The intensive move away from the paper format towards electronic data storage shows its menacing consequences.
Advocating easy sharing, safekeeping was left behind and a loss of simple privacy is the least of the problems.
The horror of keeping the door unlocked to the treasure chest of government and business secrets seems not to faze the computer gurus who pushed for decades that going digital was the holy grail of efficiency and productivity. Encryption was the answer to securing central databases of zeros and ones that store the most desirable information of national security.
When the mainstream USA Today warns, The hacking of OPM: Is it our cyber 9/11? - The cover-up of a vulnerability of unlimited sharing of data from security breaches should be a substantial alarm call.
"Although the announcement of the hacking into the computers of the OPM and the stealing of personal data on more than four million present and former federal employees was made in late May, the data breach had been discovered a month earlier and had been going on undiscovered for more than a year.
According to security company Mandiant, Chinese hackers have stolen corporate secrets from 115 American companies since 2014 and it is not just the Chinese who do this type of corporate espionage.
Confidential technological and engineering details, obviously should be of concern to all citizens. However, the pattern of hacking and easy access to such information just does not seem to rise to the highest national concern.
With all the billions spent on the computer spy game, one would reasonably wonder why keep in a digital format the most important information resources that seem to be the highest objective on the target list for foreign theft.
Espionage makes use of the most sophisticated methods for penetrating the barriers attempting to protect the information. The miracle of the computer revolution has turned into the nightmare of espionage extraction.
Submitting the most important and sensitive to paper and not on computers might well supply a much safer policy than depending on security clearances to protect top secret documents.
Abandoning the old fashion tax reporting filings for an electronic submission is a formula for opening financial records on all tax payers. Surely, companies should get nervous over certain details that may not be part of public disclosures. And government technocrats should be put on notice that their role in protecting the system may just require their own agencies to be put under the microscope.
If whistleblowers were the main source of hacks, the risk might be relatively minimal. Conversely, falling under the state sponsored hacking initiative certainly has every aspect of an act of war. Certainly, the prospect for a heated up confirmation is unlikely for no other reason that it is reasonable to conclude that the U.S. is well skilled in its own espionage operations.
The databases, themselves are the issue. A society that rushes to send "selfies" on the internet, is hardly a culture based upon prudent and protective privacy.
Accepting the digitalization of all information guarantees that the only security available rests upon non participation in the electronic communication environment. Even dropping out of the computer revolution will not retake your former disclosures. Files, yes digital format, are so prevalent that only the unborn do not yet have a dossier on file.
It is one thing for Google, Facebook and Amazon to assemble personal profiles and project future behavior. But it is much worse for governments to target citizens of other countries for accumulating background information of civilians.
Also read: US to set biometric ID verification
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