Something to watch. La Russophobe quotes the Washington Post on the subject of the Kremlin's possible deployment of denial-of-service attacks on its domestic critics. This follows the use of such attacks on Estonia, with whom Russia had a political dispute.
A political battle is raging in Russian cyberspace. Opposition parties and independent media say murky forces have committed vast resources to hacking and crippling their Web sites in attacks similar to those that hit tech-savvy Estonia as the Baltic nation sparred with Russia over a Soviet war memorial. While they offer no proof, the groups all point the finger at the Kremlin, calling the electronic siege an attempt to stifle Russia's last source of free, unfiltered information. The victims, who range from liberal democrats to ultranationalists, allege their hacker adversaries hope to harass the opposition with the approach of parliamentary elections in December and presidential elections in next March. ...
The attacks are similar to assaults _ sometimes a million computers-strong _ unleashed in April and early May against Web sites in Estonia. Officials there say waves of attacks crashed dozens of government, corporate and media Web sites in one of Europe's most wired societies. The cyber warfare included computer-generated spam and so-called Distributed Denial-of-Service, or DDoS, attacks.
The political elite of the West, like the last Manchus, may be have become so blinkered by the long assumption of guaranteed superiority that they have become slower than their supposed inferiors at grasping the possibilities of the 21st century warfare. Methods like cyberattacks and a networked insurgency are pitted against limited pacifist and diplomatic responses often with great effectiveness. Putin's audacity may be vile, but it displays an imagination and a willingness to step outside the beaten track so rare among Western leaders. Just as courtiers in Beijing once thought the Chinese emperor had the right to rule 'all under heaven', today the Eurocrats may believe "International Law" composed in Brussels actually governs the fate of nations and trumps all national political decisions. They forgot what the authority to rule 'all under heaven' was actually based upon though Putin has not.
The enemies of the West have become mentally much tougher and creative than the purblind politicians who bleat and threaten to bleat yet again when their requests are not met. One wonders whether Putin and the terrorist regimes are now increasingly certain that the once formidable walls are in fact unmanned; and that neither the costly furnishings nor the walls of red tape of its Manchu foe will be of much use on the day of test.