data entity—"a person, place, thing or concept about which an organization collects and manages data"
"There's a shit storm coming like nothing you ever knew."—Norman Mailer
"Sometimes the pool-pah ["shit storm" or "wrath of God"] exceeds the power of humans to comment."—Kurt Vonnegut
Imagine for a moment that an organization, say the United States government, did a thorough background check on you, and did it with your cooperation. Basically, your whole life was collected and constructed into a comprehensive "data entity", a computational avatar of your human existence.
This is what happens, and has happened, to millions of Americans who apply for jobs with the United States government. Data is collected, sometimes at a very intimate level, involving information on health records, financial records, and data on family and friends of the applicant. And then there are the "other private details" the government keeps in the data entity, but doesn't tell anybody about.
Now, imagine that this data entity, again constructed out of the essential data of your whole life, was delivered into the hands of an enemy, such as China. This would render your data-based life so vulnerable as to be "dead" as a reliable digital avatar of your human existence.
And that is what has just happened to 25 million American citizens.
In data entity terms, the Chinese cyber attack on the US Office of Personnel Management is much worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined. The death toll in those two attacks on the USA was about 5,400 Americans. By comparison, the combined death toll of the Battle of Gettysburg was 7,800. The death toll of the Battle of the Bulge, in World War II, was about 19,000 Americans, although that battle lasted five weeks.
The cyber death toll in the OPM attack was 25 million! And the data stolen was so comprehensive, that the data lives of these 25 million victims of Chinese aggression have been rendered worthless as secure entities.
If that isn't an act of war—then what is?—Iraq not having stockpiles of WMD?
Now, of course, because we are talking about "data" and not flesh and blood and bones being hacked to pieces, Obama is not going to nuke China, even though millions of Americans have been irrevocably and disastrously harmed by the Chinese.
In fact, if you go to whitehouse.gov, you wouldn't know that a Chinese terror strike on the data heartland had occurred at all. The homepage of the White House is talking about making solar energy available to all Americans. Well, that's nice, but what about cybersecurity? If you go into "Issues" and see where data security is assessed by the US government, you will find under the heading "Rebalance Defense Capabilities for the 21st Century", a list of concerns Obama says he is focusing on to improve the US defense posture. In other words, this is all stuff the US government under Obama has not fixed yet.
At the bottom of a list of capabilities Obama says need to be retooled is "Cyberspace", which even comes in after "Space" itself, so presumably the Moon will soon be more secure than your family's data entities.
After all the hacking attacks the US has suffered for years now, it is quite startling to see on the White House website this statement regarding plans for Cyberspace:
"The United States will lead international and domestic efforts to ensure the security of the global information infrastructures."Let's hope that works out better than those efforts have gone to ensure Libyan security (after the US-led war to make Libya and a good part of Africa thoroughly insecure), or to ensure Iraqi security (by making heroes of Islamic State as it spreads its maggot army to every inch of the civilized world)—or that wonderful POS computing job done on healthcare.gov.
But then, let's recall that "cybersecurity" concerns being a topic of defense focus for the US government is like expecting the fox to patch up the holes in your henhouse. Hell, the fox put the holes there for a purpose. And that is because the United States government presents an ongoing threat to the security of every American citizen and their public and private data entities. And the great thing about the US government's approach to rendering all its citizens utterly insecure to the government's invasions is that the government doesn't have to hack a thing. It assumes the data is its property to spy on or to render useful to it in any other fashion, because it assumes the human beings represented by the data are also its property.
Because of these assumptions, the US government has and continues to coerce companies that make private data security protection schemes—like the ones that allegedly protect your computer data and your phone data—provide open access to US government agencies wishing to explore and exploit the data of all American citizens. Warrants? Yeah, that's a quaint idea, huh.
That is just one reason American have tended not to shout "go to war" when nations such as China launch massive cyber attacks on the USA. If you really wanted to respond meaningfully to such attacks, you would need to start by arresting and prosecuting all the traitorous louts in the United States government who enable it every day.
But when you mention things like that, you tend to hear idiots on the left and the right blather about prosecuting people like Edward Snowden—as if his act of pure patriotism was the problem, instead of one really outstanding solution.
Anyway, we are, as Norman Mailer famously said a long time ago, at the brink of a shit storm like nothing we've ever known.
What can we do?
Here are some suggestions:
A. If you can't defend America, and that is actually your job, then RESIGN! And that goes for everyone in the chain of command who allowed this catastrophe to happen. So, yes, Katherine Archuleta, the government administrator of this horrible mess, should be gone—today! Instead, Archuleta told Congress she isn't going anywhere, because as she says she has more work to do. For whom? Beijing?
B. And while people are being held accountable—yeah, right—how about America's chief spy (on Americans) getting the boot? Because, last time I checked, letting 25 million American data entities be murdered by the Chinese cyber army is grounds for a President of the United States to resign. And if he won't do that, then those halfwitted monkeys in Congress need to impeach him—finally! And right afterward, they can all resign too, because let's face it, they have a responsibility and a culpability for the disastrous state of US Government data security. Where's the oversight?
C. It is time for the American people to grow up. If you can't trust your own government to care about your basic interests, especially your lives, who are you going to trust? The Chinese? The Russians? This world is hanging on the edge of a deadly precipice, with the potential for vast loss of real lives increasing every day. And the governments of this world made it that way—including the American government. Yes, you can and you should demand accountability from government on a host of issues—but obviously if they cared about that, you wouldn't have to vainly demand it.
In 2016, we have a choice to make. Supposedly, that choice has already been made. Hillary Clinton will become President. Is that really what we want and need at this moment? Most Americans don't even think she is an honest person.
On the other hand, I am certainly not arguing for the election of one of the clown-car Republicans. They hate Americans almost as much as they love money and their own insanely stupid political rhetoric.
So, if it's Hillary or a Republican lunatic as our choice, hasn't the shit storm already arrived?
What can we do?
Educate yourselves about technology. And about your intense vulnerability as a data entity.
Other than that, hope for the best, and plan for Armageddon.