the music festival LIVES:
in the DESERT
GAY MARRIAGE ... CYBERWAR ... SWINE FLU ... MAKER FAIRE
photo by brian_adams at flickr.com
the immediacy of the web
allows the event to be
documented as it happens.
we have to ask:
will attending the next Coachella in
person even be necessary?
JACK PASSION, IN THIS ISSUE
NATURAL FULL BEARD
same-sex marriage ban lifted in iowa, vermont, but
enforced in california. what happens next? PAGE 12
the US is pretty much defenseless against cyber attacks on
our power, water, and infrastructure. the future of war on PAGE 18
swine flu has been delcared a national emergency,
but you’re not going to die. see why on PAGE 24
build. craft. hack. play. see our take on the
visit the5ive.com/beard for the complete story. science faire for grown-ups. PAGE 30
FESTIVAL ROCKS IN TWO TIME ZONES:
THE REAL AND THE VIRTUAL
On Saturday night M.I.A., the Sri Lankan-British rapper who has used the connotations. And Buraka Som Sistema, with members from Portugal and
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival here as one of her springboards toward Angola, played its version of kuduro, a tough mongrelization of techno and
the big time — three appearances in five years, and finally last weekend on the soca.
main stage — had a gig like a bad dream. Added only a month ago to the For some reason crowd-surfing was especially viral this year. On Friday
schedule (and one month after giving birth to a son), possibly as a replacement Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant, a young Kentucky rock band just back from
for the canceled Amy Winehouse, she apparently hadn’t prepared much for the a quick coronation in the English press, made it all the way out to the back
50,000 or so people attending. of the crowd, aloft on his hands. It was a spectacle that lost its novelty over
She started off beautifully on “World Town,” a small woman dressed like the weekend, as seen in subsequent sets by Thievery Corporation, Amanda
a capitan in a hat and military jacket, behind a podium with a bouquet of fake Palmer, Public Enemy (Flavor Flav did it three times) and Pink Eyes, from
news microphones before her. But then things got fuzzy, and her dancers were the Toronto punk band with an unprintable name, which played one of the
carrying the show, looking increasingly to the boss after they had exhausted weekend’s most committed sets.
their short routines. They were running out of material, and M.I.A. derives her Bonus points for Flavor Flav: he’s 50. Double bonus for Pink Eyes: he’s a
sense of improvised stagecraft from hip-hop, which is to say that she doesn’t very large man and was bleeding profusely on the crowd at the time, having
have much. smashed his forehead with a microphone and then bonked it on the stage floor.
“I really don’t know how to bring it on the main stage, but we’re gonna try,” (Later, while signing autographs next to the on-site record store — Sunday
she said to the crowd. On the fourth song, “Bird Flu,” she encouraged fans to happened to be International Record Store Day — he admitted that he had
rush the stage. About 100 joined her, and the show momentarily improved, taken aspirin to thin the blood and make it run faster. “Old wrestlers’ trick,” he
with all these normal people in excited motion: climbing up and reorienting said, smiling.)
themselves as they took in the sight of the masses and the desert hills beyond, There was a general bowing in the direction of Paul McCartney, whose
something they might never experience again. Then, immediately, many of strong singing, easy presence, unforced emotional power and sheer tenacity
them took a picture of themselves onstage with their cellphones. in his Friday night headlining show — nearly 180 minutes, 50 of them fined for
Coachella exists in two time zones: the event itself and its digital afterlife. going past midnight — seemed to dispel the doubts that a 66-year-old Rock
The second zone, on cameras and blogs and Twitter and video-sharing sites, and Roll Hall of Famer could work at indie-obsessed Coachella. (Those doubts
comes a heartbeat after the first, like a rockabilly slap-back echo. In its 10th are nonsense, by the way: if Elvis Presley were alive and had a reasonably
year now, Coachella has been the music festival for the most technologically good manager, he’d be killing them here.)
advanced teenagers-to-young-professionals, sniffing around the alternative Mr. McCartney presented a history-spanning concert much like those from
mainstream. Even when the music doesn’t present an argument they haven’t his arena tour of 2005, starting in pre-rock ’n’ roll — Big Joe Turner’s “Honey
heard before, they’re controlling their own media representation of it; the act of Hush” — running through nearly 20 of the Beatles’ most recognizable songs,
listening is almost immediately contextualized into their own lives. as well as recent homegrown experiments in varying scale of trifle or anthem.
No particular breakthrough happened at this year’s Coachella. There were And as if to assure us that he had the upper hand, even in a sea of trendies,
some expectedly professional shows (the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, the Cure). his 1980 pre-electronica experiment “Temporary Secretary” was played on the
There were some new common patterns within standard indie rock: horn P.A. before he started. It sounded as deep and fresh as the best set I heard in
sections and the whooshing of synthesizers, or in the case of the Yeah Yeah the festival’s dance-music tent, by the French producer Busy P.
Yeahs, guitars made to sound like them. There was Mexico, represented by El Leonard Cohen also had songs to brag about and performed on Friday
Gran Silencio, Mexican Institute of Sound and Molotov. There were individual evening with grace and gravitas amid soft-pop arrangements that some
stops along music’s West-Africa-to-the New-World route. Tinariwen, from festivalgoers might otherwise disdain as major-league cheese. But maybe fast,
Mali, played its aerated Saharan almost-rock, full of dissonant notes and blues pointed listening, the kind that MP3s have recently taught us, intensifies the
power of a single song — like, say, Mr. Cohen’s “Hallelujah” — and takes Friday, April 17th
away the pressure of sizing it up in a larger context.
