Free Advice on the Brewing Cyber Wars
by Bob Murphy
As thousands joined in the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Mastercard et al., the first full-scale cyber war (or “Internet War”) had begun. I have already expressed my concern (here and here) that the boycotters of Amazon hadn’t provided a compelling justification for their strategy. In the present article, I’ll offer some general observations that I hope will help libertarians and antiwar activists to organize their thoughts as the conflict escalates.
Amazon, MasterCard, et al. have not been torturing prisoners or bombing civilians; the U.S. government has. At best, these companies capitulated to very real threats from the government, and at worst they cut a deal to remove an earlier threat that had been hanging over them. I personally cannot judge them too harshly, since I may very well have done the same (though I would have needed to be waterboarded before issuing the press release that Amazon gave). Now I understand that some very committed antiwar activists would have gone to jail under similar circumstances, but they are in the minority. It is one thing to say you will stand up to the government; it’s something else entirely when an actual senator is on the phone.