CYBER COLD-WAR?

Google-China battle heats up concerns over cyber-security and net censorship.

Google’s battle with China over hacking and censorship  (as well as other companies such as Go-Daddy which announced it would cease registering Chinese domains) have brought renewed visibility to both issues.  Last week, the University of Toronto’s Munk Center released a report on substantial penetration of Indian computer systems from China, which followed a March 2009 report by the Center which found over nearly 1,300 computers in 103 countries hacked from China.  Former Bush NSA   The Chinese government has published reports on cyber warfare that includes attack of the U.S. power grid which it already has penetrated. Director Mike McConnell recently wrote in the Washington Post, “the United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing.”

In response, Congress is considering creating an ambassador for cyber-security and tying foreign aid to support for cyber security initiatives much like current certificate on terrorism, while the British government is calling for global rules on cyber security and attack.

The battle over censorship has given renewed attention to the Global Online Freedom Act that would establish an Office of Global Internet Freedom in the State Department to deal with repressive regimes on behalf of U.S. companies while punishing those companies that collaborate by engaging in censorship or revealing identities.  Testifying before Congress, Google called for more companies to endorse the Global Network Initiative in which participating companies agree to respect freedom of expression, privacy and human rights but did not endorse GOFA.

MORE INFO: The top 10 Chinese cyber attacks (that we know of), Foreign Policy; State Department, Senate Consider Creation of “Cyber Ambassador,” Tying Foreign Aid to Cyber Crime, The New New Internet; Is the U.S. the nation most vulnerable to cyberattack?, Business Week; Censorship Cases Revive Net Freedom Bill, Burn After Reading (NJ Blog); Global Network Initiative; After Google-China dust-up, cyberwar emerges as a threat, San Francisco Chronicle; In response to new rules, Go Daddy to stop registering domains in China, Washington Post