Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
One day prior to the Catalan referendum the founder of the website WikiLeaks Julian Assange on a social network published a post in which it is said that on the Iberian Peninsula the first-ever Internet war began. According to Assange, a sign of this war is the attempt of the Spanish authorities to block Catalan Internet websites connected in any way to carrying out a plebiscite concerning the independence of Catalonia.
It seems that good old Julian in this case is nevertheless late. The Internet war in Catalonia indeed goes at full speed, but to say with confidence that it is the first such conflict is, at minimum, strange.
The first one, by the way, outraged representatives of the sofa troops of Ukraine. It’s like: “what Assange permits himself… We [Ukrainians – ed] have conducted an Internet war with Russia for years, we block Russian websites, even social networks, we cut Russian broadcasts at the roots, while he dared to give some Catalans the winner’s prize”. In general, get out Assange!
In reality, the Internet war is ongoing, and has been ongoing for years. And not only Catalonia or Ukraine participates in this war, but a lot of other countries of the world, including the United States of America and Britain, which try to squeeze out the Russian media from television and Internet spaces – Russia Today and the Sputnik news agency. Internet wars are being actively conducted in Southeast Asia, where real network fights between Vietnam, China, Philippines, Japan, and other states of the macro-region are being unraveled concerning disputed islands. An Internet standoff is observed between India and Pakistan, which don’t commit the sin of mutually blocking Internet resources, trying to cause the maximum informational damage to each other.
By and large, Internet wars become a quite affair. Why? There is the assumption that in the conditions of the new reality many countries of the world try to avoid in every way solving geostrategic tasks by means of wars in its usual understanding – with aircraft, tanks, infantry, and small arms. They try even if they fire shots to do it so that it has the effect of a detonated bomb not on a real battlefield, but in virtual space.
If several decades ago the largest world players tried to solve all questions connected with conflicts of interests with “hot” war (up to a world war), over time they started to understand that losses in real wars promise losses of percentage points in wars for the electorate. Also, the army suffered essential losses – this can obligatorily be used in the information plan by political competitors, and it means that there is the threat of losing in future elections. Well, or, at least, to lose support from certain segments of the population, including military personnel.
And this same United States, having a military budget that is astronomical in size – over $600 billion – stubborn increases its expenditure (as a percentage) on carrying out campaigns connected with solving tasks on the Internet. This concerns support for various funds, councils, discussion clubs, and also supervisory bodies, which are engaged in the identification of informational attacks (and here it’s not only about hackers) through the World Wide Web and, whenever possible, try to take measures for “correction” or full blocking. For this purpose American senators already started to call on the carpet managers of the largest social networks, from who they demand only one thing – to accept the rules of the game with the purpose of finally turning American social networks into a weapon of these same Internet wars, of course, in American hands.
To openly fight is archaism (it’s what they decided), while using third-party forces under their control with a simultaneous aggressive policy in the information space is the new reality.
And that’s why the assumption appeared that the rules of the new game are being probed, a new version of war that would allow the winner to habitually receive everything, but only now with losses 10 times less than the losses in real war.
And Russia, by definition, can’t remain aside from these attempts, because she will be devoured… Even with “Armata”, “Kurganets”, “Triumf”, and even “Yars” – they will devour it, without bread and without onions. Russia can’t remain aside at least because in the past we were already swallowed – it just so happened that neither the most powerful nuclear forces, nor the existence of the extensive network of influence of Soviet special services couldn’t prevent the collapse of a huge country [USSR – ed]. They de-vour-ed it! Moreover, we reported it ourselves (it is well known who called who) – that the process of our digestion in the stomach of others takes place normally.
Why do I mention this? It is because our “partner-friends” for sure didn’t stop their attempts to digest Russia definitively. Thus, recently, in the main office of the TASS news agency an event took place featuring the report “on the facts of interference in the information sovereignty of Russia before presidential elections. Preparation of a color revolution in Russia”. The Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Predictions of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Nikita Danyuk gave remarkable figures. According to him, from 2015 to 2018 western “comrades” allocated about $80 million to influence the course of the electoral campaign and the process of the will of citizens in Russia being implemented.
From the report:
“The West doesn’t regret spending time, forces, nor the means in order to break the fragile stability existing in today’s Russia. In the conditions of the 21st century emphasis is being placed on information counteraction — attacks on the information space allows to correct with high efficiency the vector of public mood on this or that side. (…) Let’s take, for example, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — this American structure controls the information policy at the global level, supporting these or those moods in many countries. It is precisely this structure that controls such media as ‘Voice of America’ and ‘Radio Freedom’. The project ‘Nastoyashcheye Vremya’, which focuses first of all on the Internet, from here [BBG – ed].”
$80 million for Russia is, of course, not $5 billion for Ukraine. But here it is necessary to understand that the funds allocated for the Russian Federation are, if I may say so, more concentrated. I.e. on a more squeezed time span – with only one result: to influence the elections in March of next year. It is possible to imagine how many Internet resources and systems of Internet control our “dear partners” employ to achieve this.
To act exclusively openly and honestly and to respond purely diplomatically with “we express concerns” and “we sent a note of protest”? Ha… We already did it. What it led to is well known – NATO troops already stand a couple of hundred kilometers from St. Petersburg, and concerning Russian media abroad there are real inquisitorial persecutions with the squealing of Ukrainian-Polish-Baltic puppet figures: “Witch! Burn the witch!” They all strive to bring firewood and to form a pyramid.
So, it won’t be possible to solve such problems by diplomacy alone or by the usual military methods. Thus, the term of Assange will have more and more derivatives, which we will be obliged to live with in the coming decades. And if this is so, then large-scale “hot” wars will be a thing of the past? This is the question.
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