Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A False Flag Hypothesis

Hypothesis, not theory: I don't have any way to make it testable or falsifiable. And I'm not even saying I personally believe it. But it does occur to me, and it does seem plausible. CNN reports:

The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) -- more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

Now, I'm not the sort of person who yells "false flag!" every time something messed up happens. I like to see evidence, not just speculate. But the phenomenon is not unknown (see, for example, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident), and this is a perfect candidate for evaluation as a likely false flag precisely because it's not really possible -- absent, perhaps, the appearance of a whistleblower with verifiable logs or something -- for there to be evidence.

The only "evidence" we have that this ever even happened, or that if it did happen the Chinese government is to blame for it (as the US government keeps half-saying) is that some US government officials say so. And we know that US government officials lie like rugs at every opportunity, and have already done so on this very matter.

So really we are left reasoning from cui bono? ("who benefits?") grounds, which are pretty shaky but still worth thinking about.

If there was in fact no foreign, government-sponsored cyber attack on the US Office of Personnel Management, who benefits from telling us there was such an attack? The government itself.

  1. The attack allegedly compromised the personal information of 18 million people, and that information could in turn be used to hack their computers and Internet accounts, compromising even more personnel info of several times as many others. Suppose I work for the NSA and I want to hack you. What better cover, if my actions are detected, than "oh,  those evil Chinese spies must have got your info?"
  2. The US government has been pushing various Internet power grabs for several years now in the name of "cyber security." This alleged cyber attack makes great propaganda for seizing yet more control over what we do online.
Can I prove it? Nope.

Do I believe it? Well, I believe it might be true. In fact, I believe the hypothesis to be more compelling than the government's claims. After all, as I've already pointed out, those guys lie, all the time, flagrantly, for any reason or no reason at all.

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