Stop Waiting For Something Bad To Happen: It Has (And There Are Things You Can Do About It)

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

If you are under the impression that the United States government can do nothing to fight Russian cyber actions and attacks, to help states with election security, to help with detection of cyber threats to states or companies or federal systems, or to take offensive cyber action – that's inaccurate.  The government CAN do very many things.

We have a robust cyber structure and functionality in our government.

We saw the key players who would coordinate such action on stage this week in Thursday's White House (WH) press briefing.  The FBI Director.  The Director of National Intelligence (DNI).  The Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The National Security Advisor.  The Director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

HOWEVER, the US president has not coordinated any definable actions.

Had he done so, we would have seen an indication of such actions in the August 2 WH press briefing from the key players who would be part of such coordination.  We didn’t.

The Republican party has refused to provide additional funding, laws, or direction for any cyber action via Congress. They have every authority to do so.  THEY CAN MAKE LAWS.

We have seen no defined action to date from the US government to counter this known attack.  There are mechanisms within each of these agencies to take such action, and yet we have not seen it.  If action were being taken in coordination with the states or the private sector, we would hear about it from the states or the private sector.

We have the tools.  We have capabilities.

We also have the talent.  We have incredible ingenuity.

None of this is being used to counter this attack, or to counter the urgent threat of more attacks that these agencies warned us about this week.

None.  Period.  That's it.

If you are waiting for some sign that we are in real trouble – like a potential Mueller firing – you are too late.  The trouble is already here.  Danger lines were crossed long ago.

We are IN the disaster.  This is a national security crisis.  It's already happening.  It's been happening.  The US Intelligence Community told us it was happening in 2016, and they continue to confirm it.  On August 2nd this week, they confirmed it again – at the White House podium.  The president called it “a hoax” six hours later.

So here we are.

The most powerful nation in the world, sitting around watching the world's other biggest superpower move in on us.

There aren't tanks, so it doesn't look like an invasion.  Doesn’t mean we’re not under attack.

We all have to find our way forward from here.

My plea is to stop acting like everything is normal in your day-to-day life.  Take this seriously.  Daily life is going to change – most of us have been lucky enough not to feel it yet.  We will though.

What to do?

You may have some plan for protesting the current situation.  Go for it, and make sure to get good media coverage if you do (FYI, the media likes story and spectacle, with good video).  In the name of all that is good and holy:  vote in the fall.  We all need to vote.  Help with campaigns to get people into office who actually care about the national security of the United States.  Make phone calls in the meantime if your legislators listen (mine don’t).  You can call the media too.  Tweet at them.  Whatever.  These are the things everyone says you can be doing right now to make change, or to hold the line.

And then they say:  But there’s nothing else you can do!  Alas!  Tragedy!

Which is a bunch of BS.

THERE'S A TON OF OTHER STUFF YOU CAN BE DOING and almost none of it has to do with Facebook or Twitter or calling your legislator.

We are talking about the world's other superpower attacking our country.

Russia doesn't play.  Plus, it's a long time between now and the fall election.  Lots can happen.

So get ready.

START HERE:  Get involved in actions to secure the election in your state or locality.  Push for paper ballots or backups.  Find an organization already doing this – they have recommendations.  This one is URGENT.

THEN GET READY FOR DISRUPTION.  No I don’t know what kind of disruption.  Yes I do know we’re going to have some.

Try these things…

Build some resilience.  Talk with your family and the people around you about getting resilient, and the things you can do to get there.  Build strong ties where you can. Connection and community.

Build contingency plans where you can.  Everything you can do to get resilient for a disaster will help with whatever happens here.  Find out what you can do to make your business and your local economy more resilient to disruption.

Protect institutions.  Everything from media to hospitals to schools to law enforcement to the fire department.  We’re going to need it all – intact and functional.  Pick one and find a way to help.  Spread the word.

In the US, the principle of federalism provides layers of strength and resilience.  Federalism says that state and local governments are the foundation of our country.  They will be critical if the federal government becomes unstable.  You can get involved in securing state and local government, making sure they are well funded, have contingency plans in place, and are planning for economic, disaster, and community resilience.

Infrastructure is the heart of a functioning society.  Make sure the critical infrastructure is functional and resilient where you live.  Get involved in oversight or boards or funding for it.  Learn about infrastructure interdependencies and potential impacts of cascading failures.  Work on vulnerabilities; get ready for the most likely scenarios.

Be intentional and purposeful.  Speak with integrity.  Embrace humanity – it’s what we’re here for.  Love.  Take care of people.

THESE ARE THINGS WE CAN ALL BE DOING RIGHT NOW.  Action on any one of these things increases our resilience – and your own.  Don’t let anyone tell you you are powerless and our future is predetermined.

WE decide our future.  Together.  That’s how we get it done.

Don't panic.

Do get ready.

We always have choices.

There is a lot of stuff on this list.  Questions?  Want help digging in?  Call us.  Check out private coaching at inclusive pricing rates.  Consulting is also available.  There are ways to navigate this, to stay grounded, and to do some good while we're at it.  #LightItUp

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NOTE:  This piece is also published on the Counterfear Facebook page.

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