It was recently revealed that 500 million Yahoo email accounts were hacked in 2014 – making it the largest data breach in U.S. history. Even more troubling is the fact that the perpetrators have been reported to be “state-sponsored” actors – with China and Russia among the likely suspects.
Yet, in the face of such vulnerabilities, President Obama wants to give the Chinese and Russian governments more control over how the Internet operates. The President has promised to shut down the federal government budget so that he can meet his goal of giving away a portion of America’s control over the Internet to these foreign governments by October 1, 2016.
Rushing headlong to meet an arbitrary date to hand over Internet control is incredibly foolish. In fact, it is stupid. No one rewards a criminal for their criminal acts, but that is exactly what the President’s policy does.
Sadly, it is yet another example of how this Administration has sacrificed U.S. leadership and values across the world to advance a reckless agenda. The policies from this Administration have only led to America losing standing and influence across the globe on a wide range of fronts – and it must end.
Our adversaries have become bolder, taking advantage of the vacuum of leadership created by the pulling back of U.S. leadership. The forces of extremism, violence, totalitarianism and criminal enterprises have filled the void and the American people are suffering as a result.
The disastrous nuclear deal with Iran is another example. It has not only failed to curtail the Iranian regime’s plans to develop nuclear weapons, it has also resulted in a ransom payment of $1.7 billion for four Americans who were being held illegally by Iran. This display of weakness has only emboldened the largest state sponsor of international terrorism. It has provided Iran with over a billion dollars to fund terrorism, enhance its illegal ballistic missile development programs and ramp up its aggression against U.S. military forces.
President Reagan warned us, “Weakness, after all, is a temptation — it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves — but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.”
Whenever this Administration pulls back, the belligerent have happily stepped in to fill the void. That’s why we must reject this latest effort to relinquish U.S. leadership over the Internet. The excessive hacking encouraged by the governments of Russia, China and others should not be rewarded. We must stand up to these dangerous actors and put the safety, security and interests of the United States first.
Simply put, Russia and China cannot be trusted with a larger role in the operation of the Internet. We have a duty to block the President’s foolish and reckless Internet giveaway before it goes into effect October 1, 2016.
It will further cede more control to our adversaries and weaken America’s influence on the international stage. Stopping this give away must be included in this year’s spending bill. It’s absolutely critical that Congress takes action.