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Thursday, October 14, 2010



I don't worry about this stuff in terms of my home computer, really, but as more and more systems get run via computers -- from power grids to subways to phone systems, etc. -- it seems obvious that large swatches of civilization could be brought to a halt by an attack on computer systems (whether a virus like this or an EMF pulse or whatever). Specifically, I worry that we will forget how to run some of these same things without computers, or will have no computer-independent control systems available as back-ups.

As you say, nothing *I* can do about it, but I hope somebody in the right place is equally worried...


Do worry about this, it has the potential to wipeout powergrids, blow up nuclear plants, and a multitude of other things. One day of no internet, power, or control will set the U.S. into chaos, rioting, and possible war.


I think it really depends on the timeframe.

I don't think a *day* without the Internet or without power would cause mass rioting. A week or more could get weird.

And, while systems are perhaps more coupled than they should be, I think it would be hard to bring down the entire power grid at once. The possibility of no power and sabotaged control systems is most alarming to me when thinking about even short time frames, because of the potential for damage at nuclear plants and other toxic (but currently contained) sites.

Ultimately, though, terrorists have already shown that they don't need to do anything very sophisticated to cause a lot of damage to the United States. Just look at airport security indignities for proof, to say nothing of the emerging surveillance state.

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