Forum Thread

Cyber war

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I happen to see on the Dutch news that Obama wants to clamp down on cyber war; especially he fears an international threat from certain countries; also he elaborated on the US cyber attack on Iran's nuclear program. Just as with the "drones" what will be developped and how will it affect us is again a very serious question. My computer was attacked a couple of weeks ago by a US government instigated virus. My computer specialist told me that he already had a hundred cases of the same thing; luckily I have a great shop available here in town, so I updated the security again.
    But anyway it made wonder where this ll will lead to. Also the question was raised if a foreing cyber attack could be seen as an act of war.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Hey Dutch, is a cyber attack the same thing as a virus? I thought a cyber attack was someone gaining access to another's computer or computer system via their own computer. And I thought a virus was something (probably man-made) which somehow got into your computer's inner-workings and fouled-up some internal capability or function of your computer, essentially making it unusable or mega-slow. Can you enlighten me please?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "michaels" Reference to your question; sure a virus is as you explained; however certain virus creators objective is to get into your computer and steal personal data; I still consider this an attack on my privacy. The other government thing I mentioned is of much bigger scale and can make a huge impact on economy or systems. It can make the whole power grid go out or factories dead in the water. As a matter of fact this is intended to be a large scale attack on any industrialized country and may be more dangerous then a single terrorrist attack. It will immediately ruin the stock market, banks, investors, everything which relies on data. Then the economy will go in a rapid tailspin downwards.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch and Michaels --

    I have posted this article before, but you might have missed it.

    James Bamford, Wired Magazine, March 15, 2012: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

    I won't extract or make any comments for now. I just think you'll find it interesting if you haven't already read it.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schmidt" yes I read it; very dangerous indeed; I guess this site will also be targeted Wow.!!
  • Independent
    Plymouth, WI
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    Didn't read the whole article schmidt posted, way too long for me to do it this morning.
    Being spied on is what the majority has to deal with, thanks to Bin Laden. Bin Laden wanted to destroy America's government, but instead what he gave our government is more spying abilities than ever before. What is legal today thanks to 911 when it comes to spying on Americans, got Nixon kicked out of the government, in fact, what Nixon did is a drop in the spy bucket when it comes to what is legal today. I wonder if Bin Laden knew how much more power he gave our government before he was killed ten years ago, had he lived as long as our government said he did, he would know exactly how bad he screwed up, giving our government more power than ever? Can you get why our government lied about his death now?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "united" yeah, just think of it; what has been the cost of the aftermath and life's of 9/11? I mentioned in quite a few "threads" that "revenge" only makes things worse; our live's have changed drastically because of it; no more freedoms at the airports; more wars; more conflicts; huge debts; all kind of restrictions in our daily life. So actually we should give Bin Laden a posthume medal, which should be engraved with the words:
    "Rewarded for the biggest ever sucker punch to a country"
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Yeah Schmidt, I read the whole article. I can speak and read/write intelligently on the matter of organic chemistry, but NOT in the terminology used by those NSA gurus that are building what only science-fiction could have imagined not so long ago. I mean when they use terminology like petaflops, exaflops, zetaflops, and yottaflops they are so far over my head that it is ridiculous. However, I did get the gist of the article, and they are thinking, building, and creating the most far-out technology ever imagined by man. And for sure, some of our freedoms are definitely at risk. My question is this: Are any potential findings worth these infringements on our liberty, or should we simply say that our government has our best interests at heart and not to worry? Definitely some deep thinking needs to be done by us all.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes, it takes time to digest the implications of all this. First of all, it looks like Congressional oversight committees must have sanctioned both the Utah Data Center and the super fast computer project in Oak Ridge. Regarding Oak Ridge:

    "These goals have considerable support in Congress. Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy’s exascale computing initiative (the NSA’s budget requests are classified). They cited the necessity to keep up with and surpass China and Japan. “The race is on to develop exascale computing capabilities,” the senators noted. The reason was clear: By late 2011 the Jaguar (now with a peak speed of 2.33 petaflops) ranked third behind Japan’s “K Computer,” with an impressive 10.51 petaflops, and the Chinese Tianhe-1A system, with 2.57 petaflops."

