Thursday, July 27, 2017

Terrorism

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ISIS Fighter
Wipe that smug look off your face, or a Tomahawk missile will do it for you!

A Louisiana Republican congressman took to Facebook to show his anger towards radical islamic terrorists; calling for terrorists to be wiped off the face of the earth, no matter where they are and which country they belong to.

Representative Clay Higgins posted a statement on Facebook, which has since received over a thousand comments and about 3000 reactions. He wrote:

“The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”

Higgins, locally popular as “Cajun John Wayne,” is a former police chief. He has also hosted crime shows in the past, where he called criminals “thugs,” “animals” and “heathens.”

When Higgins resigned from his position in law enforcement, he said Jesus was the reason behind his decision.

“I begin each day on bended knee, but I kneel to our savior,” Higgins said in 2016 when announcing his resignation from the police force. “I will not kneel to violent street gangs, I will not kneel to murderers or the parents who raised them. I will not kneel to a discredited wannabe black activist that doesn’t really have the best interest of his people in mind. I will not kneel to bureaucrats from Washington, Baton Rouge or anywhere else. I would die rather than sacrifice my principles. If I would sacrifice my life for my principles, surely you understand I must sacrifice my job.”

In a statement to Baton Rouge’s The Advocate, the congressman refused to back down from his comments and elaborated on what he intended to say by “kill them all.”

“We are a world at war,” he said. “The enemy is radicalized Islamic jihadists. The terrorists certainly take advantage of the politically correct madness that consumes the West.”

He further added that there are many people in the west who are “frightened to speak freely.” He continued, saying that he’s never been politically correct and that he calls “things the way I see them.”

“The meaning of candid speech is frequently mischaracterized or misunderstood,” he noted. “This is about prioritizing national security and protecting American lives. Every measure must be taken to eliminate radical Islamic terrorism and the threat it poses to the free world. My only concern is protecting the people that live in my district, my state, and my country. We must stand strong against radical Islamic terror. The fate of the free world will be determined by the courageous, not by the intimidated.”

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TSA Search
Hey, I wonder if this traveler has a phone charger in here - I've been needing a new one!

Much has been said of the ineffectiveness and intrusiveness of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the last decade and a half. However, when newspaper headlines start mocking the agency for asking a passenger “Is that a cookie or a bomb?”, it becomes clear that we have a real problem.

To be sure, there is a vital need for pre-flight security. That has never been in question. What has been questioned is the amount of power granted to a single federal agency for performing functions that can, could, and should be undertaken by private agencies under contract with the federal government. At least private contractors could be fired for the troubling behavior demonstrated by the TSA over the years, including beating-bloody passengers with special needs, humiliating teenagers over choice of clothing, and making incredibly rude remarks about passengers – including U.S. Olympians.

Despite numerous incidents of this nature, the TSA is routinely rewarded each year with billions of taxpayer dollars, out of blind deference to the golden calf of “national security.” And now, federal officials are poised to give the agency even more power over you.

Responding to recent terror threats in the same, often ham-fisted and reactionary methods typical of federal agencies in the post 9/11 world, the TSA currently is testing new screening procedures that require passengers to remove food and reading materials from carry-on bags. In addition to demanding that passengers place their shoes, coats, laptops, “liquids,” and any other bulky items in separate bins, new procedures being applied in several airports require passengers to separate out books, magazines, and snacks for extra inspection by TSA agents.

Where today passengers are advised to arrive at their departure airport at least two hours before a scheduled flight, one can only imagine the additional time delays this will create with TSA screenings; though, this should be the least of passengers’ worries. According to TSA officials, screeners may “fan” reading materials while checking for contraband, but promise they are not actually paying attention to what travelers are reading. Never mind that it was revealed only two years ago that TSA’s SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program employs subjective behavioral markers such as excessive body odor and sweating, for secret scorings to determine if an individual passenger likely is a terrorist. Yet, have no fear — the content of a person’s reading material is completely off-limits. Sure.

