Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government Politics

Lessig Predicts Cyber 9/11 Event, Restrictive Laws 479

Posted by kdawson
from the waiting-for-the-other-shoe dept.
A number of readers are sending in links to a video from the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference last month, in which Lawrence Lessig recounts a conversation over dinner with Richard Clarke, the former government counter-terrorism czar. Remembering that the Patriot Act was dropped on Congress just 20 days after 9/11 — the Department of Justice had had it sitting in a drawer for years — Lessig asked Clarke if DoJ had a similar proposed law, an "i-Patriot Act," to drop in the event of a "cyber-9/11." Clarke responded, "Of course they do. And Vint Cerf won't like it." Lessig's anecdote begins at about 4:30 in the video.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lessig Predicts Cyber 9/11 Event, Restrictive Laws

Comments Filter:
  • Just wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @06:58PM (#24488421) Homepage Journal
    They do that, all bets are off. They'll be encrypted VPNs, private nets and all sorts of things that they'll NEVER be able to control. The tighter your grip becomes, the more Nets will slip through your fingers!
    • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bky1701 (979071) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:01PM (#24488457) Homepage
      Until they just indiscriminately block all packets they can't identify. ISP are already itching to do that.

      P2P and freedom of speech in one blow, what could be better?
      • Re:Just wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mvh (9295) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:07PM (#24488549) Homepage

        Which will hopefully, in turn, force us to create a better network. And perhaps we can start again and this time try to avoid Eternal September.

        • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:09PM (#24488593) Homepage

          me too!

          • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:49PM (#24489011) Homepage Journal

            Re:Just wait ... (Score:1, Insightful)
            by mvh (9295) on Tuesday August 05, @07:07PM (#24488549) Homepage

            Which will hopefully, in turn, force us to create a better network. And perhaps we can start again and this time try to avoid Eternal September.
            Reply to This Parent
            Re:Just wait ... (Score:2, Funny)
            by chris_mahan (256577) on Tuesday August 05, @07:09PM (#24488593) Homepage

            me too!
            --

            "Piter, too, is dead."

            Me too!!!!

        • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by bky1701 (979071) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:10PM (#24488609) Homepage
          Good luck with that. As long as the masses can still get to their myspace, facebook and ebay, the majority of people won't care enough to make funding something of that scale possible. Perhaps isolated networks will pop up, build on things like wifi or in dense cities - but the internet as we know it will be dead.
          • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by fishbowl (7759) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:11PM (#24489273)

            Until the majority of people recognize that oppression has become intolerable enough that they become willing to kill or die in order to end it... it's probably not time.

            The fact that people generally tolerate things is at least an indication that a call to revolution is not going to succeed.

            I know people who have lived under martial law and genuine oppression. I laugh at Americans who seem to actually believe there is a spirit sufficient to outright spark a revolution.

            • Re:Just wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Al Dimond (792444) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:06PM (#24490579) Journal

              It isn't just people in their private lives; it's also corporations. You know, the ones that own the government? They like the freedom of the Internet and the ability to communicate securely and freely, because it helps them make money. They've already moved their taxable income to other countries. They can take their servers elsewhere easily if they want. It probably wouldn't take them too long to move the jobs, too, if they had to.

              It's not just like they could let big business have exceptions or poke through with VPNs. Countless small businesses fuel the high-tech economy, too, and start up from practically nothing. Think they don't have any clout? What about the investors and banks that profit off of their growth? Some of them are pretty big, and would certainly have mouthpieces in Congress.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by HungryHobo (1314109)

                It's not just like they could let big business have exceptions or poke through with VPNs

                Sure they could.
                many companies in China have a vpn to the outside world and so are not affected by the firewall but individuals don't get the same thing.

            • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:08PM (#24490611) Journal
              Why are so many people so keen on a revolution?

              In most revolutions the person or group willing and able to exert the most violence will rise to the top. Thus violent revolutions tend to lead to Dictatorships.

              Only an extremely few dictators will promptly relinquish their power to the people.

              This is why so many communist countries are actually dictatorships - because Marx put violence in the Communism "implementation plan".

              While you have some semblance of democracy you should fix things by voting.