At the secondary-stage Outdoor Theater, Mr. Cohen intoned the line
“There ain’t no cure for love.” Minutes later on the main stage, in the song
“I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris,” Morrissey intoned his own corollary:
COACHELLA Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Leonard Cohen
The Aggrolites,The Airborne Toxic Event, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alberta Cross,
Bajofondo, Beirut, The Black Keys, Buraka Som Sistema, Cage the Elephant, Conor
Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Crystal Castles, Dear and the Headlights, El
Gran Silencio, Felix da Housecat, Genghis Tron, Ghostland Observatory, Girl Talk, Gui
“Nobody wants my love.”
He had more immediate problems too. Distressed over the sound mix
of the monitor and gagging in vegetarian disgust at the wafting scent of
EXISTS IN Boratto, Los Campesinos!, M. Ward, Molotov, N.A.S.A., Noah and the Whale, Patton
& Rahzel, Peanut Butter Wolf, People Under the Stairs, Ryan Bingham, Silversun Pick-
ups, Steve Aoki, Switch, The Bug, The Courteeners, The Crystal Method (Live), The
Hold Steady, The Knux, The Presets, The Ting Tings, We Are Scientists, White Lies
barbecue, he stayed on his back foot for the entire set. (“I can smell burning
flesh, and I hope to God it’s human flesh,” he spat.) As with M.I.A., his set
amounted to a high- visibility disaster, but its stoppages and backfires,
TWO TIME Saturday, April 18th
in front of a flowing, tweeting, it’s-all-good audience, made the Saturday, April 18th
The Killers, M.I.A., Thievery Corporation, TV on the Radio
weekend more interesting. The Killers, M.I.A., Thievery Corporation, TV on the Radio Of Horses, Billy Tal-
Amanda Palmer, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Atmosphere, Band
The festival contained more nostalgia than ever: with
Amanda Palmer, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Atmosphere, Band Of Horses, Billy (DJ
ent, Blitzen Trapper, Bob Mould Band, Booker T, Calexico, The Chemical Brothers
Set), Cloud Cult, Crookers, DJ AM, Band, Booker T, Calexico, The Chemical Brothers
Talent, Blitzen Trapper, Bob Mould Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers, Drop The Lime, Electric
the narrowing of the reaction time to culture, kids are
Touch, Fleet Foxes, Crookers, DJ AM, Gang Dance, Glass Candy,
(DJ Set), Cloud Cult, Flying Lotus, Gang Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers,
running out of new stuff and need to scavenge the dumps.
On Sunday night, 1991 ran rampant for a three-hour span: My
Bloody Valentine, the Orb, Public Enemy and the Cure, which
THE EVENT Glasvegas, Henry Rollins, Ida Maria, Foxes, Fly-
Drop The Lime, Electric Touch, Fleet James Mor-
rison, Jenny Lewis, Liars, Mast-
ing Lotus, Gang Gang Dance,
had its sound stopped at midnight during the song “Boys Don’t
Cry.” The Cure’s armored moping seemed like business as usual
compared with My Bloody Valentine, which did its stock in
trade: 50 minutes of song, then 15 minutes of sheer, battering
There was a general bowing in the direction of Paul McCartney,
whose strong singing, easy presence, unforced emotional power and
AND ITS Franti & Spearhead,
Rollins, Ida Maria,
Nutini, Para One
sheer tenacity in his Friday night headlining show — nearly 180 minutes,
Jenny Lewis, Liars,
50 of them fined for going past midnight — seemed to dispel the doubts
that a 66-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer could work at indie-obsessed
Coachella. (Those doubts are nonsense, by the way: if Elvis Presley were alive
Surkin, The Bloody
Franti & Spearhead,
MSTRKRFT, Paolo Nutini,
and had a reasonably good manager, he’d be killing them here.) Tinariwen, Travis Barker, Tur-
Para One (Live), Superchunk,
At its best Coachella promises individual spontaneity bonegro, Zane Lowe, Zizek
Surkin, The Bloody Beetroots,
or group energy, especially after the desert sun sets. It Thenewno2, Thievery Corpora-
can happen anywhere, like Saturday’s collaboration between DJ AM and Sunday, April 19th
tion, Tinariwen, Travis Barker,
Turbonegro, Zane Lowe, Zizek
The Cure, My Bloody Valentine,
the drummer Travis Barker, recent mainstays of Us magazine because of their high-wattage
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, X
love lives and recent private-plane crash, performing a set of lightly altered, extremely popular
Antony and the 19th
Sunday, April Johnsons, Brian Jon-
classic rock and hip-hop radio hits (“Enter Sandman,” “Rock With You” “Lithium,” “Juicy”) estown Massacre, Christopher Lawrence,
The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah
with live drums. Given a soft lob in the strike zone, the audience exploded. And it happened Clipse, Devendra
Yeah Yeahs, X Banhart, Etienne De
again late that night with the metal band Mastodon: a set consisting only of the band’s new Crecy, and the Johnsons, Brian Jonestown
AntonyFriendly Fires, Fucked Up, Gaslight
album, “Crack the Skye,” performed from beginning to end. A ferocious mosh pit came to life, Massacre, Christopher Lawrence, Clipse,
Anthem, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Junior
Boys, K’naan, Late Etienne De Crecy, Friendly
Devendra Banhart, of the Pier, Lupe Fiasco,
with dancers of all sizes and stripes: women too, as well as a dude in nothing but sneakers
Fires, Fucked Up, Gaslight Anthem, Groove
Lykke Li, M.A.N.D.Y., Marshall Barnes, Mexican
and black briefs.
