apps and national security

Let me start out by saying that I know protecting business and governmental data from hacking is no simple task and that corporate and public sector officials are doing their best to protect sensitive files.

But then I look at the thousands and thousands of our best computer minds sitting around at Facebook,Twitter,Google,Yahoo, Reddit, Spotify,and the seemingly endless social media sites and apps and I wonder whether their talents for amplifying mindless chatter is being properly used, especially since the Chinese, the Russians, the Albanians, the Romanians and the Ukrainians, just to name a few, are beating us to the punch in the race to steal our secrets.

Now slow to react IT departments in major corporations and banks, irresponsible public figures like Hillary Clinton and government bureaucracies that have hardware and software out of the 90s make it easy for determined and talented hackers to tap into our systems. I can’t help to wonder, however, why in a country that gave birth to Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle can’t develop firewalls that stop this cyber-stealing which threatens our national security and indeed our way of life.

I suspect that working for the government in IT pays much less than Facebook and Google and all those stock options and perks simply are too impressive to pass up. I remember, though, that in the 1950s with the Russians beating us into space this nation put resources into science and technology and offered generous tuition and scholarship money to attract young people to work in places like NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

We need a similar national effort to get the best minds in computers to move away from spending their talents on apps that help you order pizza or sell the junk in your garage. This country is now at war, cyber war, with our adversaries and make no bones about it we are losing. What we need is an app that protects my credit card and stops the Chinese and Russians from mining sensitive national security secrets. The next generation of patriots in this country should be the anti-hackers.

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