              Most of the US people still have the vote (diebold notwithstanding, and for some strange reason many convicted felons don't get to vote).

              Given Bush was _reelected_ it is clear to me that the voters do not really object to the policies of the ruling government. Do significant numbers actually vote for some 3rd party in desperation? No.
              If people are dissatisfied with both parties they should "throw away" their vote on some other party, rather than keep throwing it at Twiddledum and Twiddledumber. If those votes start to add up, T & T may notice, and so those votes aren't really "thrown away".

              Anyone trying to spark a revolution in a somewhat democratic country "for a good cause" is doing the wrong thing.
              • Actually, it's even worse than 'no spark'. It's much worse than the idea that the majority of people supported Bush.

                Both in 2004 and 2000, you had almost (within a couple of percentage points of, anyway) a 50-50 split. Which as some have pointed out, that's the sorta results you'd expect if a lot of people didn't really think that either outcome would make any difference. Like, if you had an "election" of "do you want person A or person B to be president of mars?" you'd probably see a similar result.

                Rightly

              • Re:Just wait ... (Score:4, Interesting)

                by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @05:16AM (#24493457) Homepage

                Why are so many people so keen on a revolution?

                The problem is intellectuals (defined as "people who think they can do better", or, only partly joking people who think "if everybody did what I say there would be world peace"). We both know slashdot is rife with them.

                They have the big problem that Joe Schmoe cares for exactly what you'd think he cares for : his ability to drive his/her car as far as he wants. Food, luxurious food, a big house, toys, children ... and that's it. (Or as Barack O states they care for "guns and religion", which is not true, they care for getting their ass comfortable, guns and religion simply help too much to give up)

                So a democracy will always be in favor of increased private spending, and increased energy usage, which today means "more co2 release". Which is the very antithesis of most "progressive" (socialist/communist) policies. Let's not forget that it's "progressives" (albeit not American ones, though it did include many European ones) that engineered the USSR famines, and for example China's one child policy is also of progressive making (the Nazi's, also socialists, had similar measures).

                This is NOT to say that they're nazi or communist, but it is beyond obvious when listening to Barack O. or Al Gore that what they really want to do is massive, involuntary social re-engineering (whether it's energy usage, "tolerance" as defined by giving money to the day's "popular victims", or "genetic purity" (which was big in socialist circles between 1920 and, well 1960-70, google for "eugenics movement"), they want to re-engineer the whole of society to fit their image of an ideal society). These people are also responsible for the current Iranian government AND for the ascent of power of people like Saddam Hussein (and they were in favor of them on many occasions, why ? Because of their political leanings. Those little details of genocides like the halabja campaign of Iraq, or the recently "impossible to locate anywhere" marsh arabs of Iran, are but pesky problems that can be ignored for the "greater purpose")

                The problem is beyond obvious : they expect economical sacrifices of Joe Schmoe, which they will never get from him/her voluntary.

                So without violence, the ultimate, massively irrefutable argument, their policies won't be implemented. However they are intellectuals : in an open fight ... they lose (and lose big, as cannot be illustrated more thoroughly by the events in Iran in 1972. First progressives overthrew the government. Next the government started executing gays. Something must have gone wrong. It's easy to find out what exactly went wrong : the terrorism of khomeini).

                It should be obvious to even the 5 year old daughter of Obama that the energy reductions necessary to reduce carbon output will NEVER be implemented voluntary. The other idea of the green movement, "limiting population", you can guess how much enthousiasm people will have for that one. Some of the greens, by the way, are discussing genocide in order to implement this, though fortunately it's the lunatic fringe for the moment.

                This is why so many communist countries are actually dictatorships - because Marx put violence in the Communism "implementation plan".

                While you have some semblance of democracy you should fix things by voting.

                But the solutions of the socialists (and the greens these days) are utter disasters for the common man.

                Reducing co2 output is painful. VERY painful. It will never really happen in a democracy. And before you state that Europe proves otherwise, I'd like you to check 2 little details :
                -> who has the power in the EU ? Does the composition of that body make the EU democratic ... or not ? (the commission is the lawgiving instrument of the EU, not the parliament, as you might think. Again, google this)
                -> exactly how many coal fired power plants are being constructed in the EU ? Zero right ? Oh wait ...

          • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jeevesbond (1066726) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @09:04PM (#24489889) Homepage

            Which will hopefully, in turn, force us to create a better network.

            As long as the masses can still get to their myspace, facebook and ebay, the majority of people won't care enough to make funding something of that scale possible.

            This seems to be overly-cynical. People aren't bad at adopting new things, they just need a motivator:

            • A killer application (no Reiser jokes please!), something that will make people switch. Must be tangible though, abstract concepts like freedom alone won't be enough. Freedom to troll Internet forums and freedom from the government snooping at what porn you're looking at is enough for some people. What's really needed is a big win, something like Wikipedia moving over to our better network, would make a vast number of the Internet follow.
            • Fear. Wait for the government to start locking people up/bringing people in for questioning just based on their Internet browsing habits, then make sure everyone knows about it.
            • Uncertainty. A whispering campaign is the order of the day, make sure people know they're being watched when online. No-one likes to be spied on, particularly by the Kafka-esque bureaucracies our governments have become.
            • Doubt. Another aspect of the whispering campaign, make people think about how good the Internet used to be before the US government fucked it up.
            • Abusing Firefox market share (well, not really). When surfing normally, Firefox could present a small banner at the top of the window: 'Warning: you are browsing unsafely, third parties may be watching this connection (switch safe browsing on)' pressing the 'switch safe browsing on' button could enable encryption, or whatever improvement is used to circumvent this law, on. If the site does not have a 'safe' version, another warning could be displayed, this will provide an incentive for site owners to update their systems to support the improvements.

            Wow, the things Microsoft have taught me. Thanks Bill! Anyway, getting back to the point, the biggest risk to an improved network, is that legislation may be created to stop it being used. Most people are willing to bend the law a little, but not break it.

            Incidentally, who was the bloke speaking after Lessig? He had some very good points about how the Internet on mobiles isn't taking off because of the huge fees carriers are demanding, and the assumption by venture capitalists that the Internet 'just works' by itself. Very insightful comments from him.

            • Re:Just wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @05:23AM (#24493481)

              Fear. Wait for the government to start locking people up/bringing people in for questioning just based on their Internet browsing habits, then make sure everyone knows about it.

              if you get to this point it's too late, they can just send anyone found to be using the new network to the gas chambers.

        • Which is why you must keep your copper dry. (And modems).

      • Then we'll just have to disguise our packets as something else.

      • by kestasjk (933987)
        Anything to prevent a "cyber-9/11". It'd be like 9/11 except instead of planes there'd be data expressed in electrical waves, and instead of massive loss of life there'd be a period of down-time.
      • Until they just indiscriminately block all packets they can't identify. ISP are already itching to do that.

        Let's bring on Open Mesh-net [open-mesh.net] then. Other than my own I see two wifi connections available on my list, however it only lists three with a fourth choice of Other...

        Falcon

      • by gerf (532474)

        Then we'll just have to disguise packets as images or something goofy.

        I can just just imagine some OSS p2p project hiding encoding amongst (the appropriate in this case) hello.jpg being sent back and forth between distributed clients.

        Can't you see it now? Goatse saves the world!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by chris_mahan (256577)

      They'll just instruct the ISPs to comply (meaning block any undecryptable traffic) or face mean men with guns.

      Would that get us closer to Civil War? You bet.

      Would that actually get us to Civil War? No, not as long as myspace, google, and facebook still work.

      Port 443 would be blocked for all except online banks and those who comply with the government in other ways (think lots of logs and/or live monitoring of post-ssl traffic).

      Any ISP personnel facing potential felony charges will think first of their famil

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Chandon Seldon (43083)

        Port 443 would be blocked for all except online banks and those who comply with the government in other ways (think lots of logs and/or live monitoring of post-ssl traffic).

        Port 443 is *already* effectively blocked for anyone who isn't centrally approved. Have you seen the error message you get in IE or Firefox when you try to visit a site with a self-signed certificate?

        • by Nursie (632944)

          No, no it isn't, you just have to click through or make sure to pre-distribute your keys.

