Using the world wide web for military operations Developing national security strategies for the Internet
The Internet has played an important role in recent conflicts. By monitoring public message traffic and alternative news sources from around the world, early warning of impending significant developments can be developed in advance of more traditional means of indications and warning. Commentary placed on the Internet by observers on the scene of low-intensity conflicts can be useful to policymaking. During larger scale conflicts, when other conventional channels are disrupted, the Internet can be the only available means of communication into and out of the affected areas. Internet messages originating within regions under authoritarian control can provide useful intelligence. Public messages conveying information about the intent of overseas groups can provide important counterintelligence. The Internet can also be used offensively as an additional medium in psychological operations campaigns and to help achieve unconventional warfare objectives. Used creatively as an integral asset, the Internet can facilitate many military operations and activities.
The Internet has been increasingly involved in politics and international conflict. Local, state and national governments are establishing a presence on the Internet, both for disseminating information to the public and for receiving feedback from the public. Organizers of domestic and international political movements are using the Internet. It has played a key role in Desert Storm, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the attempted coup in Russia, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and in the challenge to authoritarian controls in Iran, China, and other oppressive states. The Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in international security.
The US National Security Agency, along with top-secret intelligence units in the Army, Navy and Air Force, has been researching ways to infect enemy computer systems with particularly virulent strains of software viruses that already plague home and office computers. Another type of virus, the logic bomb, would remain dormant in an enemy system until a predetermined time, when it would come to life and begin eating data. Such bombs could attack, for example, computers that run a nation's air-defense system or central bank. The CIA has a clandestine program that would insert booby-trapped computer chips into weapons systems that a foreign arms manufacturer might ship to a potentially hostile country--a technique called "chipping." In another program, the agency is looking at how independent contractors hired by armsmakers to write software for weapons systems could be bribed to slip in viruses.
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