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censored? corrected

NOTE: More than 8 hours have passed since I sent this text in plaintext
directly to Cypherpunks without its being posted, so in this attempt I am
sending it encrypted through ALUMNI remailer. - Gary Jeffers
[email protected]

                    INFO BLACKOUT

 From THE SPOTLIGHT newspaper's TECHNOLOGY & LIBERTY column by Clark
Matthews - Nov. 06, 1995 issue.

   Powerful national security insiders have established effective control
over the entrance gateways to Internet. Disturbing signs are now emerging
that the "information superhighway" has been targeted for systematic sur-
veillance and political dossier-building on Americans' opinions.

   This ominous news came in the first of a series of articles by investi-
gative journalist Steven Pizzo in WEB REVIEW, an online magazine of cyber-
culture and politics (http://gnn.com/wr/) published by Songline Studios of
San Francisco. Pizzo is the author of INSIDE JOB, a groundbreaking expose'
on the massive fraud and theft of insured deposits in 1980s savings and
loan debacle.

   According to Pizzo, control of Internet "domain name registration" has
passed into private hands-with the potential for serious mischief or
worse. "Domain names" are the odd looking identifying names that are as-
signed to individual computer systems that compose the Internet (logoplex.
com, for example).

   Through a complex chain of licensing arrangements and corporate acqui-
sitions detailed in Pizzo's article, this crucial control over Internet
domain names has passed from the non-profit National Science Foundation to
Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) of Herndon, Virginia. Last May, amid growing
public disbelief of Establishment media reports about the Oklahoma City
bombing provocation, NSI was purchased by Scientific Applications Interna-
tional Corporation (SAIC) of San Diego.

   SAIC is a $2 billion defense and FBI contractor with a board of direc-
tors that reads like a Who's Who of the intelligence community. Board
members include Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the former director of the Na-
tional Security Agency (NSA) and deputy director of the CIA; Melvin Laird,
defense secretary under Richard Nixon; Donald Hicks, former head of re-
search & development for the Pentagon; Donald Kerr, former head of the Los
Alamos National Laboratory; and Gen. Maxwell Thurman (ret.), the commander
of the U.S. invasion of Panama.

   Former members of SAIC's board include Robert Gates, the former CIA
director under George Bush; current CIA director John Deutch; Anita Jones,
Deutch's former Pentagon procurement officer, and William Perry, the pre-
sent secretary of defense.

   The corporation also has a legion of computer network specialists and
an entire division of computer consultants. SAIC currently holds contracts
for re-engineering the Pentagon's information systems, automating the
FBI'S computerized fingerprint identification system, and building a na-
tional criminal history infomation system.

   The Internet is a marvel of computer software technology. It was de-
signed to survive a nuclear attack on the United States-like the Post
Office, it's literally smart enough to find a way to get the mail through,
even if most of the network is missing.

   But control of Internet domain name registration means the ability to
remove troublesome-or outspoken-computer systems from the network. Po-
tentially, this control also confers the power to insinuate "phantom"
domains into the network-for surveillance purposes, for example-or for
real-time, automatic censorship.

   Furthermore, anecdotal evidence gathered by this author suggests that
actual "truth control" is taking place on the 'net now. E-mail messages
with controversial contents-including the details of the SAIC takover of
domain names-have consistently disappeared as they travel across the net-
work. News items concerning the Vincent Foster "suicide" investigation
and allegations of NSA bank spying through compromised Inslaw software are
being quickly and automatically canceled. And the cancellations are not by
by their authors.


   With domain names under the control of secret government insiders, it
is even theoretically possible that large parts of the Internet could be
SHUT DOWN AND SILENCED at critical times. This could be accomplished by
suddenly altering domain name registrations or interposing compromised
"domains" at crucial points.

   These compromised systems could serve as "black holes" at critical
times, stopping e-mail and important news from reaching the world-or the
rest of the country.

   Exercises in "turning the Internet off" have already taken place in
Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, the 'net was successfully shut down.
All network traffic-including news, opinions and e-mail sent by computer
users-was successfully "bottled up" on the island and prevented from
reaching the world.

   In Hong Kong, the Internet wasn't quite strangled, but the British
authorities who control that colony managed to throttle free electronic
speech with the rest of the world until everything was bottlenecked into
a few little-known satellite links.

   These are alarming precedents and sure signs that powerful, shadowy
forces are preparing to chop at the very roots of America's new Liberty
Tree. The secretive people on the board of directors of SAIC are intell-
igence professsionals skilled at manufacturing events-and then manufact-
uring public opinion and consent by controlling the truth. Will Internet
disinformation, censorship or "shutdowns" signal the next American crisis?