[ISN] 'Chinaman' dethrones 'Hacker' on cyber-terror hit parade

From: William Knowles (wkat_private)
Date: Mon Jun 25 2001 - 01:56:42 PDT

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    By Thomas C Greene in Washington
    Posted: 23/06/2001 at 18:59 GMT
    After years of failure trying to generate mass paranoia with the
    'pitiless teenage hacker', the US government this week trotted out its
    new and improved cyber-terror strawman: the one-billion-strong 'Yellow
    The classic disaffected teenager is "nothing more than a nuisance," US
    Senator Robert Bennett (Republican, Utah) scoffed during a
    Congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing entitled "Wired World:
    Cyber Security and the US Economy" which convened on Thursday.
    Apparently the government is taking no chances with the sort of
    ridicule it grew accustomed to in the Vatis/Hamre/Clarke era, and has
    decided to leapfrog over the next logical evolutionary step on the
    threat escalator (i.e., the 'Islamic Digital Terrorist' or 'Mad-skillz
    Mafioso') straight to adversary nations whose military establishments
    are creating vast divisions of deadly Cyberspace Troopers.
    The shift in rhetorical focus was neatly summed up by CIA Science and
    Technology National Intelligence Officer Lawrence Gershwin, who told
    Congress that for the foreseeable future, "only nation states appear
    to have the discipline, commitment and resources to fully develop
    capabilities to attack critical infrastructures."
    So that's it then. We're going to miss the pimply young monosexuals
    with which the Clinton Administration's military apparatus was so
    obsessed, though of course we look forward to meeting our new national
    Nemesis as Uncle Sam gradually defines him to the press....
    Internet pedophiles are propagating so fast that US law enforcement is
    completely overwhelmed, and Congress is therefore toying with the idea
    of rolling back essential civil protections so they can be hunted down
    US Representative Nancy Johnson (Republican, Connecticut) has
    introduced a bill called the "Child Sex Crimes Wiretapping Act of
    2001," which would give Feds and cops a heap more freedom to tap the
    telephones of 'sexual predators' discovered luring children in chat
    According to Johnson's bit of feel-good imbecility, the discovery of
    Internet-based crimes such as child enticement and trading child
    pornography would qualify a suspect for a fast-track telephone
    wiretap. This sounds like something the Feds will adore, so no doubt
    they'll have to assign even more FBI agents to hang around in chat
    rooms pretending to be thirteen-year-old girls, as this delightful
    satire describes.
    Incredibly, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime approved the
    bill this week, though it's anyone's guess how it would fare in full
    committee or on the floor. A number of critics -- US Representative
    Robert Barr (Republican, Georgia) chief among them -- have already
    expressed doubts.
    "I appreciate the concern [for due process of law], and I respect it;
    but I hope it won't stand in the way of giving our law enforcement the
    power to combat this epidemic," Johnson is quoted by Newsbytes as
    Epidemic? Oh, right; we forgot that pedophiles didn't exist before the
    The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has seen fit to submit a
    supplementary brief in the appeal of 2600.com, which is being sued by
    entertainment industry lobbyists for making the DeCSS utility which
    descrambles DVDs available via its Web site.
    The DoJ simply adores the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
    under which 2600 is being punished, and its chief concern is
    persuading the appellate court that the Act is a really fine piece of
    The defendant is arguing, among other points, that the DMCA violates
    fair use and other provisions of the Audio Home Recording Act. The
    DoJ, in this case, is primarily concerned with defending the DMCA.
    The Act is "reasonable and supported by substantial evidence in the
    record before Congress," DoJ says, and concludes that "it is therefore
    Constitutionally sound."
    Furthermore, the DoJ FUD-Meisters add, the DMCA was not rash or
    overreaching, because it's solely responsible for preventing every
    scrap of copyrighted content on the Internet from vanishing without a
    "Congress was under no obligation to wait until the Internet withered
    from lack of content. Rather, Congress acted wisely to prevent that
    harm by fortifying a new medium of communication against very real and
    crippling technological assaults," the Department writes.
    'Crippling technological assaults'. It seems we've ended right where
    we began this edition of the Roundup. No doubt we'll soon be hearing
    that the People's Liberation Army is involved...
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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