The Hack Attack That Will Live in Infamy



The state has one tool to play with—violence (and the threat of violence). The US government is not special in this regard, although as the world empire, it does tend to rely particularly on military force. Now the Pentagon declares that foreign cyberattacks will be responded to militarily. This might seem somewhat reasonable when we listen to the officials talk about the many civilian casualties such attacks can unleash. But how are they going to know where attacks come from? Sounds like a call for an even more invasive surveillance state, and the end of internet privacy. How do we trust the US government about these “threats” when it exaggerates and concocts most other threats that it latches onto as excuses for war? Would a cyber-9/11 be met with a more rational response than the real deal from ten years ago? I don’t believe we can be so confident. Oh well. The next USS Maine, Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin, specter of Weapons of Mass Destruction or impending civilian massacre that sweeps us all into war may be a matter of ones and zeros. Can we trust the government that made such a mess of tracking down the origins of the Anthrax attacks to do much better with digital viruses than it did with organic bacteria?

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