Borders on the Internet are Internet security!
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 08:09:52 -0700
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China Youth Daily, 9/13/99
Some believe that national borders do not exist on the Internet.
Absolutely not! Borders on the Internet are Internet security!
Some believe that the threats on the Web are only from "viruses" and
"hackers." Absolutely not! There are also threats from information
hegemony and cultural infiltration!
Today when we are entering a Web age, Web security has become an
important indicator of a new and necessary concept of security for
the state. The key to Web security is in grasping "web domination."
Without "web domination" there is no Web and information security.
In today¡¯s society, politics, economy, military, and social
activities are gradually depending on networking. As a major
infrastructure component of the state, networking will certainly
become a main target of information warfare of the 21st century.
With the development of computer networks, network society formed
gradually. Online territory became another dimension besides land,
ocean, sky, and space, and became part of the territory under
sovereign jurisdiction. However, different from the territory of the
conventional sense and though online territory belongs to the field
of national sovereignty and security, it does not have clearly
definable borders, and any web user can enter this dimension and
conduct activities. This creates conflicts occurring in this "soft
border" more secretive and dangerous.
Conflicts on the web have neither smoke nor bloodshed; it is very
likely that the opponent has already launched an attack or already
won a decisive victory while you are still unaware. The attacks by
computer "viruses" and "hackers," the infiltration of web culture,
and the unfair invasion of the people who horde web information will
politically deceive the people, cause economic losses, leak out
classified military intelligence (and hence lose the power to
command), and cause ideological chaos and social disturbances. In
this respect, attacks and infiltration in the online territory can be
deadly for national politics, economy, military, and society.
Because of this, we can say that "web domination = territorial
domination," and we must firmly establish the awareness for the
security of national defense online. We must develop an independent
national Internet industry so that our online territory and
sovereignty is not violated. But how is the current situation?
In terms of establishing an awareness for online territory and web
security, most people¡¯s understanding of web security remains on
the level of protecting the information online, mainly by means of
building firewalls. Among the 3,700 websites in China now, 91% of
them use WindowsNT as the server operating system, and its stability
and security cannot satisfy the need to protect the online territory.
Web security products are being imported and used without independent
rights and control. This will inevitably harbor dangers such as
imbedded viruses, hidden passageways, and decodable passwords.
Looking at the rule of the online game, the power to register
Internet domain names, and the TCP/IP protocol commonly used on the
Internet, we see these are in the hands of the US as well. Where is
independence and self-control on the web?
The security of a country cannot be built upon a completely imported
foundation, just like a country¡¯s Customs, military, and police
cannot be in the hands of a different country.
In order to actually grasp "web domination" and strengthen our
online national defense power, we must take a road of
self-development and self-perfection. We must start from the
First, we must strengthen citizens¡¯ awareness of online territory
and national security. Through propaganda and introduction, we must
make each citizen understand the importance and function of online
territory, understand the danger and urgency of online invasion.
Second, we must develop an independent network information industry.
We must independently develop hardware chips and operating systems,
as well as core technologies including security coding standards. We
must construct an information security system which we can control
ourselves, and hence be in the offensive in the web information
Third, we must strengthen management of web security and
legislation. We should establish a web security infrastructure. For
instance, a web national defense research center, a web international
port monitoring center (information customs), virus monitoring and
prevention center; system attack and counter-attack system, web
security education center, security products evaluation center, and
key web system disaster recovering centers. We should also establish
and perfect a whole set of laws and regulations to prevent "digital
For important government, military, and technical fields, we must
strengthen the management of Internet ports. It is best is to
construct relatively closed and independent networks, and form a
so-called "one country two networks," or "one country multiple
networks" system and speed the building of supporting systems,
thereby reaching the goal of improving our network¡¯s ability to
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