The advent of the Internet has been one of the most exciting major events in the second half of the 20thtcentury. The ancient dream of “a scholar knows all things happening in the world without venturing outdoors” has finally become a reality. Since 1993, the Internet started to take off. At present, the Internet has spread to more than 180 countries and regions, connecting more than 600,000 domestic networks of various types, hooking up more than 20 million computers available to 120 million users (2% of the entire global population).
However, due to its innate transnational, decentralized, open and unregulated nature, the Internet as a free, open and anarchic device has brought various countries great risks First of all, the internet has negatively influenced the countries politics because the Internet explicitly propagates and implicitly spreads western democratic values. These views are mainly spread through some governmental organizations or government-sponsored groups in the West.
They select some typical stories that reflect western democracy and wrapped them up in attractive packages. Then they put these stories in visual and/or audio format and give them to people with great appeal and attractiveness. Most of those who have visited these websites come off praising the beauty of western democracy. The Internet can be also used as a tool to harm national sovereignty and interfere with other countries’ internal affairs.
In some websites, when agencies and organizations of some foreign governments publish data, they treat areas such as Taiwan and Tibet as independent countries. The website of the U. S. National Geographic Society once published a map of Asia, which flagrantly excludes the South China Sea and Taiwan from our territories. Another example is that some websites have published views supporting Taiwanese and Tibetan independence and providing some so-called “historical evidence. ” This has clearly interfered with Chinese internal affairs.
The politically intended websites all have certain level of deceptiveness, influencing people to accept their views subconsciously, albeit with some doubt at first, thus shaking people’s firm stance of ideological correctness. Secondly, the internet causes cultural degradation because the Internet advocates western life-styles. These websites display various aspects of western society and life, and the overwhelming majority of them have positive portrayals of the western life-style.
It makes people believe that the West seems to be countries of absolute freedom and paradise for individual achievement where private life is without obstacles and external inferences. Partial information such as this is particularly appealing to our youths whose life philosophy and worldview have yet to mature. Many of these youths aspire with great diligence to go abroad just to “change a way of living. ” The Internet also poses a potential threat to information warfare.
Some countries have applied the Internet into military operations, have conducted mock attacks against other countries’ networks, or have fabricated deceptive information harmful to other countries’ military forces. At a time when the information networks have become an important infrastructure of the nation and the military, the information warfare will be a war without the explosives, a war with a high invisibility, low cost, international, and multi-area (political, military, economic, social and material resources etc. approach. The high-tech nature and the unpredictability of combat intelligence in information warfare have made it extremely difficult to organize an information defense. The U. S. Department of Defense has specifically established an “Executive Committee on Information Warfare,” which is devoted to studying national policy for information warfare, and conducting war games on some websites.
According to a report by the Sunday Thames of England, on 29 June (1998), experts from Great Britain and the United States conducted a secret military exercise in the destructive attacks on computers, with the objective of preventing a blitzkrieg in an information war. The result of the exercise indicates that just a few hackers can paralyze the stock market, military systems and airports, making the superpower, the United States, unable to move around.
In a future information war, national financial transaction centers, stocks exchange centers, air traffic control centers, telecommunications control centers, railway control headquarters and various military networks, will inevitably become the main targets of information warfare. In conclusion, the internet is detrimental to a country’s culture, politics and security. Since it’s impossible to close the networks we must control and do our best to destroy its negative impacts when we can.
Adapted from: http://www.uscc.gov/researchpapers/2000_2003/pdfs/neg.pdf