Institute (DJ Set), Murder City Devils, Late of
Armada of Sound,Junior Boys, K’naan, No Age,
Coachella requires a certain degree of A.D.D. Get a quick taste of White Lies emo-tional The Orb, Okkervil River, Paul Weller, Perry
the Pier, Lupe Fiasco, Lykke Li, M.A.N.D.Y.,
accent, catch the Ting Tings insisting THAT’S NOT MY FUCKING NAME (look out for the Marshall Barnes, Mexican Institute ofDJs,
Farrell, Peter Bjorn and John, Plump
explicit remix with Christian Bale’s freak-out coming to a laptop near you); practice your Public Murder City Devils, No Age, The
Sound,Enemy, Roni Size, Sebastien Tel-
Guitar Hero moves to Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out”; Silversun Pickups trying to fix the Orb,Shepard Fairey, Paul Weller, Perry
lier, Okkervil River, Supermayer, The
Horrors, The Bjorn and John, Plump DJs,
Farrell, Peter Kills, The Night Marchers,
world’s “rusted wheel”; Crystal Castles whining into a strobelight in that irresistible
Themselves, Throbbing Gristle, Vivian Girls
Public Enemy, Roni Size, Sebastien Tellier,
Shepard Fairey, Supermayer, The Horrors, The
Kills, The Night Marchers, Themselves, Throbbing
Gristle, Vivian Girls
The FESTIVAL contained
THE festival CONTAINED
more nostalgia than ever.
MORE NOSTALGIA THAN EVER.
way sick gotten Alice Glass’s that long agony; and when they at stuck
I wasthat’s-- sick unto death withindecipherable shattered melodies length
in your me, (and infiltrating your karaoke style); senses Butter Wolf
unboundhead and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my Peanut were leaving
me. The the best of the ‘90s. Face it, the Caribbean and South of distinct
rocking sentence -- the dread sentence of death -- was the last America
accentuation which reached my ears. After that, the sound of the inquisitorial
have better rhythm: these cultures inheritted tribal roots designed to
take you out merged musical head and into your body. So, naturally,
voices seemed of your in one dreamy indeterminate hum. It conveyed to my
everyone lost a little bit of cellulite at association in fancy On the burr
soul the idea of revolution -- perhaps from itsthese two shows. with Sunday
of a mill wheel. This only for a brief period; formy ears more beating, but it
night after My Bloody Valentine, I gave presently I heard no more. Yet,
felt while, I right kind of bitter dessert. It was a reunion concert by
for alike the saw; but with how terrible an exaggeration! I saw the lips of the
Throbbing judges. They appeared to me electronic band from sheet upon
black-robedGristle, the English industrialwhite -- whiter than the the 1970s,
all members these words -- long-marinated oddness.
which I trace present in theirand thin even to grotesqueness; thin with the
intensity of their expression of firmness -- of immoveable resolution -- of stern
On old songs like “Five Knuckle Shuffle,” “Persuasion” and
“Hamburger Lady,” they I saw that the decrees discomfort; was Fate,
contempt of human torture.explored paranoia and of what to methey were
interested in the fear of connecting them writhe with a deadly locution. I
were still issuing from those lips. I sawwith strangers immediately, rather
than the fashion the
saw themjoy of it. syllables of my name; and I shuddered because no sound
in iowa, vermont, same-sex marriage ban
lifted moment did I suppose myself actually dead. Such a
The slow march towards legalising gay
supposition,was hobbled in November, fiction,
marriage notwithstanding what we read in when
is altogether inconsistent with real existence; -- but
voters in California passed a proposition to
where and in whatin May when it was upheld by
ban it, and again state was I? The condemned to
to allownot altogether excluded.
light was gay marriage through legislation,
A fearful idea court order, drove the after it
rather than a now suddenly nine yearsblood in
became the firstheart, andauthorise period, I once
torrents upon my state to for a brief civil unions.
more relapsed into insensibility. Upon Iowa ruled
On April 3rd the Supreme Court ofrecovering, I
the Supreme Court. usually at the autos-da-fe,
death, I knew, perishedTwenty-nine states now at once started to from marriage convulsively
that barring gaysmy feet, tremblingviolated the
and one of these had been held on therestricting
have constitutional amendments very night in every fibre. I thrust my clause. above and
state’s equal-protectionarms wildlyIowa thus
marriage to a trial. and been remanded to my
of the day of my man Had I woman. But after a around the all directions. America, yet
becameme in third state inI felt nothing;after
dungeon, to await spring thaw has which would
long winter the the next sacrifice, revealed a dreaded to move a step, lest I should allow gay
Massachusetts and Connecticut, tobe impeded
movement sprouting once more.
not take place for many months? This I at once marriage. Couples may tie the knot as soon as
by the walls of a tomb. Perspiration burst from
In New England, proponents are hoping to
saw could not be. Victims had been in immediate April 24th, and weddings are being planned.
every pore, and stood in cold big beads upon my
demand. gay marriage dungeon, states by 2012.
legalise Moreover, my in all six as well as all the Old cultural norms suspense grew planted
forehead. The agony ofare more firmlyat length
On April 7th Vermont became the first state
condemned cells at Toledo, had stone floors, and intolerable, and cautiously moved forward, ten
in the Midwest,I but this is changing. Of thewith
Voters will have time to see that
“ the sky doesn’t fall
and the world...
states showing the greatest increase in gay The fight has now moved from the
couples from 2000 to 2005, all but two were courthouse to the gold-domed state capitol.
in that region. The ruling, however, will probably stick.
