Cyber Command, the Air Force's confused and confusing program to "control cyberspace" has been unplugged. And unlike with HAL 9000, someone had the foresight to take action well before things got out of hand.
Noah Shachtman at Wired's outstanding Danger Room blog has the scoop on the aborted launch of Air Force online dominance:
But even if everything all was calm at the Air Force, Cyber Command's path was far from clear. At a June conference , the command's emerging leaders couldn't agree on what exactly the new unit would do. Some said the command's mission would be the "protection and defense of the Air Force's command and control abilities." Others argued that the "mission is to control cyberspace both for attacks and defense." (The service even changed its mission statement to read, "As Airmen, it is our calling to dominate Air, Space, and Cyberspace.") Some believed the Cyber Command would only be responsible for computer networks. Others thought it'd be responsible for every system that had anything to do with the electromagnetic spectrum — up to and including laser weapons.
Too bad about the cool-looking Cyber Innovation Center, though, which was going to erected in that hotbed of technological development, Bossier City, Louisiana.
Back in February, I chronicled Cyber Command's ham-handed advertising techniques and expressed skepticism about all ventures involving the word "cyber" here.