bit-tech.net

US appoints cyber warfare general

US appoints cyber warfare general

The US Cyber Command has an official leader with the appointment of General Alexander - but is the militarisation of the Internet a good thing?

The US military has made a landmark appointment by creating the post of senior general in charge of cyber warfare - the first such post to be confirmed in any military world-wide.

As reported over on The Guardian, US General Keith Alexander has been chosen to lead the US Cyber Command division, designed to take control of world-wide computer networks in the event of war.

General Alexander's division is responsible for both the defense of American military computer networks and also for any offensive measures that the military feels justified in carrying out against the opposing force in a combat scenario.

It is thought that around 30,000 US Air Force members have recently been drafted from the force's technical divisions to bolster the ranks of the US Cyber Command, giving General Alexander a formidable force to command.

General Alexander has stated before a Senate committee that the Cyber Command would not "contribute to the militarisation of cyberspace," but there are already growing concerns - from both sides of the fence - of the role the US military is taking in the growth of worldwide computer networks - and in particular the Internet.

It is believed that the sudden and public commitment to digital warfare by the US military is a response to a perceived increase in the threat from foreign nations - in particular the recent accusations of cracking attacks originating from China against Google and other companies, which it is believed - although never proven - were the responsibility of the Chinese government itself with the aim of uncovering details of Chinese civil rights activists.

With the Internet representing an important tool in both military and civilian life, it's clear that governments are starting to take its defense seriously - and, more worryingly, looking towards computer networks as the battlegrounds of the future.

Do you applaud the US government's creation of the Cyber Command, or does the militarisation of the Internet give you cause for concern - no matter who might be leading the way? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

24 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Fractal 24th May 2010, 11:30 Quote
Well if the internet wasn't militarised before but they've pretty much guaranteed it will be in the future. I expected this would happen at some point but it is disappointing to see the US start the cyber arms race (at least explicitly). The last thing we need is an internet divided along international lines.

It will be interesting to see if the US military make the mistake of treating the internet as a traditional battleground that can be taken over by force of arms. Rather than the dynamic, heterogenous, highly-distributed entity that it is, vulnerable to subversion from the firmware level up. I would like to think they won't but after seeing them bumble around in Afganistan and Iraq I'm not hugely confident.
tristanperry 24th May 2010, 11:34 Quote
Oh great. The idea of protecting yourself (as a Government, that is) against attack is never a bad thing, however I can't help but feel that this will trigger some kind of not-so-secret China vs America cyber 'war'.

I'm in favour of protecting against (for example) the Chinese hackers and all (who seem to be fairly effective), however I hope this won't lead to a hack and DDOS 'war'.
mi1ez 24th May 2010, 11:37 Quote
"US General Keith Alexander has been chosen to lead the US Cyber Command division, designed to take control of world-wide computer networks in the event of war."

Jesus...
adam_bagpuss 24th May 2010, 12:14 Quote
one step closer to skynet, BE PREPARED
tristanperry 24th May 2010, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_bagpuss
one step closer to skynet, BE PREPARED
*Arms himself with big guns, puts on a cool accent and 100lb of muscle and thinks up a snappy one-liner*
Krikkit 24th May 2010, 12:44 Quote
Personally I reckon it's just a public face put onto something that it's pretty safe to assume has been going on for years.
Mraedis 24th May 2010, 13:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Personally I reckon it's just a public face put onto something that it's pretty safe to assume has been going on for years.

Or a head that can roll when it goes wrong.
proxess 24th May 2010, 13:37 Quote
It's skynet! Next, it'll be the carbon market! Brace yourselves lads! Bit-Tech is going underground!
Javerh 24th May 2010, 14:40 Quote
The cold war ended with the fall of Socialism and Democracy. The victors were Communism and Capitalism. One of these days the great People's Republic of China will get fed up with the pompous acts of American impudence.

I for one greet our Chinese overlords! Hail mighty President Xin! Hail glorious Chairman Cheng!
I'm anxiously anticipating the dawning day of liberation on 2077.
BlackMage23 24th May 2010, 15:12 Quote
Doesn't China own most of the world now anyway?
ParaHelix.org 24th May 2010, 15:50 Quote
More jobs in IT. Good :)
devilxc 24th May 2010, 16:23 Quote
"US General Keith Alexander has been chosen to lead the US Cyber Command division"

At least there's somewhere for the cyber warefare to be targeted at.
dec 24th May 2010, 16:40 Quote
soooo no one said it yet but uh.....the governments greatest fear is that chinese hackers team up with the taliban to block every pron site in the US. General, the nation's sanity rests on your shoulders.

XD
Furymouse 24th May 2010, 16:55 Quote
Quote:
General of US Cyber Command Division

Sure it's skynet, but how awesome of a title is that?
Fabou 24th May 2010, 17:32 Quote
Internet is not militarized or divided along international lines because we are mostly in peace. But if one day one develloped country start a war with another, they will try to manipulate the internet. wether they used to have a general for this task before or not.
For exemple China is trying to hide image on google.
xaser04 24th May 2010, 17:35 Quote
Does anyone else think General Alexander is a T1001 sent back in time to make sure Skynet goes live or is it just me?

.
.
.
Just me... ok I think there is something in my tea!
Locknload 24th May 2010, 18:52 Quote
General Alexander's E-peen is made out of weapons grade titanium i overheard a colleague at GCHQ mutter.

haha
phantombudgie 24th May 2010, 19:55 Quote
They should get into practice by taking over and shutting down a load of botnets.
docodine 25th May 2010, 04:08 Quote
"So Jimmy, what does your dad do?"

"HE'S A CYBER WARFARE GENERAL"
Chaos_Engine 25th May 2010, 09:20 Quote
Do you think he has a metal skeleton and beady red eyes?
Woodspoon 25th May 2010, 14:02 Quote
"US General Keith Alexander has been chosen to lead the US Cyber Command division, designed to take control of world-wide computer networks in the event of war"

Do the Americans know something we dont? are we in danger of another global war that would require them to hijack everyone's networks?
Does this include UK military and government networks?

Have they not got enough war's and conflicts going on at the moment without needing to go starting a "virtual" one.

Or is this just a job title made up by them so they can say what they want should somebody be daft enough to get caught trying to get into one of their systems.
B3CK 25th May 2010, 18:56 Quote
I think this announcement helps the military gain access to search and isp filtering and cutting the internet lines of communications between the us and foreign soils a little easier. I wish the router companies would provide a way to block other nations a little easier on the home user models. There is no reason I should have pings coming to my house from china all day long. There slowing down my response time in game.
MacWalka 10th June 2010, 14:41 Quote
Erm does everyone forget that internet was initially invented by the US military in the first place?

Fact is, if you can use the internet to disrupt an enemies communications, systems etc. it will definitely be an aid.

I honestly don't think that this is a case of militarisation of the internet and hitting our civil liberties for example but a pragmatic plan to defend the U.S from hackers. The internet has already been used to attack the US so it makes sense to want to defend themselves from that line of attack.
Mraedis 10th June 2010, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacWalka
Erm does everyone forget that internet was initially invented by the US military in the first place?

Except it wasn't.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums