Cybersecurity is not a tech problem, it's a matter of national survival – Roll Call

It is not. This is an issue of national security, and of national survival, these intelligence and technology professionals said. The growth of the internet worldwide combined with the power of mass online messaging through social media, and available-to-all hacking tools, means that the United States is under constant, unrelenting attack from adversaries, foreign and domestic.

The attacks do not cease, will not cease and will be a permanent problem, like human disease, about which Americans have to be constantly vigilant, and which may never be eradicated.

This is not about just computer systems going down or getting glitchy. A public water supply was attacked earlier this month in Florida, which if it had not been foiled quickly could have sickened tens of thousands of people. The recent and ongoing SolarWinds hack, by Russian intelligence operatives, will be with us for years and is still only partially understood. It affects and will affect hundreds of top U.S. companies and many agencies of the federal government.

The attack on Congress of Jan. 6 was also borne of this technology revolution. It was aided and abetted by not only Trump’s constant use of social media and television to tell a lie but by algorithms and actors, some shadowy and online, others elected and prominent, who promoted the same lie to the point of inciting a riot.

Meanwhile, identities are stolen, credit card accounts corrupted, small businesses paralyzed. Universities and school systems and local government computers are hacked and made to pay huge ransom payments to get unhacked, or take the hit and expense of weeks of rebuilding computer systems.

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