Russian hackers are a threat to national security

Aubrey Carr/Staff Writer

President-Elect Donald Trump has expressed a concerning lack of disregard for the possible interference of Russian hackers in the election that awarded him the White House.  Although no evidence has proved conclusive for this instance, it wouldn’t be the first time Russian hackers have meddled with American politics or security, such as the DNC controversy surrounding John D. Podesta’s private emails, and sending emails to WikiLeaks amongst others.  

The New York Times believes this was more of an attempt to have Americans garner more distrust for the government than to influence or control the election outcome, a tactic commonly used in Russian politics.

Both Senate and House leaders have supported investigations of the hacking, but expect a push back from Trump.  

“We need to approach all these on the assumption that the Russians do not wish us well,” Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said.

Marco Rubio denounced the thought of good personal ties between Russia and the U.S. on Twitter, tweeting, “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for in a Secretary of State,” perhaps referring to Rex W. Tillerson, who has been selected for the position by the Trump administration.

Back in 2013, Tillerson received the Order of Friendship, one of the most difficult honours to achieve from Russia and their president, Vladimir Putin.

Trump has gone back and forth regarding his relationship with Putin, both denying that he has met him as well as speaking of indirect and direct interactions during which the president “couldn’t have been nicer,” and getting to know each other very well during a 60 Minutes segment.  Trump’s obliviousness and habit of blatant lying are nothing new.  He’s praised Putin’s dictator-like control over Russia and hopes to restore relations, or at least cooperate more favourably with Russia, but it would be easy to think Putin is using his lack of awareness in politics as a gain for Russian initiatives.

 The hacking could be the beginning of other moves to transform Russia back to its former superpower status, with all the goodies that come with sitting in the exclusive western first-world table.

The immediate response to the Republican disinterest might question why it matters to them; after all, it means they won the election.  But frankly, this isn’t restricted to a Republican or Democrat problem.  This is a problem for everyone.  There is an outside nation impeding on our democratic process, and one that has historically been on shaky terms at best and enemies at worst.  

Even if this nation had been one with whom we are friends with, like France or Germany, it would be unacceptable.  Of course, any ally would never manipulate another’s elections, so the current situation justifies fears more.

 The fact that another nation can and has a devout interest in tampering with America’s political system – corrupt though it may be – is scary because of the implications it has on our welfare as citizens and potentially even our private lives.  Our upcoming president must be mindful of this; the fact that he is blowing it off now spells danger for the nation’s security.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr.

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