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The Internet: A New Battlefield?



Over the last twenty years the internet has revolutionized everything from talking with friends to going shopping. It affects everything in our lives: how we look up the weather; how we find jobs; how we run businesses. Cyberspace is the New Frontier. Yet like any new territory, it serves as a new terrain for warfare.


Imagine what it would be like if everyone were suddenly cut off from the internet. No electronic transactions for businesses and government. No access to online bank accounts. There would be total immobilization. Such an attack is very real and has already occurred numerous times on a small scale. It is called a denial-of-service attack. The attacker sends numerous requests to access a website – so much that the website’s server becomes overloaded and disabled. Such an attack could be used by a malicious individual or more importantly, it could be used by nations at war that want to disable each others telecommunications:

http://redtape.msnbc.com/2010/06/imagine-this-scenario-estonia-a-nato-member-is-cut-off-from-the-internet-by-cyber-attackers-who-besiege-the-countrys-bandw.html



So, the question becomes how much power should governments have to patrol the internet. Up until now, the internet has been a wild frontier. Anyone can look up any website in their browser. Should governments be able to disable computers that try to overload websites? After all, the computers are really just accessing websites millions of times over. It is malicious, but should the government have the power to stop a specific computer from accessing a website that is supposed to be open to the public? This question will only loom larger as the Federal Communications Commission plans to make broadband internet the official primary form of telecommunication in the United States:



http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/07/dtv_delay18.html



-SD

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