    Kind of reminiscent of the race to the moon in the 1960s.

    The Utah Data Center would be highly classified, so I would guess that it is part of Congressional hidden funding somewhere. The chart showing the Utah Data Center in the middle and all the support organizations including Oak Ridge is revealing...it says a lot about how well thought out this mission is. I just wonder how Wired Magazine was able to put together all this supposedly highly classified information. A deliberate leak somehow?

    Michaels, I doubt whether President Obama understands petaflops, exaflops, zetaflops, and yottaflops either. However, I would surmise that the one thing President Obama fears more than anything is another 9/11 type event occurring on his watch, and he will go along with whatever the NSA says is necessary. But you asked the same questions I had on my mind. Sometimes these projects take on a life of their own and very few of our elected officials including the President and those in the intelligence oversight committees can comprehend the complex enormity of it all.

    While maybe we can take some comfort in that we can "trust" Obama to not abuse the system for political gain, would that necessarily apply to future Presidents? How about a Dick Nixon type of President backed up by a compliant NSA, CIA, etc? Once you have an enormous intelligence gathering apparatus, the temptation would be there to mine the data for political gain.

    Furthermore, all the people working in these various locations supposedly have top security clearances. I wonder how those new comers to the Utah Data Center will fit into the local community of Bluffdale, "home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members." Wikipedia says the population of Bluffdale is 7,598, so the "9,000 polygamists" is either exaggerated or includes the outlying rural area. In any case, I would guess that maybe upwards of a thousand people or more could be employed in that gigantic data center once it is fully functional. I just wonder how all that will work on the community...schools just being one area of interest. Maybe their lives have already been disrupted by the 10,000 construction workers.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schmidt" you did touch on a very delicate issue related to that town and Utah itself; have we forgotten Romney? Once the influence because of local workers infiltrating this complex can be managed by the Mormons then indeed this can change the dirctions of elections etc. Do not forget the Mormons have lot of money power so they can buy support also in that facility. They are still looking for revenge when the Mormons were kicked out of the then US into the then Mexican Utah; so I would not be surprised at all if on the next or future run to the White House the Mormons are involved again and then also have a powerful tool to control our society and the rest of the world of "cyber"
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    On further checking in Google maps I note that Bluffdale is actually a suburb of Salt Lake City on its southern edge. So the Data Center's potential impact on Bluffdale itself may be fairly minimal. I doubt whether the key high tech computer people employed will even be from Utah. Most will be transferred in from other high security clearance locations, but still the huge numbers will have an impact on the overall area.

    I do wonder how this location was chosen, and what influence the Mormon community will have on it.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    My thoughts exactly Schmidt. I am very thankful they didn't choose a location around where I live. I think it would be almost as bad as having a nuclear power station in your back yard. I am still wondering though, if the available workforce in and around Salt Lake City isn't what the NSA needs or wants, I guess it will have to be some sort of HUGE salary that will entice qualified workers to want to move to Salt Lake City for this work. And regardless of how many "FLOPS" this facility has (peta, exa, zeta, or yotta), we can safely assume that this location will be going "balls-to-the-wall" to out-do China, Japan, and all other players. The race is on to see who can capture and sort through the most data transmissions in the shortest time.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Michaels --

    Yes indeed. What are the personality profiles of the types of people that will work in a facility like this with ultra high security? Mostly computer geeks I suppose...single?? What kind of social lives will they lead when just outside the compound the immediate surroundings are Mormon polygamists. Not even a local bar close by to go and relax and have a drink...as this is Utah. Maybe they will all live in a purpose constructed gated community where the government can keep on eye on them at all times. Just guessing.

    Wow...just thinking about it gives me the creeps.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schmidt" "just thinking of it gives me the creeps" exactly my feelings too. But as "michaels" said why Utah? Again sorry to repeat, I guess not all workers are imported, so I still see a connection to the Mormon establishment. One of the reasons is that the Mormons already have big data bases about people and their ancestry, so is this a coincedence? I wonder, and am still convinced the far right has some influence into it as well.