RealNews

Iraq's Net Loss: Embryonic Web System First Casualty of War

Like an artist concealing his signature in the background of a painting, Loay Edmon Al-Botany tucks his name in the source code of Web pages at BabilOnline, the site he manages for Saddam Hussein’s son Uday. Al-Botany, a lifelong resident of Baghdad, says his work for the government-controlled Iraqi newspaper site doesn’t pay very well — the equivalent of $100 U.S. a month. But he considers himself lucky to have one of the few Internet jobs in the country, and a high-profile position at that. Any day now, however, it could all come crashing down from a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, says Al-Botany. “If U.S.A. attack Iraq, the first thing (they will do) is a cyber-war,” he says. Al-Botany, 30, remembers well the U.S. bombing of Baghdad in 1991, which targeted telecommunications and power systems. This time around, many observers predict that the U.S. will also deploy viruses, government-trained hackers, and special electromagnetic pulse bombs to knock out Iraq’s computers and other sensitive electronic equipment. Full Story

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