First Strike Policy and Internet Control by Erick San Juan
Last month, computer geeks attended the world's largest annual hacking party in Las Vegas and had a rare chance to rub shoulders with the head of the U.S. National Security Agency. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the NSA spoke at the DEFCON(Defense Control) Conference(Reuters 7/20/12). More than 15,000 hackers worldwide attended it's 20th anniversary of the first hacking event that was open to the public. Gen. Alexander holds four master degrees including one in electronic warfare and Physics.
The National Security Agency in it's profile plays both offense and defense in the cyber wars. It conducts electronic eavesdropping on adversaries, in addition to protecting the U.S. computer networks.
Jeff Moss aka Dark Tangent, an expert hacker organized the first Defcon Conference while working as a messenger for a Seattle law firm. He now sits on an advisory committee to the Department of Homeland Security. He also serves as chief security officer with ICANN( the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) which help manage the infrastructure of the total internet service.
At the DEFCON, there were talks on how to attack mobile phones, google TV, technical discussions on programming and government surveillance operation. DEFCON reportedly trains hackers to pick locks and has an annual contest to measure who is best at persuading corporate workers to release sensitive data over the phone.
Pundits believe that Washington wants to make sure that despite their control of cyberspace, no hackers can intrude their system just in case of a nuclear holocaust. Presently, the U.S. can at any time block both the whole internet service and it's various segments, thereby ensuring their political and military objectives in the global cyber space. The global computer network control system through the ICANN remains under the complete control of the NSA.
Some members of the U.N.'s Security Council proposed initiatives aimed at the development of a multilateral,transparent and democratic internet control and transfer of the fundamental network control from Washington to the United Nations. But the U.S. seeks to consolidate it's ability to use information technologies in addressing it's foreign policy objectives and influence anywhere in the world.
Pentagon in it's policy statement, considers the cyberspace as a complete environment of military operations in land, sea, air and space. In particular, according to the concept of cooperative access (JOAK) approved by the Committee of Chiefs of Staff (DOD) in December 2011, this will ensure the success of Washington's tactical and strategic operations anywhere in the world including the use of it's military propaganda and diplomatic resources. It will be a virtual complete internet control. In the information war, by controlling the international media and the net, you have the leverage and advantage to win the war.
As rivalry grows among big nations, who will start a war that could be mutually assure the destruction of all? The first strike policy of the U.S. is now being copied by China though it also worries them due to U.S. control of cyber space. Despite that, China has been using the SunTzu art of war of one step backward and two steps forward, this time the sleeping dragon has awakened and could first to strike. This could be catastrophic and out of desperation that they will go back to the dark ages.
At the moment, China wants to neutralize the U.S. proxies like the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia where U.S. portable bases are embedded. It will be better for our government not to hype the issue. In times of bad time where empires seem to collapse, these nations look for another enemy to fight to unite their warring factions which could lead to a civil war in China or a second revolution in the US.