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Cybersecurity is an Exaggerated Risk

Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins of George Mason University published a new paper "Loving the Cyber Bomb? The Dangers of Threat Inflation in Cybersecurity Policy" examining the parallels with the US military's other recent exaggerations. "Cybersecurity is an important policy issue, but the alarmist rhetoric coming out of Washington that focuses on worst-case scenarios is unhelpful and dangerous. Aspects of current cyber policy discourse parallel the run-up to the Iraq War and pose the same dangers. Pre-war threat inflation and conflation of threats led us into war on shaky evidence. By focusing on doomsday scenarios and conflating cyber threats, government officials threaten to legislate, regulate, or spend in the name of cybersecurity based largely on fear, misplaced rhetoric, conflated threats, and credulous reporting. The public should have access to classified evidence of cyber threats, and further examination of the risks posed by those threats, before sound policies can be proposed, let alone enacted. ... No one wants a “cyber Katrina” or a “digital Pearl Harbor.” But honestly assessing cyber threats and appropriate responses does not mean that we have to learn to stop worrying and love the cyber bomb."
posted by RSaunders on Apr 28, 2011 - 17 comments

 

Hipster - The End of Wester Civilization

Self-described 'culture-jammers' Adbusters identify the greatest threat to our way of life - the hipster. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 1, 2008 - 282 comments

Ahmadinejad is no Hitler - The world's most rash leaders can be contained, and the nuclear-ambitious Iranian president is no exception.

Ahmadinejad is no Hitler (Los Angeles Times) If you think Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes outlandish comments, consider what Mao Tse-tung said to a visiting head of state in 1954: "If someone else can drop an atomic bomb, then I can too. The death of 10 or 20 million people is nothing to be afraid of."

Nonetheless, 15 years later, a nuclear-armed China was not only contained by the world, it opted for normalization of relations with its archenemy, the United States. Today, it is fashionable to equate Ahmadinejad with Hitler, yet the lesson of the 20th century is that rash leaders can, in fact, be deterred. And Iran's president will prove no exception.
posted by hoder on Mar 13, 2007 - 77 comments

My analysis of this is somewhat tongue in cheek, please don't flame.

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen in line, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain.
posted by thirteenkiller on Sep 5, 2006 - 30 comments

Blogs under scrutiny in Malaysia

PM of Malaysia: Those who spread untruths on the Net will be detained Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, warned all bloggers that "if information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation". The Malaysian government is even considering adjusting the Printing Presses and Publications Act^ to include blogs and online media.

This comes hot on the heels of a government-ordered media blackout on Article 11, a coalition of NGOs dedicated to upholding the principles of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, about freedom of religion, after several protests claiming Article 11 to be anti-Muslim and confusing it with the now-defunct Interfaith Comission Initiative, which aimed to be a body of people of different faiths raising awareness about diversity of religion and working together on religious issues.

Minister of Energy, Water, and Communications Dr Lim Keng Yaik said that they will not censor the Internet (as promised when the Multimedia Super Corridor was launched), but after events such as prominent Malaysian political blogger Jeff Ooi being investigated over a supposedly offensive comment on his blog entry about Islam in 2005, and alternative news source MalaysiaKini's office raided after carrying a letter critical of the ruling party's policies in 2003, no one is really quite sure.
posted by divabat on Aug 3, 2006 - 16 comments

Go scriosa cúnna ifrinn do chuid fo-éadaigh

O'Reilly and Associates apologize about threats to keep an Irish non-profit from stealing O'Reilly's "Web 2.0" service mark. The usually-forgiving blogosphere cabal is not amused.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 27, 2006 - 38 comments

We're all going to die

We're all going to "die". Genocratic discourse or small-scale post-millennial angst?
posted by tommyc on Mar 1, 2005 - 12 comments

Tracking the Threat

Tracking the Threat.
posted by hama7 on May 26, 2004 - 15 comments

Bomb plot threatens rail system in France

Bomb plot threatens rail system in France Give us money ($5M) or we blow up your tracks! And the threat contained hints on where authorities could find samples. Is this the start of a new trend, will the French Gov pay, and why France?
posted by billsaysthis on Mar 3, 2004 - 22 comments

It Takes a Village, People

DOJ Introduces New Threat Levels Citizens should be alert, but continue to go about their normal daily spending activities.
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 6, 2003 - 12 comments

Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world

Terror's myriad faces
Al-Qaeda, conceived of as a tight-knit terrorist group with cadres and a capability everywhere, does not exist in that form. It barely existed before the war in Afghanistan in 2001 destroyed Osama bin Laden's carefully constructed infrastructure there. It certainly does not exist now. Instead, we are facing a different kind of threat. Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world that is shared by an increasing number of predominantly young, predominantly male Muslims. Eliminating bin Laden and a few hundred senior activists will do nothing to counter this al-Qaeda. Hundreds more will come forward to fill their ranks. Al-Qaeda, however understood, will continue to operate. The threat will remain and it will grow.
See also Sowing The Dragon's Teeth.
Or, alternately, Hercules and the Hydra.
posted by y2karl on May 20, 2003 - 25 comments

Homeland Security Threat Monitor

Homeland Security Threat Monitor is a small Windows application that runs in your system tray, showing the current terrorism threat level. Features blinking notification of increased threat level! [via Small Values of Cool]
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 25, 2003 - 17 comments

GREATEST THREAT TO PEACE

Which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003? Isn't Time Magazine typically read by real conservative types? I took the informal survey, with about 348,000 other respondents and was surprised by the percentages.
posted by giantkicks on Feb 8, 2003 - 48 comments

New FBI warning about imminent terrorist strike

New FBI warning about imminent terrorist strike A bit more specific this time
posted by Slagman on Feb 11, 2002 - 36 comments

With the FBI advising how to handle suspicious mail [pdf], the fine people who send you junk snail mail are changing their methods. The Canadian and American Direct Marketing Associations are recommending that their members ''consider notifying consumers by phone or e-mail that a direct-mail piece is on its way so they are not alarmed when it arrives." One cancelled campaign involved mailing marbles to some prospective clients.
posted by tranquileye on Oct 24, 2001 - 2 comments

University "journalist" threatens the President's life.

University "journalist" threatens the President's life. How stupid do you have to be??? Don't they know that threatening the President's life, even in a joking manner is a Felony Offense?
posted by da5id on Dec 5, 2000 - 25 comments

October Coffee Crisis.

October Coffee Crisis. Montreal Gazette: "In its communiques, the BAF warned that Second Cup franchises were to be 'in the line of fire' and warned of an escalation of violent acts if Second Cup and other chains insist on keeping their trademark English names." More Trudeau nostalgia?
posted by todd on Oct 12, 2000 - 7 comments

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