Is American military policy
in conflict with Internet freedom?
People's Daily, People's
Republic of China
U.S. Internet Hypocrisy
Creates Global Suspicion
Is the United States talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to Internet freedom? Continuing with Beijing's online counter-offensive, this article from China's state-run People's Daily asserts that Pentagon plans for software to allow Defense Department personnel to assume multiple identities online for the purpose of planting pro-U.S. propaganda again demonstrates to the world that America cannot be trusted.
There's no doubt that the U.S.
is full of double standards, whether in the traditional international community
or virtual world online.
On March 17, The
Guardian reported that the U.S. military
is secretly working with a California company to develop a new type of software
that uses false identities to deliver propaganda favorable to the U.S. on the Internet.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will be the main targets "manipulated"
by this new software. Once developed, the software will allow U.S. Defense
Department personnel to log on with 10 different identities and produce fake IP
addresses that have no connection to the U.S. military and pose as people from around
the world and fabricate pro-American commentary.
[Editor's Note: The updated
version of The Guardian article says the following: "This article
was amended on March 18 to remove references to Facebook and Twitter, introduced
during the editing process, and to add a comment from U.S. Central Command,
received after publication, that it is not targeting those sites."]
The United States is hoping
for a "cyber war" breakthrough, which isn't surprising. As the global
technology leader, the U.S. has the power to achieve it. What's so staggering is
that the while the American military anticipates manipulating Internet sentiment with
"online PR units," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has on
various occasions spared no effort advocating "Internet freedom" and attacking
the Internet policies of other nations, claiming that "an open Internet
fosters long-term peace, progress and prosperity." It's no wonder that thousands
of netizens on the Huffington Post Web site condemned the American military
program as "democratic hypocrisy."
U.S. politicians have the audacity
to advocate information freedom on the Internet, while their
military tries everything possible to manipulate and mislead online
conversation. This shows one side of how the U.S. deals with the Internet as a
medium. It seems that for some American politicians, when the U.S. uses the
phrase "Internet freedom", this is the logic: the Internet should be "free"
as long as it is in accordance with America's will and its values of "freedom."
If this cannot be arranged and the situation won't allow it to be "more
powerful and prosperous," then it isn't "freedom."
As for how the United States acts
in regard to the Internet, just take a look at the expansion of its national
interests and the needs of crooked U.S. politicians, who talk high-mindedly about
"virtue and morality" while waving a big stick behind their backs and
doing as they please. In short, U.S. Internet policy will never be acceptable
to the global public. Such broad national interests and ideological hegemony are
enough to make the international community want to steer clear of the United
States. But this clumsy double-standard has also issued a blow to the U.S. itself.
With this deception and then by ripping off its own mask, the U.S. only allows
people to more clearly understand its Internet policy.
The deliberate manipulation
of public opinion online is just the tip of the iceberg for American Internet
policy. America's double-dealing on the Internet and it implementation of
double-standards reflect its desire to monopolize the online world and dominate
technology. Last year, American politicians were enthusiastically promoting "the
China Internet threat," while the United States failed to address a number
Internet "threats" that America poses.
But how could anyone address them? A 2007 Global Internet
Security Threat Report pointed out that in the second half of 2006, computer
networks in the U.S. accounted for 31 percent of all hacking attacks. On
average on a daily basis, about 64,000 computers worldwide are affected by
malicious software, 26 percent of which are located in China. In another report
from 2006 on network security monitoring, approximately 27,000 Trojan horse
attacks on China came mainly from the U.S., and approximately 16,000 foreign IPs operated botnets, also mainly located in the U.S.
What's more worrying is that
out of 13 root name servers,
10 of them are in the United States. During the Iraq War, under the direction
of the U.S. government, Iraq's top-level domain "iq"
was blocked, and from then on, Iraq's virtual world "evaporated." Whoever
controls the Internet root name servers has the capacity to control root domain
names, IP address distribution, international standards and online public opinion
- and therefore has de facto control over and dominance of the Internet. American
politicians understand where their interests lay. But when they high-handedly promote
Internet diplomacy while establishing a strong U.S. Cyber-Command and implementing
online hegemony through multinational enterprises, they make it easy for other people
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The development and
application of Internet technology is a valuable asset to humanity. It is also an
exciting stage shared by the entire world. But for it to develop soundly, there
must be fair rules and direction. It should not be a tool for a single country
to become a manipulative hedgemon, seizing the interests of others. However, many
of us cannot deny the reality of one thing: in the Internet world, the amount
of desire the U.S. has is matched only by its ambitions.
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