upon anything and everything that doesn't matter.

They will lament about free markets, socialism, jobs, and so forth. I am positive that many cellular companies will carpe the proverbial diem and raise their rates ten fold should these ideas even get whispered loudly enough...

It rains in New Orleans and we get $4.00 a gallon gas, forever and ever amen. The FCC makes a few comments and we all find ourselves paying a buck per minute for data or calls. Sound ridiculous? So did $4.00 a gallon gas... right up until it became the “new normal”.

All of these things will keep us from seeing the real, underlying devil in these details. Uncle Sam doesn't control Cyberspace right now... and look to what lengths he goes to just in an attempt to do so. Billions of dollars spent trying to capture our packets, become intimate with our bandwidth, and read our cookies. The government covets cyberspace – they understand how powerful it is. And I believe that they will stop at nothing to gain total and utter control of it. The kind of control only an owner, a provider can possibly hope to have. No more nasty warrants – as if they are even really needed at this point. No more having to hide in the darkness and deny that they are spying. If they owned it? They could simply say “It's ours. If you want to use it then you'll agree to let us sniff every packet, crack every encryption, and have the right to bust you for the slightest offense.

There are European countries that have free Internet and they do it the right way, or at least they appear to. Then again, there are countries that have abysmal track records with their own internal control of Cyberspace.
I am not reluctant at all to predict that the US Government would be the worst offender in a long line of offenders if they do take control.

Make no mistake about it. This is the wheel. This is the modern Sanskrit. This trivial thing that we all sit down at to argue with one another on this message board? This is penicillin, the A-bomb, the internal combustion engine, the compass, mass production, agriculture... it's as important as any and all of those things.

This is the future. This is the brave new world. Sadly, I think that we, us few, are living in the brief time that others will look back upon and refer to as “that golden and magical moment when information was both free and accessible”.

That is if the gatekeepers of tomorrow even allow them to know such a time existed.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It's always greatly appreciated.

~Heff
edit on 3/1/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:49 AM
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I was disappointed, I saw "GIFTS" in the thread title and it attracted me like shiny things do.


On a serious note, we were actually talking about this here at home not but a few days ago. Is it wifi free-for-all.. or a wifi free for all.
Im thinking the latter!

Link from 2006 :
www.governing.com...

Now in 2013
medium.com...
mashable.com...
arstechnica.com...

Funny how these things take on a life of their own.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by Advantage
 


These articles don't preclude the concept. I agree that, as of now, it seems unlikely that it is feasible in the short term. But the detractors keep hinging on the infrastructure issue - claiming that it is the one thing that makes this impossible.

Given our economy currently, our sitting POTUS, and history? Well FDR had his WPA. It is entirely conceivable to me that Obama could reinvent the WPA as a telecommunications infrastructure project.

Again, food for thought.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 02:39 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Great read, as always Heff.

You are definitely not alone in your concerns about cyberspace. In the past 4 years alone there has been a HUGE push to limit and censor the Internet. Cyberspace is the Wild West of our time, a magical place without borders or boundaries, and without loyalties to any one country, corporation conglomerate, or government organization.

Really this is the number one reason for the forcible domestication of the Internet. True enough, real anonymity is next to mythical in cyberspace, so there are already limitations on use. But the real threat is the perceived freedom of information. We live in a world where a talented few can procure secret government documents, and then spread them like wildfire across the globe. Surely control over such power (and it is power) is enough to make even the most secure elitist drool at the mouth.

Our world is constantly in a state of change and flux. We have changes forced upon us on a daily basis. New laws, new politicians, new MSM spread 'crises'...new points of view. It is becoming more difficult, and even tiring at times, to hold on to past truths and freedoms, as we are increasingly bombarded with viewpoints that try and convince us that we are misled relics from an age past. We are the seawall, collapsing from the weight of the sea , crushing us without falter.

The time for fighting for change is past. There has been changes, many in fact. The problem is that these were not changes for the betterment of humanity as a whole, but for a select few. And there are more changes to be had on the not so distant horizon. I find myself often feeling as if I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop; for the final chess piece to be put into play for that resounding checkmate.

I suppose the question we should all be asking now is "What do we do next?".



