Government Security

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

The federal government believes that China has beached government security concerning more than 4 million former and current federal employees. The FBI has described this as an ongoing cyber-war with China and openly admitted that China could use this information for espionage purposes. The FBI claims it will hold accountable those who did this.

How can America hold China accountable? China supplies us with most retail products, causing a trade deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars; has twice the military ground troops as America; is continually increasing its military budget and spreading its military geographically; is pressuring American allies in the East; has Russia as an ally; supports totalitarians regime of North Korea and Iran where liberty is only a word; holds hundreds of nuclear warheads; and has over 10 billion in population.

Some political speculators say China is not a threat to America because they need us for economic prosperity. Perhaps – for now – but things change. Like scientists theorize that the magnetic poles of the Earth suddenly shift in time, causing dramatic and catastrophic changes in climate, geopolitical poles have been known to shift suddenly – normally through war or revolution. The catalyst cannot be predicted, nor plans be sufficiently made for such a shift.

China is not America’s friend. Yet, America senselessly depends on China to satisfy our insatiable lust for consumption. How can America hold China accountable under these conditions?

By Joe Carbonari

Our thoughts and our actions are private only when kept to ourselves. When we share with others we put ourselves at risk of being overheard, intentionally or not. Privacy in communication has always been relative and of infinitely varying value. It depends on what you are communicating and who cares.

For most of us, our phone messages and Internet action remain untouched; recorded and indexed and stored, but untouched. We are still inviolate, but clearly vulnerable. Especially so if we are significant players.

Presidents, and the people who talk to them, are likely targets; top businessmen, top military, and the people who they talk to, and so on. Total privacy in communication requires a personal delivery.

Still we have the Internet and cell phones and people who wish us harm. These messages are easy to intercept and can be decrypted. It should be legal to do so with safeguards, which, recognizably, will never be total.

To my mind the jihadist threat alone is sufficient to warrant allowing this threat to privacy as a trade-off for the reduction of threat to life. We need to carefully limit access to our communication records and to which others they connect, and even more guardedly to their contents.

Yes, invasions of privacy are bad, but death is worse. Keep the records, and guard the door.

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