The Sony hack is a very interesting phenomenon.
I think it sort of brings home some of the issues that people in other countries face.
The way, for example, North Koreans have hacked South Korea and South Korean financial institutions.
And Russians have hacked Ukrainian and Estonian institutions. The whole notion of cyber conflict
either as a low level or high level conflict has become more and more important and more
and more top of mind. And I think the most important takeaway is twofold. One is that
ordinary citizens should be concerned about whether their data assets – and that includes
everything from their social security numbers to their bank accounts to the way their mortgage
is held. They should be concerned about how adequately protected that is. But not just
– and this is important – not just by the financial institution or the retail institution
but by government. To what extent is protecting American data assets in the U.S. and abroad
the obligation and the duty of the government? How well protected are we in that regard?
I believe this is a policy and a question of great not just national import but global
import because America is a leading nation both in terms of technology and in terms of
vulnerability and it raises important questions about what constitutes self-defense in this
regard. Do we run into the situation that we just
say well this is a crime so we’ll just have the FBI and law enforcement handle it? Or
is it something else? And, you know, I’m not a lawyer nor do I care to be one but I
think we want to be really, really, really, really, really careful about saying something
like oh, it’s just an act of vandalism or oh, it’s just a misdemeanor. When, in fact,
it’s more threatening than that and we may be hurting the safety and security of our
citizens by minimizing the kind of threats that are involved here. One last thing I’m
going to say here is there is an analogy here for those people familiar with policing of
a famous broken windows arguments which is, you know, it’s a low level crime, ignore
it. And crime rates began to drop when we stopped ignoring seemingly minor infractions
of the law. When we invested as a society in norms that demanded something other than
the absence of, you know, just ignoring things at the margin but demanding respect for the
law. And this, in my view, this is as true outside of the borders of the United States
as it is inside the border of the United States. And it’s particularly true when people come
across the border of the United States to destroy, to destroy. Vandalization is a cute
word – to destroy the assets of Americans in the United States. Not cool.