Why hackers affect us all

Oct 22, 2019 | Cyber Warfare

From time to time I highlight the supreme importance of praying for cyber security in a world that has become so utterly dependent on internet connections functioning unimpeded.

Countries such as Russia, China, Israel, Iran and North Korea employ vast numbers of highly intelligent people in cyber espionage, otherwise known as hacking. Pretty well every aspect of contemporary economic and political life is affected and at risk from cyber damage. For a fresh and highly sophisticated example, see this article.

See too our previous post.

This article summarises the American response to such threats.

Update on President Putin

Putin once showed signs of being eager to get along with European leaders, but following a series of rebuffs as a consequence of his bloody incursions into neighbouring countries (to say nothing of oppressing and repressing political rivals of whatever kind), most western nations had already effectively rebuffed him well before the Salisbury poisonings sullied his reputation still further. I suspect that Putin’s character is such however that he was always going to take personally the insult of being excluded from G8 type gatherings. See this article.

It was always going to be a major test for western leaders to know how to respond someone as complex as Putin, narcissist by nature and nurtured in the closed and arcane world of the KGB. See this article.

Putin seems set now on revenging himself on the West, and is forging strong partnerships with like-minded and equally authoritarian leaders. ‘Birds of a feather flock together,’ as the saying goes, and Putin has met with the North Korean leader, as well as seeking to deepen his friendship and economic and military cooperation with President Xi of China, who describes him as a bosom friend. At the same time, Putin has become increasingly draconian in dealing with his political opponents in Russia.

Playing fast and loose with Parliamentary Norms

Having glanced around the world, let us return to the strange sight of the Palace of Westminster mired in controversy, and the British parliamentary system, so long held up as a model for other nations, being held up to ridicule. It is a sad reflection on the state of our nation that those who are elected to serve the people they represent, appear to be treating democracy with reckless contempt in order to achieve their own ends.

Thus Boris Johnson’s patently political attempts to ‘manoeuvre’ proroguing, Jo Swinson with her original intention to do away with the referendum vote of 2016 altogether, and to only heed the vote of any new one if it votes the ‘right’ way, and Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘constructive ambiguity’ – a policy that is itself undergirded by an iron fist towards his own detractors. And then there is the uniquely interventionist John Bercow, who has significantly shifted the parameters by which parliamentary business unfurls.

Father, in our nation, we have prided ourselves on our freedom, yet we bind ourselves to conformism, and fetter ourselves to rigid strictures and structures. Even without intervention from the increasingly secularised European Union we have done all that we can to put away all thought and talk of You and Your ways, and You are left with no option but to refine and discipline us, even as You did ancient Israel. Yet even as You humble us we pray that You will show us Your mercy and deliver us from chaos, confusion and from the evil of tyranny.

Purify our speech so that we may call upon Your name in Spirit and Truth, and serve You shoulder to shoulder. Lead us in Your better way of grace and truth, discipline and freedom. (cf Zeph. 3:9)  

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