Skynet’s mission

The British military’s Skynet 5 satellite has been launched into space. The spacecraft is part of a £3.2bn system that will deliver secure, high-bandwidth communications for UK and allied forces.

Skynet? Sounds familiar:

Skynet is a machine network that has gone on a mission to terminate all humans in a global war. Skynet was originally built by Cyberdyne Systems, but when the metal arm and the central processing unit of the first Terminator were destroyed, the U.S. Air Force took over the project and started to perfect Skynet. Skynet was first built as a Global Digital Defense Network, made to generate machine models that would replace U.S. military personnel and vehicles. Skynet became self-aware and decided to terminate all humans to protect its existence. Every nuclear missile in the USA under Skynet’s control was launched and in the counterattack of other nations 3 billion humans were killed in two minutes. The scenario as depicted is very similar to the one proposed in the movie WarGames in which NORAD removes human control from the missile silos, only to discover they do not have control of the main computer and become unable to stop it.

Don’t be silly, it’s just coincidental.

Totally unrelated: The Terminator series.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. John Mims, APR

    When our agency names a product, we typically Google our names before suggesting them to the client. You would think that someone would have taken a moment to check out Skynet first.

    Of course, Reagan had Star Wars.

  2. Virginia

    I like your commentary and connection between the new Skynet 5A satellite and the Terminator film series. Very clever, I don’t think I would have picked up on that! However, this really does sound pretty cool.

    I read the linked article, and according to it, the three satellites will vastly improve communications between armed forces. I understand that the manufacturers have taken every precaution to making it “fool proof”, but I would be very concerned about another government hacking into the system and retrieving valuable information. I know the article said the satellites have capabilities to ward of any signals that would “jam” their signals, but it still sounds risky.

    Also, the article stated that the operating company would sell additional bandwidths to NATO and friendly countries. Do you think they would ever consider selling to an international company?

  3. Alex Manchester

    I had similar thoughts, Neville. After all, “the future’s not set, there’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.”

    I can see the funny side of the name, (who can’t!) but let’s hope in 20 years we don’t look back on it as a double dose of irony! ;-)

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