Try as they might to convince us of their trustworthiness, nothing in the TSA’s history of gratuitously punitive, if not deliberately petty behavior, leads us to believe this to be true. Rather, what is more likely is that reading material specifically will become the focal point of TSA screeners’ discretion as to whether passengers warrant additional screening. A passenger’s magazines and books will then be subject also to callous remarks from agents; all of which passengers must silently endure. After all, what other recourse do they have when faced with abuse from federal agents – submit or miss your flight, or find yourself facing criminal charges.

Passengers, who long ago should have abandoned hope for even a modicum of privacy or dignity when attempting to fly, must also endure the embarrassment of pulling out their choice of reading for other passengers to see and judge. Ready to fly? You must also be ready for your fellow passengers to know if you are dealing with marriage issues, depression, or a have a predilection for erotica. It will soon be all on display as agents “fan” through your reading material with the restraint and professionalism demonstrated with other luggage items.

To its credit, TSA’s Pre-Check program, in which passengers apply to be vetted before flying and then are allowed expedited screening without all the dehumanizing antics of going through non-Pre-Check screening, is a significant step in the right direction. However, rather than double-down on what has so far been a relatively successful program, TSA fritters away its budget on other highly questionable projects like SPOT, and now what might be called its “Approved Reading Materials Assessment Program” (“ARMAP” for short).

Congress, of course, should step in and undertake serious oversight of TSA, including this latest foray into inspecting an individual’s reading materials.  Unfortunately, considering the deference with which the Congress has approached funding TSA year after year, it is unlikely the legislative branch of our federal government will do more now, than issue some stern warnings followed by approving increased funding for yet another year.  And the privacy rights of the citizenry – at least those who wish to exercise their right to travel by commercial air carriers – will have suffered another blow in the name of “national security.”

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But I just kissed a girl!

On “The Elvis Duran Show” this Tuesday, Perry talked about how open borders for the US could do wonders and if people with differing views could just “co-exist,” the situation would be much better for the world at large.

The singer told Duran:

“You know I can’t really tell anyone else how they should feel but I just feel devastated. The thing of it is, you know, besides all the weird stuff that goes around on the internet, which is, you know, sometimes a great place, but an absolute you know underbelly mob pit of horribleness, I think that the greatest thing that we can do now is just unite as people, as fan bases, all of it, you know?”

She added, “’Cause I think like, there, like, as much you know, whatever we say behind people’s back, ’cause the internet can be a little bit ruthless as far as fan bases go, but I think that the greatest thing we could do is just unite and love on each other, and like, no barriers, no borders, like, we all need to just co-exist.”

While discussing the idea of giving culture classes to immigrants so they can easily adapt to American culture and Society, Higbie told “America’s Newsroom” host Shannon Bream that most celebrities, who have been citizens of the US for all their lives, don’t respect the “culture of the United States of America.”

“If you come to America, you’re American and nothing else,” Higbie said. “ we don’t have people who respect the culture of the United States of America.”

“You have people like Katy Perry … this woman has said, ‘Oh we need to give them hugs, hug it out,’” Higbie said, referring to terrorists.

Higbie then looked directly at the camera and said, “Go to hell, Katy Perry.”

“Hold one of your concerts in Syria and see how that goes,” he said.

Higbie said most celebrities don’t understand the nature of the conflicts when it comes to the world arena.

“They don’t understand any of this, and they don’t want to understand, too,” Higbie said. “And that’s why I’m so strong against these celebrities who want to speak out.

“We’re putting the political correctness of the Islamic culture over the lives of our citizens,” he said.

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And how is this acceptable in America?

A controversial supporter of Palestine and the Sharia law has been designated as the commencement speaker of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health.

WCBS-TV reported that CUNY’s public health graduate school has appointed Linda Sarsour to give the commencement speech on June 01.

Dov Hikind, Democratic Party state Assemblyman for Brooklyn, thinks “it’s nuts” that a radical such as Sarsour would be featured by a taxpayer-funded college.

“I mean, it’s just nuts. It makes no sense. It’s crazy to have this woman be the person who’s going to speak to the students,” Hikind said to WCBS.

Hikind believes Sarsour also supports “radical Islamists.”

“She is someone who associates with radical Islamists; supports them; shows support for them. She is someone who has said, clearly, she thinks throwing rocks at cars in Israel is a good thing,” Hikind said.

Sarsour is a harsh critic of the State of Israel and has also called Sharia law “reasonable,” saying “it makes a lot of sense.”

