I'm posting this here because my publisher is dragging their heels and asking me to find "somebody famous" to write the introduction to this book "in order to enhance sales possibilities".
If you are:
(a) Somebody who has something interesting to write as in introduction to this book - and are famous enough to satisfy my publisher.
(b) A literary agent who can place this book with another publisher (or convince my current published this is a "runner")
(c) A publisher who feels that this book would complement their current catalogue.
Then please contact me - because I'd like to get this finished and published so as to move on to "New Cold War 2: Propaganda and Disinformation" and "New Cold War 3: Geo-Politics and Energy Security" as soon as possible ...
NEW COLD WAR
Privacy & Surveillance in the Age of Asymmetrical Warfare
Although the Cold War brought the world to the brink of destruction on at least two occasions, the real impact of the Cold War was on the lives of millions of people who were caught up in a power struggle between the Western Bloc and the Soviet Bloc.
Yet while an older generation who grew up during the 20th Century Cold War might be getting a sense of déjà vu – not many people have realized that we are in the middle of a 21st Century cold war – the “New Cold War”.
The Cold War was a war of propaganda and counter propaganda, intense diplomatic maneuvering, along with the use of economic pressure and selective aid - accompanied by the biggest arms race the world has ever seen. At the same time a “covert war” used espionage, intimidation, selective military aid, attempted assassination, low intensity military operations and wars by proxy states.
When the media began running stories in the 1950’s about how the “reds under the bed” were forming a “fifth column” intent on subverting the USA, the “Home Front” suddenly became important in the war against the “Communist menace”.
Organizations charged with fighting the Communist threat – the CIA & FBI - increased the use of domestic propaganda, blacklists” and other economic sanctions in an attempt to intimidate dissenters and encourage discrimination against suspected communists and “fellow travelers”, while also raising the paranoia levels with increased wiretapping and surveillance.
At this time as the FBI were started COINTELPRO operations which infiltrated agents provocateurs and informants into underground organizations, and the CIA were running the notorious MK-ULTRA drug & mind-control program. These covert operations were targeted against anybody and everybody who was considered to be a “threat to society” at that time - John Lennon, Arthur Miller, and Martin Luther King – all of which were perceived to be the “enemy within”.
When the old Cold War ended the world heaved a huge sigh of relief as the tension over the possibility of nuclear war began to recede.
Then the new wave of bombings shattered all that – 9/11 in New York, 3/11 in Madrid, 7/7 in London – but Delhi, Bali, Egypt were also rocked by attacks, along with Israel, Chechnya and Turkey and many other countries, indicating a global problem to many.
Now, with the recent US announcement of their long range plans to battle global “Islamist Terrorism”, defined as a “conflict fought in dozens of countries and for decades to come” , and the statements by President Bush about the need to fight “a generation long war against Islamic radicalism” – we can see that the old Cold War has returned – with a vengeance.
Welcome to the 21st Century New Cold War - where the USAxis and the IslamistAxis square off against each other in a massive war of propaganda and counter propaganda, selective military and economic aid, low-intensity military operations and full scale proxy wars - accompanied by a hi-tech arms race that could militarise space and ensure weapons of mass destruction are owned by every tin-pot dictator on the planet.
It all sounds very familiar - but this time it will be very different.
The advent of “asymmetrical warfare” as a force multiplier for terrorist threats, coupled with the idea of “home-grown terrorism” as the subversive “enemy within”, means that the New Cold War will not be fought for hearts and minds in the way the war against Communism was fought
The New Cold War will be fought in information space - the weapons are powerful computers which collect, store and correlate vast amounts of data – and the target, quite possibly, could be you.
In the Cold War the citizens were not watched continuously by CCTV cameras that connected to computers which could match number plates and faces and their financial transactions were not routinely data-mined for patterns that fitted the profile of terrorists, drugs dealers or money launderers. Their movements were not tracked by RFID smartcards embedded in travelcards, old phone technology would never have allowed for every phone call and email to be logged by the NSA, and it was not possible to geo-track cell phones.
The New Cold War will be fought like any other war in the age of Information Warfare: - computers will track, list, watch, compile and cross-compile files on anyone who is considered “a suspect” – and in the New Cold War anybody could be a suspect.
For this reason the growth of ubiquitous, systematic surveillance by computer systems is one of the biggest threats democracy currently faces: Who programs these systems? Are they confidential? Who has access to them? What will happen when the data is incorrect or the programmer makes a mistake?
This is the new fear of the modern age: Who controls the data that controls our lives?
What happens when your life is ruined by a malfunctioning computer program that decides you are a terrorist, a criminal, a drug dealer or a child molester?
Worse still - suppose a criminal hacker entered the database – and made it look like you were all of those things – and then stole your identity long enough to perpetrate a terrorist atrocity?
Would the SWAT team believe your story when they came for you - or would they shoot first and ask questions later?
When everybody is perpetually watched by computers which decide if our patterns of behaviour fits a “profile” – then everybody is a potential security threat.
But do these automated systems make us more or less secure?
This is the question that everybody should be asking as the “war on terror” accelerates and the problems associated with a permanent surveillance culture in a digitally interconnected world are already being felt.
• Secret Blacklists: The current use of “No Fly” lists in the USA – and Canada – have been alleged to harass political activists , , make life difficult for political opponents and have terrible effects if your name happens to be similar to that of someone else on the no-fly lists, but can include children of nine months old. The “No Fly” blacklist is secret, contains over 20,000 names, and is almost impossible to get your name removed from.
