“Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the Internet a project controlled by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), saying Russia needs to fight “for its interests” online. The Russian president made the remarks on Thursday, stressing that the Internet was a special project by the CIA and “is still developing as such.” Putin also warned the Russian people against making Google searches, emphasizing that every entry made into Google goes through servers in the United States. Putin’s remarks come on the backdrop of revelations made public by US surveillance whistleblower, Edward Snowden…………….”
According to this report from Iranian Press TV, Mr. Putin is beginning to sound like the Saudi Mufti or a conservative Iranian ayatollah. The Internet was largely developed by the U.S. Defense Department for official communications. When its access was expanded to civilian institutions and some universities we got the “Internet” as we know it now. The CIA no doubt uses it and keeps tab on some people, as notoriously does the NSA. As does General Motors and Toyota and Amazon and Walmart and Samsung and many others: how do you think they know exactly what kind of advertisements to send uninvited to your computer screen?
As no doubt does the Russian equivalent of the CIA or the NSA. As do almost all governments around the world and their intelligence agencies. True, their interest might not be as extensive (nor as prurient) as the NSA or the British GCHQ, but it probably has to do with how much man/hour, money, and technical know-how a government is able and willing to devote to spying……………
Nevertheless, fighting the Internet is a losing battle, so give it up Vladimir.
Bashar Al-Assad (June 17 TV interview): when the nation is in crisis, the president’s job is even more important, and must remain to solve it. (I don’t know about this thing of “must remain to solve it”: the Saudi king returned home from Morocco last week and their market immediately crashed as he landed).
Ahamdinejad: (no tweets from his account for month, very uncharacteristic, unless he violated the TOS. Could he have gone online incognito?).
Ali Khamenei (June 17) dissing the US Electoral College system, calling it gerrymandering (a surprise use of an American political term): @khamenei_ir How is it possible 2 become US president with fewer votes…..?“
Khamenei has also been waxing nostalgic this month about his youth, and about sports, from mountain climbing in Iran to volleyball (presumably not Beach Volleyball). Which makes you wonder: does he know something the public doesn’t, yet?
Hassan Rouhani (June 17): @HassanRouhani #Rouhani’s Opposition to the Bomb: The Iranian President-Elect’s 2006 Letter to TIME via @TIMEWorld”. Benyamin Netanyahu immediately opined that he is opposed to this Iranian opposition to the bomb. Said he smelled a whiff of anti-Semitism, retroactively. Said he ought to be bombed just for saying it.
Saudi King Abdullah: (Wish tha Twitter?= WTF is Twitter?) And who is this Gerrymandering thing the Iranian Rafidhi turban-head cleric was talking about up there?
Saudi Mufti: This is evil. Spit out and ask forgiveness, otherwise you’ll never see hide nor hair of them virgin houris. Instead the flames of hell shall caress your walnuts.
Nuri Al-Maliki: I gotta learn about real longevity from the PM of Bahrain.
Psst, Nuri: It’s the family and the mercenaries and the Saudi troops, stupid!
Morsi: @MuhammadMorsi Evoked blood in the same sentence as Nile waters (it is common Arab political bullshit to insert blood into a political statement). Jumped on the Syrian war while kissing up to Sudan’s Al-Bashir. We shall aid the Syrians with words, liberate Nile headwaters or switch to our blood for irrigation, regain the Sudan (without al-Bashir), and drive the Israelis……….. mad trying to figure me out.
Hip Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal: They say I ain’t no leader, but I own Twitter………. almost.
“Many Western countries, and the Russian Federation, have designated cybersecurity threats as a top priority risk against national security, says the Rand Corp. In a study (.pdf) conducted for the Swedish government, which is developing a cybersecurity strategy, Rand says countries including many of Sweden’s neighbors, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Russian Federation have prioritized cybersecurity as a top tier national security issue. That higher prioritization hasn’t always resulted in greater funding. The United States, Great Britain and France have allocated significant funds toward cybersecurity, but the Netherlands hasn’t made a formal commitment to increase spending despite characterizing cybersecurity as a high priority …………”
Like I wrote before, this Cyber War and Cyber Security is the “equalizer”. Unlike conventional weapons or nuclear weapons, there are no Cyber Super Powers. Any country can be a Cyber Power. It can be the USA or Israel or Iran or China or Russia or even Molodva!
