World War 2.0

I'm a bit tired of the current trend to call any new version of something tech as "something 2.0." Example: today I read a piece called "Digital Divide 2.0" on the Education Week site that takes the issue of the digital divide and shows how new technologies just widen that gap.

But I'll admit to being interested in a story I found on the new Wired Science site (a joint production from PBS and Wired magazine) about Estonia and a kind of cyberwar attack. I've thought for awhile that a war could be fought with the Internet as the battlefield. I think cyberterrorism could be an incredible force against another country. (Not everyone agrees.) If a terrorist group could take down the Internet for a city like New York or the east coast of the U.S. or for the entire country, it would hit harder than a bomb.

Of course, this sounds more like a novel than reality, but that's what's in this video story from Estonia which I did not hear on the news.

A patriotic statue was moved and the Russian community (about 25% of the population) there rioted in reaction. Then the rioting and violence went "2.0" with Russian hackers. Using
botnets (a term for a collection of software robots, or bots, which run autonomously and automatically) running on groups of "zombie" computers controlled remotely by hackers they began launching against the Estonian networks a denial of service attack.

Not only was I ignorant to this event, but I was ignorant of Estonia. It is said to be Europe's most wired country.
For example, citizens can vote for their Parliament online.

The story has so many possible classroom possibilities - as a current event on culture, technology, terrorism or computer science, or as the starting place for a kind of realistic science-fiction or even a geography lesson. The Wired Science site is a good place to find other technology/science stories that have applications in several subject areas.


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