This sounds like a welfare program for spies

Clinton calls for more money to fight cyberterrorism

Bill Clinton has made it his own task, even if or precisely because the political role of the president is damaged, to maintain the USA with all determination as the superpower of the world (The US Security Strategy for the Next Century). In addition to billions to boost conventional defense, he proposed, in a speech to the National Academy of Sciences, to increase defense spending in the next fiscal year, which begins on 1 January. October, an additional earmark 8 billion dollars for the fight against new terrorist threats posed by information technology and biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Clinton plans to spend $10 billion on counterterrorism alone, including $1.5 billion to fight cyberterrorism and protect the nation’s infrastructure. That was 40 percent more than in 1997. In addition, spending on protection against attacks with biological and chemical weapons will be doubled.

Clinton said that he did not want to cause panic, but that it was necessary to be wary of new threats, because terrorists and other enemies were increasingly looking for new ways to attack the United States, because they realized that the superpower could not be defeated with conventional weapons. This is, of course, a compelling, if not implausible, logic, which amounts to an ever-increasing overall increase in military spending. Clinton not only wants to increase the overall defense budget, for example by amending the ABM Treaty in order to build up new anti-missile systems, but he also wants to do everything in his power to combat those forces that may only be looking for new ways and means as a result of the growing military dominance and the equally growing willingness to intervene militarily and without a mandate from the international community, as was recently the case in Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq. The more conventional armaments are built up, the more must be invested in the fight against terrorism. This is, of course, a home-grown race, but it has also laid the foundation for Silicon Valley.

There is still no evidence of cyber warfare or of attacks with biological weapons. This could naturally reduce the willingness to spend more money on threats that do not exist yet. That’s why Clinton uses other examples to illustrate the extent of the virtual threat: the AUM sect with its sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, a brief satellite disruption that affected ATMs, pagers, credit card systems and television networks, or last year’s ice storm that knocked out power in wide areas. Nevertheless, according to Clinton, we already see "the first wave of determined cyberattacks: Hackers break into government and corporate computers, steal or destroy information, loot bank accounts, charge credit cards and extort money with threats to send out computer viruses." All these are not cyberterrorists, but only cybercriminals, against whom it was not necessary to fight with the military.

Clinton wants to put the money into research projects to develop systems that can detect unauthorized intruders or Trojan horses in computer systems and automatically transmit this information as a warning to others. Such security networks should be developed not only for the government, but also for the private sector. Then, apparently, more information centers will be established to enable the government and the private sector to work together to combat cyberthreats. Finally, there will be a Cyber Corps program to provide the government with much-needed computer specialists through higher salaries and better training.

We will be aggressive in all battles, but at the same time respect the rights of citizens to privacy and the proprietary rights of the American private sector: "It is important that we do not undermine freedom in the name of freedom. We can defeat terrorism by drawing on the best in our free society: the skill and bravery of our troops, the genius of our scientists and engineers, the strength of our factory workers, the determination and talents of our public servants, and the vision of leaders in every vital sector." This already feels like a call for national unity to fight an enemy, albeit largely imaginary one. Finally, terrorist attacks with biological weapons of mass destruction, such as cyber weapons, which threaten the entire infrastructure, also have the characteristic of being directed against all citizens. Therefore, it is necessary not only to stockpile medicines and develop vaccines, but also to practice the management of emergencies nationwide and to involve the private sector in the fight to protect the country. We should prepare for the state of emergency, which can be seen in Hollywood cinema with the movie of the same title that has just been released in Germany. The "new threats" blur the lines between the military or national defense and civic society or domestic, health and economic policies. If you want to monitor life more and more closely, you will also invade people’s privacy more and more.

So far, the problem and the threat posed by the infowar and terrorist attacks with the new weapons of mass destruction have not really been recognized. On the other hand, it is only a spiral of rebellion, which has been known since the beginning of time. But because today everything is developing much faster in computer technology and biotechnology, we have a, "Today we must do everything we can to ensure that the gap between attack and defense disappears as much as possible."

Clinton also calls for more help to Rubland and the other former Soviet states to prevent their weapons and knowledge from falling into the hands of terrorists (From Hacker to Cracker?). The thousands of Russian scientists must be supported financially even more strongly, so that they do not become "fertile field for the purposes of terrorists" become. Symptomatic of the state of mind, however, the entire speech on rearmament and defense lacks even the most superficial consideration of why people become terrorists in the first place. Everything is limited to the amption that the danger is great and the USA is the intended target, and to the question of how the American enemies could proceed.

Critics of the American arms race are hardly to be heard in the U.S. Civil liberties organizations object to the threat to privacy, and the business community may complain that the U.S. government’s attempts to restrict the export of strong crypto programs threatens e-commerce. David Banisar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center at least dispelled the suspicion that the fight against cyberterrorism is primarily about more surveillance: "It sounds like a welfare program for spies."

Tom Bliley, the Republican chairman of the Congressional Economic Caucus, again says Clinton’s proposals don’t go far enough. Nothing is being done to prevent terrorist acts before they are carried out, he complains. Possession of dangerous biological agents such as anthrax would not be prohibited unless it could be proven that someone intended to use them as a weapon. And there would be no penalties for those who spread false reports or rumors about attacks with biological or chemical weapons: "This is a growing problem, which is creating a lot of panic and fear among the citizens of this nation." I wonder if he means the president himself? And what better way to do that than by permanent monitoring??

Bioweapons, Infowar or Kalshnikov?