Kevin C. Washington

On Cyberterrorism

In a world that is becoming increasingly ever connected, we need to know how we'll be protected from threats over the internet.

Dear Future President,

My name is Kevin Chau, and I’m 17 years old. I was born in a time before computers were this mainstream object that everyone had in their home. My brother was born three years before Apple would explode the iPhone out onto the market. My little cousin was born and will grow up in a world that grows increasingly ever-connected. In order to protect our information from those that wish to do us harm the threat of cyber-attacks must be addressed soon.

The internet is becoming a tool that can be used to instigate fear and terror into the hearts of people around the country. We’re scared of the damage others can do to our country. Info-Security Magazine writes, “Americans view cyber-terrorism as a leading threat to US vital interests in the next 10 years. In that study, US adults ranked cyber-terrorism (73%) along with international terrorism (79%) and development of nuclear weapons by Iran (75%) as the highest of a dozen potential threats.” I am not alone in my concern. 73% of Americans consider cyber-terrorism to be one of a couple leading threats against the US. We all want to know what will be done to keep us safe.

Our fears are not without reason either. The Guardian says, “In 2013, weaknesses were discovered in power plants across the US and Canada that could cause them to overheat, shutdown or malfunction.” Power plants. The things that keep our lights on and each other connected. They contained several vulnerabilities that left them open to a cyber-attack. If multiple were taken down and targeted the results would be disastrous to say the least. It’s also not just the power plants that are vulnerable. The New York Times reports, “the [Internet of Things] is more than just a hodgepodge of interconnected refrigerators and security cameras; a growing subset is medical instruments and recreational devices — like heart rate-monitoring watches — that report back medically relevant information.” Medical equipment are potential targets, the things that keep us alive and healthy. The human body itself could be opened to the internet and used against them. The notion of that is terrifying.

So my question to you, new president of the United States, is how will you deal with cyber-threats specifically? How will the nation’s network infrastructure be secured? In addition how do you plan to safeguard the information of American citizens from foreign AND domestic cyber-terrorists?



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