Cyber war a big threat

While President Trump and the Iranian leadership exchange insults, the war between our two countries rages on out of sight.

In mid-June Iranian hackers launched a broad attack targeting U.S. oil and gas entities. Some of the attacks involve data collection. Others try to deploy wiper software that can eliminate entire networks. Iranian cyber agents are considered especially skilled at using social media to disseminate misinformation.

In late June the U.S. military carried out a cyberattack on an Iranian military intelligence group in response to the Iranian military actions in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has long developed cyber capabilities as a warfare strategy to target the weakness of a stronger opponents.

Between diplomacy and conventional warfare is a gray zone that includes covert cyber tactics such as sabotage, disinformation and fomenting political unrest. The United States, Russia and China are top-tier cyber powers, and countries like Iran and North Korea are considered second-tier powers. The United States is the most vulnerable because of our advanced digital economy.

This current cyber skirmish with Iran is trivial compared to any future conflict with China or Russia. Cyber security should be the national priority. Russia used cyber tactics to interfere in the 2016 elections. We know this because 34 people and three companies have been indicted, convicted or plead guilty to illegal associations with the Russian government. Any investigation into this particular cyber attack President Trump has characterized as an attack on his own popularity. President Trump has intentionally or unintentionally distracted us from making cyber security the pivotal issue. Please contact your representative and the White House and tell them you expect them to make cyber security our nation’s top priority.

Molly Machin


Using policy to aid tribe

I have just learned that Rep. Salud Carbajal is seeking to use a congressional bill that provides our military with the resources they need to protect our national security as a legislative vehicle to advance the Chumash’s Camp 4 bill.

As a veteran, I am outraged at this cynical political ploy. We have men and women overseas putting their lives on the line. Yet he is using a bill intended for them as an opportunity to pass legislation that further enriches a small, less than 140-person gaming tribe at the expense of all other residents of the Santa Ynez Valley.

Shame on you Rep. Carbajal.

Leslie Mosteller

Santa Ynez

Fireworks bad policy

On a recent night, at 80 years old, I was hanging from a ladder over a six-foot fence with a flashlight, shouting at men in a white pickup who were throwing fireworks into the dry weeds in the flood-control retention basin at Southside Parkway, CenterPoint and College — all leading to perfect fire conditions.

Fireworks into a fire pit waiting to go off, surrounded by homes, shopping centers and a major church. Why? It is because pf the City Council member representing us at the for the 4th district.

Etta Waterfield, more interested in herself aggrandizement than working, has consistently failed this area in terms of health, safety and traffic issues.

I am sick of Santa Maria being the exception for fireworks in an otherwise fireworks-free locale. It is hurting all of the residents with PTSD, and Santa Maria is home to many selfless veterans, some of whom are living in that very field. Again, failure of elected officials to use our tax revenues to provide competent governance.

So, mayor and Council, how do I tell if it is another shooting and shelter in place, or fireworks and run out get a photo, then call the Santa Maria police?

This is a ridiculous situation and is not tolerable, nor should it be tolerated by homeowners and businesses of Santa Maria.

I say enough of Waterfield, fireworks and bad government.

Patricia Lala

Santa Maria



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