Pentagon Report Identifies Internet as Enemy

DoD - Information Operations RoadmapA newly declassified Pentagon report personally approved by Donald Rumsfeld, a 74-page “Information Operations Roadmap” declares that it is developing a strategy to combat the vastness of Internet itself as though it were an enemy unto itself:

It seems to see the internet as being equivalent to an enemy weapons system.

“Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will ‘fight the net’ as it would an enemy weapons system,” it reads.

The slogan “fight the net” appears several times throughout the roadmap.

While there’s little detail as to whether dissent or disagreement with Pentagon policies is viewed as “enemy behavior” the idea that the Department of Defense is painting with such a large brush is unnerving. Part of the strategy for winning an electronic warfare scenario is apparently a cataclysmic notion to completely render wide swaths urban landscapes completely unusable:

And, in a grand finale, the document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to “provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum”.

US forces should be able to “disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum”.

Consider that for a moment.

The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.

While I have my doubts that such a chain of events would come to pass that they would choose suicidal destruction of the entire planet’s electronic systems, there is a hint of truth in the possibility of detonating EMP (electro-magnetic pulses) above supposed enemy cities in order to cripple them technologically. Michael Hampton writes on this: “In this information age, use of one is nearly the same thing as using a nuclear weapon: even if it killed no one, it would devastate the landscape for years to come. They should be treated with as much gravity, and authority to use them vested with the President alone, on par with nuclear weapons.”

6 Comments
  1. I have, as Ian would so deftly put it, a “free market solution” to this already.

    I am a programmer by trade, and a internet technology programmer specifically. I have started developing a new protocol for the next internet. It makes a completely decentralized internet. There can be no “take down” of content that is placed on it at a global level, no “web taxes” put on domain names, no censorship of content. It is virtually impenetrable.

    The only way that the government could take it apart is to kill me within this week (I’m finishing the beta release this week with GPL’d source code), or kill all computers everywhere in the world at once (counted in milliseconds). The former I count as unlikely since the IRS doesn’t even know where I currently live do to a recent move, the latter is even less likely since EMP guns are not nearly as advanced as you might think.

    To the subject of EMP. More in next comment …

  2. First, you can protect against EMP with a simple mesh over the equipment you want to protect. The mesh can be made out of aluminum, copper, lead, or even cardboard. What is important is the grid itself. The grid blocks the wave frequency, disallowing it to flow beyond a set point. This is the case with all wave technologies.

    Secondly, it is very difficult to develop wave technologies. The difficulty is propagation: setting the antenna up so that the wave travels a great distance. EMP is a short range weapon(10-20′), which makes it a good gorilla weapon. That’s it. I made one that fit in a backpack once. It was able to shut my computer down for a brief period; 30 seconds, long enough to reboot. Then the car battery ran out. So that’s issue #3. It takes an extreme amount of power to do anything with this.

    Want to do this globally, good luck. This reminds me of the same mentality that VC’s have when deciding where to invest; without knowing the tech. Same as .com bust: waste of taxes.

  3. No, the Internet is not the enemy of the Pentagon. Unauthorized networking (“net”) enabling the free flow of information is seen as adversarial to the interests of US imperialism on the Internet–the “battle field.” The Internet is a resource to be dominated by the Pentagon, not quashed.

  4. Sorry, but I have to disagree. I read the Roadmap, and nowhere did I see anything about the Internet being an enemy. They clearly were talking about knocking out enemy networks in combat zones — I’m almost as paranoid as the next guy, but that doc didn’t conclude that the public Internet is considered a combat zone.

    It did talk about PSYOPS being redirected through the Internet back to Americans, but nowhere was there the implication that this would require destruction of public networks.

    After reading the document, I don’t think the BBC read beyond the Exec Summary. And then you quoted their interpretations (“it seems to see the internet…”) and adopted it as your headline, the inference that it was attributable to the actual DoD document.

    I like you guys at HoT, but this just seems sloppy. My rant on it at chriswolske.com/blog/2006/01/fight-net-or-fight-their-nets

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