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Chinese government hackers
A boiler room of government sponsored hackers. | China, Hacker, Cyberterrorism, Threat,

I am DOD's jilted spleen

I am DOD's jilted spleen, venting. And, unlike Tyler Durden, Ash Carter wants these Valley boys & gals to join 'Fight Back Club'.

Putting aside the would-be kings of political expediency--the sort who attributed the internet's invention to Al Gore--the truth, the only absolute and thusly priceless force--is a far different matter. (And, yes, President Obama was correct in the campaign of 2012: I.T., and most complex undertakings, was not built by rugged individualism per se).

In adaptive paraphrase of the poet Eliot:

'So, let us go, then, you and I

When the evening [of destruction] is spread out against the sky...

Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.'

Quoting liberally from an imagined J. Alfred Prufrock and his perverse 'love song', it is well past time's eve of potential destruction to, rather, put aside--and quickly-- another more extant and far more troubling fictional Alfred analogue for our collective ignorance, Alfred E. Newman, clueless comical icon of the seminal 'Mad' magazine.

The facts are these, all in support of the proposition hinted at by Mr. Eliot's disturbance of the universe:

1. There is far less than time measured in minutes in a world now almost utterly dependent upon seconds and their subdivisions in which to both take decisions and/or reverse them;

2. Information Technology, in the commonly expressed format of the internet or world wide web, was literally invented by the U.S. Department of Defense reaching back to its tax-paid infancy as 'Arpanet', from its inception a modest effort to connect for time-sharing purposes users in various physical locations to utilize time on distant computer systems; [More]

3. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, as recently as April 2015, journeyed to Silicon Valley to commence a critical adjunct mission to combat cyber-terrorism, i.e., the establishment of a permanent presence there to include recruitment of an engineer force, investment in private startups and general charm offensive aimed at civic give-back to the Anglo-American taxpayer funded baby now responsible for private wealth creation--inasmuch as much of that wealth may be increasingly at risk of theft, enlightened self interest is properly a large part of the mixed bag of incentivization.

As demonstrated by the mega-hackings of government and corporate databases by Russia and China's state-sponsored klepto-techies (many of whom were educated in the US), irony is the least of our collective concerns.

The principal fact beyond dispute is this: we, the people, created this industry and all its manifestations now and to come--capitalist patriotism is alive and well.

A object lesson of how potent this potentiality is is the obvious fixing of the non-hacking disaster accompanying the premature launch of Obamacare's website exchange systems; after blundering federal second tier/lower bidders unintentionally blew it up, in a matter of a few weeks the best of the best of Silicon Valley did their encoding magic, full stop, problem solved.

One wonders about why this took so long in the national security context, the DOD having issued reports ranking both cyber terror and climate change as highest on the list of current threats assessed.

The answer appears to be a complex of benign neglect by the government as well as a chasm that grew these natural allies apart as fallout from the Snowden revelations and the backlash resulting in clumsy attempts at balancing constitutional privacy and corporate autonomy. It hasn't helped that even an imperfect bill, C.I.S.A., now before the U.S. Senate has foundered of late due to some legitimate objections by members alleging it to be further surveillance of American citizens by another name and political posturing by the Republican majority leader, of late in open conflict with members who are running for President.

One thing is certain: in this realm, where borders are laughable--and at the speed of light--private enlightened self interest must prevail, and soon, else the taxpayers (often exclusive of these Silicon Valley titans of innovation) will, once again, suffer not only a negligible return on our collective investment but the wholesale ripping off of the very systems which allow day to day services and privileges now taken for granted.

Silicon Valley, it's time to trade your adolescent designer Converses and t-shirts for government issue fatigues before your Mandarin or Russian speaking betters become the newest masters of this binary universe.

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Updated Jan 2, 2019 12:27 PM EST | More details


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