It is fitting that Iowa should be the first To ban gay marriage, the legislature must
Midwestern state to let gays marry. True, it pass a constitutional amendment in two
is far from radical. In 1998 the state passed a successive assemblies. Only then would the
law defining marriage as between a man and matter go to voters, probably in 2012. But
Voters will have timehalf, in particular,
a woman. The rural western to see that that seems unlikely. The Democratic leaders
“the sky doesn’t fall and the world...
cherishes conservative values. Still, Iowans
I was themselves on with independent
pride sick -- sick unto deathbeingthat long agony;
of the House and Senate jointly congratulated
“the thousands of Iowans soft can now
moments of delirious horror, thewho and nearly as of the soul into Hades. Then silence, and stillness,
and when A new lengthfrom the me, and I was
thinkers. they at poll unbound University of express their love for the sable draperies if the
imperceptible waving of each other”. Even which night were the universe.
Iowa found sit, I felt that my senses wereoppose
permitted to that only 37% of Iowans leaving
both gay marriage and civil unions. death --
me. The sentence -- the dread sentence ofTwenty-
enwrapped passes an amendment, opposition
legislature the walls of the apartment. And then
to vision fell upon the fade by 2012, says David
mygay marriage may seven tall candles upon the
I had swooned; but still will not say that all of
consciousness was lost. What of it there remained
eight per cent support civil unions and 26%
was the last of distinct accentuation which reached
my ears.the right to the sound of the inquisitorial
believe After that, marry should be extended
Redlawsk of the wore the of Iowa. Voters will
table. At first theyUniversityaspect of charity, and
have time to and that “the sky who would and
seemed white see slender angels doesn’t fall save
I will not attempt to define, or even to describe;
yet all was not lost. In the deepest slumber -- no!
to all. seemed merged in one dreamyalso seen as
voices Iowa’s Supreme Court is indeterminate the but then, all at split open”.
me; world doesn’tonce, there came a most deadly
hum. It conveyedruled against slaveryrevolution
progressive. It to my soul the idea of in 1839. nausea over myof same-sex marriages in my
Opponents spirit, and I felt every fibre want
In delirium -- no! In a swoon -- no! In death -- no!
even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no
...doesn’t split open.”
Thirty years later association in Iowa’swith the
-- perhaps from its it ordered fancy public state lawmakers to touched the wire of a galvanic
frame thrill as if I had begin the process now. But immortality for man. Arousing from the most
burr of a mill wheel. This only for a “Iowa’s court
schools to be desegregated. brief period; for the idea seemed to forms became meaningless
battery, while the angel have no backing among profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer
has been, heard no more. Yet, for a while, I saw;
presently I for generations, independent, fair- legislative leaders; both chambers that are
spectres, with heads of flame, and I sawhere from web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so
minded and terrible an exaggeration! I saw behalf
but with how willing to enforce equality on the lips controlled would be no help.
them there by Democrats. And then there stole frail may that web have been) we remember not
of vulnerable groups,” says Jennifer Pizer of
of the black-robed judges. They appeared to me Unlike some a rich that have the thought
into my fancy, like states musical note,barred the that we have dreamed. In the return to life from
Lambda Legal, which sheet upon case I trace
white -- whiter than the argued the which before marriages with voter-led ballot grave. The
of what sweet rest there must be in themeasures, the swoon there are two stages; first, that of the
it. The ruling on Aprileven was unanimous and
these words -- and thin 3rd to grotesqueness; thin voters here cannot directly initiate
thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed sense of mental or spiritual; secondly, that of the
with the by a Republicanexpression of firmness --
written intensity of their appointee. constitutional amendments. An amendment
long before it attained full appreciation; but just sense of physical, existence. It seems probable
immoveable set off the of stern explosion.
of The decisionresolution -- expectedcontempt of would require approval by state to feel and
as my spirit came at length properly lawmakers that if, upon reaching the second stage, we could
LetUsVoteIowa.org declared: “This what to
human torture. I saw that the decrees ofdecision during it, the figures of sessions, and then
entertaintwo legislative the judges vanished, as recall the impressions of the first, we should find
is anti-family were still issuing from thoseBryanI
me was Fate, AND unconstitutional!” lips. approval by voters at the ballot box. sank
if magically, from before me; the tall candles That these impressions eloquent in memories of the
saw them a spokesman for locution. I saw them
English, writhe with a deadly the Iowa Family means the earliest flames went out utterly; the
into nothingness; their a prospective ban could gulf beyond. And that gulf is -- what? How at least
Policy Centre, saysof my name; and I not reflect
fashion the syllables the ruling “does shuddered take effect darkness supervened; all sensations
blackness ofwould be 2012. shall we distinguish its shadows from those of the
the opinion of the vast majority of Iowans.”