“@LaRebelleFleur shariah law [sic] is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics,” wrote Sarsour on Twitter in 2011.

“Sharia Law is misunderstood & has been pushed as some evil Muslim agenda. Some Muslims r [sic] oppressors for sure,” wrote Sarsour in 2016.

This Saturday, Sarsour posted an article, she called an “important read,” on Twitter. The article accuses the Trump administration of being extremely “anti-Muslim.”

The article, titled “White Hate in the White House: Anti-Muslim Buzz Words that Swept Trump to Power,” claims that “We can expect a war-mongering administration with a desire to drop bombs on Iran (to the rejoicing of weapons companies), the continued targeting, dehumanising, [sic] and othering of Muslims, coupled with a deep and all-encompassing surveillance of the community.”

“We will most likely see some sort of Muslim registry system, deportations and arrests,” the article continues. “The administration and its media wing will slander any and all who dare criticise [sic] it.”

The author concludes, “Far-right nationalism has found a friend in Donald Trump and, with Bannon and company at the controls, the administration will continue to lock and load the guns of white supremacy.”

In 2015, Sarsour shared a picture on Twitter, showing a boy getting ready to throw stones at Israeli soldiers, calling it the “definition of courage.”

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Maybe they think we already built the wall.

The head of the Department of Homeland Security reported that recorded illegal Mexican border crossings plummeted by almost 72 percent since December, to mark the lowest monthly figure in over 17 years, this March. The number of people caught crossing the border illegally fell to 12,000, last month.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that the sharp decline in arrests is “no accident” and gave credit to Trump’s approach towards illegal immigration. He reported the figures in written testimony to a Senate committee ahead of an appearance on Wednesday.

The Washington Times also reported that former Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar, on Tuesday, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that arrests declined 67 percent in March.

“This administration has said we’re going to address illegal immigration,” he told senators. “ICE has started working in the interior, unlike other times. So that message resonates.”

Several commentators credited President Donald Trump’s tough stance on immigration throughout the 2016 presidential campaign as the primary reason for the decline.

“Pat & Stu,” a radio show, discussed on Wednesday, that the decline in illegal border crossings could be temporary while Mexicans wait to see how US policies on immigration change under the new administration, before risking illegal entry. However, like many others, the hosts were quite pleased with the progress on curtailing the influx of illegal immigrants.

“The tough talk, I think, is a good short term thing here. And look, that’s better than what we’ve had; there’s no doubt about that. That goes back to not only the previous president but the one before that, and almost everybody else, really. I mean even if you go back to Reagan, this was his big problem issue for a lot of conservatives. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if the rhetoric matches up to the actions, which we have not seen yet,” Stu said.

While the Trump administration has not yet changed anything with regards to border patrolling, President Trump’s tough stance on immigration, including his plans to build a wall, and increased efforts to arrest illegal immigrants already living in the country are believed to have acted as deterrents.

However, it’s unclear if the decline in the number of illegal crossings will continue. The number of people caught trying to illegal cross the border into the US typically increases as the weather begins to warm, but arrests during the generally slower winter months were quite high than in previous years, so it is possible that many migrants rushed to the border before Trump took charge of the White House.

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Yeah dude, you may want to start running now.

The Islamic State group, more commonly known as ISIS, released a recorded statement on Tuesday, mocking Donald Trump; saying the United States was drowning and “being run by an idiot.”

In its first official statement on the new president of the United States since he took office in January, the terrorist group’s new spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajer, said in the audio recording that America had “drowned” and was being ruled by someone who “does not know what Syria or Iraq or Islam is.”

“America you have drowned and there is no saviour, and you have become prey for the soldiers of the caliphate in every part of the earth, you are bankrupt and the signs of your demise are evident to every eye,” al-Muhajer said

“There is no more evidence than (that) you being run by an idiot who does not know what Syria or Iraq or Islam is.

“Die of spite America, die of spite, a nation where both young and old are racing to die in the name of God will not be defeated.”

The 37-minute audio recording was released on the messaging website Telegram. In the statement, al-Muhajer praised the recent terrorist attacks in Europe and called on IS’s followers to carry out further such attacks in the US, Russia, and European countries to relieve pressure on the group in Syria and Iraq, where it had gained control of large areas initially.

