There is no such thing as cyber security. The only choice is more security or less security, as the recent hack of the National Security Agency demonstrates.
Hackers stole from the NSA a cyber weapon, which has been used in attacks (at time of writing) on 150 countries, shutting down elements of the British National Health Service, the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, automakers Renault and Nissan, Russia’s Interior Ministry, Federal Express, the energy company PetroChina, and many more.
The news spin is to not blame the NSA for its carelessness, but to blame Microsoft users for not updating their systems with a patch issued two months ago. But the important questions have not been asked: What was the NSA doing with such malware and why did the NSA not inform Microsoft of the malware?
Clearly, the NSA intended to use the cyber weapon against some country or countries. Why else have it and keep it a secret from Microsoft?
Was it to be used to shut down Russian and Chinese systems prior to launching a nuclear first strike against the countries? Congress should be asking this question as it is certain that the Russian and Chinese governments are. As I previously reported, the Russian High Command has already concluded that Washington is preparing a nuclear first strike against Russia, and so has China.
It is extremely dangerous that two nuclear powers have this expectation. This danger has received no attention from Washington and its NATO vassals.
Microsoft president Brad Smith likened the theft of the NSA’s cyber weapon to “the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.” In other words, with cyber weapons, as with nuclear weapons and short warning times, things can go wrong in a big way.
What if the hackers had successfully attacked the Russian Ministry of Defense or radar warning systems, would the Russian High Command have concluded that the cyber attack was Washington’s prelude to incoming ICBMs?
The fact that no one in Washington or any Western government has stepped forward to reassure the Russian government and demand the removal of the US missile bases surrounding Russia indicates a level of hubris or denial that is beyond comprehension.
In my May 12 posting I wrote: “The costs of the digital revolution exceed its benefits by many times. The digital revolution rivals nuclear weapons as the most catastrophic technology of our time.” In response, Robert Henderson wrote to me from England that he had addressed the enormous costs of the digital revolution in 2010. Here is the link to his article, “Men and Machines: Which is Master Which is Slave?”
Reading his article will raise your awareness. When you add up the vast financial costs, the depersonalization of human relationships, and the complete loss of individual privacy and security, the benefit of being connected is vastly outweighed by the costs.
Paper files are far more secure. Malware cannot be introduced into them. To steal a person’s information required knowing the location of the information, breaking into the building, searching file cabinets for the information, and copying the information. To intercept a voice communication required a warrant to wiretap a specific telephone line.
People born into a world where the ease of communication comes at the price of the loss of autonomy never experience privacy. They are unaware that a foundation of liberty has been lost.
In our era of controlled print and TV media, the digital revolution serves for now as a check on the ruling elite’s ability to control explanations. However, the same technology that currently permits alternative explanations can be used to prevent them. Indeed, efforts to discredit and to limit non-approved explanations are already underway.
The enemies of truth have a powerful weapon in the digital revolution and can use it to herd humanity into a tyrannical dystopia. The digital revolution even has its own Memory Hole. Files stored electronically by older technology can no longer be accessed as they exist in an outdated electronic format that cannot be opened by current systems in use.
Humans are proving to be the most stupid of the life forms. They create weapons that cannot be used without destroying themselves. They create robots and free trade myths that take away their jobs. They create information technology that destroys their liberty.
Dystopias tend to be permanent. The generations born into them never know anything different, and the control mechanisms are total.
And the digital screen serves as Soma.
Copyright © 2017 Paul Craig Roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.