Flinders University targeted for the United States' Offensive Cyber Strategy
China's Confucius Institutes in Australia have recently been under attack by the Federal government, ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) and the mainstream media. These institutes are alleged to be spy havens and to have carried out attacks on academic freedom.
However, much larger penetration of Australian universities by US imperialism through think-tanks and various institutes inserted into their campuses has been going on since the end of the Second World War. Once again, the US has gone on the offensive with the establishment of a new cyber warfare and digital security centre, based at Flinders University in South Australia.
It goes by the title of, "The Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance ". The name doesn't pretend to hide the fact that this centre is there to serve the interest of the US Alliance. The centre is named in honour of the former US Ambassador, Jeff Bleich, who is an Honorary Professor and has had a long association with Flinders University.
The Flinders University United States connection goes back a long way. Since 1967 the Fullbright Scholarship Program has been run and is touted as "...one the largest and most prestigious educational exchange programs in the world." An American equivalent to the Rhodes Scholarships. Even more infamous was the Flinders University Vice Chancellorship by the American professor, Roger Russell in the 1970s. During the campaign over history exams, student activists occupied the registry and discovered that he had been involved in research for the American war machine and had been a consultant for the CIA. Eventually, students opened the Vice Chancellor's office files which revealed the extent to which Vice-Chancellor Russell's research had been related to military and intelligence agencies and the implication of his involvement in research for chemical and biological warfare.
The stated mission of this new centre is:
"The Jeff Bleich Centre will enhance the resilience of our democracies and address the challenges and dangers of the digital age to the fabric of our societies. These risks are now very clear. The Jeff Bleich Centre will articulate and address the consequences of rapid technological change to the Australia-US Alliance.
“The dangers to the democratic fabric arise from the impact of rapid technological change on our societies. It will seek to identify reforms, including regulatory models, that will preserve the gains of the digital revolution and yet enhance the resilience of democratic freedoms. The Jeff Bleich Centre research and programs will restore trust in the interactions in civil society and in the institutions of democratic societies.
“The Jeff Bleich Centre will strengthen research collaborations between Australia and the US and will forge links that address the common problems associated with transformative digital technologies."
These motherhood statements about the purpose of the centre belie the more nefarious role of such an academic fifth column. It is in reality a nest of vipers to maintain the domination of Australia by US imperialism.
The United States domination of the cyberscape has been eroded. Now quite a number of nations are able to protect themselves from cyber warfare and interference through social media, where America politically manipulates countries for the purpose of strategic influence, particularly economic control.
The US Department of Defense’s cyber strategy document states explicitly: “Our strategic approach is based on mutually reinforcing lines of effort to build a more lethal force; compete and deter in cyberspace; expand alliances and partnerships; reform the Department, and cultivate talent.” It goes on to say in an aggressive military speak, “Our focus will be on fielding capabilities that are scalable, adaptable, and diverse to provide maximum flexibility to Joint Force commanders. The Joint Force will be capable of employing cyberspace operations throughout the spectrum of conflict, from day-to-day operations to wartime, in order to advance U.S. interests.”
Historically the United States of America has carried out geopolitical and military conflicts by interference in the business of other countries, through the orchestration of murderous coups and blatant intervention under false pretexts (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine in this century), which is America's modus operandi.
Now the US is expanding its approach into cyberspace. No doubt the US Department of Defense has carried out and will continue to carry out attacks against its enemies’ presence in cyberspace through spyware and malware e.g. damage servers of manufacturing infrastructure, essential services, banks and providers of databases. However, the Pentagon doesn't get it all its own way.
The US Department of Defense whinges: “We are engaged in a long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. These States have expanded that competition to include persistent campaigns in and through cyberspace that pose a long-term strategic risk to the Nation as well as to our allies and partners. China is eroding U.S. military overmatch and the Nation’s economic vitality by persistently exfiltrating sensitive information from U.S. public and private sector institutions. Russia has used cyber-enabled information operations to influence our population and challenge our democratic processes. Other actors, such as North Korea and Iran, have similarly employed malicious cyber activities to harm U.S. citizens and threaten U.S. interests. Globally, the scope and pace of malicious cyber activity continue to rise. The United States’ growing dependence on the cyberspace domain for nearly every essential civilian and military function makes this an urgent and unacceptable risk to the Nation.”
However, the United States is hardly a victim of cyber warfare, for high-level US Intelligence sources have admitted: “We Hack Everyone Everywhere”. Internationally famous journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke phone and internet spying stories, did an exposé in June 2013 of Barack Obama's offensive cyber-warfare initiative. Greenwald uncovered in a top-secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian newspaper that Obama had ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks.
An intelligence source with vast information of the National Security Agency’s systems informed the Guardian … “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”
The role of the Flinders University Jeff Bleich Centre is to act as smokescreen for the malevolent and numerous cyber warfare activities carried out by America throughout the world and campaign against the so-called 'evil aggressors' attacks on the 'freedom-loving United States'. Institutes, such as the Jeff Bleich Centre, bind Australia in many ways - educationally, ideologically, culturally, politically and militarily - to the overwhelming domination by the United States.