CYBERTERRORISM (NOT)

More interesting reading at The Register: a deeply cynical article bashing the press for repeating stories about alleged threats of cyberterrorism. The government is beating the drums about the likelihood that al-Quaeda technology whizzes are about to level cities from their computers, or something like that. The press is repeating the stories without any investigation, corroboration, or thought. As a result, the stories too often are the equivalent of urban legends – anecdotes that appear out of thin air and only appear substantial because they’re repeated so often.

Administration officials are pouring out a torrent of vague threats and promises of imminent doom. Before you buy into them, think about the motivations of the folks behind the announcements – folks who desperately want the new police powers embodied in the “Department of Homeland Defense,” folks who want to distract you from stories of FBI incompetence and overreaching, much less stories of Enron and Harken Energy and Halliburton.