â€œThe United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing,â€ former National Security Agency chief Mike McConnell wrote in The Washington Post on February 28. â€œItâ€™s that simple.â€
The reality is far from simple. If the government wants to thoroughly track online activity, McConnell admits, â€œwe need to re-engineer the Internet to make attribution, geo-location, intelligence analysis and impact assessmentâ€"who did it, from where, why and what was the resultâ€"more manageable.â€ Thatâ€™s right: He wants to re-engineer one of the most popular and revolutionary technologies of our time, just to allow the government to get in on the business of data security.
Wired called McConnell a â€œnice-seeming guy whoâ€™s willing and able to use fear-mongering to manipulate the federal bureaucracy for his own ends, while coming off like a straight shooter to those who are not in the know.â€ During the Bush administration, McConnell persuaded the president to sign a secret order to erect firewalls and build malware into military gear. Under Obama heâ€™s at it again, lobbying for cyberwar from his perch in the private sector.