• Electronic Surveillance: The recent revelations that the NSA were tapping into communications networks with the assistance of the Big Telcos , , indicated that everybody’s emails and phone calls are being monitored by a secret automated computer guarded by an agency so secretive, that for many years the acronym NSA stood for “No Such Agency”.
• Financial Surveillance: The current row breaking in the USA about the data-mining of SWIFT transactions , is the tip of the iceberg. Government agencies all over the world track the movement of funds, not only for terrorist funding but also as part of the “war on drugs” and to prevent money laundering . The recent case of Walter Soehnge who decided to pay off his credit card early - and then had problems with the Department of Homeland Security - shows that anyone who fits the “terrorist profile” is automatically a suspect.
• Geographical Surveillance: Data from RFID chips in purchases and “smartcard enabled” travel cards can be used to gather information about your location, , while mobile phones can be used to track movement and pinpoint suspects using advanced computerized databases.
• Satellite Surveillance: The advent of Google Earth makes it easier than ever for anyone to find ground images – but how much better are the military satellites than the commercial satellites? The commercial satellite companies will soon be able to offer satellite imagery at the ½ metre per pixel resolution – something previously used solely for military and intelligence gathering purposes – to anyone who can afford to pay.
• Global Censorship: As large search engines like Google and Yahoo build “censorware” versions of their sites in China , , more and more countries are seeking to restrict the free flow of information across the Internet. The “Cyber Curtains” are coming down all over the web as we rapidly approach the limits of “free speech” on the Internet which were previously taken for granted.
• Local Censorship: The increasing use of blacklist “Censorware” means that companies can routinely use their stranglehold to censor sites critical of their activities , , libraries and educational sites use censorware that blocks “inappropriate material” but prevents students from finding relevant material , and the UK is trying to force ISPs to install censorware which is not only expensive and doesn’t work – but which can also be reverse-engineered to provide a directory of sites containing illegal material .
The “New Cold War: Privacy & Security in the Age of Asymmetrical Warfare” examines how state of the art computing technology is being to fight the “war on terror” and asks the questions:
Will these technological measures make us safe from a terrorist threat or will they impinge on our society in such a way that we have to accept less privacy and civil liberties in return for a “sense of security”?
Will the technological developments designed to save democracy actually destroy it – as we take for granted the perpetual surveillance and intrusions into our privacy that were previously only the realm of fiction – so that the terrorists win after all?
How reliable are these automated systems designed to monitor our everyday movements – and what are the chances of these data-mining systems determining that you are the threat – while ignoring actual terrorist plots?
This book looks at the New Cold War in the light of the recent developments in computerized surveillance techniques that track our every move - and comes to a frightening conclusion:
In the “New Cold War” - where everyone is perpetually watched to see if they are a potential security threat – we are all “The Enemy” now.
REFERENCES & URLS
America's Long War - Guardian Unlimited - 15/02/06 -
Bush Compares anti-terror effort to Cold War era - Washington Times - 28/05/06- http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060528-012149-4595r.htm
Canada gets its own no-fly list - CBC 05/08/05 - http://www.cbc.ca/story/news/national/2005/08/05/lapierre-050805.html
No-fly blacklist snares political activists - San Francisco Chronicle - 27/09/02 -
The No-Fly List: Is the Federal agency systematically harassing travellers for their political beliefs? - In These Times
Sen. Kennedy Flagged by No-Fly List - Washington Post - 20/08/04 - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17073-2004Aug19.html
No Fly List: Men with common names being searched at airports across US - Los Angeles Daily News - 14/06/03
Stuck on the No-Fly List - Wired News - 25/08/05 -
NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls - USA Today -11/05/06 -
Documents Show Link Between AT&T and Agency in Eavesdropping Case - New York Times - 13/04/06 -
Questions Raised for Phone Giants in Spy Data Furore - New York Times - 13/05/06 - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/13/washington/13phone.html?ex=1305172800&en=0872ff5e182d5e7c&ei=5090
Bank Data is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror - New York Times - 23/06/06 - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/23/washington/23intel.html
Secret U.S. Programme Tracks Global Bank Transfers - LA Times - 23/06/06 - http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-swift23jun23,1,357838.story
DEA Wesbite -
Money Laundering -
Pay too much and you could raise the alarm - The Providence Journal - 28/02/06 - http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?action=detail&pk=RAISEALARM-02-28-06
US Privacy Campaigners Fear Mark of the Beast - Guardian Online - 26/04/06 http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1761719,00.html
Smart Cards track commuters - BBC News - 25/09/03
Tracking a suspect by mobile phone - BBC News - 03/08/05
Private spy satellite can peer anywhere - USA Today 29/08/01 - http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/astro/2001-08-28-pvt-spy-sat.htm
Google "soul searches" over censorship - Guardian Online -12/06/06 - http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/observer/archives/2006/06/12/we_are_irrepres_1.html
Yahoo "Strictest" Censor in China - Wired News - 15/06/06 - http://www.wired.com/news/technology/internet/0,71166-0.html?tw=wn_politics_1
Blue Coat censorware company blocks BB for criticizing censorware - BoingBoing - 03/06/06 - http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/03/blue_coat_censorware.html
SmartFilter, BoingBoing, and Adult Baby - Diaper Lovers - BoingBoing - 10/03/06 - http://www.boingboing.net/2006/03/10/smartfilter_boingboi.html
Schools' Censorware Stinks - BoingBoing - 23/06/03 http://www.boingboing.net/2003/06/23/schools_censorware_s.html
BT puts block on child porn sites - Guardian Online - 06/06/04 http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1232506,00.html