Warehouse E

Last Bastion Of Free Expression

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Our Government Wants To Control Cyberspace

By James Donahue

Mike McConnell, director of the National Security Administration, has long been advocating an expanded spy program that will give NSA agents free access to all information crossing the Internet in the United States.

The object, says McConnell, is to protect us from abuse by outside terrorists. Like the other Bushite program names that include “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” “Patriot Act,” “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” and “No Child Left Behind,” what we are being told and what is really being planned is just one more theft of American civil liberties in disguise.

These programs were never designed to protect and serve the American people. They are, in effect, screws to a massive lid that is being attached to the top of the fascist box our leadership is carefully and maliciously sealing over our heads.

To prepare us for the new controls that are just around the corner, the NSA is using the usual Bush-styled fear tactics to make people believe it will be for our own good.

In an 18-page story in the New Yorker Magazine, McConnell warned that computer crime is costing the nation $100 billion a year (unproven) and that he believes a massive cyber-attack on a single U.S. bank could be worse for the economy than the 9-11 attacks. That several U.S. banks have since closed their doors and/or gotten into severe financial stress because of a failed government approved home-loan scam appears to have proven this warning incorrect as well.

Nevertheless, McConnell’s long-range plan is for the NSA to have unfettered and warrantless access to U.S. citizen’s Google search histories, private e-mails and file transfers as a way of nabbing the cyberterrorists plotting evil deeds against us.

When published earlier this year, the New Yorker story ruffled some feathers, but the potential threat suggested by McConnell appears to have been somewhat forgotten by most folks in the daily rush of other news events.

Now comes another plan, this time by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Air Force, for the creation of a Cyberspace Command” with a charter to rule Internet networks in a form of aerial warfare.

According to Wired, an Internet news publication, the government has funded a five-year $30 billion “national cybersecurity initiative” for building an electronic test range where federally-financed hackers can test and do battle with electronic attacks.

Also the Air Force Research Laboratory has introduced a two-year $11 million project to develop the hardware and software tools for “Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement.” The objective of this program, the Wired article says, is to give our government access to tap into any computer, anywhere, and if necessary, to “deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade (or) Destroy” hostile systems.

In other words, our government doesn’t just want to read and watch what we are doing and saying in cyber space, it wants the ability to fry our computers if it doesn’t agree.

So much for the belief by web users that the Internet was the last bastion of freedom. If our leaders get their way, that wonderful communication tool linking us all both mentally and electronically, appears threatened with extinction.

And why would we have thought it wouldn’t happen?