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 02:44 AM
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Nicely done Heff,


This was well written and presented.
This should be a good interesting read.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 02:56 AM
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I think something we can all do to help is learn about TOR.
Spread the word, inform everyone

This is the defacto tool for free information.
I might not be alone on this but I think we should have an AboveTopSecret site in the deep web away from the censorship.
In my personal experience the communities in the TORnet is a lot more civilized than they are on the clearnet and it could really use a site like abovetopsecret.


In the fight for internet freedom, TOR could be our greatest weapon.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by OmegaOwl
 





I think something we can all do to help is learn about TOR. Spread the word, inform everyone

Yeah. Start by learning that the FEDS and anyone else interested, can stil ltrack you just fine via exit nodes on tor. Tor is useless. It was useful up until the first blog posted about it, it is no completely useless, but hey, if you want to slow your net down considerably, go for TOR.

Anyhoo, the opening of other spectrums for wifi is actually a good thing, so many devices are now "connected" that allowing those spectrums to be used for free wifi makes sense, remember that old rabbit ear tv system, that doesn't work anymore? Yeah, because the FCC and CRTC allowed those ranges to be used for "first mile" internet access.

But Heff is right, there is an end goal here, but that doesn't mean we won't see some advantages, education is a must, understand the technology.

I suggest the person i quoted go do some deep research on TOR so he or she can see why it's completely useless. TOR (onion routing) has been compromised and you can be traced.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


excellent post and in my opinion all the reason more to learn how to write code. computers are the future and who's to say we can't send a good message or append to the freedom that the internet gives us.

i've been programming for nearly two years now and it's hard for me but i love it. if any of you are interested in learning to code for free please check these two links. they have free interactive courses that teach _javascript, python, programming a web browser, jquery, json, html 5 game development and so much more.

www.codecademy.com...
www.udacity.com...

edit: i recommend learning python first.. python's my favorite programming language so far.. the syntax is easy to learn and it's a really powerful language
edit on 1/3/13 by emptyOmind because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Thank you Heff for the well-structured post and your vigilance with respect to this issue.

You have done a great job touching on a lot of the major issues with this trend and we could discuss/debate/post information regarding this topic for hours, but I am unfortunately limited to offering but a few comments at the present time.

Currently we have precedence for exactly what you are describing and it’s quite contemporary. We have seen several threads on ATS (no time to post links) that have described the lack of security around personal information in this digital medium we call the internet and the applications used to easily navigate and utilize it.

The precedent I speak of is Facebook and other “freeware” type of applications, sharing personal information and in fact demanding government provided documentation to regain to access to accounts.

The concept of “freeware” has started to desensitize the populations to freely release personal/private information to use their free services. Now the connection I see is in relation to the nationalization of “free Wi-Fi” and the susceptibility of peoples personal information becoming the digital property of the owner…The Fed.


As I have inferred in other threads, once precedence is set to provide personal information for free services that some of us have come to rely on, it makes the subsequent occasions in which we must give up personal information/privacy not as much of a concern.

Thus begins the slippery slope…

In my mind, with the proposals Heff has put forward, is we usher in the age of internet regulation through our desire to perpetuate “freeware” or free services and in the case of the OP, free WI-FI.

BE WARY OF STRANGERS BARING GIFTS. Wise advise before the internet, and remains to be true today.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 11:48 AM
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The government never gives anything away "for free". There's always strings attached.

If we get nationwide government sponsored wifi, I won't be using it. I have a feeling private companies will step up their infrastructure to boost speeds.

What'll happen is if you want fast data, you pay a private company. If you're poor or don't care about speed you'll use the free service (and be heavily monitored).

Yeah, no thanks.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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This is why i ma leery of surfing , never know what site might have a Trojan in it or an email, free WiFi ?? seems to to easy to hack er be hacked piggybacked on. in the last week i have had to do 21 full systems scan for malware, and other nasty little bugs, still have one , and can not find it nor debug it i have no idea what it is doing , so there it sits. MS says it is there, if i remove it it will remove my search logs and log in passwords . just seems odd that it does this use 2 others sys scanners anti malware, they say the same er do same thing.

