General Keith Shoeshine wants information sharing

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism, Shoeshine at 1:07 pm by George Smith

… except when he doesn’t.

The US national security megaplex has set up a system rife with internal contradictions. As a consequence it has no firm ground to stand on when making arguments about what is and is not appropriate conduct by other nations.

And so it is with the shoeshine of cyberwar. NSA director Keith Alexander, or General Keith Shoeshine, now slightly infamous for making the absurd claim that cyberwar against the United States constitutes “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” is a man who can only make arguments from authority.

This was on display on Tuesday of last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

From the New York Times:

The chief of the military’s newly created Cyber Command told Congress on Tuesday that he is establishing 13 teams of programmers and computer experts who could carry out offensive cyberattacks on foreign nations if the United States were hit with a major attack on its own networks, the first time the Obama administration has publicly admitted to developing such weapons for use in wartime.

“I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,??? Gen. Keith Alexander, who runs both the National Security Agency and the new Cyber Command, told the House Armed Services Committee. “This is an offensive team that the Defense Department would use to defend the nation if it were attacked in cyberspace. Thirteen of the teams that we’re creating are for that mission alone.???

General Alexander has been a major architect of the American strategy on this issue, but until Tuesday he almost always talked about it in defensive terms …

Since it was theater, no one asked a tough question.

A tough question would have been to ask our cyberwar shoeshine man why the US had created an environment in cybersecurity that was one big conflict of interest.

Last year Alexander spent a lot of time campaigning in support of cybersecurity legislation. That effort failed in Congress. But during it he lobbied for more instantaneous “information sharing” on cybersecurity threats, signatures and trouble between the government and corporate America.

However, in cyberspace the US government, in developing and unleashing malware on its enemies in the Middle East, has made a world environment where vulnerabilities are commodities and capabilities, information not to be shared because of applications in cyber-weaponry.

I put it this way:

The history with regards to information sharing is fifteen years old.

It started with the Clinton administration where it was vigorously pursued by Clarke and assistant secretary of defense John Hamre. They argued for an exception to be added to the Freedom of Information Act, one to encourage corporate America to be forthright about its computer security intrusions, secure in the knowledge its secrets were safe from competitors and journalists armed with FOIA.

They got what they wanted. And it didn’t make a substantial difference. Subsequently, every year — between then and now — someone has always argued for ever more information sharing. Corporate America is not transparent. A frictionless system of information passage with it cannot be created.

Paradoxically, the US government has contributed to the creation of a global Internet security environment where information is not to be shared because there is value in that. Critical vulnerabilities have great worth in cyber-weapons development. This has created a gray market in which the vulnerabilities, information of zero social value, are sold at good profit.

As with discussions about cyberwar and the creation of cyber-weapons, the American government, by its actions, has cut the ground from under its feet on being in position to take the high ground, right from the start.

You can’t have operations reliant upon security information sharing and security information hoarding and develop trust. In fact, no one should trust you to do the right thing at all. It’s a natural and obvious conflict of interest.

Sorry, General Shoeshine.

Unfortunately, we have a press that gave up on pointing stuff like this out years ago. And the New York Times article on Alexander’s Congressional testimony did not mention it.

General Keith Shoeshine of the NSA believes cyberwar is causing the greatest transfer of wealth in human history.

Can you see the shaded area where cyberwar and Chinese hacking created the greatest loss of wealth in US history?

In England there are still a few people willing to call rubbish rubbish.

From the BBC, on al Qaeda, China and cyberwar:

Al-Qaeda lacks the technical expertise to sabotage Britain’s national power and water systems, a cyber-security expert has told a committee of MPs.

Asked why a cyber-attack had never been launched on such assets, Thomas Rid said: “Al-Qaeda are too stupid and China doesn’t want to do it.”

Dr Rid, a reader in war studies at King’s College, London, was briefing the Public Accounts Committee.

The General Keith Shoeshine Showfrom the archives.

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