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In 2012, DARPA — the mad scientist wing of the pentagon — revealed a new and highly classified research and development project called PLAN X.

An effort to bolster the US military’s recently established Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) so that it may “dominate the cyber battlespace,” the plan will dramatically accelerate the development and acquisition of new weapons, with a focus on lowering the engagement threshold so that personnel without detailed technical expertise can be seamlessly deployed into the hyperlink conflict matrix.

PLAN X is a deliberate attempt to render cyber warfare more accessible, user-friendly and intuitive, to the point where it includes an effort to transform the digital world into a 3D landscape that can be navigated with Oculus Rift, allowing soldiers to experience cyberspace much like they would the arid terrain of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Of the plan’s many curious dimensions is an attempt by DARPA technologists to create a real-time map of the entirety of cyberspace — which includes billions of computers, handheld devices and other intermeshed nodes of interest.

This move by DARPA, which in 1969 created the networks that would eventually evolve into the web we so casually surf today, confirms what many have suspected all along: that the Internet has always been and continues to be primarily a theater for warfare.

Please govern yourselves accordingly.

— Douglas Haddow. This piece is Part One of the Field Guide to Virtual Warfare from Adbusters Issue #118.[cherry_banner image=”6260″ title=”Adbusters #118″ url=”″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Field Guide to Virtual Warfare [/cherry_banner]