By Clyde Lewis

For some reason I always have to sneer and feel a bit skeptical when I hear that the government thinks that they are in control of the Internet and that they have all the answers. The truth is they donít. But they do know how to get people to pay attention. They have the media and the ignorant to set into motion their agendas. It is becoming evident that an Internet Armageddon may be staged to create worldwide panic.

He who has control of the Internet has the very consciousness of the people in his hands. Unfortunately there are some people who underestimate the power of the little towered box that sits at your desk and gives you information at the click of a button. Other people in higher places with bigger money know the power of the little box. They know because by accident they have had it turn around and bite them back.

That is why you are hearing about it more and more on television programs and in Newspapers. The media, which has become the mouth of government wants to let you know that this little box can be an evil tool and that all evil tools need to be controlled so that the dystopia that exists can thrive without question.

The reality that they have had a hold on continues to manipulate and control you. Those online that even try to get to you and tell you that it is a farce are subversive and Government believes that they need to be shutdown. It is the threat to power, it can unseat governments and it can bring them down with the act of hitting an "enter" key.

In order to prove it, perhaps it would be wise to demonstrate it. Do we demonstrate it on a John Q. American who uses his computer for a few lonely nights of stroking to pictures of Co-eds in Jell-O? No, it wouldnít make a difference to him. The best group to go after is E-commerce. The big money players who have the ability to raise a stink and demand action.

Go after Congressmen who make our laws and who are ignorant about the Internet and therefore click before they think. Perfect way of showing that something needs to be done about the evil Internet.

Listen to the constant whining of big music companies who continue to charge you outrageous prices for CDís. They have a little to lose, and it is enough to make sure that companies like Napster and Gnutella discontinue their pirating of music online.

The telephone companies are also gearing up for the Cyberwar. They donít want you to use interface systems to circumvent long distance phone calls. It is horrible to think that we the people have learned how to get ahead of the system. That we have become independent of the rat race by creating our own online businesses and online trades.

They have become cognizant of what it means to their constant milking of the people. They know that they may fail if they donít upgrade to the new millennium and so the growing pains of a new medium are evident.

That is why big business is buying up communications companies so that they can control the information that you get every day. They have the ability to tell the media to create villains with no evidence to support their accusations. Itís simple enough. After all it took many years of conditioning to believe that the Y2K bug was very real and that people needed to prepare for it.

The media and Janet Reno also were able to do what psychic Jeanie Dixon was never able to do and that was accurately predict just what would happen before it happened.

The government, who now seems to be aware of everything before it happens in cyberspace was able to tell us about the looming threat of virus attacks and service attacks. Once it was published on the front pages of the Washington post it seemed to give a "green light" for the chaos to spread and all from sources that would be difficult to locate let alone prosecute. The Media in itís efforts to posture themselves as net savvy laid the blame on hackers when everyone knows that most of these attacks are put together as simple programs that anyone could launch.

The Melissa Virus got front-page headlines when it struck computers leaving systems paralyzed. The program knocked out email servers at dozens of corporations and caused damage estimated in the millions of dollars.

Many people wonder how such things occur online when it is painfully obvious that those who sit in front of their machines forget common sense when looking through their e-mail files. It is a slap in corporate Americaís face when CEOís show us that their money compensates for lack of brains.

Warnings go out days before any virus hits and yet systems are vulnerable because no one has common sense to look at what is in their mail and avoid what appears to be mail from a stranger. There are many anti-virus programs online that can be downloaded and firewalls exist in most businesses yet these viruses slip through the cracks and make headlines on slow news days.

Many people who clicked on the I LOVE YOU worm virus that infected many computers say that they also neglected to heed the warnings that arrived in their e-mail days before.

These guys allegedly own us, they sign our paychecks, they ride around in fancy cars and get blown by corporate sluts and yet they turn into absolute morons when they sit in front of a computer screen. These are the same people who want to grab congress by the financial gonads in order to make laws governing our Internet.

Money may serve you, but it will never buy you smarts. Yet we have to sit through a constant barrage of news shows that show concern for this terrible problem that has its roots in total ignorance.

How many times do you see people who unwittingly forward some goofy e-mail to their friends without even thinking that lying in wait is a virus that will eventually explode killing your system and anyone else who shares a bed with you in a network or mailing list?

How many times have you had to look at an e-mail attachment that has been forwarded infinitely telling you that there is some Congressional Bill that is proposed to tax e-mail unless you forward this letter all over the world.

Or the popular e-mail that tells you to forward "The Little Prayer they wonít let Johnny say in School." For the first time I am actually convinced that God has seen it and has decided to have a "Recycle Bin " set aside in hell for that piece of trash.

Oh but there are those who click the forward button feverishly demonstrating how stupid they are, unwittingly opening the door for viruses to plant themselves in your system and in the systems of all of their "friends".

These are people who allow the machine to control them and not the other way around. They click and forward e-mail all they want without realizing that it is a bad habit.

It is important to begin self governing methods online before someone else begins the task of governing you and controlling what comes in and out of your e-mail and what is posted on your website.

