Thursday, February 25, 2010

Political Motivation Behind Google Ruling in Italy?

The New York Times suggests the recent Italian court ruling that Google executives are criminally responsible for offensive Internet content may have a broader political motivation and that the ruling is related to Prime Minister Berlusconi's ownership and control of many of Italy's media outlets:
"Critics of Mr. Berlusconi say the measures go beyond routine copyright questions and are a way to stave off competition from the Web to public television stations and his own private channels — and to keep a tighter grip on public debate."
Specifically, the accusation is that those who control the broadcast media in Italy want to control the Internet as well:
"Paolo Gentiloni, a leading opposition member and a former communications minister, said Internet regulation was inevitably political. Today in Italy, he said, “political power is in the hands of people who do TV, not the Internet."
The Italian government denies any such motivation for the courts ruling or recently proposed measures by the Italian legislature to regulate Internet activities:
"Paolo Romani, a deputy communications minister who sponsored the measure, said the issue was copyright protection. “It has nothing to do with the fact that our prime minister also owns television stations,” he said. “It’s in Berlusconi’s interest not to be accused of conflict of interest.”

Larger Threat Is Seen in Google Case

In a Cyberwar, US Would Lose

The U.S. Senate heard testimony from "industry experts" warning of catastrophic consequences from cyber war attacks - including pronouncements that the "government faces the prospect of losing in an all-out cyberwar".

As part of the debate of the Cyber Security Act of 2009, Senator's were told the status quo is not acceptable:
We are "...under attack every day, losing every day vital secrets. We can not wait," [James Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies] said. "We need a new framework for cybersecurity and this bill helps provide that.
Lewis went on to add that "...[t]he cyberattack is mainly espionage, some crime".

There is no doubt that the U.S. and most other developed countries are at high risk from significant cyber attacks as demonstrated almost daily by intrusions into military, government, commercial and non-profit organizations. However, it is interesting that many of the companies that would benefit the most from the funding to "fix" the problem are the ringing the congressional alarm bells the loudest.

Experts warn of catastrophe from cyberattacks

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hacktivists Attack Australian Government Systems

A hacktivist group call "Anonymous" is claiming responsibility for Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks against government systems in Australia. The attacks are a protest against proposed filtering of Internet content by the Australian government.
"The group consists of "a few thousand people" based all over the world Coldblood said."
Coldblood is a psydonym for an individual claiming to be a spokesperson for the group. The spokesperson also claimed responsibility for other hacktivist attacks protesting other forms of censorship:
"They staged cyber attacks on Iran following the election protests and have publicly protested against the Scientology movement. "

Cyber attacks against Australia 'will continue'

Sunday, February 07, 2010

US Faces "Significant" Threat from Cyber Espionage

John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, stated during a television interview that the United States faced a "serious and significant" threat from cyberspace:

"We're looking at these issues from the standpoint of espionage, from governments, from different individuals, whether they be hackers or terrorist organizations," Brennan said.

"National security is something that is at risk. That's why what we're trying to do is to ensure that our networks, our government networks, our private sector networks have the ability to withstand these attempts to hack in."

US faces 'serious' cyberspace threats: advisor