Various media sources have recently been filled with terms like cyberwarfare, cyber threats and IT security. This development can hardly be called surprising, since cyberspace is not simply serving the purpose of communication and the rapid exchange of information, it’s also become a massive battlefield since the first days of its creation, largely due to the US government and the intelligence agencies that in fact created it. It seems we’ve witnessed it all now, including covert cyber operations, database hacking, carding, corporation and government security breaches.
Modern cyberweapons are capable of inflicting an extensive amount of damage upon various forms of infrastructure, and what’s even worse is that they are deployed by the Pentagon not only against states that are regarded as potential enemies by Washington, but against NATO member-states as well. Even the US cannot feel completely protected against cyber attacks from beyond its borders, despite the fact that American intelligence services started this cyberwar in the first place.
As may already be known, the White House describes access to the Internet as a fundamental right, one that it is going to defend with all means available, including diplomacy, the media, the military and economics, including the usage of the so-called “soft power”. The State Department program for so-called Internet Freedom can be considered one of the most striking examples of the practical use of such tools.
However, in countries practicing censorship, citizens are often denied access to foreign opinions, along with the chance to present their own opinion on the net. Among such countries we can find such opponents of Washington such as China, North Korea, Iran, and a number of former Soviet Union states. To get access to the information space of these states Washington demanded its intelligence agencies to develop an effective way “to access the Internet anonymously.” For the same purpose, Washington coined the notion of good users that are described as “free citizens”, who do not recognize national sovereignty in the cyberspace. In the name of “protecting” the rights of such users, Washington and US intelligence agencies feel entitled to intervene in the internal affairs of other states by imposing their own concepts of “democracy” and “honor” which often contradict those that are generally accepted in those states. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise to anyone that Hillary Clinton largely inspired the Freedom of the Internet program and seeks the presidency to further augment these American weapons within cyberspace.
An integral part of this program are the so-called CGI proxies that allow users to bypass the firewalls that governments of various states use to control national segments of the Internet. Those proxy servers allow users to access various sites anonymously, thereby circumventing law enforcement agencies.
For these purposes American intelligence agencies created TOR at the end of the last century. The so-called Onion Router was developed by the Center for High Assurance Computer Systems (CHACS) with the assistance of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The framework for this project was provided by the so-called Free Haven in cooperation with the Defense Advanced Research projects Agency (DARPA) who were operating on the direct order of the US government. Significant financial assistance was provided to the TOR project by the CIA, Department of Defense and the US Department of State. We can safely confirm now that TOR is being used in US operations, such as during the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey.
At first TOR, which contacts a site via several computers and layers of encryption, existed as a top secret tool of American intelligence agencies, but then it was declassified back in 2003 and later transformed in a free software app that is being freely distributed on the Internet to assist Washington during its various so-called “color revolutions”. The better part of the development team officially left secret services and were employed by a specially created fund to continue the development of this tool. The TOR network quickly became a hideout for crooks, criminals and marginal characters and is being used to buy weapons, drugs and hire killers. According to official numbers, more than one million people from states with Internet censorship have been using TOR on a daily basis to breach national firewalls.
Thus, a good share of American drug addicts have been greatly assisted thanks to TOR, jumping from 8% in 2014 to 15% this year, according to the Global Drug Survey, an online study. It’s been reported that online drug markets are part of the “dark web”, the sites only accessible through browsers such as TOR, while almost all sales are made via “cryptomarkets” that have been growing exponentially over the years. Drug trade became one of the primary activities of TOR users and there’s an ever growing number of Americans that are getting involved in it. One can safely assume that the developers of TOR have also taken advantage of the router that they’ve created to be able to earn some extra cash, while still working for American intelligence agencies. We’ve witnessed a similar situation in Afghanistan, where US military personnel became heavily engaged in drug trafficking.
It’s a well-known fact that every secret eventually becomes known. Therefore, all the rhetoric regarding the so-called Freedom of the Internet that Washington is so found of is nothing but a cover-up for a tool that is being used to spread violence and promote corruption both across the world and in the US itself with the singular purpose of gaining more power and wealth, even at the expense of feeding a destructive cycle of crime and violence.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”