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By Frank Whalen

Is the federal government laying the groundwork for total control of the Internet, the greatest invention for advancing the free, unfiltered flow of information since Gutenberg’s printing press?

Could acts of sabotage, such as an “Internet nuclear bomb,” be deliberately implemented or allowed to happen in order to cripple global computerized systems like the ones found on Wall Street and in the military
in order to convince the world that the Internet must be more tightly controlled?

In a Jan. 10 interview with Russia Today, noted forecaster of business, socioeconomic and political trends Gerald Celente says cyber-warfare by private criminal groups and governments could be used to “bring down entire financial systems. You can blow apart, without ever having to light a fuse, a whole stock exchange. . . . [E]very computer-connected industry or service is a potential target.”

A futurist with an impressive track record, Celente, who founded the Trends Research Institute (TRI) in 1980, has predicted that in response the government has been working to limit Internet-based communications
and shut down computer networks.

Much of this started on Feb. 16, 2010, when a cyber-warfare doomsday scenario was examined in an exercise known as “Cyber Shockwave.” The simulated event was organized by top firms in the military industrial complex and began with a corrupted cell phone application being innocently downloaded during a college sports event.


In real life, computer networks were never affected. But in the demonstration, the phony “virus” spread like wildfire to computers, collapsing the entire Internet and endangering energy grids as well as the financial and commercial sectors.

Following that exercise, newspapers across the country blared headlines that the government was unprepared to deal with the rampant  contamination of vital computer networks across the country.

As a result, Washington bureaucrats stepped into action and the Cyber Security Act was introduced. According to the online technology news outlet, CNET News, this legislation “allows the president to declare a cyber-security emergency relating to non-governmental computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond.”

Since then, there has been a glut of news stories describing the “threat” posed by cyber-criminals and the methods by which the U.S. government plans to keep all Americans “safe.”

Unfortunately, all such proactive and “protective” measures involve limiting
or even eliminating legal access and communication by the masses. Controversial websites maintained by this newspaper, THE BARNES REVIEW—or any group that does not fall in line with the government—could be taken over by federal authorities and shut down.

But despite the government’s best efforts to clamp down on the Internet, says Celente, there has been pushback by young, educated people around the world who have refused to be silenced.

Sounding an upbeat note, Celente says, “Every time [government] comes up with a new way to [censor the Internet], a new way to get around it is born.”

Celente predicts a form of cyber-originated popular resistance. He says today’s youth will start this worldwide populist cyber-revolution using a Wiki-Leaks style of reporting, in what he called “Journalism 2.0.”

But questions remain: Would more participants in a popular cyber-rebellion equate to a greater perceived threat, thereby fast-tracking the government’s Internet control mechanisms to the detriment of constitutional freedoms? Could the government purposefully allow cyber-criminals to attack banking institutions to scare the populace into accepting more stringent Internet controls? And how can we ensure cyber-truthseekers are not grouped in with cyber-criminals?

Frank Whalen has been a radio talk show host for the past 17 years, and worked as a consultant for Maxim magazine.

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(Issue # 5, January 31, 2011)

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