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[- Terrorism, Viruses, Kiddie porn, and WI-FI
By amy, Section Filter It Yourself!
Posted on Sat Jan 3rd, 2004 at 11:43:23 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Filtered through an alarmist-about-alarmists filter.

CNET lists viruses, intruders, and terrorists, in the same breath. Apparently inspired by their talk with the US Dept of Homeland Security. But wait - it's the CNET interviewer, not the government guy, who brings up Nimda et al as though they're relevant to terrorism... and reminds us that "the success or failure of the government's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace hinges on private sector buy-in." There's already enough questions about what the alleged "terrorists" in Guantanamo Bay actually have done, without wondering if 16-year-old virus-writers are part of the mix. But is it governments, corporations, or both that are behind all this confusion? Lets look at some related incidents...


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There was that news event a year ago in which we learned that WI-FI was a terrorist tool - though it's someone from the telecom industry, not the goverment, who's quoted here referring to terrorist implications specifically. (Of course, it's never explained in this article why WI-FI might be any more dangerous than, say, a free AOL CD. Rumors at the time were that there were industry folks pushing for a competing, propietary technology to the commonly-used 802.11 WI-FI standards.) And, it's Wired's journalism that blurs the distinction between corporate break-ins through WI-FI and bringing down the whole Internet or launching a violent attack through WI--FI. And now, we can add "WI-FI" is a Kiddie Porn tool to the list of muddied conclusions.

Well, I may be an alarmist, but I find all these alarmists a bit disturbing. Certainly, governments, especially the US, have been casting the "terrorist" definitions/implications a bit too broadly - the USA PATRIOT act being one infamous example. This has serious implications to white-hat hackers, tactical media practitioners, etc., since a) someone who doesn't like you might be able to bust you for "terrorism" and b) even if not, if you think that might happen, then the "chilling effect" can censor your activity. But how much of what appears to be coming out of government windbags is coming out of corporate or journalistic windbags - and for what reasons?

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Terrorism, Viruses, Kiddie porn, and WI-FI | 0 comments

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