Some Western powers, especially the USA, seem to be working to define new things like Cyber Security and Cyber Aggression. It is no doubt tempting to seek a jingoistic definition of Cyber Laws and proper Cyber behavior. It is tempting to argue for a new Cyber doctrine that is not unlike the old European Imperialist doctrines. One that favors current world powers. It might go like the following:
“What we and our friends do to you is not Cyber Aggression, what you do to us is Cyber Aggression, Even if it is the same thing that we do to you“.
Of course it probably will not wash. I have provided down here links to some of my more recent posts on this topic:
Mr. Obama as the Hacker in Chief? Cyber Wars and Cyber Intrusions
Israeli Cyber Wars: Are the Mullahs Striking Back?
Why the GCC Likes Booz: Cyber Wars Reach the Gulf
Cyber Wars, Cyber Battles, Self-Inflicted Infections
Cyber Pearl Harbor: Kosher Judeo-Christian Hacking vs. Halal Muslim Hacking
When is Cyber Attack an Act of Aggression? Depends on the Gods
Cyber Wars: Flame of Persia, Mother of All Malwares
Israel and the West: only Arab and Muslim Hacking is Terrorism, Ours is Kosher
Duqu Hits Iran: Virus Du Jour beats a Shooting War
Soviet Iranian Cyber Wars, a Congressman’s Cyber Photo
Partying Wahhabis set Allah on Fire
Ring of Fire
“Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire
I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire………..“ Johnny Cash (not a Salafi)
Someone in Kuwait allegedly tweeted what was considered insults against the prophet Mohammed (I haven’t read them). He allegedly did it on Twitter, on the world wide web, not within any country’s borders. He was arrested and a high official announced to a fundamentalist tribal mob facing him that “He is a scum and is under arrest“.
Local Wahhabi types, mainly Salafis and Muslim Brothers and members of certain border tribes were not satisfied, they knew there was some political mileage to be gained from this. They staged a public rally where Wahhabi politicians and the usual climbers called for the man to be executed forthwith. (I bet most of them haven’t even read what this tweeter allegedly tweeted). Then they called for more restrictions on the freedom of expression (especially expressions that don’t fit the Wahhabi line). After that they decided they might as well put the occasion to some more use and spent some time insulting and attacking the country’s Shi’as. After that they got in a Taliban mood and burned the Iranian flag.
Nobody could explain what the Iranian flag has to do with the incident, but apparently these guys love to party with a bonfire. What is a rally or beach party without a nice bonfire? It’s a good thing these Salafis aren’t fond of beer, at least not in public (I don’t know what they do in private but several wives ought o keep them busy). With some beer it would have gotten out of hand. Salafi Six-Pack ain’t no Joe Six-Pack, not a good idea at all, can’t hold their liquor.
(PS: Oddly, the Iranian flag has the word “Allah” designed in calligraphy at the center. These Salafi and MB and Wahhabi types are not supposed to burn anything with the name of Allah on it. They tell everybody that you can go to hell for doing that. I hope they are right this time; that way they can all go to hell. One of my most ardent wishes my come true after all.)
“An Iranian government-affiliated agency has banned dolls of the Simpsons cartoon characters, who join Barbie and others on a toy blacklist, an independent newspaper reported on Monday. The report said that the Simpsons were banned to avoid the promotion of Western culture. But Superman and Spiderman were allowed, because they helped the “oppressed.” “We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys,” Shargh daily quoted Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, secretary of policymaking at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, as saying……… He did not elaborate on what was wrong with the Simpsons specifically ………”
I like the Simpsons. I firmly believe they are more entertaining and more interesting than Press TV (Iran) or al-Manar TV (Lebanon) or CNN (USA) or BBC (Britain). Hell, they are always even more interesting than Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, although not always funnier. All of the above are more interesting than, say, William Hague (aka Yoda) or David Cameron (aka Pierce Morgan). The Iranian decision to ban The Simpsons is a repressive measure. It is more repressive, in my view than, say, the house arrests of opposition leaders like Mausavi or Karroubi, mainly because Homer and Bart and Marge (and even Apu) are fun-ner than those Iranian worthies.
On the other hand, I was also pissed that the Western governments are blocking television stations they don’t agree with. Mainly Press TV (Iran) and al-Manar TV (Lebanon). Not because I am a regular fan of these stations, I am not. I am not a fan of any television network. Come to think of it I am not a fan of anyone: I was not a fan of the late Saddam Hussein when most people around me thought the sun shone out of his ass, and now I am not a fan of the Wahhabi princes even when the same many people hink that the sun actually shines out of their royal asses.
I doubt that the ban means anything on the ground. Most Iranian who wish to see The Simpsons do so via satellite television and the Internet. Westerners who wish to see Press TV or al-Manar can do so as well.