Creativity and Criminal Intent
The recent disruption of the Los Angeles, California school system (over 640K students and 900+ schools) provides us with a revealing illustration of how terrorists or terrorist-wannabes can operate without doing anything other than sending a note on social media. Social media, in fact, has become the go-to
resource for recruiting and disseminating information and intentions of future actions. Didn’t the woman involved in the San Bernardino, CA killings post her allegiance to terror organizations on Facebook? Now, government agencies will begin to more actively monitor posts for this type of information. Hopefully, it will be effective in thwarting activities of these groups and individuals.
No one needs to be a whiz of a detective to see how one tweet or FB note can disrupt a major American city. Forget about the 640K school kids who are going to be left with some type of anxiety about this or the parents or guardians who care for them. Let’s look at something a bit more subtle but which can have effects reaching into the future; the cost of this search.
How many law enforcement personnel and persons in allied fields to education or
healthcare will have spent how many hours at what dollar cost in this effort? How will the budgets of the city and the school systems be effected? No one needed to do more than get on a computer and type a few lines and the effect can be catastrophic in terms of the future. Clever use of social media for diabolical ends. It would seem the threat was aimed not at people but at the economy of the area and it doesn’t take extreme smarts to extrapolate that to the country.
Vulnerability comes in many forms and not all of them need to be in terms of our physical person requiring protection. Almost daily we receive information that our computers may be under attack from viruses in new forms and now there’s even newer malware viruses. Of course, much of it may be intended to hype the
sales of services or software but we can’t dismiss the fragility of our internet safety just as we can’t be oblivious to our physical safety when we go to a mall or an educational institution or a religious organization meeting.
Vigilance would seem to be the operative word these days and that will mean additional costs and a hidden drain on insurance companies because stress erodes our immune system and, consequently, increases our medical bills. The people behind these schemes aren’t dumb. They are clever, college-educated individuals who have droves of unenlightened followers doing their bidding.
Dismissing them as anything less than clever is a major mistake that would only be made if we were convinced that we have some special superiority over inventiveness when it comes to diabolical plans. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve been pretty slow on the pick-up of how we are at risk.
Anyone can go onto a number of internet sites and, with the appropriate degree of dedication, learn skills in any area. Pick enough sites and you are well equipped to do terrible deeds or, if you were so inclined, use that knowledge and skill for good. But the good intentions seem to be overwhelmed by the other.
Politicians and militarists are calling for “boots on the ground” to defeat an enemy that isn’t totally dependent on the ground but the air and this makes them
that much more elusive. Should I say our military come from an age where they still see armament as the answer in a world that no longer needs super weapons? I guess I am saying that. We need brainpower not solely firepower, folks. We should consider sending our leaders to mandatory courses in computer coding and social media because without that knowledge, they might as well be using bows and arrows against Star Wars agents.
The struggle we are engaging in is one that utilizes the latest computer technology which can be more devastating than any guided missile or drone. Their weapons can strike at the heart of our infrastructure with no regard for time or distance because they can be everywhere at once.
Properly equipped command centres need to replace the current system,
although, I must admit, I am not conversant with their set up or changing tactics. I am going on the many examples of government officials admitting that their systems were not only too old for the tasks commanded of them, but the software was outdated. Farming the software out didn’t work, either and millions were wasted. I only hope I’m wrong viewing them sitting around with green eye shades and out-of-date 38 pistols. But I can question, can’t I? We have enough “yes” men and women and they haven’t helped us one iota. They just resign and go to work as lobbyists.
I am not sanguine that our elected leaders, either, have kept up with the times. Seems Georgetown cocktail parties might be more important than
understanding what html5 stands for and how it’s used. Anyone who can’t use email or text, too, needs to be brought up to speed on technology. This is no time for Luddites and there’s no excuse for not keeping up if you expect us to respect you and your views. The day of the political, bourbon-swilling, ill-equipped honcho being placed in positions of power should be gone. And, BTW, I hear they’ve invented something called the light bulb and in-home plumbing.
We can no longer tolerate cronyism or those who bow to lobbyists, either. Things have reached the point where only the astute and highly qualified/dedicated should be serving us. That goes for the FBI and the CIA, too. We’ve depended on them for too long and, IMHO, there has been a disservice with regard to their brainstorming. Are they still using the Allen Dulles playbook or the one favored by J. Edgar Hoover? When the Secret Service has slid so far down the integrity ladder, can others be far behind?
Am I asking for a wake-up call for everyone involved in protecting all of us, our country, our corporations, our financial system, our people and our way of life? Yes, I am.