How Jeremy Hammond Missed the Bigger Picture on Cyberterrorism

by Carla, therightsideoftruth.com

For years, cyberterrorism has been on the periphery of our vision. While most know what the phrase means, the alarm surrounding the issue is minimal. On the other hand, freedom of speech and the right to an uncensored internet has become an increasingly common rhetoric in most alternative media channels.
Guardian writer, Jeremy Hammond, spearheaded this exact opinion in an article last year. After Sony had fallen victim to North Korea-based hackers, he presented a view that shunned any repercussive fear. His theory: government officials are exaggerating the threat for their own financial gain.
As is common in the MSM, his article grossly oversimplifies the topic.

Cyberterrorism vs. Cybercrime

Before even discussing the potential threat, it’s important to correctly identify what we mean by cyberterrorism, as opposed to cybercrime. Hammond, clearly unable to make the distinction, stated:

Despite the apocalyptic hype, the Sony hack was not fundamentally different from any other high-profile breach in recent years.”

While it is true the Sony hack presented itself like many other well-known infiltrations, the essential difference is in intention. Most cybercriminals breach organizations to farm personal data for monetary gain, but the Sony attack was supposedly a political reaction from North Korea protesting the release of a new satirical film about the country.
While there is truth in the fact the government manipulated the situation to their advantage, Hammond’s article completely misses the point. The threat of cyberterrorism is an international issue covering both foreign intruders and our government. Framing the concept as a mere pretext for a responsive US-driven hack fails to hold the government accountable for its own cyberterrorist actions.

The Real Threat

We have already seen glimpses of the true power hacking may have in warfare. In May 2017, the UK’s National Health Service was brought to a standstill by a ransomware attack. It shut down websites, phone lines and all IT services. Patients were unable to book appointments, and valuable online information—such as treatment histories—became inaccessible, putting many hospital patients at risk.
Fortunately, these hackers were only looking for money. However, let’s consider the power of an attack of this nature for political reasons. The ability to shut down vital government services is a vicious weapon—one that can be used by two opposing governments, rebel groups, dictators or even by the US government for their own gain. Considering this fact, the following statement is rendered utterly redundant:

That’s what this hype of “cyber-terrorism” is all about: establishing pretexts for our ongoing offensive hacking operations.”

Cyberterrorism is definitely deserved of the hype, but this is no ‘good guy/bad guy’ situation. In reality, it’s much more complex.

Government Involvement

Our government rhetoric on cyberterrorism—which assumedly is what Hammond refers to as ‘hype’—depends on the general public viewing the attackers as the terrorists and the repercussive US action as a security retaliation. While viewing the government as the problem and the concept as a devious political tactic may seem an obvious opposition, we have to stop looking at the issue as a one-sided problem.
The reality is that the US government engages in cyberterrorism every day. The NSA illegally enters citizen’s private web space and accesses their data to shut down certain minority groups and viewpoints. Other countries see similar domestic cyberterrorism in the form of heavy online censorship. On the flip side, the terrorist group ISIS is known for having hacking departments. ISIS cybercriminals will spread propaganda via malware and are even said to have intercepted the personal information of prominent American citizens for potential attacks.
The stark reality is that cyberwarfare and terrorism are going to become an increasing problem as our society continues to depend on technology for almost every element of our lives. Pointing fingers has become irrelevant; instead, we need to focus on understanding the threat and finding solutions.

Finding Actual Solutions

The internet is a place of no nations. Although geo-blocking may restrict specific access, we’re all essentially existing on the same grid. Considering this, truly tackling the threat of cyberterrorism is a two-fold endeavor.
Firstly, we need to address government legislation. It is here where Hammond’s article provides some relevant thought. Currently, US law continues to tighten its hold on our online freedoms in the name of cybersecurity, while simultaneously allowing government departments to work outside of the legislation. Instead of a call for silence regarding cyberterrorism, we need a greater focus on accountability for all who abuse the freedom of the internet for political gain.
Unfortunately, this suggestion is far from realistic. With the political elite continuing to protect their own institutions and journalists hiding the true nature of government actions in shoddy reporting, it’s down to the everyman to protect themselves. The era of the proxy service is nearing, as more and more progressive thinkers hide their IP addresses and encrypt their online data from governments worldwide. Remote servers allow internet users to scramble their identity and remain anonymous, whenever they browse online. If an era of cyberterrorism continues, these online safe-zones could become standard procedure.

If the US truly wanted to stop the proliferation of nation-state hacking, they would push for UN conferences to establish guidelines defining and prohibiting “cyber-warfare”

Hammond’s Guardian post exposed a harrowing truth: the US Government does not genuinely care about the cessation of cyberterrorism. However, this case is not as reductive as a mere political scheme to increase security revenue. Rather, it is because we are in an age where the power of the cyberattack is starting to be fully comprehended, and no government is willing to give up one of greatest potential weapons of the technological age.

About the Author: Carla is an alternative news blogger who was motivated to write after years of trolling through bad journalism. She has developed a growing frustration with the constant contradictions and lies in the MSM and now aims to tackle these problems with her keyboard.


If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.

For other ways to donate, including direct-transfer bank details click HERE.

