I fear that many will react precipitately. A (retired) U.S. army general
was on BBC Radio 4 Friday morning calling for the threat of total
retaliation against suspect 'host' countries - on the grounds that this
will force them to deal with those groups.
This is the time, if never before, for the Internet communities to act
calmly, help assure the continuing availability of communications, and
information, curb rumor, and panic. There's enough of this without it
being added to.
Geeze, give me a break. I hope you are not spreading rumors everywhere
you can get to.
War on who? Now, what was done has been classified as "an act of war",
but that is against us, not by us.
Draft? Get real. That has to work its way through Congress. A
response against what?
Many acts of violence have been committed, against many peoples, in
recent years. Whatever the rights and wrongs of these, the history of
modern conflict and warfare (arbitrarily I place at the Franco-Prussian
War of the 1870s, and the shelling and starvation seige of Paris - but
you might want to include the War between the States/American Civil War)
has largely meant the agony and death of people - men, women, and
children. And those are people of all sorts of colors and hues, and
For what it's worth, the WTC and Pentagon attacks were an attack on
civilsations of both the west and east. The orchestrators of these show
no compunction about who are the victims - whether hitting at some of
the most visible symbols of the Western economies, or at other countries
and other symbols.
These are all issues which can be debated and discussed in more sensible
fora on and off-line.
Here we should concentrate on the resilience of networks - despite
congestion from time to time fixed networks and mobile (cellular) held
up pretty well. I wasn't using the net at all until yesterday, but from
various reports posted it would seem that (not unnaturally) various web
sites, especially news sites, became inaccessible from time to time.
Several issues are raised, not least the likely pressure on individual
security and privacy, with access demanded by police and other agencies
to e-mail and other communications. There is a price to pay for liberty
and freedoms, and freedom from arbitrary and unreasonable probing and
searches. And we will be under additional demands - whether it be for ID
cards (resisted both in the UK and the U.S.), the extension of closed
circuit TV monitoring (generally welcomed in the UK so far - speed
cameras to catch speeding car drivers not so acceptable) - to enable
police and other agencies to deter and apprehend prospective or actual
lawbreakers. That will put further demands on networks and applications
to provide or support these capabilities.