Today, this blog was featured on the large and popular news site, Sky News for the Google map that I created involving the conflict in South Ossetia between Russia, Georgia and the South Ossetians. If you are looking for the post featured in the the article, you can find it here:

An additional story covering the cyberattacks, when they first occurred in the region, can be found here:

Here’s an excerpt from the Sky News story about the post:

“The map was created by American blogger David Drake who writes for the blog ilovebonnie.net.

David will be keeping the map up to date as events take place.

He told Sky News: “When I first heard about the conflict I was surprised that it was so difficult to find a good map of the area so I decided to make my own.”

“I first became interested in Russia when I took a History of Russian Culture class in my studies at George Mason University. We studied some of the conflicts that have happened, historically, in the region. Obviously Georgia came up during those discussions.””

The main story from Sky News about the conflict can be found here.

While you’re here, please consider subscribing to my feed, and also be sure to check out the other Google maps post I’ve done including a map of the 2008 submarine cable cuts.


[UPDATE]: as a reader has pointed out, NASCO has denied claims of a super highway (yet they freely acknowledge a NASCO corridor). It should be pointed out, however, that NASCO does support the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC). Their own timeline (which can be found here) states that they are almost finished with their environmental studies. What are they waiting for? The last two entries in their “Environmental Study Timeline” are “Prepare final environmental impact statement”, which is labeled as ongoing & “Federal Approval (record of decision)”, which is labeled as anticipated Summer/Fall of 2008.

The Bush administration has decided that there is just too much fact-checking occurring for developers when it comes to their effects on endangered species:

“The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.

New regulations, which don’t require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years…”

This is not the first time the Bush administration has tried to annihilate our environment.

When I first read this article my hear dropped, but I was not surprised in the least. Why? Because I remembered hearing about a major development project that the current administration has been working towards. The NASCO Corridor. Before Bush and friends are removed from office, they want to be sure the NASCO corridor is going forward with full steam. Why does it seem appropriate to tie this endangered species announcement together with the NASCO corridor?

Well, 2 months ago, the NASCO Conference 2008 was held. There, Mexican Energy Secretary Georgina Kessel, speaking on behalf of the Mexican President:

“…emphasized that Mexico recognizes that growing global trade and rising North American trade flows “have generated challenges in infrastructure, logistics and public policy.” She praised the nonprofit, tri-national NASCO and its efforts to unite public and private sector trade and transport stakeholders to overcome these challenges and “promote a secure, efficient transport system in North America that facilitates cross-border trade.””

In addition:

“Undersecretary of Transport for Mexico Humberto Treviño informed attendees of President Calderón’s aggressive National Infrastructure Plan to invest $45 billion in public/private funds in Mexico’s national transportation infrastructure, including in highways, tollroads, railroad network expansion, modernization and expansion of airports, air cargo terminals, seaports and port terminals as well as in major electricity grid transmission equipment and networks and oil and gas pipelines and electric power plants.”

It would seem, from these quotes, that the conference is focused around the transportation of Mexico. So, it is probably a conference made up of mostly Mexican officials from Mexican companies, right? WRONG:

“Top company executives in attendance included Mike Haverty, CEO of Kansas City Southern Railroad; officials from Mexico’s Ferromex Railroad; Roberto González Barrerra of food/tortilla giant Grupo Maseca and Banorte Bank; senior executives from FedEx; and leaders of small, mid- and large-sized trade, logistics and transportation firms across North America.”

… just to name a few.

Two months after this meeting (where U.S. companies as well as U.S. senators attended), there is suddenly a need to make it easier for developers to develop in the United States? Why would there be this sudden interest in giving less oversight to developers?

Enter the NASCO corridor. A highway; a very, very big highway. That’s right, a 10-lane, limited access highway, that runs directly from Mexico to Canada. The effect that this will have on the U.S. economy will be absolutely staggering:

The video above starts to describe just how much of an impact this is going to have. One example offered of how this will have an effect on America is by looking at the Ford company. They worked to release 30,000 jobs in the U.S. and plan on employing 150,000 in Mexico. In addition, they have invested $9,200,000,000 (9.2 billion) in the country of Mexico to help their plans along. But surely an American company opening plants in Mexico would use American parts for production, right? Nope. Where, then, are the bulk of the parts necessary for production coming from in Mexico? China.

It’s interesting that this major U.S. development plan is not mentioned anywhere in the Associated Press release. But then, that shouldn’t surprise us much anymore now, should it?


[UPDATE]: This has been picked up in the mainstream news and covered in much more detail on other sites. Wired.com has a particularly good description of the attacks, including many other links, here.

In the recent conflict that has broken out between Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia, a different kind of war has been waging. There has been a series of cyberattacks against various Georgian websites including news agencies and governmental organizations.

The information is appearing on the wikipedia article as more information becomes available. Many of the websites involved in the attacks are unavailable.

Here are the hacks known to be associated with the conflict:

  • 2 Ossetian news sites hacked by Georgian officials to cover up news.
  • Georgian National Bank website defaced
  • Many Georgian news portals are unavailable
  • Georgian Ministry of Foreign affairs website defaced

These are only the reported attacks thus far. The website defacing that has occurred is usually in the form of comparing the Georgian President Saakashvili to Adolf Hitler. This is an image that was grabbed from the main website of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (mfa.gov.ge) before it was taken down:

These attacks are reportedly very similar to the ones that occurred in the 2007 cyberattacks on Estonia.

As more information is provided, this page will be updated to reflect the ongoing attacks. If you would like to stay updated, then please be sure to subscribe to my feed.