          That's not blocking, it's good sense to stock Joe six-pack getting scammed. SSL without authentication could extremely easily be monitored by your favourite (government co-operating) ISP.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Would that get us closer to Civil War? You bet

        Actually, no it won't. How are we gonna organize to fight back if our phones are bugged and our email is rinsed through the NSA/ATT?

        Naw, Chris, this little coup has been in the works a long time. As the article said, that execrable "Patriot Act" was on the table long before 9/11, which only made it convenient for the little pissant tyrant in the White House (may he burn in Hell).

        We've got to head this BS off before it can happen. Fortunately, we have an oppo

    • Re:Just wait ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by clang_jangle (975789) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:06PM (#24488521) Journal
      You're probably right. Like old saying goes, locks only keep out the honest people. And the more tyrannical our government becomes, the higher the percentage of criminalized population. Criminalized people can't afford to be honest.
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:05PM (#24488507)

    Who wrote it ? In which administration ? Curious minds want to know.

    It was obvious to me in 2001 that this had been previously prepared, and it astounded me that anyone would fall for this BS.
    Unfortunately, history indicates they would probably do it again.

    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:35PM (#24488869)
      The "think tanks" generate many documents and plans, many of which never see daylight. This is part of the normal "what if" analysis or things that might happen and how to deal with them. It is no more suprising that they have a plan ready to drop in place after 9/11 than if they had a plan to drop in to place to quell riots or handle a gas shortage or any other scenario. Apart from disaster management, these plans also have political agendas.

      One major political function of these plans is to have PR: look like you can command decisively and keep the population confident in your abilities. Another is to be able to turn these disasters into an opportunity to pass legislation/budget that the people would normally choke on. GWB played both these cards really well.

    • Unfortunately, history indicates they would probably do it again.

      And did it before. Look at the Japanese internment camps after the pearl harbor bombings, they were US citizens who happened to be Japanese. Now it is they are US citizens but have internet access. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_internment_camp [wikipedia.org]

    • Having a contingency plan in case of emergency is not only smart, but required by law in many areas. There are plans for many emergencies like an earthquake, fire, hurricane, building evacuation, chemical spill, conventional war, cyber war, hijacked plane, running out of coffee, etc. Just because Lessig has legitimate concerns about any particular act, does not mean the Illuminati is just waiting around for the right moment to spring their Global World Domination Plan (tm).

      For instance, plans for invadin
  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:06PM (#24488533) Homepage Journal
    in u.s.

    remember what happened to u.s. tourism after that patriot act shit was dropped in the congress ? u.s. tourism sector NEVER recovered from it.

    excuse me but the rest of the world cant take that kind of shit from u.s. again. if that happens, we all will just create another internet, complete with its root dnses (possibly in brussels), and get done with it. and then u.s. broadband, backbone providers can shove the fibers they laid in those senators asses. because they will be good for only doing that afterwards.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:17PM (#24488703)

      Yeah! Let's make our own Internet. With blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the Internet.

      And the blackjack.

      Ahh, screw the whole thing.

    • by oldhack (1037484) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:23PM (#24488739)

      remember what happened to u.s. tourism after that patriot act shit was dropped in the congress ? u.s. tourism sector NEVER recovered from it.

      The US tourism is recovering now, due to the falling dollar.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Builder (103701)

        Yeah? I'm still withholding the $20,000 per year that I used to spend on visits to the US and I know a lot of other people in the same situation.

        Not all of us care enough about the falling dollar to compromise our morals.

    • You're joking, right? This would mean the end of Outsourcing U.S. I.T. jobs to India and other places. Someone in the U.S. would need to pick up the slack. There would be more I.T. security (contract) jobs; someone has to implement the new restrictions.
      • by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:31PM (#24488833) Journal

        There would be more I.T. security (contract) jobs; someone has to implement the new restrictions.

        And in fascist police states, selling jackboots to jackboot-less thugs is a growth sector. The jingle in the pocket doesn't make the boot stamping on a face forever any more palatable.