He said that the current situation in Iraq, in which ISIS is engaged in heavy clashes with the Iraqi army in Mosul, the terrorist organization’s last stronghold in Iraq, marked “the greatest period in our jihad…and the most dangerous turning point in our jihad.”

Al-Muhajer claimed that IS would continue to maintain its stronghold in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria and would never be driven from the Middle East.

A pro-ISIS group, The United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) hacking group, also released a video for its supporters around the world. They released names of 8700 people on a kill list, instructing followers to “kill [those on the list] where you find them.”

In terms of the message to Donald Trump, they said:

“We have a message to the people of the U.S., and most importantly, your President Trump:

“Know that we will continue to wage war against you, know that your counter attacks only make us stronger.

“The UCC will start a new step in this war against you, we call #DemolishingFences.

“So expect us soon Insha’Allah!”

During last year’s presidential election campaign, the group also released a document calling Mr. Trump “impulsive and unpredictable.”

Correct or not, Donald Trump is a man that shouldn’t be prodded or mocked.  ISIS leaders may come to quickly regret their message.

ISIS should think twice about poking the bear.

Another day, another attack by the Islamic State.

This time, a blast ripped through a subway train in St. Petersburg, Russia.

At least ten are dead and another 50 are injured.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin was reserved and did not want to point to terrorism until the bombing was investigated, members of ISIS are already cheering.

Since 2013, at least 3,867 people have been killed in ISIS terror attacks and many thousands more have been injured.

So far in 2017, at least 344 people have been killed including one American in the recent attack in London.

In 2015, 14 Americans were killed in San Bernardino by radical Islamic terrorists and another 24 were injured.

Earlier in 2015, two ISIS members opened fire on police officers in Garland, Texas who are guarding an art exhibit that featured cartoon images of Muhammad. Thanks to the quick draws of the Texas lawmen, the Islamic terrorists were the only ones to lose their lives that day.

A similar incident happened in Queens New York months before the Texas incident and the ISIS convert was shot dead.

And then you have the Boston Bombing where six people were killed. The bombing was committed by the Tsarnaev brothers who were found to have ties to an ISIS-linked mosque.

Russia is of course no stranger to Islamic terrorism.

In October of 2015, 224 passengers of a Metrojet flight were shot down enroute to St. Petersburg. ISIS took responsibility for the bombing and even posted a picture of the device used in the explosion.

While the previous presidential administration never wanted to admit it, ISIS and its radical Islamic offshoots are at war with the world.

The strategy of the Obama Administration was to ignore the violence until the groups died out through lack of funding or interest. The lack of action led to an explosive growth with the terrorist group gaining complete takeovers of land in several nations.

Even on social media, the growth is evident with pro-ISIS tweets increasing by 600% within the last year alone.

In January of this year, Trump had hoped that Russian and U.S. forces could “go out together and knock the hell out of ISIS.”

But that was before Democrat leaders began their witch-hunt over alleged Russian influence in the Presidential Election.

Now, with the media hounding the subject 24/7 and Trump’s own Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating his campaign’s links to Russia, little action is likely to happen.

By chilling the relationship between Russia and the United States with unfounded acquisition of impropriety, there is only one true winner: ISIS.

If Trump and Putin made the commitment to wipe out ISIS, the terrorist group’s time on this earth would be limited, regardless of where they chose to hide. If one doubts that, they should ask a WWII Nazi — if they can find one.

Please add your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Dozens of Syrian refugees already living in the Unites States may have ties to terrorism and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is downplaying it, claiming federal agents missed “possible derogatory information” about the immigrants due to “a lapse in vetting.” Among those who slipped through the cracks is a man who failed a polygraph test after applying to work at a U.S. military installation and another who communicated with an Islamic State leader.

