This post is kind of in response to the CyberBunker post. I saw this article somewhere. I don’t remember where?? Anyway, the article mentions how the CyberBunker attack at 300 gigabits per second is being considered the biggest cyber attack in history. However, according to the article three men in Egypt tried to take down 1.28 terabits of the Internet – four times as much bandwidth – with nothing but an axe. Their identities and motives are unknown at the time of the article, but according to Reuters the Egyptian coastguard intercepted three men trying to cut the SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable. It’s one of the major cables connecting Europe to North Africa to Asia.
It’s important to remember that the Internet is not some abstract thing that exists in the cloud always. The connections between countries are very real concrete things. These connections are hundreds of cables that exist beneath the sea floor, and they are susceptible to damage. There are multiple of these connections between countries and continents, but when one is cut the others have to pick up the traffic. This causes congestion.
I think this is an important story. It really shows how fragile somethings we as a modern society are. If I was a bad guy, all I need to do is go into the Atlantic where the ocean isn’t very deep. I just trawl the ocean, find the cable, and make the cut. A few more of those cuts and boom. It’s all over, and that’s not a quick and easy fix. I would imagine that would take quite a while to get things back to normal. We need to make sure we protect our Internet.
By a vote of 73 to 23, the US Senate, on December 29, 2012, voted to extend the FISA Amendments Act for five years a.k.a. until December 31, 2017.
(some history real quick)
In 2008, congress passed The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (abbreviated FISA) Amendments Act. This act by congress was basically seen by the public as yet another link in a long chain-of-reactions aimed at the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001. At its core, the main function of this amendment was to extend the – similar but not quite carbon copy – provisions encompassed by the Protect America Act of 2007. Similar to how certain components of the Patriot Act – particularly ones condemned by the public – have survived thru bill-rehashing and manipulation; it seems that the Protect America Act of 2007 is also becoming an undead bill.
No matter how we argue or protest, the original intent and purpose of this act have survived by taking on the mask of FISA, FISA amendments and now the FISA amendments extension. And I’m not saying that the entire act is bad or that every provision is controversial, I just want to point out that our words are not being heard and change is not coming anytime soon.
In its most recent context – a 5-4 vote nation’s highest court that definitively ended the case of a group of individuals who said “said their communications were likely being scooped up by the government’s expanded spying powers in violation of their constitutional rights”. The court ruled – based on the recent extension of the FISA Amendments – that these groups don’t have the right to sue at all, because they can’t prove they were being spied on.
This is a silent problem that affects few United States citizens – but that’s how every landslide starts. I firmly believe that if we don’t stick up for the little guys, we’ll soon all be in their shoes – cursing our ignorance. What do you guys think? Can you think of any other laws or other political agendas that have been similarly manipulated by The Man?