Outsourcing to break the “cyber-lock”

Noah Shachtman at Wired draws our attention to an interesting bit of virtual geography: George is largely “cyber-locked” (see the Packet Clearing House diagram). The solution? Outsource to Google:

Civil.ge, the Georgian news site, is "under permanent [cyber] attack." So they’ve switched their operations to one of Google’s Blogspot domains, to keep the information flowing about what’s going on in their country.

"In a sense," notes Jim Stogdill, "they must be saying ‘we can’t keep our sites up, but we don’t think [Russian hackers] can take down Blogspot, given Google’s much better infrastructure and ability to defend it.’"

Yes, and the cost was probably attractive attribute as well.

Besides the interesting reliance on the private sector, the Georgian dilemma highlights the extreme importance of information and the ability to get out your side of the story. The war of bits and bytes is ultimately a war of perceptions. The cyber attacks are efforts to muzzle the Georgians and to prevent opportunities to portray the Russians as anything but “peacekeepers” and “defenders.”

See for example Joshua Keating: Georgians feel betrayed and abandoned by their American allies. The Russian media isn’t really reporting it that way though.”

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