Information about this scandalous security lapse comes from federal agents with firsthand knowledge of the situation. They spoke to a mainstream newspaper on condition of anonymity, as many Judicial Watch sources who expose delicate information do, out of fear. This is the type of case the government works hard to keep quiet and consequences could be serious for those who blow the whistle. The news article reveals that federal agents are now “reinvestigating the backgrounds” of the dozens of Syrian refugees because somehow DHS discovered that the lapse in vetting allowed refugees with “potentially negative information in their files to enter the country.” The newspaper attributes the information to “U.S law enforcement officials” who were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Coincidentally, on the day this story broke a national newswire service reported that President Donald Trump drafted an executive order to stop accepting Syrian refugees. The president also plans to suspend issuing visas for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Under President Barrack Obama’s lax immigration policies, large numbers of terrorists from some of these nations entered the U.S., including members of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. They include individuals who have engaged in or attempted to engage in acts of terrorism, conspired or attempted to conspire to provide material support to a terrorist organization or engaged in criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology. Some have been convicted and sentenced in American courts.

Additionally, the Obama administration was very generous in granting citizens of Muslim nations special amnesty protections and residency benefits in the U.S. During a five-year period, Obama’s DHS issued around 680,000 green cards to foreigners from Muslim countries, according to the agency’s figures. Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya were among the nations. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported on a special “humanitarian” amnesty program offered to illegal aliens from Yemen, an Islamic Middle Eastern country well known as an Al Qaeda breeding ground. Yemen is the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the State Department has revealed that AQAP militants carried out hundreds of attacks including suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations.

Circling back to Syrian refugees, as Obama let thousands settle in the U.S. his own intelligence and immigration officials admitted that individuals with ties to terrorist groups used the program to try to infiltrate the country and that there is no way to properly screen them. In 2015 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria tried to gain entry to the U.S. through the refugee program and that the program is “vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West.” Before that the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Matthew Emrich, admitted during a congressional hearing that there’s no way to adequately screen Syrian refugees because the Syrian government doesn’t have an intelligence database to run checks against. Additionally, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach conceded that the U.S. government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.

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The FBI has confirmed what Judicial Watch reported last week, that the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter has ties to radical Islam and carried out the attack on behalf of a terrorist group. During a bond hearing in a south Florida federal court this week, an FBI special agent testified that the shooter, Esteban Santiago, communicated with Islamic terrorists in “jihadi chat rooms” and committed the massacre on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Santiago killed five people and wounded six others during the bloody rampage in the baggage claim area of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport earlier this month. Authorities immediately attributed the attack to mental illness, saying that Santiago was a Hispanic Army veteran that became unhinged after a tour in Iraq. Santiago has been charged with an act of violence at an international airport, which could get him a death sentence. According to the federal complaint, Santiago fired 10 to 15 rounds of ammunition from his firearm, aiming at his victims’ heads and walking while shooting in a methodical manner. At this week’s bond hearing, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified that Santiago said he was fighting for ISIS and had been in touch with other terrorists who were planning attacks in jihadi internet chat rooms. The judge ruled that Santiago be held without bond and his next court appearance is scheduled for January 30.

Last week Judicial Watch ignited a ruckus after revealing that Santiago is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online. The Obama administration’s efforts to keep the pertinent information quiet in the aftermath of the shooting brought up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya. In the Ft. Lauderdale attack the traditional mainstream media coverage promoted the government rhetoric that omitted any ties to terrorism even though early on a photo surfaced of Santiago making an ISIS salute while wearing a keffiyeh, a Palestinian Arab scarf.

Records uncovered in the days after the massacre suggest Santiago (Hammad) is a radical Islamic terrorist that’s seriously committed to Islam. Besides taking on a Muslim name, he recorded three Islamic religious songs, including the Muslim declaration faith (“there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”) known as the Shahada. He also posted a thread about downloading propaganda videos from Islamic terrorists on a weapons and explosives forum. The investigative news site that unearthed this disturbing information connected the dots between Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Hammad, an identity he created in 2007.

It’s still not clear why Santiago chose Ft. Lauderdale, out of all the nation’s airports, to carry out his attack. The facility is situated in Broward County, which has a large and growing Islamic community and questions remain involving who Santiago knows in the area. In 2015 Judicial Watch obtained records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that show an Al Qaeda terrorist who helped plan several U.S. attacks lived in Broward County and graduated from the local community college with a degree in computer engineering. His name is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, but he also has a Hispanic identity, Javier Robles, and for years he appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list. Back in 2012 Judicial Watch reported on a terrorist front group’s demands that Broward County public schools close twice a year to celebrate Islamic holy days, illustrating the influence that Muslims have in the region.

