Sometimes a story that one of our readers comes across is so mind-boggling that I just have to blog about it, but sometimes those stories are so bloated with disturbing implications that I hesitate to do so. This story, shared by M.D. (thank you!) is one of those cases.
In brief, the US Department of Defense and DARPA (which, thanks to a suggestion of one of our members, J.B., we like to call the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency), are considering using blockchain technology to control America's nuclear and thermonuclear arsenal, and yes, you read that correctly:
Here's the relevant paragraphs:
The digital currency technology has crossed a lot of boundaries to finally enter the realm of the Defense Department. The transparent and immutable nature of Bitcoin blockchain is now being considered by the US Department of Defense for developing tamper-proof computer systems. These computer systems may as well be used to safeguard the country’s nuclear arsenal.
The project has been assigned to Galois, a computer security firm to perform a code audit on defense systems using Guardtime’s blockchain based technology. Galois has received a funding of $1.8 million for this project alone.
By implementing blockchain technology, the Defense department intends to make their systems hacker-proof. Depending upon the success of Galois’ audit, the department intends to extend the use of blockchain technology into other defense applications as well.
As one might imagine, this set my high octane speculation motor racing into overdrive, so take the following extremely high octane speculation for whatever it's worth.
I needn't repeat my usual mantra - one which, incidentally, I share with former HUD Assistant Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts - that no cyber system is entirely secure, no matter what the hype may be. Right now, we're in the midst of a severe controversy about the last US federal election, and it turns out, if you've been paying attention to various stories, that some systems were not only involved in a what appears to be a clear case of election theft and fraud, but that some are also connected to wholesale hacks and penetrations into various agencies of the American federal government. This doesn't seem like a very good time to be contemplating turning over control of nuclear weapons to a government that appears to have more cyber holes than a piece of Swiss cheese.
My concern, however, is not with all that.
We're also watching a wholesale effort on the part of Mr. Globaloney to move to "digital 'currencies'", which might well be completely digital, but which are certainly not currencies. Blockchain technology is a major component of this effort. It's ultimately a way to reduce money not even to monetized debt (the facsimile of money), but to a "corporate coupon", whose value, depending on whether or not we're all good little boys and girls, can be regulated at the point of use. So let's pretend; assume, for a moment, that there is a global "digital 'currency'" called BSes, or perhaps, SDRs, which could mean "Special Drawing Rights" or equally "Sale Dependent Reductions". You've been a bad boy or girl, and are challenging Dr. Ernst Stavr...er... Klaus Schwab's narrative, and you take your BSes or SDRs to the grocery store to buy a few items. Your account says you have x numbers of BSes or SDRs in it, but when you get to the checkout lane, you're informed that your BSes and SDRs have been reduced 20% of their "value" because of some things you told your neighbor about what you think of SPECTRE...er... uhm, the World Economic Forum. With Pope Francis' approval, your BSes have been reduced by 20% of their value, until you repent (to the proper authorities of course), confess your sins, and get the 20% restored. That does you no good, because there you are in the checkout line. You might, of course, be able to go to the ACM (Automated Confession Machine) and recoup the value, but then you've lost your place in line, plus had to pay a small fee to use the ACM. Call that fee "Peter's pence," or perhaps, "Francis' folly," whatever you wish. (The Automated Confession Machine is directly linked via Alexa to the Vatican - "Alexa, will you hear my confession"? Answer: "Why, certainly Elaine, just speak loudly and clearly; this conversation may or may not be recorded to insure quality customer service. If you need additional absolution or spiritual counsel, please press zero for a human confessor.")
You get the idea. And yea, I know it's nuts, but things are just about that bad in post-Vatican II Popedom. Just look at their "nativity" scene for this year.
All of this, of course, involved the corporations and banks running the blockchain technology behind your BSes and your ACMs.
So what's the problem? Just this: in the rush to put everything, including nukes, under blockchain technology, I'm suspecting the real effort here is not so much about making those weapons "secure", as about securing those weapons by, and for, the corporations running the technology.
Think about that for a moment.
The move, it seems to me, would give those corporations a virtual veto power over their use, and ultimately, the temptation to their use.
I don't know about you, but I do not want any corporation, or any bank, including the Vatican (which is both), to have that kind of power. Autos-de-fe were bad enough. There's no reason to make them nuclear.
See you on the flip side...