Monday, June 25, 2007

Uh, ok - Now I have an 11th Sign...

...jeez - that was quick. I thought I'd get at least 4 full weeks before I got torqued enough to come up with an additional "sign" to add to my "10 Signs that the US Needs Legislators that Understand Tech" - but I didn't even really make it to 3 weeks.

So - remember when we all had block parties and "high fived" each other on the street when Rumsfeld "resigned" back in November? And then remember when we held our breath when Bush started the second film in the "Defense Department Creature Double Feature" by installing Robert Gates as the new head defense dude? Well - how bad could it be, right? I mean at least Gates had reasonable credentials -- he was already the Secretary of Defense once before (under Regan), and has been in six presidential administrations, all totaled.

After (uh, after?) Gates was "installed" in office, people starting digging around his public speeches when he was president of Texas A&M, and found this little gem: "Robert Gates: 'cyberterrorism' is the worst WMD out there." Well - ok. I'd still take a denial of service attack on over, say, a gigantic syphilis bomb exploding over southern california, or a Dalek attack on London...but, I get his point...sorta. We should be concerned over the "Goldeneye" scenario: a coordinated attack on key internet and public network sites that could potentially cripple parts of the world economy. Bad shit. Plausable. I get it.

Hey - cool. Maybe all of those years as head CIA guy paid off. Someone in charge of the nation's defense who understands that attacks on our country are not limited to suicide bombers and physical targets.

Then, uh, this surfaced: It happened. 1500 Pentagon computers were brought offline by a hacker attack. Ok, the machines that were brought offline were unimportant, really - just "dirty net" email servers and the like...but, it did show how a plausable attempt to bring key government systems offline could succeed. So, you can imagine how my illusions about a tech savvy Head Defense dude were shattered like so many dreams of the Easter Bunny when Gates responded to the question of whether his email was effected by the attack with the comment 'I don't do e-mail. I'm a very low-tech person.'

What? I'm sorry. What?

Sure enough - it's true. He doesn't use email. Or computers. At all. Email that is sent to Gates is presented to him on paper, which he then marks up and his administration assistant types into an email client. Bwahahahahaha.

Robert Gates: Sign #11 that the US Needs More Legislators Who Understand Tech. (Robert, I was going to you an award, but I figured you'd be confused when the UPS guy showed up at your just take my word for it, you have spot number #11.)


Anonymous said...

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RocketMan said...'s all text. :)