We don’t want the smoking gun to be a 404 message. Recently the White House and Pentagon have kicked their program to terrorize sow fear into the general population with the threat of “cyberterrorism” into high gear. In fact, now the cyber threat is a bigger threat than actual terrorism. Some even insist that instead of allowing the phantoms to duel it out for budgetary relevance the nightmares can be synthesized to provide a great excuse for the government to attempt to control speech on the internet.

Of course, there is not a substantive threat in either case but let’s just forget that for a second. Because now that the government has decided to stimulate the cybersecurity market Washington’s perenial parasites want a piece of the action.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) and Raytheon Co. (RTN) are vying with telecommunications companies to defend banks and power grids from computer attacks, in a program that gives them access to classified U.S. government data on cyber threats.

President Barack Obama’s Feb. 12 cybersecurity executive order authorized the Department of Homeland Security to let new companies get the government intelligence. Obama and U.S. officials have said sharing classified threat data with companies is essential to help prevent cyber-attacks that could cause deaths or economic disruption…

Under the program, the companies are provided — free of charge — computer threat “signatures,” such as timestamps and coding used in attacks, which have been obtained by the National Security Agency and other agencies. The companies can use this intelligence to strengthen cybersecurity services they sell to businesses that maintain critical infrastructure.

And why not? The public is bored and resentful towards the failed Global War On Terror. $2 trillion and all we get is a crappy movie? This kind of threat has relevance, everyone is on the internet and has been exposed to ridiculous potential worst case scenarios via film and TV.

Someone smells money.

Defense contractors like Raytheon view cybersecurity as a growing business as Pentagon spending stalls or declines on more traditional military programs, Hawkins said. Raytheon, of Waltham, Massachusetts, has acquired 12 companies specializing in cybersecurity since 2007, he said. The acquisitions include Greer, South Carolina-based Teligy Inc. in October, which specializes in wireless cyber protection, and Herndon, Virginia- based Trusted Computer Solutions Inc. in November 2010, which specializes in network security…

Raytheon and Lockheed signed agreements with DHS within the past two weeks to join the program. So far, CenturyLink and Dallas-based AT&T, the biggest U.S. telephone carrier, are the only other approved providers.

“While it is a business opportunity, we also see it as vital to the continued economic vitality of the U.S.,” Diana Gowen, a senior vice president for Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink, said in an e-mail.

Private businesses with access to government intelligence, what could go wrong?

But the larger point of giving these private contractors another revenue stream is the path dependence it will create regarding the “cybersecurity” threat. The War On Terror was extended almost a decade despite little to no real threat existing – people were making too much money for it to stop. Now these same actors are moving into the internet space groping for cash and preparing to fire the PR threat matrix into full freakout mode. We need more money or you can’t feel safe online!

Real victory over terrorism will come when there is no longer a government created market for crony capitalists to profit by exploiting people’s fears.