Does it stop me no, It is what is to come , for the Cyber we will all be a part of it, in one way or an other, hidden files programs any where any file on the net just sitting waiting for some one to copy, open look in, or email some could be a pic , cloud any one or email hot mail now using outlook. ye a ok maybe farfetched may be not how does on egret in to top security sys back door and how to do that, one bite or byte at a time.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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america lacks competition,
spectrum is sold at the billions of dollars level,
without "white space"
there is no way a competing (small) competitor ISP can start into the market.

there is a disinfo campaign being waged right now so the monopoly players can continue price gauging.

if the big players control the content and the connection,
you are going to have a really bad time


they collude with each other to prevent entering any market that would compete with each other,
and drop their prices the minute anyone trys to enter the market.

the only way to remove the grip of the monopoly (and it is because markets are agreed not competed for)
is to provide some spectrum for competition.

not "free" as in no money for the service,
free as in the spectrum is "open" for small players to use without having to have billions to spend BEFORE even buying your first switch.

so anyone seeing the word free here and freaking out is perpetuating the disinfo for the monopoly holders.

you want an open internet?
six strikes is optional, (unless you cant move to a competitor)

this disinfo is designed to make you support your own enslavement to the big monopolies

only true competition can provide alternatives to the six strikes program,
and they know this, so the "free" buzz word is used to agitate people to associate this with socialism in a knee jerk reaction, that seems to built into the minds of americans.

free as in competition not free as in beer

dont be fooled into supporting the monopoly

xploder



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:12 PM
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“That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor,”reported the Washington Post.


Thus giving them a very nice view of our everyday lives. What you eat, where it comes from, how often, how much. Every device in your home transmitting data about you. The ability to access cameras, microphones, cell phones, computers. In short, your life under Big Brother's microscope.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:27 PM
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Free WiFi

Free brain implants so you can be "connected" all the time will be next

Assimilate or be destroyed comes to mind



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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THX 1138 should be required viewing to help us all understand where we are going

www.imdb.com...



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Honestly I didn't actually read all of your post, too much of it was just obvious and common sense to anyone willing to think for themselves. I get really bored when reading my own thoughts in someone else's words. The way I see it thought is that if we don't fall into chaos soon then this will happen no matter what. The main question is what's the problem here. Ok sure if its someone else's network they will have the opportunity to spy on any info being transferred. How is that different from all the people stealing their neighbors unsecured WIFI, is it really your neighbors or is this system already being implemented slowly. If you want your communications to be secure, use a wired connection and create your own encryption protocols that are not likely to be attacked due to a lack of abundant targets using them.

That's just my 78 cents worth anyways (2 cents in 1998 dollars)



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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Believing in a free unmonitored internet, is like believing in a free enterprise market, or in free will, in fact anything with the word free attached to it has more then a few hooks in it. So ya off-course there is a battle for cyberspace, just like there has been a battle for peoples minds all throughout the centuries, this is but its newest iteration. The internet will spread baring some catastrophe and in time it will replace pretty much everything and anything we use today, if fact its still pretty surprising people still even use the local mail office, but give it a generation and people will not even know what the hell was a mail office.

And in enough given time even all of humanity will become obsolete, so there is nothing surprising there. Things change period, the only choice people have is in how that manifestation of change will happen, and usually they like to give up all there rights or power to some big de facto faceless entity like a government/bureaucracy or a corporation or even a group of people, and no doubt they all have there plans and interests in mind.
So in all this is more of the same old # only under different guises, and knowing that...Basically like anything else follow the $$$, or as they say in OZ follow the yellow brick road.



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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Excellent food for thought, as a comparison I have always wondered why the government offered free cable boxes to convert to digital when it was none of their business.

Personally I think it was done to keep the door open so to speak and I think this goes hand in hand with your OP.

Lots of reading yet to do but thanks very much for this thread.

Regards, Iwinder



posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 07:57 PM
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Heff, I share some of your concerns here, but I tend towards a different view, another angle. I see "gummint wifi" as something akin to the physical highway system. Just as is the case in the physical highways, a gummint built "information highway" will be said of by the gummint that "this belongs to us - our rules will be followed", yet there will be those just as there are now, who will cruise that highway doing as they will, when they will, gummint rules be damned.

Yes, some of them get caught now, and will then, but nothing like the majority of them - either now OR then. Those same highways now under "gov control" are still used to transport human contraband, drugs, illegal cigarettes, firearms, etc.

So it will also be in the Brave New World of the government-sponsored (and "controlled") information superhighways. People who have the will find the way now, and they will then, too. Have no fear, and never underestimate the power of ingenuity The modern-day equivalent "Lucky Lucianos" and "Al Capones" are even as we speak generating the ground floor, the means of dealing with such an eventuality.





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