Fake news, cyber warfare, and data security
Never in the course of human history have work-a-day Americans had such open access to what is happening in their communities, their state, the nation, and even, overseas. And, never in the course of human history, have we been exposed to so much fake or semi-fake news from the myth-stream media (MSM), the Internet, e-mails, and social media. Example: We Vietnam veterans know Walter Cronkite of CBS did not report what really happened during TET 68. We had to wait for the memoirs of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) generals to tell us what a disaster TET 68 was for Viet Cong and the NVA.
Example: According to a Rasmussen poll of February 7, 2017, 56-percent of Democrats polled think the Muslims living in the USA are more abused than the Christians living overseas under Muslim rule. Do you recall any Muslims being beheaded or caged and burned alive in this country? Obviously, the 56-percent are absorbing fake news from somewhere.
While we have grown to expect a certain amount of fake news from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS-TV, even the History Channel can be guilty. Example: Recently, on "The Curse of Oak Island," the narrator asserted the Jewish menorah has only seven candles. Partially, fake news. Most menorahs have eight candles plus a ninth candle on top called "the shamash," which is used to light the other eight candles.
Example: Since November 8, 2016, the MSM, in particular, MSNBC, CNN, and even AP, have run 16 fake news stories about Donald Trump and/or his Administration. To repeat the list here would only serve the purpose of the news fakers. But one wonders why the MSM stoop to fake news? President Trumps actual words and deeds provide plenty of grist for the media mills.
Fake news can come via computers. Even worse, there are malicious hackers trying to steal our identities, and drain our bank accounts. Also, smart phones are easy prey. The Red Chinese, the Russians, our own NSA know how to turn on our smart phones and gain access to our data. The only "safe" smart phone has its batteries and SIM card removed. Or, store your smart phone in a closed microwave oven which is a ready-made Faraday Cage. Tip: Remove phone before using oven.
In his Cyber Spies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage" (2015), British historian, Gordon Corera, reveals that computer hacking is not something unique to the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2003, "Titan Rain" was the code name of our counter-cyber-attack response. Too late. By then, the Red Chinese hackers had already gained access to: Lockheed Martin, making the F-35 fighter; to Sandia Laboratories, making our atomic weapons; to Redstone Arsenal, making rockets; and to NASA, our space program.
Can you prevent your computer from being hacked? Gordon Corera quotes a high-ranking official from within the National Security Agency (NSA) who laid out the three golden rules for achieving computer security: "Never own a computer; do not power it on; never use it."
Unfortunately, we are wedded to our computers and smart phones. Somehow, we must become a lot more cyber savvy.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2017. William Hamilton.
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