Move the cursor over the top menu to see topics. Choose a topic and click on it for a listing of multiple articles.

ARE THEY CRAZY, OR ARE WE? 27 Nov. 2017 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

ARE THEY CRAZY, OR ARE WE?

27 Nov. 2017

Dear Friends and Patriots,

 

          Today let’s contemplate a new riff on an old topic.  To do that let’s talk about a principle, how that principle translates to the main subject, and how our government may have thrown principle and caution to the wind and is verging on plans that will throw all notions of national security right after them.

          The principle to contemplate is the right of self-protection.  All people, all towns and cities, and all nations have the natural right to protect against malicious intrusion.  As individuals we have the right to protect ourselves, our family members, and our property.   Towns and cities have similar rights, which were far more evident in prior centuries, but are still retained. Nations have the right of self-protection from any kind of external threat, whether a literal military invasion, or systematic theft of corporate secrets, or a cyber-attack on a government computer system.   All that seems obvious, doesn’t it?

          As individuals and families we take precautions against external threats.  We put fences around our homes.  We join neighborhood watch groups. We lock our houses and car doors.  We install alarm systems.  We buy home, auto, identity and credit theft protection.  Some of us own guns, and some even carry weapons at all times.  Those precautions exercise our rights to adhere to the principle of self-protection.

          Our government, as well as any other government, has its own responsibility to protect itself.  To be a responsible representative of the American people our government must take all rational precautions to ensure our national assets are protected from any foreign actor who would destroy, damage, steal or corrupt them.  Those assets are anything owned by our people and maintained by the government.  They include all kinds of property, but the most vulnerable and valuable property of all may just be our information.

          All governments maintain secrets.  They always have and always will.  Some people may believe keeping secrets only fosters mistrust and discord in the world, but more believe our secrets provide our margin of security against any foreign enemy.  Think about nuclear weapons for a moment and let your mind contemplate what our world would be like if the US had been able to maintain our secrets and kept nuclear weapons technology from getting out of our country.  For at least some years the Soviet Union and China would be conventional powers, and the power imbalance between the US and the rest of the world would be apparent to all.  Wouldn’t that be preferable to the uncertainties of nuclear proliferation?  Just think about a world where the secrets of nuclear weapons were contained and no one else had “the bomb.”   We wouldn’t care very much at all what Kim Jung Un is up to in North Korea.  We wouldn’t care who’s running Iran or what they are up to.  We wouldn’t need to.  But, those are just dreams, and we really don’t have time for such things.  We have to deal with reality and dream our dreams of the future.  The past is done, and our job is to try to learn from it.  Today, I’m thinking we still haven’t figured that out.

          I heard something this weekend that truly amazed me.  It was a very short news piece that was the equivalent of “shock and awe” to my mind.  The story was very simply delivered.  The Cliff’s Notes version is, “Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com, Inc. is going into business with the US government.”   Evidently Mr. Bezos has sold our government on the use of cloud services to do all kinds of governmental chores, including providing “work space” to do sensitive work, up to SECRET classified data analysis. 

          Because I thought the report must be fake news I went on line to find the truth.  Well, well, they certainly weren’t lying.  This is what I found when I researched Amazon Web Services and what they’re offering to the US government; at:   https://aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/ 

 

AWS GovCloud (US) is an isolated AWS region, subject to FedRAMP High and Moderate baselines, that allows customers to host sensitive Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and all types of regulated workloads.

The region is operated by employees who are U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. The region is only accessible to vetted U.S. entities and root account holders, who must confirm they are U.S. Persons to gain access to this region.

AWS GovCloud (US) gives vetted government customers and their partners the flexibility to architect secure cloud solutions that comply with: the FedRAMP High baseline, the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5, FIPS 140-2, IRS-1075, and other compliance regimes.

From Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive patient medical records, and financial data to law enforcement data, export controlled data and other forms of CUI, AWS GovCloud (US) can help customers address compliance at every stage of their cloud journey.

In another search I learned the CIA already has inked a $600M contract with Amazon for cloud services, including “work space.”  In another search I learned Amazon is getting into an act Microsoft has already been pursuing.  This is what I found at:  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/clouds/government/

Microsoft Azure Government

The most trusted cloud for US government agencies and their partners

Depend on world-class security and compliance in a flexible environment designed to help you further your mission. Azure Government is a government-only cloud you can trust, exclusively for US federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and their partners.

          Let’s get right to it and discuss the part that should concern you. Think of all the data breaches that have happened in just the past short while.  Think about the Office of Personnel Management breach that involved the release of all federal government employee records to . . . someone.  Think about the Lockheed-Martin data theft the Chinese pulled off; a theft of the design files for the Air Force’s F-35 fighter, the newest plane in the inventory. Think about the Equifax data breach that released financial data on practically all American families to . . . who?  Think about the recent revelation that the NSA has been penetrated and it’s most super-secret cyber weapons have been effectively stolen.   When you think about those few data breaches the point should be made – it’s darned hard to secure data today.  Are we to be fools and buy off on the notion that any cloud service won’t be penetrated?

          I can only speculate why our government would do such a thing. Is this the work of embedded progressive “swamp creatures” intent on fatally weakening our nation from within?  Is the ultimate intent to further the aims of the globalist corporate titans, who understand that to achieve their dreams America must fall?  Maybe it’s just another example of rampant stupidity within the bureaucracy.  I wish I knew the truth.  But, there are things I do know.
          I know there’s no such thing as a secure computer if it has an open link.  All computer security people understand there’s no such thing as a hack-proof system.  Once the wrong people understand our government is outsourcing “work space” for sensitive data it’s just a matter of time before that work space is penetrated and whatever is there taken or copied.  It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
          A truly secure system has no way to breach it.  All links are physical, and all links are to elements of the system, and nothing else.  The original Internet was like that.  It was called Arpanet, and it was created by the Department of Defense to facilitate communications between its various research labs.  When all connections were between the Pentagon and its far-flung labs it was a perfectly secure system.  Then, someone got the bright idea of setting up information servers and allowing those with the right phone numbers to access the lab data bases from outside the network.  Of course, people are people, and they shared those dial-up phone numbers.  Data security was immediately compromised.  The genie was out of the bottle, and it’s never been successfully put back in again.
          What should we make of governmental cloud services?  The companies say their clouds are secured to world class standards.  What does that mean?  Our government says it’s only work space and not for storage or to deal with highly classified data.  Do you trust that’s true?  I say we should be terrified.  Soon enough we won’t be able to protect ourselves, and our government won’t be either. They just went in the wrong direction.  They say they want ease of use and speed.  They’ll get it, too, but at what cost?  And, what about us?  What happens to us when our nation’s secrets are all “shared” with the rest of the world?  What happens when we no longer have any advantage left?  What will protect us then?
          We all need to understand how dangerous this is.  We all need to understand how close we are to the end of our nation and the permanent destruction of the American dream. This isn’t the “bang” we all used to fear.  This is our “whimper” scenario.

In Liberty,
Steve