[LINK] Speculation

Chirgwin, Richard Richard.Chirgwin@informa.com.au
Fri, 7 Feb 2003 15:38:00 +1000


I guess commandeering satellites is feasible, but only if there were a
crisis of communications sufficient to demand so much more than the DoD
already has.

The Internet may >not< be as resilient as we think, were a hub to be siezed.
I remember research last year raising the concern that there is too great a
concentration of major nodes in too few hands ...posted to Link last year,
but can't find it now.

EMR - I'm inclined to discount or minimise this as a threat. To create a
damaging pulse on a large scale requires LOTS of energy.

Let's think about knocking out comms in 10,000 sq km (100km x 100km, I know
a circle is better but I want to do this quickly!). That's 10e13 sq cm. I
think. Next, put the source of the burst at 100km altitude (both to avoid
direct civilian damage, and to maximise the footprint). One unit of energy
at 100,000m becomes 1/10e9 at 1m (inverse square law). And 1/10e9 % 10e13 is
... you get the picture.

So you need a really big pulse to genereate enough energy to damage
electronics at a distance (as distinct from temporary disruption).

OTOH, you can destroy stuff with EMR at close range with lots less trouble.
But only a few items at a time. 

(Physicists or mathematicians or people who can count, correct my sums!)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Howard Lowndes [mailto:lannet@lannet.com.au]
> Sent: Friday, 7 February 2003 11:47
> To: Mail List - LINK
> Subject: [LINK] Speculation
> Is it worth some speculation in this forum about a possible 
> (ney probable)  
> war with Iraq, and even more worrying a war with North Korea, and the
> effect on the Internet and on broader communications in general.
> Could the US commandeer communications satellites in order to control 
> information flow.  Could they commandeer major Internet hubs 
> or is the 
> Internet robust enough to work around such blocks.
> ...and don't even think about EMR :(
> Just flying a kite...
> -- 
> Howard.
> LANNet Computing Associates - Your Linux people 
> <http://www.lannetlinux.com>
> ------------------------------------------
> Flatter government, not fatter government - Get rid of the 
> Australian states.
> ------------------------------------------
> There are 10 types of people in the world, those who 
> understand binary, 
> and those who don't.
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