How Would You Feel if the Government Released Nuclear Explosive Technology for Civilian Use?
It’s not hypothetical… Project Plowshare was the overall United States term for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes. Mining, for instance. Replacing “farmer’s friend” (dynamite for my more urban friends) with pony-nukes for clearing land. Yes, look it up, it was a rather mature plan in the post-war era. Why do I bring it up?
Because the Internet is ‘perxactly the same thing.
Internetworking Technology was first developed by RAND Corp and utilized by DARPA (defense advanced research project agency) as the tool to communicate in the face of a nuclear attack.
That’s why it’s decentralized, why its virtually incorruptible, why it was developed in the first place, because at the time, all communications was “hub and spoke” … You remember your Andy Griffith show? Picking up the phone and saying, Sarah, get me so and so?
Incredibly vulnerable to attack; hence, the development of a type of communication that could withstand nuclear attack: the DARPA-net. But, satellite communication and the defusing of the coldwar caused the Government (yes, Senator Gore had significant hand in it, just as his Dad, Sr. Sen. Gore had a hand in the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways bill – you did know, didn’t you, that the highways are the size they are to carry military Xport?) to release the Internet on an unsuspecting public.
With all the good its provided, I wonder if we were prepared for a ‘nuclear’ scale technology to be unleashed without at least a users manual. Would the country be nearly as polarized as it is today, without the ‘net? Would Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (as we call it in cyber-sec, FUD) be as pervasive?
Having lived through DARPAnet while working for TI, watched Robert Lucky lecture at UTD about the coming “Information Superhighway,” knowing the scale of the deep-web and just reading a guide to “HackTivism, DIY,” I really have to wonder if we shouldn’t have just given farmers the A-bomb and be done with civilization … it might be better than watching the decay of governance and civility and human compassion in slow motion. Okay, more pessimism than I should share, but “O tempora o mores” – Cicero was right, hope we’re not the last to know it!