because no sound succeeded. I saw, too, for a few In Massachusetts, in mad that followed
appeared swallowed uptheafurorerushing descent tomb? But if the impressions of what I have termed
a Supreme Court ruling in 2004 has mostly Perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries
subsided. Now the rest of New England of same-sex marriage will be state economies.
is following its example. Connecticut has The University of California, Los Angeles
allowed same-sex marriage since November. (UCLA) reports that extending marriage
In Vermont, the state legislature successfully to gay couples brings tourism, spending
overrode the governor’s promised veto. on weddings and licensing fees. Same-sex
In New Hampshire, which has a distinctly marriage in Iowa, UCLA predicted last year,
conservative streak, the House of would bring $5.3m to state coffers and $53m
Representatives on March 26th voted to to state businesses. These hard times could
support gay marriage. A Maine Senate judicial use a bit more cash and celebration.
committee will hold hearings on the subject
later this month. Rhode Island may consider
gay marriage as well, and already recognises
unions performed elsewhere.
I was sick -- sick unto death with that long agony; with the intensity of their expression of firmness --
and when they at length unbound me, and I was of immoveable resolution -- of stern contempt of
permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving human torture. I saw that the decrees of what to
me. The sentence -- the dread sentence of death -- me was Fate, were still issuing from those lips. I
was the last of distinct accentuation which reached saw them writhe with a deadly locution. I saw them
my ears. After that, the sound of the inquisitorial fashion the syllables of my name; and I shuddered
voices seemed merged in one dreamy indeterminate because no sound succeeded. I saw, too, for a few
hum. It conveyed to my soul the idea of revolution moments of delirious horror, the soft and nearly
-- perhaps from its association in fancy with the imperceptible waving of the sable draperies which
burr of a mill wheel. This only for a brief period; for enwrapped the walls of the apartment. And then
presently I heard no more. Yet, for a while, I saw; my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the
but with how terrible an exaggeration! I saw the lips table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and
of the black-robed judges. They appeared to me seemed white and slender angels who would save
white -- whiter than the sheet upon which I trace me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly
these words -- and thin even to grotesqueness; thin nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my
ALT+ When American forces in Iraq
wanted to lure members of Al Qaeda into a
trap, they hacked into one of the group’s
computers and altered information that drove
them into American gun sights.
the digital arms race
When President George W. Bush ordered new
ways to slow Iran’s progress toward a nuclear
bomb last year, he approved a plan for an
experimental covert program — its results still
unclear — to bore into their computers and
undermine the project.
And the Pentagon has commissioned military
contractors to develop a highly classified
replica of the Internet of the future. The goal is
to simulate what it would take for adversaries
to shut down the country’s power stations,
telecommunications and aviation systems, or
freeze the financial markets — in an effort to
build better defenses against such attacks, as
well as a new generation of online weapons.
Just as the invention of the atomic bomb
changed warfare and deterrence 64 years
ago, a new international race has begun to embedded on computer chips when they are incoming president by Mr. McConnell and STRENGTHENING DIGITAL DEFENSE
develop cyberweapons and systems to protect manufactured, enabling the United States his coordinator for cybersecurity, Melissa An international race has begun to develop defenses
against them. to take command of an enemy’s computers Hathaway, went further. They described against the growing variety and number of online
Thousands of daily attacks on federal
and private computer systems in the United
States — many from China and Russia,
some malicious and some testing chinks in
the patchwork of American firewalls — have
by remote control over the Internet. That, of
course, is exactly the kind of attack officials fear
could be launched on American targets, often
through Chinese-made chips or computer
vulnerabilities including an attack on Wall
Street and one intended to bring down the
nation’s electric power grid. Most were
extrapolations of attacks already tried.
Today, Ms. Hathaway is the primary author
attacks, as well as to create offensive weapons.
A 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office listed several
types of attack that could threaten the nation’s infrastructure.
prompted the Obama administration to review So far, however, there are no broad of White House cyberstrategy and has been
WILL NOT WORK American strategy.
President Obama is expected to propose
authorizations for American forces to engage
in cyberwar. The invasion of the Qaeda
traveling the country talking in vague terms
about recent, increasingly bold attacks
Denial of Service attacks
Disrupting a Web site or network by flooding it with fake requests.
a far larger defensive effort in coming days, computer in Iraq several years ago and the on the computer networks that keep the
FOR CYBER. including an expansion of the $17 billion, five- covert activity in Iran were each individually country running. Government officials will not Phishing and vishing
year program that Congress approved last authorized by Mr. Bush. When he issued a discuss the details of a recent attack on the Using fake e-mail, Web sites or voice-over-Internet technology to trick people
year, the appointment of a White House official set of classified presidential orders in January air transportation network, other than to say into revealing information.
SOMEONE to coordinate the effort, and an end to a running
bureaucratic battle over who is responsible for
2008 to organize and improve America’s
online defenses, the administration could not
the attack never directly affected air traffic
control systems. Scanning and sniffing
WILL defending against cyberattacks.
But Mr. Obama is expected to say little
agree on how to write the authorization.
A principal architect of that order said
Still, the specter of an attack that could
blind air traffic controllers and, perhaps, the
Exploring a network in search of weak points or intercepting network data in
search of passwords or other information.
