Warfare across the wavelengths…
The Guardian reports on the allegations that the Kremlin was behind the ‘cyber-assualt’ that yesterday brought Twitter, Facebook and LiveJournal to a grinding halt. The target was allegedly a 34 year old economics teacher/blogger critical of Russian policy in the Caucuses and especially of it’s conduct in South Osseita. Georgy, better known to his online readers as Cyxymu told The Guardian:
“It started when hundreds of thousands of spam emails supposedly from me were sent all over the world suggesting for people to visit one of my blogs. So thousands of people visited it causing it to freeze, and they [LiveJournal] had to block it again. Then the same thing happened with Facebook and Twitter.”
One thing that struck me when both were down was how much both Facebook and Twitter seem to be integrated into our social and political lives. As soon as Twitter came back-up; #whenTwitterwasdown became a trending topic in it’s own right and the really big social networking sites are as integrated into our lives as mobile phones became in the 1990’s. Certainly, as a blogger both networks provide me with another publishing platform which I wouldn’t want to be without.
Politically having your own social media/online strategy is considered as important as having one in general for press and communications in general. So, it makes sense that political warfare will invariably extend into the ether and along with the list in the Guardian of potentially political strikes I can remember an instance not so long ago when all three main parties sites suffered a suspicious outage. Silencing somebody online is a more expeditious way of denying people free speech; no messy collateral damage and bad PR beamed across the world on 24/7 news channels.
As the interent and social media become more intergrated into our lives their protection from hostile government and even our ‘own’ state will become a more burning issue.
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