Saturday, May 26, 2007


I am not a make laws and jail ‘em guy. But the problem is that the laws and imprisonment are always a couple of decades behind what is happening to civilization. For instance, I think all non-violent drug offenders should be freed. Not all at once; there are probably more than a million of them, if you can believe that. But it pisses me off that internet vandals are let go with just a slap on the wrist. Perhaps *THIS* will result in alarm for our lawmakers in 20 years or so:

Look, for example, at what happened to Estonia last week. Ever since the government of the Baltic state decided … to remove a war memorial to the Red Army from a square in the capital, Tallinn, Russian outrage has ensued.

This took the form of demonstrations and even riots. But then something extraordinary happened: quickly, and wholly without warning, the whole country was subjected to a barrage of cyber-warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, banks and newspapers.

Techniques normally employed by cybercriminals, such as huge remotely-controlled networks of hijacked computers, were used to cripple vital public services.

Nato has sent its top cyber-terrorism experts to Tallinn, with western democracies caught on the hop over the implications of such an attack.

The Estonian defence ministry said: "We've been lucky to survive this. If an airport, bank or state infrastructure is attacked by a missile, it's clear war. But if the same result is done by computers, then what do you call it? Is it a state of war? These questions must be addressed."

Estonia has blamed Russia, predictably enough - which, if true, would mean this is the first cyber attack by one sovereign state upon another.

There are good questions there and they will be addressed by lawmakers some time in the future, after another million or so users of relatively harmless drugs are imprisoned.

If such severe hacking can be compared to an act of war then your every day computer hackers should be declared to be terrorists. Penalties for that stuff ought to be severe, in proportion to the damage they do. No more gentle slaps on the wrist. Get the bastards!

But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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