The head of the FBI says that the internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable now. Looking at how effective places like Facebook can attract large mobs of people to assemble at just about anywhere representing numbers for any cause or ISIS using their internet postings as recruiting devices for their cause or Apple and Google possibly being the most powerful information sources and vehicles on earth, What the hell is going on and are we safe anywhere?
Now on line you can get mugged in ways you never saw coming. All kinds of commerce and billing and transfers of your hard earned money is on line lately. Most of us never even get to hold the money we earn in our hands. Our paychecks now go directly into paying bills and if you are lucky there is some money being transferred into savings accounts. Recently large banks like JP Morgan Chase was looted for weeks by computer criminals who stole personal information from 83 Million customers. So, we have political mobs, information snooping, terrorism and even government surveillance into our lives. What can we do to protect ourselves besides nothing?
The new FBI boss, James Comey who has had the job for one year, tells us not to trust people in power. That is why the founding fathers divided power among three branches to set interest against interest. Congress is the only group that even knows what the FBI is up to in the surveillance department of Americans. Technically the FBI can not read your e-mails or listen to your phone calls without a court order to a Federal judge showing probable cause that you are a terrorist, an agent of a foreign power or a serious criminal of some sort and get permission for a limited time to accept that communication. That is the legal way the government can pry into our lives. There are so many illegal ways prying is being done from Target credit cards to bank accounts. How do we keep up with these criminals?
Our next threat can be Apple and Google of all things. In technology the cutting edge cuts in both ways. Apple and Google have the power to up end the rule of law. Until now a judge could order those companies to unlock a criminal suspect’s phone but their new software make it impossible to crack a code set by the user. Comey said the notion that a company would make devices that would make them above the law is a disgrace. Now with a new device, you cannot open a phone with a court order to find evidence or even clues to a crime. Let’s give tools to the bad guys stupid Apple and Google.
America is spending money to try still to get one step ahead of the cyber world criminal. There is a cyber crime headquarters called CyWatch that pulls in information from the CIA, NSA and others. Often suspects are overseas. In cyberspace, where do you put the handcuffs? Thieves are operating in houses across the world with access to our information. Russia, China and other countries are not going to just give these criminals to us. In the age of terrorism, terrorism can have the most immediate horrific impact on innocent citizens. The budget on terrorism for the FBI has doubled. They even have a reference library on new home made bombs. War can come in many ways now without a country or uniform.