|Press Release - from Connect - Ireland
Communications Ltd. 4.30pm GMT,
Thursday 19th August 1999, Dublin.
Connect-Ireland's response to the call for Cyber War against Indonesia.
In a number of recent international newspapers, articles have appeared quoting Ramos Horta in the context of the threat of the use of cyberwarfare against Indonesia.
There are some points I would like to make to correct some of the content in some of these articles.
The attack on us - which was a culmination of attacks over 9/10 months was NOT directed at a web site - but at the cctld - top level domain - for East Timor (.tp) - and therefore much more serious than stated..
During the course of the attack, we established that the perpetrators had a full domain registry with them and were endeavouring to establish spurious domains - which we can but assume were for neferious purposes and presumably these would reflect badly on the Call for Freedom by the East Timorese.
Our activities and initiatives have established East Timor's virtual independence, at least as far as the Internet is concerned. After the attack we received many positive offers of support and assistance.
The offers also included possible revenge attacks against Indonesia - which we stated categorically that we did not want or condone.
We have not heard from anyone in the current call for such action by Ramos Horta either in the Irish Internet community or any other location. If we had heard of such a potential action, C-I would have endeavoured to dissuade the use of such options and activities and hopefully would have directed the interest and intellectual capacity to more fruitful channels.
I would like to make our position extremely clear.
We do not condone attacks of any kind on the Internet or other similar technologies.
We believe in the freedom of speech and in everyone's ability to conduct their communication for their own legitimate purposes.
We (C-I) believe there is more to be gained by maintaining the opportunities that can be developed through free speech than in conducting cyberwarfare.
I would also like to add that after the attack on us, we received support from many Indonesians - who translated our statement(s) into the many languages that are used within that territory and circulated these widely.
We (C-I) are NOT at war with the Indonesian People.
We were completely unaware of the proposed activity as given by Horta.
We have not been approached in recent months by anyone who has stated that they wished to participate in an activity of this nature.
The response that we received after the attack from the 'hacker' cyber community was all very anti cyber terrorism. Since the beginning of this year, we have been informed on good authority that over 5000 East Timoreans have been killed.
In this light, I can perceive that leading activists in the cause for East Timor are under considerable pressure and this will continue until the implementation of full and open democratic processes are in place in East Timor.
To my mind Ghandi would have made a much better Internet strategist than Hitler.
Connect-Ireland believes in the freedom of speech. We believe that all lines of communication should always be kept open as there is more to gain through this process. I can think of no better environment for managing "Jaw- Jaw rather than War-War" - than the Internet.
Martin Maguire Project Director
Connect-Ireland Communications Ltd.
19th August 1999