Representatives of Congress are already grouping together to further their efforts in controlling the net because of E-commerce being threatened. Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group that claims 26,000 direct and affiliate members, said the "love bug" can be seen "as an evolutionary link in the hacking chain. He believes that if it is not addressed in a concerted way, this problem could grow to undermine the global information infrastructure and, ultimately, the Internet economy.

The biggest fear that they have is that consumers will lose confidence in the Internet and companies will lose the competitive advantages. They also fear that Investors will lose confidence as well making all internet start up companies suffer. Therefore be looking soon for the FBI and the CIA broadening itís task forces against the Internet for things as simple as altering a nick in IRC chat and cybersquatting.

You may be laughing but there was a report filed where the government actually declared that changing a nick or kicking someone out of a chat room is similar to vandalism online.

There have been numerous attempts at trying to shutdown websites that even speak ill of people like George W. Bush prompting him to speak out and say "Even Freedom should have Limits."

It is not a matter of if the Internet is controlled Ė It is when the Internet will be controlled and how to go about prosecuting those who use it as a free speech tool rather than a business tool. It is obvious that this is what is at stake here because we already have laws on the books protecting consumers from fraud.

Itís as easy as declaring that the Internet is a threat to national security or even worse unleashing an attack from within to prove that systems are vulnerable to any strike from anywhere on Earth. That is of course if you believe that the crippling shut downs have not already been staged strikes, preparing us for an even bigger dance, or a smarter super virus that will unleash a Cyber Armageddon.

The Internet has already proven itself as a mobilizing tool for subversion. A quick way to inform protestors to show up at rallies protesting big government. Some of the juiciest gossip and tidbits are released online before they ever make it in the papers. You can even blame the Internet for telling us that President Clinton was getting sexual favors from an Intern named Monica Lewinsky.

What more reason do you need to build a firewall around it and control it? They wonít ban the net; they will only twist the constitutional rights a bit in order for it to perform the way they want it to.

But only if you let them do it. The unfortunate thing is that the majority of people who havenít had a mouse in their hands vote for Internet controls and the curtailing of freedom of expression.

All they have to go on is the propaganda that they see on television given to them by talking heads that are bought and paid for by companies who also seek control of what you consider to be consensus reality.

What they wonít explain is how this could be prevented by simple common sense and not go into a tailspin of controls and illegal search and seizure. Pundits of control are all over Washington from Janet Reno to George W. Bush to the mainstream news networks.

Reno compares the Internet to the "Wild and untamed West " and is in desperate need of Wyatt Earp.

Others believe that Business should decide what controls are needed online. That should be a sign as to why business has been the focal point of all of the hardship in these Internet debacles.

If they decide then we are no different in cyber space than we are in the real world. Big business will run the Internet and they will furnish you with all of the need to know tidbits that will benefit them and not you. Not only that but who is going to fight the Government when they decide to back telecommunications companies into corners with all sorts of restrictions? Ask that question to Bill Gates. Why did AOL merge with Time Warner? I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Itís all so plain and simple to those who have eyes that can see and ears that can hear. Yahoo, Amazon, and many other companies were attacked at the beginning of the year 2000 which coincidentally happened on the same day that president Bill Clinton raised the ante against cyber crime to a whopping $240 million dollars. Is anyone surprised at the coincidence?

He used that money as a subsidy for phone companies to open their networks for a restructuring in order to allow MIBís or the virtual equivalent to do some quick Internet spying on possible subversives.

Also included in the budget is another $300 million for Internet counter terrorism so the Government can launch their own Cyber attacks at will. This means that yes they can even learn how to play hob with businesses they donít particularly like. This means they can hire their own nerd army to create programs that could launch a complete attack on systems of other governments and those who do not comply to their wishes.

These bulging budgets are necessary to protect us from the same threat that allegedly existed in 1999 when we were fearful of going out on New Years eve because everything we ever had on our discs would be flushed down the cyber toilet with a Y2k glitch.

The government was quick to point out that all of their efforts worked to avert a national emergency. This is the ultimate in symbolism over substance. Which of course has always been the rule in times of irresolution and uncertainty. Fear can always be a great motivator to give up rights, privileges and civil liberties.

Are you getting it yet? Who is benefiting from all of these virus scares? Where are they coming from? Are the names and nebulous suspects all generated by the media to hype a stealthy threat that waits to be unleashed in order to give a heavy handed control of the Internet?

If you are one of the few who do get it, you better raise your voice by several decibels. Because time's running out. These attacks (which are obviously self inflicted by powerful intelligence groups bought and paid for to cause chaos) are the beginnings of a Cyber war that if left unexposed will ruin the freedom that exists in true independent thinking and expression.

This is the issue that needs to be openly discussed. The issue of the peopleís right to free press and the worldís right to a unified fountain of information, good or bad.

Who are they to tell us what to do when they are responsible for their own messes. Including infecting networks with viruses like the "Love Bug" and others that are poised to be unleashed in our lifetime.

The panic button that everyone feared in the Cold war was disconnected. A mouse replaced it. Who is going to click it next and what will be the result?

Is the machine running you? Or are you running it?

Think before you click your mouse. It could launch the equivalent of a Cyber Armageddon.


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