Clear and present danger. And while the Congress speeds toward these reckless policies with little sense of their workability, it has completely slammed on the brakes of immigration reform. If the recent swine flu epidemic originating in Mexico doesn’t send a clarion call to evaluate our nation’s border policies, then we truly have a cluster of tone-deaf ideologues on Capitol Hill.
A new arms race. One issue that is quietly percolating on the congressional agenda is cybersecurity. The recent attacks by international hackers on the nation’s air traffic control operations, power grid and a top secret weapons system have Democrats penning a new page in their regulatory manifesto. They now want to give the president unprecedented powers to shut down entire networks at one bureaucrat’s discretion with the hip new title of =E 2czar.”
Has the not-so-tech-savvy government proven itself more competent than private enterprise in combating cybersecurity? While the Pentagon exhausted nearly $1 billion on cybersecurity efforts in the last six months, spies were still able to steal the blueprints of a $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter jet.
What has prompted this government-knows-best mentality? It is the private sector, after all, that owns 85 percent of our nation’s critical infrastructures, and it is the marketplace that is pioneering the means to ward off the “bad guys.” For instance, a company in Miami understands that Internet users don’t need to leave the house when a criminal gets the key; they just need to change the lock. Passwords, usernames, key fobs and security questions rarely stop an online predator. So the creators of Authentest developed a fundamentally new paradigm, exchanging these erratic points of access to something natural — the way you type. The software knows if it is you, your identical twin or a cyber spy from China trying to access your bank account or the blueprints of a jet fighter. If the unique behavioral pattern of your hands on the keyboard doesn’t match, access is denied — even if the online criminal has the correct log-in information.
China and Russia are gnawing at the bit to access our “secured” online universe, and Congress appears content to shut the power off on ourselves, leaving innovation in the dark. While there is no part of the left’s manifesto that encourages collaboration with America’s businesses, it needs to happen. Cooperation between the private and public sectors is essential to pown the opposition. Current measures in this Congress would instead force the U.S. to watch as foreign cyber-platoons advance in front of us.
Campaigning Democrats advertised a core of moderation, but practicing Democrats leaped left. Republicans’ deteriorating strength has left them with little power to tug right especially with the recent defection of Sen. Arlen Specter, looming ascension of Al Franken, and a president standing high in national polls. But peddling cotton candy taxes and pork-on-a-stick won’t rotate the Congressional Carousel. The majority party wields the muscle to change, but storm clouds among the electorate brew as this power is abused, bringing a forecast of rain to their pompous carnival.