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Friday, June 17, 2011

Frank Herbert predicted LulzSec

Time Magazine's Techland blog did a fairly decent job characterizing the motivations behind LulzSec today. They even likened their mentality to Heath Ledger's role in The Dark Knight, although they quoted the wrong line. My favorite line is when Aaron Eckhard said he was going to flip a coin, and either join Ledger's Joker personnae or kill him. To which Ledger replied, "Now you're talking!"

As crazy as it sounds, these yokels attacking the CIA, the U.S. Senate and other high profile institutions makes a certain sense if you consider the calculus of history. When the government becomes completely disfunctional and remarkably illogical, the subsequent vacuum actually creates the countering force. In other words, the USA created LulzSec.

Now don't take this too far, as some whacked-out politicians have suggested that we created the atmosphere in which terrorism was demanded. That's pure hogwash. Jihadists had to invoke terrorist strategies to deflect the attention of their populations from their own bankrupt ideologies. If the USA didn't exist, jihadists would have had to create us as the external focus. Remember, the best rule for pure marketing is "common cause, common enemy."

But we did create LulzSec. Heck, if I didn't belong to a religion that insisted on obedience to the "laws of the land," I'd probably flush a few cherry bombs down the toilets of various federal buildings. Frustration with cyber policy can make smart people do some stupid and self-destructive things. Which is what Frank Herbert predicted in both Dune and in The Tactful Saboteur. Simply put, technology will come to the point where a single individual can bring down everything. And here we are with LulzSec.

We do have some choices, echoing one of my favorite quotes by Henry Kissinger in his book White House Years, "Our task is to rescue the element of choice from the pressure of circumstance." We can make the right choices (not likely in my opinion), or we can buy some popcorn, Milk Duds, Red Vines and an infinitely refillable Big Gulp, then sit back and watch the LulzSec crazies make the DoD look like the Keystone Kops.

Monteizing Internet good behavior with licensed and bonded cyber privateers is a good choice and a good solution.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?