Clinton led off with the obvious—“cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president”—and noted the importance of distinguishing between commercial and state-sponsored or state-executed attacks. The former Secretary of State suggested that Russia deserved close scrutiny and should possibly face counterattacks: “The United States has much greater capacity, and we are not going to sit idly by.”
Trump, however, shrugged off the idea that Russia was behind the DNC hacks. “It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people,” he said. “It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”
Trump’s who-really-knows take on “the cyber” continued with his complimenting his 10-year-old son Barron for being “so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable” but but then suggesting that “the security aspect of cyber is very, very tough.”
Trump’s grasp of the material seemed a whole lot thinner than Clinton’s — he’s definitely not ready to start givingkeynote speeches at cybersecurity conferences — but neither candidate provided much clarity about what they would do to strengthen America against online attacks. For that to happen, we’d need a debate on cybersecurity issues that had time to get into more than one of them. These topics would make for a good start:
When a company loses your data to hackers — be they Russian pros or kids in their parents’ basements — how soon should it have to tell you about the exposure? Right now, there’sno nationwide law requiring any such disclosure by a vendor, leaving companies to deal with a patchwork of state laws. Should there be one? How long should it give companies to fess up?
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