Can the president of the United States single-handedly avert a major catastrophe from claiming American lives and wide-scale economic destruction? As distinguished Microsoft Fellow and best-selling author Mark Russinovich states in an upcoming Seattle24x7 interview, the answer is “Yes!” when it comes to our country being attacked from cyberspace.
The cutting-edge, cyber security legislation that is urgently needed to defend America from a reported 50,000 daily online attacks being assailed from such countries as Iran and China, according to our Secretary of Defense, has been paralyzed by gridlock. In Congress, the bill has been tried and failed.
Therefore, at this critical eleventh hour, while America remains “under fire,” only an Executive Order from the Oval Office will safeguard our national transportation and energy systems, insulate the electricity that powers our hospitals, office buildings, schools and computers, and protect the drinking water in our reservoirs against infiltration. Congressman Norm Dicks, a ranking member of the Defense Intelligence Committee, made this more than clear in a Puget Sound address only days ago.
But which president will create the Executive Order that establishes America’s cyber line of defense? Last election’s “R” labeled presidential candidate, John McCain, is the reason the Cyber Security bill died in the Senate. “Too many regulations in the bill. Bad for business!” crowed McCain. Russinovich argues that the “Free Market” is incapable of defending our nation from cyberattacks any more than for-profit corporations will invest a single dollar more than they have to to keep America cyber-safe. How bad for business would it be if a nuclear reactor suffered a meltdown, if an American city is plunged into darkness, or if Air Traffic Control goes on the blink?
In this week’s “Pioneer Squared,” the Seattle developers of VoterMap, an Android app that lets you see what your neighbors have to say about politics, reports that they have actually received death threats from political extremists whose comments were struck out by the software’s algorithm or voted down by the Votermap community. Blood sport, indeed.
What concerns us above all else is that politics is also a team sport. When you vote for a new president in a few days time you will also be voting for a new FCC Commissioner, a new EPA Director, a new Department of Justice that holds to a particular set of ideals. (And we can name more than three federal agencies) It’s not just Obama or Romney who is being hired on Election Day. It’s the regulators of red-hot issues issues like Net Neutrality, Consumer Protection, The Food and Drug Administration, and National Energy Policy. Thinking back to the days of Alberto Gonzales and the United States Attorney General scandal, it was revealed in Capitol Hill testimony how so many executive branch staffers were lacking basic academic credentials or relevant Bachelor’s degrees for important posts, including the notorious case of the FEMA Director whose background was judging horses, not hurricane warnings.
When AT&T sought to stifle competition by taking down Bellevue’s T-Mobile in a corporate buy-out, only government overseers were there to prevent it. Regulators aren’t poisonous, any more than meat inspectors are oppressive by seeing to it we aren’t poisoned at the kitchen table. Would we have seen a different outcome for AT&T ‘s proposed takeover of T-Mobile if a different political party were in charge of the executive branch? That is your judgment to make.
Our advice for Election Day is simple. Think of WHAT you are voting for instead of for WHOM. Only in that way can you be sure you are casting a vote that is in your best interests! [24×7]