Welcome to the Age of Information Warfare

  • 3 December 2010

I have not commented the Cablegate publication by Wikileaks so far. The reason is simply that the revelations published are of much lower impact than politics wants it to be. Most of the information about the US-American understanding of the world comes with no surprise. The cables are merely a confirmation of suspicions and assumptions which were available before. However the discussion enters a new stage. Publishing information should now be punished by death. Web infrastructure publishing inconvenient information will now be DDoSed, taken offline by cloud computing vendors and evicted from the DNS. We’ve taken the Internet one step further. A quote by a fictional UN commissioner comes to my mind:

As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny.  The once-chained people whose leaders at last loose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master. — Commissioner Pravin Lal, “Librarian’s Preface”

While Commissioner Pravin Lal has never existed, his words carry more meaning than ever before. The US government attacks Wikileaks. Strangely they do not attack the media who is publishing along Wikileaks. The Afghanistan War Logs and the Iraq War Logs were published by journalists as well. The US Embassy Diplomatic Cables are also commented and published by journalists. And yet no one calls for the execution of journalists, no one takes the web sites of The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, The New York Times and others down. Yet. As I said we’ve entered a new stage of information warfare. You don’t need to use tanks if you can control the flow of information. The USA will probably ask China for help against dissidents soon.

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