Summary: Ruling requires work. Feeding internal factions to prevent collective action. Feeding fears of others, turning their gaze to foreign foes. Feeding misinformation so that they no longer clearly see or understand the world, so that they cannot predict or adapt. Fortunately Americans makes this easy. Here we examine a case study in an America lit only by propaganda.
The news media is conducting yet another propaganda barrage on America, as directed by DoD. Here are some samples:
- “China Cyber-spies Outwit U.S. Stealing Vital Military Secrets“, Bloomberg, 2 May 2013
- “Chinese Cyber-spying on QinetiQ Probed by Pentagon“, Bloomberg, 7 May 2013
- “Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies“, Washington Post, 27 May 2013
The first story relies on sources which Bloomberg News believes credible:
QinetiQ was only one target in a broader cyberpillage. Beginning at least as early as 2007, Chinese computer spies raided the databanks of almost every major U.S. defense contractor and made off with some of the country’s most closely guarded technological secrets, according to two former Pentagon officials who asked not to be named because damage assessments of the incidents remain classified.
This is obviously an authorized information operation (expect no arrests under the Espionage Act). We don’t know for whom these guys now work (Bloomberg forget to tell us). Would you bet they work for a firm that benefits from cyber-war-hysteria? Also, they show little curiosity as to how China — just emerged from the Third World — developed better cybertechnology than our lavishly funded Defense cyber-infrastructure.
The other stories follow the same pattern: artfully designed leaks from the government and its vendors, reported as gospel by news media’s stenographers. For a journalist’s report on this story look to Kelly Vlahos: “Cyber War: Another Epic Fail“.
I’m glad that DoD found a new ways to incite our fears. The old ones had grown stale:
- The Bomber Gap
- The Missile Gap
- The Libyan hit teams roaming America (gated TIME article here; open version here).
- The “Iran will have the bomb in two years” story was growing old, since we’ve heard it so often since 1984.
- Saddam and bin Laden took their mythical WMDs to hell with them.
- The awesome Russian and China blue water fleets are coming too slowly; American children have grown old while keeping watch on our shores for their arrival.
- ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) guns; so long predicted but remain sci-fi.
Time for DoD to change the program! No worries, DoD! We will believe and fear no matter how preposterous your new tales.
Readers, thank you for your time. Please resume our regularly scheduled pants wetting. And listen closely; you’ll hear the Founders cry at what we’ve become.
For more information
See the FM Reference Page about Cyber-espionage and Cyber-war!
Some posts by Marcus Ranum about cyber-espionage and cyberwar:
- Obama knows how to lead America by exploiting our fears, 5 June 2009 — About cyberwar
- Cyberwar: a Whole New Quagmire. Part 1: The Pentagon Cyberstrategy, 2 September 2011
- “Do as I say, not as I do” shall be the whole of the law, 11 September 2011
- Conflating Threats, 14 September 2011
- About Stuxnet, the next generation of warfare?, 29 September 2011 – About Stuxnet & malware-based warfare.
- About Attribution (identifying your attacker), 21 October 2011
- Parsing Cyberwar – Part 1: The Battlefield, 9 August 2012
- Parsing Cyberwar – Part 2: The Logistical Train, 10 August 2012
- Parsing Cyberwar – Part 3:Synergies and Interference, 13 August 2012
- Parsing Cyberwar – Part 4: The Best Defense is a Good Defense, 20 August 2012
- Cyberwar, the Power of Nightmares, 31 August 2012