Do you think Putin is testing, you know, President Biden plans and many of Vladimir Putin 12 days, 13 days. And I’m in Geneva, Kitty, pamphlets now on that angle. Editor Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor. Katie, good morning to you. How much consideration given to how much this topic is covered and what comes from it in Switzerland?
Well, it certainly should be covered more, considering bad actors being harbored in Russia are attacking critical infrastructure here in the United States. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the colonial pipeline was held hostage, which, of course, caused a gas shortage all along the East Coast. Panic buying. Now you have a major meatpacking plant being held hostage by a similar criminal enterprise being protected essentially by the Russian government. And everyone should understand that things don’t happen in Russia when it comes to hacking a foreign countries critical infrastructure, even if they are private businesses without Vladimir Putin knowing.
And you have the Russians openly saying before this meeting between President Putin and President Vladimir Putin that we should feel some uncomfortable signals. Well, we’ve had two major cyberattacks leading up to this meeting. We have seen zero deterrence when it comes to preventing the next one. It’s not like the Colonial Pipeline had happened and there was a deterrent signal sent. This second attack happened. And the question is, which one is next? Will these bad actors being harbored again in Russia go after the hospital system or will they go after the electrical grid?
Which next piece of critical infrastructure will they decide to target? And so clearly, President Putin wants to meet with Vladimir Putin. But up to this point, he’s shown signs of weakness. Of course, he took off the sanctions on the Nord Stream two pipeline, which will essentially give Russia control over Western Europe’s energy, which is quite contrary to the promise of NATO that we’ve seen if we’re all supposed to come together to battle Russia. And yet Russia is now in charge of a lot of the energy source sources for Europe that come into question.
So there’s a lot of factors here, lots of questions about how the administration will respond. Finally, Jen Psaki, keep saying that this is a private sector problem, that these private companies need to deal with this. Well, that may be true, but it is the federal government’s job to protect private companies that are engaged in critical infrastructure in the United States from foreign attacks, from bad actors through deterrence. And right now, that’s clearly not happy.
I think you make a number of excellent points there. On that last point was Julian’s guest a moment ago. There are countless private companies that have not upgraded their technology to protect from the outside those hackers who want to get their information and their data and then threaten that company with making it public. The company doesn’t want that to happen. My sense is that this has been going on with private industry in America for a couple of years now. And now they’re reaching out to the more public companies that we are more exposed to.
Your point about the federal government. What does Joe Biden do on that front? How does he give a signal to these companies that we’ve got your back on this stuff and we can work together on it?
Well, I do think that you know, it’s very clear that private companies do need to make better investments in their cybersecurity. This is the new front in protection for not only just critical infrastructure but for companies to survive. And that’s something they should pour more money into. They’re either going to pay a ransom, which apparently is allowed now, or they can invest that money into people who can protect their business. But in terms of the federal government, President Biden has an obligation as a commander in chief to protect American interests and to protect the American people and their critical infrastructure.
So the way that he can handle this is when he sits down at this meeting with Vladimir Putin. He can tell him there will be deterrents, there will be consequences for this. And he needs to send a signal that there will be action, not just tough words about not attacking companies and harboring these hacking organizations inside of Russia.
It’s clear 10 years ago or so, Vladimir Putin saw this as the new front, you know, cybersecurity and how much you can make that sector for any company or any country, for that matter, vulnerable. And we’re seeing that today. Katie, thank you so much. We’ll see you again soon. Kitty Pablito in D.C., thanks.
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