Unpolitically Correct
Securing Information Using the Power of the Private Sector

Does the easy availability of information on the internet help or hinder our efforts to fight terrorism and protect Americans? Perhaps we should consider censoring anything that might help al-Qaida or ISIS. Is it necessary for information on building a homemade bomb to be available to anyone on the internet? That seems ridiculous. It’s just not good for the world. Groups like ISIS encourage and inspire people to do terrible and destructive things with information that they find on the internet. Promoting hate and violence is not protected by the First Amendment.

We’re not going to be able to stop all the bad actors from doing bad things by restricting access to certain kinds of information, but it might stop someone who has a bad attitude and thinks, “OK, I can do this. I know how to now. I want to do this.” That’s how a lot of awful things happen. Someone may be going through a bad part of their life, and instead of committing suicide, they decide to take a bunch of people with them.

Restricting this information will cost some of the big internet players money (Google and Facebook, for example), but they’ll survive.

Maybe one solution would be to have phone numbers for crisis and help lines anywhere there is information on how to build instruments of death and destruction

It’s not going to be an easy process. It’s going to be a real mess deciding what can or can’t be broadcast on the internet, but certainly we can agree on some standards that will help clean up the internet.

Another aspect of internet culture that should be reckoned with is hacking. We should be able to stop hacking anywhere, anyplace, anytime. This is something that will never be done by the government. It will require the work of private individuals. They’ll need to get together and design programs that help make the internet more secure. Maybe someone can create software that changes passwords every 90 seconds so that people aren’t able to hack into a system.

The problem is that the enormous amount of changes required will be so difficult and so expensive that it could become economically unfeasible. But if we focus on how many billions we could save each year and how many people’s lives would be improved by securing their information and preventing theft, it might make economic sense. Think about how much turmoil could be avoided in a world without hackers.

If the United States leads on this issue and works to stop other countries from hacking, then it must lead by example. But again, the U.S. government is incapable of doing it because it doesn’t have the latest technology to solve this problem. Many people specialize in information technology and software and can help fix these problems.

President Trump should convene a technology summit and invite leaders of the major software companies to gather and hash out ideas and to decide the best way to divide the labor among themselves. Trump should commit to instituting a program to go into effect 12 months from the date of the summit with the private sector doing the work.

Preventing hackers from infiltrating sensitive systems is worth a fortune, especially considering the money we spend each year on cleaning up the mess after a system has been hacked.