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A generation ago, as Americans began logging onto the earliest versions of the internet, McAfee antivirus alerts were as ubiquitous as the sound of dial-up modems. For years, McAfee antivirus software was the standard in protection from spyware, Trojan horses, and other traps that allowed hackers access to your personal computer. Notwithstanding the recent controversy surrounding some of the activities associated with John McAfee — the 71-year-old software security pioneer — there is no denying he understands the benefits and pitfalls of government cybersecurity as well as anyone.

And he’s not optimistic about what the future holds if things do not change — immediately.

Since at least the Clinton Administration — notable for perhaps the first public cybersecurity battle over its plan to use a “Clipper chip” designed to break-through data encryption, and giving government snoops access to private phone conversations — the centerpiece of federal “cybersecurity” plans has been amassing an arsenal of hardware and software designed for mass surveillance, data collection and sharing, and streamlined analyses. Ostensibly, this weaponry has been intended to be used against terrorists and foreign enemies.

However, the 9-11 terror attacks completely flipped the script. Under President George W. Bush, these weapons became increasingly pointed inwards towards digital communications made within the United States, including those of U.S. citizens. This strategy was then refined – and accelerated — under President Barack Obama.

But while building weapons of offense, those in charge of America’s national cybersecurity eschewed formulating a comprehensive strategy for defense. This, as McAfee notes, was due to the government confusing “cyberwarfare” with “cybersecurity.”

“Our government defines cybersecurity by and large — especially the FBI, Department of Justice — as using cyber technology to make sure that American citizens toe the line, that there are no terrorist activities, and that we’re all monitored and controlled,” McAfee told Larry King in an interview last month.

The consequences of this singular mindset have not been pretty. Beyond scores of cyberattacks in recent years against private entities such as Sony (2014) and Dyn (2016) – the latter of which crippled internet access on the East Coast – government agencies have been frequently targeted as well, and with great success. These targets also include agencies tasked with the very responsibility of cybersecurity; the most embarrassing being an attack carried out against the FBI and CIA by a 15-year-old, resulting in the leaking of highly sensitive information on tens of thousands of FBI and DHS employees.

Consequently, McAfee asks, “is this the agency you want running America’s cybersecurity?”

To be sure, America’s spy agencies should be – indeed, must be –equipped with the tools to adapt and meet the rapidly evolving and ubiquitous security challenges in the digital age. However, amassing these tools cannot be its only focus as it has been in recent years; nor should such tools be used to blindly harvest and database the private communications of citizens accused or suspected of no crimes, as Trump’s pick for CIA director apparently desires. Not only are there serious constitutional questions surrounding these practices, but given the reluctance of all branches of government to adhere to virtually any meaningful privacy safeguards or use-protocols for such data, it is hard to trust these agencies with such sensitive data given their inability to protect even their own classified data from theft.

This highlights another pressing need – the development of effective defensive practices against cyber-attacks. While it is impossible to create a completely impenetrable firewall against hackers, the government’s demand for so-called “backdoors” into security systems and encryption “keys” exponentially weaken security measures in development. Rather than working to undermine data security, the government should be working directly with the private sector to boost these advancements; which would not only better protect private companies from attack, but also the government itself.

A good start for this is hiring security experts from the private sector, and even non-profit organizations aligned around exposing security flaws in the name of cybersecurity, to help spearhead the development of better cybersecurity protections; as opposed to the current plan of tasking law enforcement officials with the responsibility.

To make a “reboot” of the government’s cybersecurity strategy successful, it will require two major buy-ins from the new Trump Administration; neither of which appears imminent at first blush. The first is to finally recognize a problem exists with the way government is currently approaching cybersecurity. The second is a willingness to make a fundamental change to a culture of cyber-warfare, and instead focus on one of true cybersecurity – even if it comes at the expense of government’s grip over control of private communications.

McAfee is among many who actually understand the seriousness of this issue, but are not holding their breath waiting for this institutional change; nevertheless, he cares enough to raise the alarm. And we would do well to listen.

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