I start this post on Tuesday, July 31st because of the announcement by FaceBook of coordinated effort to influence the coming election by unknown parties. What they do say is that they have blocked over 30 pages so far and the way these pages were made and used are simular to how the Russians acted in the 2016 election. As I have been deeply involved in computers and software since 1972 I take these activities quite serous. Not only for the sanctity of our elections but for the safety of our people.
We saw on 9/11/01 just what a few determined people can do with just airplanes. Just think of what a few determined barkers could do. Granted most would not be as flashy as flying two planes into a skyscraper but it could end up kill a great many more people. As an Angeleno I can think of something that would be both spectacular and deadly, attack the controls for the California Aqueduct. Or just attack the computers that control the flow of water by the LADWP. The list is as endless as it is frightening.
Just crashing the system for a few hours would be bad enough but many of these computer controlled systems can be seriously damaged if you just do the right, or wrong, things with them. In this hot summer, just imagine what would happen if all of the water in the greater LA area stoped flowing? For a day, For a week, for a month.
Now think about the power distribution system, that could be even worse. Or how about the computer systems that control our harbors. What would happen if the Port of New York suddenly crashed or started doing all the wrong things? An for those who don’t worry about anything but money, what would happen if all the banks suddenly discovered that the interbank interchange was down do to hacking? How long would it take, how much effort would it take, to reestablish trust in the system. What effect would it have on the economy.
Just what would happen if the New York, or Tokyo, or London stock market(s) were suddenly flooded with sell orders? What would happen to the market if we had to go back to the way we did stock trades in the 1960 because we could not trust the Buy & Sell orders over the computer system? Just stop and think about it.
Our cyberspace, that we all depend on is in jeopardy and we are not paying attention. President Trump is ignoring it, House Speaker Ryan is ignoring it, and majority leader McConnel is ignoring it. I fear they are ignoring it because they see it as just a partisan issue, it is not. Do we have to wait until we have a cyber 911 or Pear Harbor before we act? We need to start now. We need to have a nonpartisan commission soonest. It must be tasked with several things. First define just what is our cyberspace. Then we must define just what constitutes an unlawful act in cyberspace, what is just a crime, what is an act of terrorism, and what is an act of war. Next we must find out just who in the government is responsible for protecting the security of our cyberspace. We must then ensure that that all will work togeather, as a team, to protect our cyberspace from all attacks, both foreign and domestic. Finally we must state clearly and susectly just what our rights, both as people and as citizens, we have in cyberspace.
The time is now! We, the American people must stand up and say to the President and Congress “Act Now!”