Cybersecurity expertise as an election winning criterion

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Noor Imtiaz
Currently a MS student in Healthcare Biotech at Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology juggling pure science and creative writing. I’m an avid reader who makes more time for books than Netflix.

Tracy Mitrano, a Democrat contestant from the 23rd district of New York, has expressed her concern on none of Trump’s Congressmen being an expert in cybersecurity. Mitrano was the dean of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s cybersecurity program when Trump was elected. Being passionate about her field, she researched the newly elected representatives.
The context of her current campaign in the wake of the approaching mid-terms is the stance her party has been persistent about for a while now. The Democrats claim there is enough evidence to conclude there was clear Russian collusion to help Trump secure a win in 2016. Hackers of Russian descent have been accused of meddling with Democrat candidates’ emails.
Russian bots and accounts have also been found to spread propaganda and misinformation on social media. Mitrano confirms that her decision to run for Congress came after she realized that none of the candidates had any idea how to combat threats of this type. Although topics like net neutrality, 5G connectivity, data privacy, and cybersecurity have gotten much-needed attention in the House, Mitrano believes the people making decisions do not completely grasp these phenomena. She says:

“We all get that cybersecurity is an issue, but we don’t seem to be doing what we need to do to prepare for it.”

In an era when technology is more of a hot issue than industry, it is imperative that policymakers are caught up. This has, unfortunately, not been the case with the current Congress. Representatives have presented the world with too many tech-related blunders for this issue to be ignored. A well-known incident happened with Republican Senator Ted Stevens who, on record, referred to the internet as a ‘series of tubes’ in 2006.
Things have stayed somewhat similar twelve years on. During the infamous Senate hearing of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April 2018, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch asked him how his company could make money if consumers do not pay for it. He did know about ads on Facebook. Another unfortunate incident happened in September when during a hearing on consumer data privacy, Democrat Senator Jon Tester asked Google, Apple, and Amazon representatives how ads tracked him.
It is, therefore, critical for tech representation like Tracy Mitrano to get to Congress. There are others like her as well. Joseph Kopser, a Democrat from Texas insists that his opponent is a climate change denier. Others that Mitrano might join in the House would be Senator Mark Warner, Representative Will Hurd, Representative Susan DelBene and Representative Ted Lieu.
This new wave of Senators and Congress Representatives from all over the United States who understand technology is crucial. This would mean that the people in charge of defining the boundaries and regulations for data development and tech progress know what they are doing. Such a step in the right direction would definitely lead to a better tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more updates!

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