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aug 13, 2017 12:30 AM
Eric Blair
Eric Blair
Aug 12, 2017 10:18 AM

For years, cyberterrorism has been on the periphery of our vision. While most know what the phrase means Do we? The term has been so misused and abused that it is rendered almost meaningless. The OED defines ‘terrorism’ as (from memory) an attack on civilians or infrastructure undertaken with the aim of furthering a political ideology. The motive of the attacker(s) is crucial, if we are going by the dictionary definition. When politicians or the media use it, it means something akin to a group we have designated as our enemy, or a person associated with said group, who have participated in one or more violent attacks against groups, people or infrastructure we associate with “our side” whether on the battlefield, in civilian areas, against occupying armies, nightclubs, anywhere really. Motive is irrelevant and “our guys” are never terrorists regardless of motive or circumstances. Oh and it helps is the… Read more »

Aug 12, 2017 2:32 AM

Every facet of life is abused by those with criminal tendencies, the internet is no exception. Safe, respectful places just don’t exist. The current illusion of regulation is probably more dangerous than the subject of the article. Technical connectivity was borne of deceit, it’s current status has assumed a position in our lives by force rather than consent. Self value, self respect and an understanding that who we are and what we do is not by the grace of anyone a possible way forward. Technology is being used to undermine our self worth.

Aug 12, 2017 11:55 AM
Reply to  Alan

If you live and give a true word – you wont be suckered by the false – and will re-educate yourself when a ‘back-door’ is uncovered or persist under the false as if it is true. So I see – perhaps with you – that idols and ideas of power and protection are personal and collective illusions over fear of pain and loss of self – but I also hold that what we give is the measure of our receiving – and so if you play out a cover story for your own narrative control – your will meet that ‘world’ by using such thought to tune into it. I don’t ask you to believe in the reality of shared purpose but I do ask you to pause from believing against it. Shared purpose is alignment in being – but joining in hate is no real sharing at all –… Read more »

Aug 12, 2017 1:54 AM

Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
“Hammond’s Guardian post exposed a harrowing truth: the US Government does not genuinely care about the cessation of cyberterrorism. However, this case is not as reductive as a mere political scheme to increase security revenue. Rather, it is because we are in an age where the power of the cyberattack is starting to be fully comprehended, and no government is willing to give up one of greatest potential weapons of the technological age.”

Aug 11, 2017 11:51 PM

“Remote servers allow internet users to scramble their identity and remain anonymous, whenever they browse online.” Really? Does one have to possess special computer and internet smarts to be anonymous? Because as often as I try to employ simple solutions, I’m thwarted. I try to employ simple solutions because I don’t understand the tech and geeks, whether progressives or not, NEVER explain them properly. And I’m willing to bet I’m in the majority. I tried HMA (which means Hide My Ass), which hides the fact that it’s owned by AVG. I read around and so I happened to stumble upon the information about HMA telling me who owned it and telling me that HMA gave up a user to the government. I will never use HMA or AVG again. I tried a few VPNs, but in every instance, it was a waste of time. And, when all them are plagued… Read more »

Aug 11, 2017 10:34 PM

Jeremy Hammond was charged for hacking of servers of Stratfor, an Austin-based intelligence firm owned by Hungary-American Jew millionaire, and sharing the information with the Wikileaks. Hammond was arrested in March 2012.
On November 14, Hammond gave an interview to British daily Guardian, in which he claimed that the US government is setting him as an example to “put a chill on political hacking”.
Christopher Hedges, former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, in an interview with The Real News Network on November 16, 2013, called Hammond a follower of the Black Bloc. In 2013, Hedges, in an article called Black Bloc, “The Cancer in the Occupy“. David Graeber, in an open letter to Hedges, called him a liar….

Aug 11, 2017 5:22 PM

The false flag as well as the planting of false evidence and disinformation is part of narrative control. Who gets to define what happened and who accepts such a narrative? William Binney pointed out that the surveilers were unwilling to themselves be accountable. What is insider information and what is it worth to know of everyone else’s secrets and lies, be they personal, industrial or political? I heard that when Nat Rothschild managed to get false info of the battle of Trafalgar back first – it crashed the markets so that he could buy up very cheapl y- and when the true result came in they surged back higher. Or J Hoover, hoovered up all the dirty or compromising secrets of anyone of influence so as to have undue influence over them – pre internet. ‘Power’ cannot resist the technology to extend its reach. True power is of a different… Read more »

Aug 11, 2017 5:18 PM

Oh they can manipulate any website, any webshop, manage them so you see them yourself online, people you are in contact with see them online, but no body else, feed you fake website/webshop statistics, they must have a sentient central computer for that, can hack and take over any system, sentient computer can clone it self infinitely, one clone on every website, facebook account, twitter account …

Aug 11, 2017 3:29 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
If a greedy hacker can put the NHS into a near total collapse for money and a US government employed hacker can bring down the Chinese Stock Exchange, why would the US want to bring in legislation that deems it a terrorist act?

Aug 11, 2017 11:58 PM
Reply to  mohandeer

Simple answer: They don’t fear laws which they will break as easily as you and I breathe. They will carve out an exemption or some such thing and carry on with the behavior they condemn, as they do with terrorism already. The laws, like so many (free trade for example) are for the people and the weak. They don’t do law and order on principle, as Zinn explains (repeatedly) in his book “A People’s History Of The United States.” Law, for our “Benefactors” in power is all about control of the people.

Aug 12, 2017 11:37 AM
Reply to  Arrby

On the Law (not a specifically personal response to Arrby) The idea of ‘The Law’ is a reflection of inner recognitions as to holding the balance points and channels of communication open for a just relationship/society – as a the conditions in which dissonance, chaos, and disorder do not take root and multiply destructively – and as the remedy or correction for breakdown of communication through the process of facilitating a true hearing. That this idea has never been fully embodied is in part because the psychic-emotional communication breakdown of humanity is already so deeply polarised in divisive, systemic and pervasive corruption of law, justice, judgement and given word or witness. Those who sought to ‘improve or repair’ this human condition without truly addressing its underlying conditioning become subtler agents of deceit – or gatekeepers to the very thing they supposedly set out to correct. The Law of the heart… Read more »