When most of us think about cyber warfare, we probably have hacking or malware attacks in mind. But what about using blocking and censorship to control the flow of information?
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other private actors are essentially engaging in a form of private cyber warfare by deplatforming accounts that they view as politically incorrect, and they’ve been relying on the protections afforded by U. S. law to get away with it. But these American companies operate on the worldwide web, and no other country’s laws provide the protection they enjoy here. Some of those countries which we normally think of as democracies are considering giving the mainstream social media sites a dose of their own medicine.
Stephen Michael Kellat has an interesting piece over at Coyote Works about the cyber war that is brewing between Facebook and several countries (New Zealand in particular) and the possible economic fallout. It’s been suggested that countries having problems with Facebook or other social networks should consider nation-level blocking so that local alternatives might develop.
A cyber war need not be kinetic and appears to be shaping up as economic in nature. Currently the stock market is driven hard by the FAANG group of stocks which stands generally for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Out of those five companies, one produces physical goods to purchase and one is a retailer. The other three produce electronic intangibles for a global market. If the United States gets hit with what would effectively be targeted economic sanctions towards a specific company that may have offended local sensibilities, how are we going to react?
Blocking Instapundit or Legal Insurrection may not move the needle much on the national economy. Blocking Facebook would appear to cause a bit of a plunge, though. A multilateral blockade of one web property to essentially quarantine it would be a fairly drastic action.
Read the whole thing.