ALWAYS or nothing about the nation’s offensive
capabilities, on which the military and the
the issue had been passed on to the next
president, in part because of the complexities
military’s aerospace defense networks haunts
military and intelligence officials. (The saving Trojan horses
Malicious code embedded in seemingly legitimate software or hardware.
nation’s intelligence agencies have been of cyberwar operations that, by necessity, grace of the air traffic control system, officials
GET IN. spending billions. In interviews over the past
few months, a range of military and intelligence
officials, as well as outside experts, have
would most likely be conducted on both
domestic and foreign Internet sites. After the
controversy surrounding domestic spying,
say, is that it is so old that it is not directly
connected to the Internet.)
Studies, with code names like Dark Angel,
Viruses and worms
Software that infets other computer files or reproduces on its own and causes
described a huge increase in the sophistication Mr. Bush’s aides concluded, the Bush White have focused on whether cellphone towers, damage, spies of computer activity or spreads through a network.
of American cyberwarfare capabilities. House did not have the credibility or the emergency-service communications and
Because so many aspects of the American political capital to deal with the subject. hospital systems could be brought down, to Bot-nets
effort to develop cyberweapons and define sow chaos. But the theoretical has, at times, Networks of infected computers that can be controlled remotely to send spam
their proper use remain classified, many of become real. or launch coordinated attacks.
those officials declined to speak on the record. Electronic Vulnerabilities “We have seen Chinese network operations
The White House declined several requests inside certain of our electricity grids,” said Joel both concluded in Mr. Bush’s last years in office to strike back, or even who the attacker
for interviews or to say whether Mr. Obama Cyberwar would not be as lethal as atomic F. Brenner, who oversees counterintelligence that it would not be enough to simply build might be. Others have argued for borrowing
as a matter of policy supports or opposes the war, of course, nor as visibly dramatic. But operations for Dennis Blair, Mr. McConnell’s higher firewalls and better virus detectors or a page from Mr. Bush’s pre-emption doctrine
use of American cyberweapons. when Mike McConnell, the former director successor as national intelligence director, to restrict access to the federal government’s by going into foreign computers to destroy
The most exotic innovations under of national intelligence, briefed Mr. Bush on speaking at the University of Texas at Austin own computers. malicious software before it is unleashed into
consideration would enable the Pentagon the threat in May 2007, he argued that if a this month. “Do I worry about those grids, and “The fortress model simply will not work the world’s digital bloodstream. But that could
to surreptitiously enter a computer server in single large American bank were successfully about air traffic control systems, water supply for cyber,” said one senior military officer who amount to an act of war, and many argue it
Russia or China, for example, and destroy a attacked “it would have an order-of-magnitude systems, and so on? You bet I do.” has been deeply engaged in the debate for is a losing game, because the United States
“botnet” — a potentially destructive program greater impact on the global economy” than But the broader question — one the several years. “Someone will always get in.” is more dependent on a constantly running
that commandeers infected machines into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Mr. McConnell, administration so far declines to discuss — is Internet system than many of its potential
a vast network that can be clandestinely who left office three months ago, warned whether the best defense against cyberattack That thinking has led to a debate over whether adversaries, and therefore could suffer more
controlled — before it could be unleashed in last year that “the ability to threaten the U.S. is the development of a robust capability to lessons learned in the nuclear age — from the damage in a counterattack.
the United States. money supply is the equivalent of today’s wage cyberwar. days of “mutually assured destruction” — In a report scheduled to be released
Or American intelligence agencies could nuclear weapon.” As Mr. Obama’s team quickly discovered, apply to cyberwar. Wednesday, the National Research Council
activate malicious code that is secretly The scenarios developed last year for the the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies But in cyberwar, it is hard to know where will argue that although an offensive
cybercapability is an important asset for Homeland Security sponsored in March 2008, be the prelude to an attack that scrambles In the rare case where the preparations for
the United States, the nation is lacking a called Cyber Storm II, envisioned a far larger, databases or seeks to control computers. But an attack are detected in a foreign computer
clear strategy, and secrecy surrounding coordinated attack against the United States, Team Cymru ran into a brick wall as soon as it whether to embrace the concept of pre-
preparations has hindered national debate, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. tried to trace who, exactly, was probing these emption, with all of its Bush-era connotations.
according to several people familiar with It studied a disruption of chemical plants, industrial systems. It could not determine The questions range from whether an online RUSSIA AND CHINA HAVE LOTS OF
the report. rail lines, oil and gas pipelines and private whether military organizations, intelligence attack should be mounted on that system to, in
The advent of Internet attacks — especially computer networks. That study and others like agencies, terrorist groups, criminals or extreme cases, blowing those computers up. NATIONALISTIC HACKERS...
those suspected of being directed by nations, it concluded that when attacks go global, the inventive teenagers were behind the efforts.