        And, oddly enough, we'd probably still outsource bootmaking. Cuz, you know, face-stomping has to be cost-effective to maximize shareholder value.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        who is the internet market going to cater to when they are practically cut down from rest of the world ? excuse me, what was your population again ? ~300 mil. how much of that uses internet in a manner that will sustain it financially (apart from using only mail) ? probably ~100 mil. compare this number to the user number for the entire world, which is 1,463,632,361 , and youll see what will happen. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [internetworldstats.com]

        i hate to break it to you but an isolated economy cant survive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by natedubbya (645990)
      Umm, the u.s. tourism sector did recover. Now that the dollar is so low against the euro, european tourism is way up. Don't use the word "never", and check your facts.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Only if other countries don't pick up the "great idea" and run with it. If the Patriot Act told us something, they easily do.

  • PPP (Score:2, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959)

    Pay per packet plus lower ping times for people with the "Clear" pass.

  • Think so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Panaqqa (927615) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:07PM (#24488565) Homepage
    And what happens if ISPs are ordered to block all encrypted packets for which the DHS doesn't hold the keys in escrow? And phone companies are ordered to block all unauthorized modem carriers? Difficult to get around restrictive "cyber laws" when the government can exercise control over the infrastructure.
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      And what happens if ISPs are ordered to block all encrypted packets for which the DHS doesn't hold the keys in escrow?

      You use encryption that doesn't *look* encrypted. Slower, but that's the way of it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ncryptd (1172815)

      what happens if ISPs are ordered to block all encrypted packets for which the DHS doesn't hold the keys in escrow?

      Not gonna happen. This would be insanely computationally expensive. Real-time DPI hardware for an OC-192 link costs about $10K (IIRC), and that's just for unencrypted packets. Checking against a list of RSA, AES, etc. keys for each connection would require an astronomical amount of computing power, and that's just for one backbone.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:14PM (#24488651)

    Over the past eight years or so, I've occasionally ranted, and heard other people rant, about how I/we were just one more liberties-reduction away from moving to Canada, Europe, Antarctica, etc. But we generally just grumble for a while and then get used to the new "normal".

    Is this any different? Are there any of us for whom this really *is* the straw that breaks the camel's back?

    I just got back from Austria, and I've got to say, it's pretty fsck'ing nice over there.

    • by Bieeanda (961632) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:21PM (#24488725)
      Insert that old 'First they came for the...' thing here. People are creatures of habit and comfort. Unless someone comes into their house, brandishing a rifle or a club, most aren't going to react on that kind of a scale. They'll talk about it, but the logistics of moving out of your home country are extremely difficult to work through unless you're already mobile or have been planning such a thing for years.
      • by gerf (532474)

        If Congressmen start getting theirs, and their kids' laptops and iPods searched at the border for copyright violations, and summarily sued... or maybe to expedite this, a hacker illegally breaks into their systems and posts proof of their hypocrisy to the world.

        I am not condoning the second method, however, and do not have anything resembling the skill to do so. (Please don't arrest me Republican Overlords!)

    • by russotto (537200)

      Over the past eight years or so, I've occasionally ranted, and heard other people rant, about how I/we were just one more liberties-reduction away from moving to Canada, Europe, Antarctica, etc. But we generally just grumble for a while and then get used to the new "normal".

      The first problem, even for those who are serious, is that those other places tend to either have similar restrictions, other restrictions which aren't similar but are just as bad or worse, or look ready to pass one or the other or both

    • by tylernt (581794)

      Over the past eight years or so, I've occasionally ranted, and heard other people rant, about how I/we were just one more liberties-reduction away from moving to Canada, Europe, Antarctica, etc. But we generally just grumble for a while and then get used to the new "normal".

      Mainly it's the lack of anyplace better that's holding me here. I've yet to find a place that combines the equivalent of 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th amendment rights in sufficient quantities.

      If you know of any libertarian paradises though, pl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HungWeiLo (250320)
      The draw may have already been broken...or at least someone thinks it will be soon...

      You will be taxed on all your assets if you give up your US citizenship [thestreet.com]

      . This little-known provision was passed as part of the Heroes Act of 2008 on 6/17. Looks like Congress foresees a mass exodus of Americans at some point in the foreseeable future - at least the ones that matter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:17PM (#24488695)

    All sufficiently long forum threads about a policy where the US government might become involved shall include at least one reference to 9/11 and/or Al Qaida.

