Rudy Giuliani will head a new cybersecurity team for soon-to-be President Trump.
I wish this was a joke. I wish I got the news from The Onion, where the editors are sad because such a wonderful hoax story is actually true.
“The President-elect decided that he wanted to bring in, on a regular basis, the people in the private sector, the corporate leaders in particular, the thought leaders, who were working on security for cyber,” said Giuliani this morning on Fox & Friends. “Because we’re so far behind.”
God, no. “The cyber” is shedding tears.
EXCLUSIVE: Rudy Giuliani announces he's forming a cyber security group on behalf of Trump administration pic.twitter.com/LC20pYW02d
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) January 12, 2017
This one act is proof positive that Trump is completely unserious about “the cyber” and its security. He doesn’t use email, and apparently, he’s more than happy if none of the rest of us do. Because if Giuliani is our cybersecurity expert, the Russians and Chinese will be reading everything you type, and Siri will soon ask you to repeat what you just said so the Chinese can transcribe it properly.
America is not “so far behind.” The United States of America leads the world in cybersecurity technology. I say that because Guise Bule, CEO of cybersecurity firm tuCloud, wrote “The United States of America leads the world in cybersecurity technology.”
Gizmodo picked up on Trump sycophant Giuliani’s desire to tackle the cybersecurity effort, for which he’s so eminently unqualified it boggles the mind, back in November.
Let’s make one thing clear: Strong cybersecurity and a Trump administration are not compatible. Cybersecurity, and especially cybersecurity policy, requires patience, hiring smart people, a deep and thorough understanding of the issues, and a commitment to privacy and security.
“Only by understanding technology and its vulnerabilities can policymakers successfully address online threats without creating new, more significant risks. In any cybersecurity discussions, policymakers must include technologists as well as the people whose safety and security are most directly affected,” Drew Mitnick, policy counsel at Access, told Gizmodo. “They must also act with the understanding that the rights that exist offline, such as privacy and freedom of expression, exist equally as strongly online.”
These things are not qualities that Donald Trump—or his goons—are known for embracing. When the FBI made the unprecedented move of demanding Apple subvert its own security features by building a tool to gain access to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone (a case that the FBI later dropped) Trump’s first reaction was to “boycott Apple.” This is not an intelligent response to the challenges surrounding encryption and law enforcement.
In other words, whether you agreed with Apple’s stance or the government’s regarding Farook’s phone, Trump’s response was stupid. And this move to put a man who doesn’t know an emoji from a trojan malware in charge of cybersecurity policy is an on-purpose sabotage of real solutions, and a little reward for a rabid Trump supporter.
Guiliani defenders will cite “Giuliani Partners” and Guiliani Security & Safety, which has made a boatload of money selling penetration testing and security services to corporations (i.e. friends of Rudy) for years. As someone who’s done real cybersecurity for years, I have to agree with Gizmodo here. Companies that sold “cybersecurity” in the early 2000’s were mostly selling garbage. Many of these companies sell checkbox packages that aren’t worth the very high price tag, and don’t really address problems.
Trump has zero understanding of “the cyber” and security, although he does know that “no computer is safe,” which is why he generally doesn’t use them. He also knows that throwing bones to old New York buddies who want to spend taxpayer money to feather their own beds is a good way to keep them happy.
Peter Thiel would have a been a much, much better choice. Actually, the list of “better choices” is so long I don’t even know where to start (maybe with Guise Bule?). Guiliani is a joke, and Trump’s commitment to cybersecurity is a joke.