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Capitol Report January 22: It didn’t start with Clinton or Trump: Cyber-warfare has been a reality for years

News9 Alex Cameron (left) and Patrick B. McGuigan are the hosts of the weekly program Capitol Beat. Photo provided.

In this week’s edition of Capitol Report on News9, reporter Alex Cameron asked Patrick B. McGuigan to update reflections on cyber-warfare “hacks” impacting the United States. In a segment broadcast the day after President Trump’s inauguration, McGuigan said a reader named John Terneus of Yukon, Oklahoma – one of the state’s most frequently published writers of letters to editors – grasps the scope of the issue better than many national commentators.

Some in the dominant national media seem to regard Wikileaks as good or bad depending on whose political interests were impacted. But major leaks of personal information have touched millions of federal government and U.S. Postal Service employees. The issue is long-standing, including millions of dollars in costs to U.S. firms repairing major data breeches touching American consumers. As Mr. Terneus pointed out in a letter posted on CapitolBeatOK, leading hackers identified in the last few years “include China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, sub-contractors (Target, OPM), Wikileaks, and Guccifer 2.0.”

Building on that lineage, McGuigan believes it is no surprise that a government dominated by former KGB agents – with Vladimir Putin at the top – would seek to disrupt, infiltrate and undermine American processes, including elections. The former Secretary of State’s use of a non-secure server was worrisome enough, but worse was the departing president’s pardon for an Army private who leaked thousands of pages of information “to a foreign entity.”

Disparaging comments on the U.S. intelligence community jab at the wrong target, the CapitolBeatOK editor believes. If the country seeks to counter cyberwarfare patterns dating back years, not months, the news media needs to monitor but let non-political professionals, and the Intelligence Committees in both the House and Senate, do their jobs.

Watch the January 22 Capitol Report

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