not hackers — has given rise to a new term potential economic repercussions increase The good news, some government officials Some officials argue that if the United
inside the Pentagon and the National Security exponentially. argue, is that the Chinese are deterred from States engaged in such pre-emption —
Agency: “hybrid warfare.” To prove the point, Mr. McConnell, doing real damage: Because they hold and demonstrated that it was watching the
It describes a conflict in which attacks through then the director of national intelligence, more than a trillion dollars in United States development of hostile cyberweapons — it
the Internet can be launched as a warning shot spent much of last summer urging senior government debt, they have little interest in could begin to deter some attacks. Others
— or to pave the way for a traditional attack. government officials to examine the Treasury freezing up a system they depend on for their believe it will only justify pre-emptive attacks
Early hints of this new kind of warfare Department’s scramble to contain the effects own investments. on the United States. “Russia and China
emerged in the confrontation between Russia of the collapse of Bear Stearns. Markets froze, Then again, some of the scans seemed to have lots of nationalistic hackers,” one senior
and Estonia in April 2007. Clandestine groups he said, because “what backs up that money originate from 14 other countries, including military officer said. “They seem very, very
— it was never determined if they had links to is confidence — an accounting system that Taiwan, Russia and, of course, the United States. willing to take action on their own.”
the Russian government — commandeered is reconcilable.” He began studies of what Senior Pentagon and military officials also
computers around the globe and directed a would happen if the system that clears market Because “cyberwar” contains the word “war,” express deep concern that the laws and
fire hose of data at Estonia’s banking system trades froze. the Pentagon has argued that it should be the understanding of armed conflict have not
and its government Web sites. “We were halfway through the study,” one locus of American defensive and offensive kept current with the challenges of offensive
senior intelligence official said last month, “and strategy — and it is creating the kind of cyberwarfare.
The computer screens of Estonians trying the markets froze of their own accord. And we infrastructure that was built around nuclear Over the decades, a number of limits on
to do business with the government online looked at each other and said, ‘Our market weapons in the 1940s and ’50s. action have been accepted — if not always
were frozen, if they got anything at all. It was collapse has just given every cyberwarrior out Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has practiced. One is the prohibition against
annoying, but by the standards of cyberwar, it there a playbook.’ ” concluded that the military’s cyberwarfare assassinating government leaders. Another
was child’s play. Just before Mr. Obama was elected, the effort requires a sharper focus — and thus a is avoiding attacks aimed at civilians. Yet in
In August 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia, Center for Strategic and International Studies, specific command. It would build the defenses the cyberworld, where the most vulnerable
the cyberattacks grew more widespread. a policy research group in Washington, for military computers and communications targets are civilian, there are no such rules or
Georgians were denied online access to news, warned in a report that “America’s failure to systems and — the part the Pentagon is understandings. If a military base is attacked,
cash and air tickets. The Georgian government protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent reluctant to discuss — develop and deploy would it be a proportional, legitimate response
had to move its Internet activity to servers in national security problems facing the new cyberweapons. to bring down the attacker’s power grid if that
Ukraine when its own servers locked up, but administration.” would also shut down its hospital systems,
the attacks did no permanent damage. What alarmed the panel was not the The Deterrence Conundrum its air traffic control system or its banking
Every few months, it seems, some agency, capabilities of individual hackers but of nations system?
research group or military contractor runs — China and Russia among them — that During the cold war, if a strategic missile “We don’t have that for cyber yet,” one
a war game to assess the United States’
vulnerability. Senior intelligence officials
were shocked to discover how easy it was to
experts believe are putting huge resources
into the development of cyberweapons.
A research company called Team Cymru
had been fired at the United States, screens
deep in a mountain in Colorado would have
lighted up and American commanders would
senior Defense Department official said, “and
that’s a little bit dangerous.” ...THEY SEEM
permanently disable a large power generator.
That prompted further studies to determine
if attackers could take down a series of
recently examined “scans” that came across
the Internet seeking ways to get inside
industrial control systems, and discovered
have some time to decide whether to launch
a counterattack. Today, when Pentagon
computers are subjected to a barrage, the
VERY, VERY WILLING
generators, bringing whole parts of the
country to a halt.
Another war game that the Department of
more than 90 percent of them came from
computers in China.
Scanning alone does no damage, but it could
origin is often a mystery. Absent certainty
about the source, it is almost impossible to
mount a counterattack.
TO TAKE ACTION
ON THEIR OWN.
A pair of young soldiers hand out
sanitation masks in Mexico to help
control the H1N1 influenza epidemic. HEALTH EMERGENCY, BUT
Almost 4000 cases of swine flu have
been confirmed in Mexico alone.
Photo by Eneas via Flickr.com
YOU’RE FINE- AND HERE’S WHY:
Responding to what some health officials feared could be the leading edge even though it officially saw the outbreak as a public health emergency and
of a global pandemic emerging from Mexico, American health officials declared opened its emergency response center.
a public health emergency on Sunday as 20 cases of swine flu were confirmed As a news conference in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet
in this country, including eight in New York City. Other nations imposed travel Napolitano called the emergency declaration “standard operating procedure,”
bans or made plans to quarantine air travelers as confirmed cases also and said she would rather call it a “declaration of emergency preparedness.”
appeared in Mexico and Canada and suspect cases emerged elsewhere. “It’s like declaring one for a hurricane,” she said. “It means we can release
funds and take other measures. The hurricane may not actually hit.” American
Top global flu experts struggled to predict how dangerous the new A (H1N1) investigators said they expected more cases here, but noted that virtually all so
swine flu strain would be as it became clear that they had too little information far had been mild and urged Americans not to panic. The speed and the scope
about Mexico’s outbreak — in particular how many cases had occurred in of the world’s response showed the value of preparations made because of the
what is thought to be a month before the outbreak was detected, and whether avian flu and SARS scares, public health experts said.
the virus was mutating to be more lethal, or less. “We’re in a period in which The emergency declaration in the United States lets the government free
the picture is evolving,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, deputy director general of the more money for antiviral drugs and give some previously unapproved tests and
World Health Organization. “We need to know the extent to which it causes drugs to children. One-quarter of the national stockpile of 50 million courses of
mild and serious infections.” antiflu drugs will be released.
