Trump Offers More Insight On His Cybersecurity Plans: 10-Year-Old Relatives Vs. 400-lb Bedroom Dwellers
from the every-debate-response-basically-a-banned-forum-user's-posts dept
Smile, constituents: this man may become president.
Look at the mess that we’re in. Look at the mess that we’re in. As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what secretary Clinton said, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC.
She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds…
Look, anyone who refers to cybersecurity or cyberwarfare as “the cyber” is probably better off not discussing this. But Donald Trump, in last night’s debate, felt compelled to further prove why he’s in no position to be offering guidance on technological issues. And anyone who feels compelled to portray hackers as 400-lb bedroom dwellers probably shouldn’t be opening their mouth in public at all.
With this mindset, discussions about what “the Google” and “the Facebook” are doing about trimming back ISIS’s social media presence can’t be far behind. Trump did note that ISIS is “beating us at our game” when it comes to utilizing social media. Fair enough.
But Trump’s cybersecurity “plan” isn’t actually a plan. What there is of it has to be compiled from a string of random, semi-related sentences. Apparently, the next cyberwar will pit tweens against 400-lb Russians…
I have a son. He’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it’s hardly do-able. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester and certainly cyber is one of them.
The problem isn’t so much that Trump plainly has no idea what he’s talking about or even the coherency to bluff his way through it. No one expects presidential candidates to be experts on every possible issue that might come up. But this has been the government’s primary focus in recent years, and multiple high-profile hackings have only intensified that.
The problem is that Trump clearly has no interest in discussing these issues with those who can offer coherent, possibly-useful cybersecurity strategies. The more he speaks, the more he exposes his ignorance. Ignorance isn’t unfixable. But Trump has done nothing over the past several months to close these (often significant) gaps in his knowledge. That’s the scariest aspect of his presidential run — the unwillingness to handle the boring but essential work of creating a platform composed of something more than half-formed thoughts and severely misguided jingoism that blames the rest of the world for somehow making America a worse country.
The mitigating factors are these:
Hillary Clinton’s response may have been more coherent but hers suggests we should probably engage in more actual war than cyberwar to handle ISIS — something’s that gone oh so well for the past couple of decades. And she was ready to declare cyberwar on Russia after the DNC hacking, an idea that’s not only stupid (seeing as the entity behind the hacking is still unknown) but an indication she’d be willing to wield government power to avenge embarassment.
Trump’s power in office is likely to be far less than he obviously envisions it. Trump may be a rather extreme form of populist but those popular votes will be about as useful as Facebook likes when it comes to attempts to push his agenda past far more level-headed advisors and legislators.
Either way, voters are faced with choosing between the devil they sort of know and the devil other devils have been distancing themselves from for several weeks. In both cases, we’re going to end up with a president who doesn’t have the technical knowledge to deal with today’s realities.