Will the Apocalypse Arrive Online?
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With so little reliable information in the public sphere and so many potential pitfalls, both Obama and Romney seem to have decided that it’s just not worth their while to raise the issue. In this, they have followed Congress’s example. The failure to pass regulatory legislation this year on the subject revealed a bipartisan unwillingness of our representatives to expose themselves to political risk when it comes to cyber legislation.
Whether officials and policymakers are willing to make the tough decisions or not, cyber vulnerabilities are more of a reality than was the threat of sleeper cells after 9/11. It may be a stretch to go from cynicism and distrust in the face of color-coded threat levels to the prospect of cyber war, but it’s one that needs to be taken.
Given what we know about fear and the destructive reactions it can produce, it would be wise to jumpstart the protections of law, personal liberties, and governmental accountability. Whoever our next president may be, the cyber age is upon us, carrying with it a new threat to liberty in the name of security. It’s time now -- before either an actual attack or a legitimate fear of such an attack -- to protect what’s so precious in American life, our liberties.