Without that knowledge — which is unlikely to emerge soon because only Border patrols and airport security officers are to begin asking travelers
two laboratories, in Atlanta and Winnipeg, Canada, can confirm a case — his if they have had the flu or a fever; those who appear ill will be stopped, taken
agency’s panel of experts was unwilling to raise the global pandemic alert level, aside and given masks while they arrange for medical care.
courtesy of nytimes.com
use this QR Code to
link to a live Google
map of all cases of
for more about QR codes,
TRACK THE CASES KNOW:
Several tracking websites
have sprung up with the
purpose of documenting
suspected, negative, and
Cover your mouth when
confirmed cases of H1N1 you cough and sneeze.
Influenza, also known as Use tissues and throw
Swine Flu.. Try FluTracker them in the trash.
(flutracker.rhizalabs.com) Wash your hands with
to get the most recent soap and water. Use
alcohol- based hand
cases. Also try the online sanitizers. Avoid sick
flu test, available at both people. If you are sick,
doihavetheswineflu.com stay home. People who
and doihavetheswineflu. have been exposed
org. Be sure to get your can get a prescription
for the antiviral drugs
friends tested online too. oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
WHAT IS IT? SYMPTOMS HOW DANGEROUS IS IT? or zanamivir (Relenza).
Swine flu is a general term Symptoms are similar Experts don’t know
for flu viruses adapted to to regular influenza: how deadly swine flu
pigs, also known as the fever, fatigue, sore is because they don’t
H1N1 Influenza. Swine throat, cough, poor know how many people
flu can infect humans, appetite, body aches have been infected. The
most often from a pig to and chills. Some people World Health Organiza-
someone handling pigs. also have nausea, tion (WHO) says the
It can pass from human vomiting and diarrhea. overall mortality rate is
to human via coughing, 1% to 4%.
sneezing, or touching
then touching the mouth,
nose or eyes, just like
the normal flu.
Uploaded on April 25, 2009
by Citoyen du Monde Inc at flickr.com
“This is moving fast and we expect to see more cases,” Dr. Richard Besser,
acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the
news conference with Ms. Napolitano. “But we view this as a marathon.”
WE MAY He advised Americans to wash their hands frequently, to cover coughs
and sneezes and to stay home if they felt ill; but he stopped short of advice
now given in Mexico to wear masks and not kiss or touch anyone. He praised
decisions to close individual schools in New York and Texas but did not call for
JUST BE more widespread closings.
Other governments tried to contain the infection amid reports of potential
new cases including in New Zealand and Spain. Dr. Fukuda of the W.H.O. said
LOOKING his agency would decide Tuesday whether to raise the pandemic alert level
to 4. Such a move would prompt more travel bans, and the agency has been
reluctant historically to take actions that hurt member nations.
Canada confirmed six cases, at opposite ends of the country: four in Nova
AT THE Scotia and two in British Columbia. Canadian health officials said the victims
had only mild symptoms and had either recently traveled to Mexico or been in
contact with someone who had.
TIP OF Other governments issued advisories urging citizens not to visit Mexico.
China, Japan, Hong Kong and others set up quarantines for anyone possibly
infected. Russia and other countries banned pork imports from Mexico, though
people cannot get the flu from eating pork.
THE On the streets of New York, people seemed relatively unconcerned, in
sharp contrast to Mexico City, where soldiers handed out masks. Hong Kong,
shaped by lasting scars as an epicenter of the SARS outbreak, announced very
tough measures. Officials there urged travelers to avoid Mexico and ordered
the immediate detention of anyone arriving with a fever higher than 100.4
degrees Fahrenheit after traveling through any city with a confirmed case,
which would include New York.
Felicita Aguilar leaves the San Ysidro Health Center in San Ysidro California Everyone stopped will be sent to a hospital for a flu test and held until it
after being treated for flu like symptoms. Aguilar, 72, lives in Tijuana Baja is negative. Since Hong Kong has Asia’s busiest airport hub, the policy could
California Mexico and was worried she might have the swine flu. // Uploaded severely disrupt international travel.
on April 27, 2009 by Jerod Harris The central question is how many mild cases Mexico has had, Dr. Martin S.
Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine for the Centers for Disease
Control, said in an interview. “We may just be looking at the tip of the iceberg,
which would give you a skewed initial estimate of the case fatality rate,” he
said, meaning that there might have been tens of thousands of mild infections
around the 1,300 cases of serious disease and 80 or more deaths. If that is true,
as the flu spreads, it would not be surprising if most cases were mild.
Even in 1918, according to the C.D.C., the virus infected at least 500 million
of the world’s 1.5 billion people to kill 50 million. Many would have been saved
if antiflu drugs, antibiotics and mechanical ventilators had existed. Another
hypothesis, Dr. Cetron said, is that some other factor in Mexico increased
lethality, like co-infection with another microbe or an unwittingly dangerous
treatment. Flu experts would also like to know whether current flu shots give
any protection because it will be months before a new vaccine can be made.
S f u n
e 5 iv e
WWW.THEOF NEWS AND FUN