    • Except that unlike Nazis, current US government policy is largely driven by 9/11 and/or al Qaeda, so the reference is much more apt.

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

        Except that unlike Nazis, current US government policy is largely driven by 9/11 and/or al Qaeda, so the reference is much more apt.

        Not quote. Current US government policy is entirely driven by the military/oil/industrial complex, with 9/11 and/or al Qaeda used as the EXCUSE for the destruction of civil liberties in exchange for something that looks superficially like security. Big difference.

        • Semantic games.

          You can say that the policy is driven by the military industrial complex, with 9/11 and al Qaeda as the excuse. I can say that the policy is driven by 9/11 and al Qaeda, with the military industrial complex overseeing and guiding. Ultimately it's the same thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Adambomb (118938)

      Nah, this is plain old Godwin.

      Any story that involves the Patriot Act will have it compared to the Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State [wikipedia.org].

      Course, its an apt comparison but still holds with the original law.

  • by c0d3r (156687) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:30PM (#24488821) Homepage Journal

    There are plenty of places out in the country that does well with little internet. Only major cities that depend on external systems and greedy business people will be impacted.

  • by thesuperbigfrog (715362) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:35PM (#24488875)
    Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" describes a Linux distro called "Paranoid Linux" which has nice features for this kind of thing. Such as distro is already in the works: http://paranoidlinux.org/ [paranoidlinux.org]
  • Cyber 9/11? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:42PM (#24488955)
    What could possibly count as a cyber 9/11? Honestly, other then security holes that need to be patched and some government's website being hacked, there isn't much that can go wrong with the web that isn't already happening or has happened before.
    • Re:Cyber 9/11? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:57PM (#24489115)

      Here's what you could do:

      1. Set the fecal chloroform counts for the reservoir monitoring systems at max. SCADA + Internet connection + SBO = Good Times.

      2. Set every traffic light to green in all directions (or cycle the lights quickly enough to cause massive accidents)

      3. Disrupt the trunking radio system (used by first responders). It's simple to make one, and only obscurity keeps bad guys from making an undetectable jammer. Worse, P25 (new US government mandate) requires Internet connectivity.

      4. Overload a few older transformers like in Vancouver two weeks ago.

      So what you've got now is the water supply shut off by the sensors, and traffic is so backed up with crashes that the engineers can't get to the site to reset the system. That gives you 2-3 days until people start dying off. Even if you get it fixed in a day, people will fucking panic like Home Depot shoppers in a flyover state.

      The police, paramedics, fire, buses, etc can't co-ordinate anything since their radios aren't working.

      Then the backup power goes out.

      Good times.

      • Re:Cyber 9/11? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CharlieG (34950) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:49PM (#24491067) Homepage

        Around here Item #1 requires the guy who is already there 7x24 to double check - yawn
        90% of traffic lights are not internet linked - they are dumb mechanical timers - kinda hard to cyber that
        P25 - go to talk around mode
        Overload the transformers - way easier said than done, but when that usually happens, a breaker pops, you lose a substation - OK, they find the short, away we go

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vexorian (959249)
      The question is not whether a cyber 9/11 is possible but whether the press can hype it enough to make it look as bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > What could possibly count as a cyber 9/11?

      You aren't nearly paranoid enough. Those of us who have thought the unthinkable can see dozens of really nasty possibilities. I'm more amazed that we haven't had a major attack yet. Seems that some parts of the government is actually functioning since we haven't been attacked physically or over the net since 9/11. Sad that the only parts that are still working are the parts nobody can talk about.

      Remember that 9/11 wasn't about killing people, athough that w

  • to (re)move the control of each piece of the Internet and each organization that manages Internet assignment and standards - and move them away from being controlled by any sovereign state (government), USA or other

    comments like his underscore such hubris, ... to imagine that any single government could control or even direct the totality of human connection and communication

    even worse, and more to the point for Clark and his ilk: such stupidity to think that under the fear-driven false guise of "protecting

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

Working...