Historically, the GRU has been Russia’s main agency for operating in uncontrolled spaces, which has meant civil wars and the like. In some ways, the Internet is today’s uncontrolled space.
Mark Galeotti, Institute of International Relations in Prague, as qoted in How Russia's military intelligence agency became the covert muscle in Putin's duels with the West, by Anton Troianovski and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 28 December 2018
The article continues,
“What the GRU demonstrate very consistently is profound innovation with available resources,” said Joe Cheravitch, a Russia analyst with Rand Corp., a nonprofit, federally funded research institute. “That’s what really makes them dangerous.”
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a brief moment, in the early 1990s, when the digital future felt open-ended and up for our invention. Technology was becoming a playground for the counterculture, who saw in it the opportunity to create a more inclusive, distributed, and pro-human future. But established business interests only saw new potentials for the same old extraction, and too many technologists were seduced by unicorn IPOs. Digital futures became understood more like stock futures or cotton futures – something to predict and make bets on. So nearly every speech, article, study, documentary, or white paper was seen as relevant only insofar as it pointed to a ticker symbol. The future became less a thing we create through our present-day choices or hopes for humankind than a predestined scenario we bet on with our venture capital but arrive at passively.
How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse by Douglas Rushkoff, The Guardian, 24 July 2018
The internet is morally agnostic. It forges community, or kindles hatred, with complete indifference. No attempt to censor its content can alter this core characteristic. In its duality it mirrors its creator, humankind. This is 21st-century life. Or perhaps, simply, it is life.”
The Power of Ariana Grande by Roger Cohen, NY Times, 26 May 2017
Leo Laporte: We all thought in the 70s and 80s and 90s, especially when the Internet started taking off, that the Internet was going to be a great democratizing force, the gatekeepers would fall, it would be friction free commerce, the world would be a better place. And it hasn't turned out […] I think the Internet is a disappointment. I think we did have high hopes, and it failed us.
Owen JJ Stone: Isn't that life, bro?
This Week in Tech, episode 698, 23 December 2018 [at 17:40]