Bracing for “Cyber 9/11”

by James Corbett, The International Forecaster: In part, this points to the fundamental problem of attribution in the age of cyberterror. It's one thing to attribute a physical attack to an enemy... But in the cyber sphere, there's nothing at all for anyone to examine.

As Al CIA-da become the "good guys" (again), and I-CIA-SIS starts to fall apart, and the latest boogeymen fail to strike a chord of panic in a boogeyman-weary public (remember the fearsome Khorasan Group, anyone?), it is safe to say that the old war of terror paradigm is falling by the wayside. Lucky for the multi-trillion dollar global terror-industrial complex, then, that the spiffy new cyberterror paradigm is waiting in the wings to take its place!

But just as the fading “Global War on Terror” (GWoT) paradigm requires a steady stream of (perceived) threats in order to justify the bloated budgets of the US intelligence and security apparatus, so too does this new cyberterror paradigm require a constant flow of (perceived) online threats to justify the bloated budgets of the US cybersecurity forces. And just as in the GWoT, every “failure” of cyber-intelligence and every “inadvertent” proliferation of cyber-weaponry gives the newly-created Cyber Command an excuse to expand its role and take even bolder action in its quest to “fight the net.”

The GWoT and all of its attendant ills have been built on the back of that "catalyzing event," our "new Pearl harbor," 9/11. So it should hardly be surprising that the new cybersecurity establishment is waiting breathlessly for the "cyber 9/11" that will justify the complete crackdown and government takeover of the internet.

Unsurprisingly, the "cyber 9/11" meme stretches back almost to 9/11 itself. Back in 2003, even as the Pentagon was drafting up its plans to “fight the net” as if it were "an enemy weapons system," Mike McConnell, the ex-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), was fearmongering over the possibility of a cyber attack "equivalent to the attack on the World Trade Center" if a new institution were not created to oversee cyber security. Since then, report after report has continued to use the horror of 9/11 as a way of raising public hysteria over cyberterrorism.

Of course, many of those reading this report will already know the reason for this cyberterror hysteria: There is a pre-planned solution waiting in the wings to be revealed to the public after they have been prompted to respond to the next (virtual) false flag provocation. We don't have to speculate on this point. In 2008, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig told a technology conference that a cyber equivalent of the constitution-destroying Patriot Act is on the shelf, ready to be rubber stamped into law. All it requires is a "cyber 9/11" to make such legislation politically viable.

“There’s going to be an i-9/11 event. Which doesn’t necessarily mean an Al Qaeda attack, it means an event where the instability or the insecurity of the internet becomes manifest during a malicious event which then inspires the government into a response. You’ve got to remember that after 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed. … So I was having dinner with [former counter-terrorism czar] Richard Clarke and I asked him if there is an equivalent, is there an i-Patriot Act just sitting waiting for some substantial event as an excuse to radically change the way the internet works. He said ‘of course there is.’”

In effect, the cyber security establishment—the advisors, agents and experts in the cybersecurity industry—are waiting for a spectacular cyberterror attack to justify a crackdown on the internet, including plans for 'identity management' schemes like fingerprinting for internet access which would put an end to the free Internet as we have known it.

So if we know the psychopaths in power need a cyber 9/11 to spring their iPatriot Act on the internet, the obvious questions are: Would the US and their cronies really do something like this? And who would they try to pin the blame on?

The first question is easy enough to answer: Yes. Yes they would do this. Case in point: Stuxnet.

Stuxnet was a computer worm that the US and Israel jointly created to target Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz. And as we now know, Stuxnet was only one part of a much larger cyberattack against Iran, jointly launched by the US and Israel and dubbed “NITRO ZEUS.” Although Stuxnet was intended to be the cyber equivalent of a precision-guided bomb, only capable of damaging the specific computer systems it was intended to target, it quickly escaped the computer systems at Natanz and spread across the internet. Oops. Hope that kind of cyberweaponry doesn't end up in the hands of one of our "enemies." That might lead to a cyber 9/11!

And wouldn't you know it? Other attempts to contain the tools in the Pentagon’s cyber-armory have been similarly unsuccessful.

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