John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Department of Cyber-Defense

Posted on December 19, 2014
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"United States Department of Defense Seal" by United States Department of Defense. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.



Ok, so it’s not exactly 9/11.

Cancelling a lousy movie that was supposed to be released on Christmas Day celebrating the assassination of a two-bit North Korean dictator is not the same thing as the vicious attack that killed 3000 Americans on September 11th.

Exposing some nasty emails between some Hollywood executives that shows their true nature, unfiltered, is pretty amusing for some of us, but in the big scheme of things, who cares what Amy Pascal thinks about Angelina Jolie.

Two side notes:

1)   It sure would be nice if Hollywood would release nice movies on Christmas if they have to release anything at all.

2)   Pascal is probably right about Jolie.  I hear she really botched the movie “Unbroken”, in her directorial debut.

Nobody is going to die from the death of this movie.

But nonetheless, it is somewhat discomforting and extraordinarily frustrating that Kim Jong Un has the ability to close down movie theaters in America through extortion.

We have learned that Hollywood is pretty risk averse when it comes right down to it.

I don’t think it is credible to think that anybody would have been killed had they watched “The Interview” in a movie house next week, unless they choked on some popcorn as they gagged on the movie’s gags.

It’s not like North Korea has a bunch of little agents running around America ready to pounce on wayward cinema goers.

My working assumption is that once you leave North Korea, you probably have absolutely no interest in returning to that God-forsaken country.

That being said, what has transpired here on American soil is mind-blowing.

We have a 13 trillion dollar economy (or something like that).  North Korea’s economy can’t be worth more than a couple billion.

How can a small, poor, desperate, backward, desolate and communist country paralyze an industry in a country as rich as America?

Well, mostly because we don’t take cyber-security very seriously in this country.

We all need to do a better job, individually, protecting our passwords, securing our most private information, and engaging in e-commerce.

But America, as a country, needs to do a better job of protecting our citizens from these bad actors, who live in North Korea, China, Russia, Ukraine and plenty of other places too.

We need a Department of Cyber Defense that is tasked with protecting our economy, our citizens, our companies and our way of life from all the bad guys.

This should be established outside the Department of the Defense and yes, outside of the NSA as a separate agency.

It needs to be business friendly and have an appreciation for the desire to protect trade secrets.

It should provide valuable information to consumers and to companies about the incoming threats.

It should be proactive.

It should also go on offense to expose the bad actors, the regimes that protect them and the tactics they use to get our information.

A Department of Cyber Defense wouldn’t necessarily be in the revenge business as defending our free market economy from these nefarious scoundrels would be its primary job.

Revenge would be best served by the CIA, the NSA or the DoD.

Some might think that having a new Department of Cyber Defense is a waste of money or another government program.  And they might be right.  The Department of Homeland Security has been a tremendous disappointment.

But our economy is being attacked by our enemies everyday and it doesn’t seem like we have an adequate defense.

Maybe a Department of Cyber Defense would give us better security from the bad guys.