Crazy Cybersecurity

The discussion made me feel more supportive of the NSA as we thought through the danger that other nations’ cyber forces pose to the US.  Earlier in the year when we talked about the debate over whether Apple should give a backdoor to the US government, I was against such action, but now I am less sure as I see a potential need for the US government to be involved in private companies in order to protect the entire US from cyber attacks.

 

From Michael’s discussion, it seems that politics have harmed cyber command in the US military as the executive has publicly doubted Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and legislative branch has hindered cyber policy.  It is scary to think that dysfunctional politics could leave us horribly exposed to cyber attacks on key infrastructure such as emergency responses and the power grid.  The lobbying power of other interests groups can direct attention away from the security of the power grid, but high level government officials need to try enhance cybersecurity for such crucial infrastructure or else we would be rendered helpless if another nation choose to do so.

 

I think that the public dearth of knowledge on cyber security could lead to dangerous issues in the future.  When Sony was attacked by North Korea, why was national response focused on ideals such as free speech instead of spending more money on cybersecurity as a whole and working with private companies to keep the US protected?  Perhaps, since most people can readily understand the first amendment, but not cyber security, the severity of the hacking was not part of the national attention.  The government needs to direct funding to cyber security even if the public does not believe in it, which is admittedly hard as politics can hinder such action.

 

I think that public education on cyber security could help steer the conversation to the exposed nature of many private companies, and hopefully pressures all private companies to spend money security.  Without public pressure, it would be difficult for the government to increase security of private companies without getting involved in a manner that companies do not like or creating regulations.  The US national attitude of being suspicious of the NSA definitely makes the NSA’s job of protection harder.

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