Site2 — basically a bare-bones rss-reader for local politics — is going along well.  Still, today was aggrevating.   A trip I had been looking forward to before UNL is off, because of very-last-minute change of plans by an associate.  Blogspirit just annoys me.  Wasted too much time trying to figure out WordPress’s crazy template system, until embracing defeat and finding a pre-made one I liked.




An Army of One

Let me tell you a story about a man named Gary:
Gary McKinnon, 39, is accused of accessing 97 US government computers, causing damage estimated at $700,000 (£370,000).

An extradition hearing at Bow Street magistrates’ court was told that McKinnon, of Wood Green, north London, deleted files that shut down more than 2,000 computers in the US army’s military district of Washington for 24 hours “significantly disrupting governmental function”.

It was claimed he left a note on an army computer in 2002 saying US foreign policy was “akin to government-sponsored terrorism”. The note allegedly said: “It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year. I am Solo. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.”

McKinnon is accused of 20 counts relating to the American army, navy and air force, Nasa and the Department of Defence.

One allegation is that he deleted files and logs from computers at the US Naval Weapons Station Earle at a critical time after the Twin Towers attacks, rendering the base’s network of 300 computers inoperable.

Mark Summers, for the American government, said: “The defendant was acting from his own computer in London. He effectively owned those computers by virtue of the software he had transmitted. His conduct was intentional and calculated to influence and affect the US government by intimidation and coercion.”

It is also alleged that McKinnon obtained secret passwords or information which might become “indirectly useful to an enemy”, and interfered with maritime navigation facilities in New Jersey.

Via Pejmanesque

Didn’t Gary have something better to do with his time? Imagine the intelligence and skill this man possesses that could have been used to do something useful and good. But he did think he was doing something useful and good. American foreign policy was “akin to government-sponsored terrorism,” so he really thought he was doing good by attacking the US. This idea isn’t original to Gary, it’s the kind of thing we have heard again and again: the US is the #1 rogue state, America is a greater threat to world peace than al Qaeda or Saddam and so on. It was only a matter of time before someone who actually bought into this idiocy decided to act on it. Is it possible to defend yourself against this kind of solo actor?  We have to assume that there are many more people who not only share Gary’s views, but are willing to take the next step and act on those ideas. They are not organized, but rather complete solo actors who are operating without any knowledge of others doing the same thing. This time it was a computer attack, who knows what it will be next time.

Posted by Phil