Imagine One Billion Hand-Grenades…

…all aimed at American infrastructure. This is the equivalent of the recent and growing development of China’s campaign of grass-roots, internet warfare. The decades since the political readjustment that followed the Tienanmen massacre in 1989 have demonstrated that China, while willing to do just about anything to compete in a capitalist world, will not cease in its desire to control every domestic news outlet, political organization, business, or university. The Chinese people over these decades has seemingly not only succumbed to the crush of the tanks that swarmed over Beijing during that fateful protest, but has begun to again exalt and revere its government despite, or perhaps because of, its stranglehold on the flow of information. New swords of nationalistic bent have been forged using anti-West, anti-America ideologies to create a new generation of Chinese patriots. I postulate that much of this can be directly linked to consistent jingoist motivations of the government coupled with real oppression experienced as a result of tariffs, embargoes, and quasi-military conflicts between China and its many rivals.

New evidence is showing that the people of China are taking up this banner by the hundreds of thousands and orchestrating complex and potentially devastating attacks on American and European internet infrastructure. These attacks are designed to overwhelm and crash sites, steal valuable information, infect government and private computers with viruses and spyware, and generally ruin everybody’s day. You might call me alarmist, but in this citizen assault I see the sinister undertones of military positioning. The first line of defense for any nation in the modern era is control of information and accurate intelligence gathering. Control of the internet leads naturally into control of information, and in the end it doesn’t matter how many bombs we have or how advanced the air force becomes, as moments of intellectual thievery can negate years of research and instantly tip the playing field in China’s direction.