The rhetoric towards hackers being generated by countries around the world continues to go from bad to worse. And this got me thinking about a few things.

From AFP:

Israel said on Saturday that it will respond to cyber-attacks in the same way it responds to violent “terrorist” acts, by striking back with force against hackers who threaten the Jewish state.

The message from Deputy Foreign Minister Dany Ayalon came after a self-defined “Saudi hacker” from a cabal known as “group-xp” published details of more than 6,000 Israeli credit cards online.

“It is necessary to send a message to everyone who attacks or tries to attack Israel, including in cyberspace,” Ayalon said in quotes published widely in Israeli media.

A “cabal”? Really?

While I understand the need for taking measures it seems somewhat overblown to treat some schmuck who posts credit cards as a terrorist. The definition of the word is getting stretched to the point that we can see through it’s translucent skin.

How did we get to this point? Over the last 10 years we have seen country after country ratchet down on their respective populace all in the name of fighting terrorism or something else such as protecting children and intellectual property.

More often than naught if we scratch away at the veneer we find something completely different lurking behind the spirit and intent of laws. The typical response is that you must be evil if you dare question such legislative attempts. A byproduct of the Bush “with us or against us” old west tough guy reach around.

The Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA is another example of fractured motivations. This piece of legislation has potential far reaching impacts that have an Orwellian feel.

Here is a primer on SOPA from The Guardian:

Mainstream media outlets such as CNN have been remarkably mute on this subject so far. Rather troubling but, yet again reinforcing how mainstream media has become afraid of its own shadow over the last decade.

An example of how unsettling this whole debacle is can be seen in the fact that no one noticed that there are zombies in the list of companies that officially support SOPA. No, I’m not talking about GoDaddy. Although I can see how you might make that assumption.

In the list of companies there is one that jumped out at me. MCA Records. At which point I can hear Woody Harrelson’s character loading his weapon and saying “time to nut up or shut up”.


Well, MCA Records ceased being a company years ago. Back in the 90’s I used to work for MCA Records. I was an employee there when they were bought up and rebranded as Universal Music. The US version of the label has been defunct since 2003 when it was rolled up under the Geffen label.

While there is really little arguing that the SOPA bill is fraught with bad mojo, it’s more suspect when we have zombies supporting it.

(Image used under CC from scabeater)


  1. Sounds like it’s a way of rallying support from the people who generally don’t care about this sort of thing; Classic strategy: blow things out of proportion telling people how ‘cybercrime’ will affect their livelihoods if some sort of control isn’t applied.

    I’m not oblivious to the issues but to start “striking back with force” against a cracker seems a bit overkill (no pun), once that threshold is crossed there’s no going back. Attacks will probably become more aggressive than just taking x amount of credit card numbers and the ‘authorities’ will the respond in force starting an endless loop with no winners.

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