One of the interesting aspects of the coming age of cyberwarfare is the non-cyber components, or what may be more graciously considered the crossover or spillover effects of cyber-conflict.
The recent declaration of Venezuelan Consul General Livia Acosta Noguera is a good example.
The conjecture of now is that Acosta was declared persona non grata by the US State Department and ordered to leave because, according to a Univision documentary, she was accused of talking to Mexican officials about the likelihood of sponsoring an Iran-based cyber-attack on the US. Of course there’s no public evidence of this talk, nor that this is what the State Department is concerned with. In fact, the way I’ve worded it here is a step further than most news reports which merely say
“she, while stationed in Mexico in 2007, spoke with computer experts about an Iranian cyber-plot against the U.S.”
Of course, talking about Iranian plots are not enough to make such a bold diplomatic move.
Rather this seems to be the result of the decades long resentment between the U.S. and Iran that spiked after Iran (claimed to have) knocked a US intelligence drone from the sky and waved it around for the whole world to see. I’m probably missing a few things, but the notable incidents were the drone going down, followed by a brief controversy over whether or not the Iranians were faking it. Then it was proven to be our drone and the US asked for it back. Obviously the Iranians refused. Then there was EU/US talk of increasing sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program, followed by the Iranians threatening to shut down the Strait of Hormuz which would drive oil prices sky high. Then Ahmedinejad began his tour of Latin America by visiting known US gadfly Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The State Department has seemed to ejected Acosta as a direct reply to Iran’s outreach attempts in South America.
And right at the center of all this is an alleged cyber-attack.
Is this cyberwar?
Dr. Colin M. Snider links to a story about Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva about to undergo chemotherapy treatment for laryngeal cancer diagnosed on October 28.
He will be receiving treatment from the same hospital that treated President Dilma Rousseff and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez among others. The two graphs below are from the excellent United Nations Human Development Index report site. On the left you can see Brazil’s health index in relation to the rest of the world and its progress since 1980. It’s interesting to note that although in the last twenty years Brazil has begun a rapid rise toward being a regional power, but it’s rate of progress has stayed consisted with the world rate of progress, and consistent along it’s own trajectory 1980-1990.
On the right Brazil is the brown-orange line and Venezuela is the blue one. Unlike Brazil, Venezuela has progressed faster than the rest of the world, but began flattening out around 2000. However, although Venezuela’s progress has flattened from its previous rate, it is still converging with Brazil.
I don’t have anything to add to that by way of analysis. Brazil and Venezuela are two very different countries and state leaders can pretty much get treatment wherever they want. So it speaks highly of Brazil’s Sirio Libanés Hospital that so many of its homegrown politicians stay there, and that other regional leaders use it as well.
All the best to Lula.