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Trump Using Twitter is a National Security Risk



By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.     February 8, 2018

There has been a lot of condemnation of President Trump using Twitter, but mostly by his opposition because he has used it so successfully. No IT expert thought has been given to whether Trump using Twitter is a national security risk. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said that Trump's use of Twitter is not a national security risk. Unfortunately, and with all due respect, IT incompetence is rampant in government and business and analysis by an IT expert gives the opposite answer: Trump using Twitter is a national security risk. It is imperative however that President Trump be able to speak directly to the people, since not being able to is a national security risk itself, so a Twitter alternative is required.

Whatever appears on Twitter from Trump's account, @realDonaldTrump, has extreme and immediate believability the world over. It is well-known that Trump uses Twitter -- he currently has 47.5 million followers, some of them probably heads of state and other higher-ups in foreign governments.

In January 2018 in Hawaii there was an alert of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attack. It was false (caused by IT incompetence) but believable because North Korea has credibly threatened exactly that, using nuclear warheads. The false alert was quickly and widely spread -- and believed -- by Twitter, through accounts with a lot less credibility than @realDonaldTrump. Miraculously, no one was killed due to the false alert but Hawaii is a small state. Lots of people had the worst fright of their lives and thought they and their families were going to die in a nuclear holocaust. History shows that panic can be a weapon of mass destruction too.

What if someone hacked Trump's Twitter account and put out a nuclear ballistic missile alert for the entire United States? Or even falsely said the United States was launching its nuclear missiles against Russia, who could launch on warning their own nuclear missiles against the United States? A nuclear war due to a false warning was a major concern during the Cold War.

Trump's Twitter account has a history of being hacked. It was "seriously hacked" in February 2013 before he was President, apparently such that someone could pretend to be him on Twitter, which today could cause the doomsday scenario just outlined.

Also in January 2018 two people President Trump follows on Twitter were hacked such that someone could pretend to be them. While such hackers couldn't pretend to be Trump they could pretend to be one of Trump's trusted advisors and get Trump to read their tweets, since you see tweets from people you follow on Twitter. Since high-level U.S. Government communication these days is via Twitter, a hacker might still be able to cause the doomsday scenario outlined.

Hacking is much easier when it's an inside job and who runs Twitter? Omid Kordestani is the Executive Chairman of Twitter. He was born and raised in Iran and said to still be a Muslim, who generally hate Trump (politically correct national security is no national security); he moved to California when he was 13. Kordestani is a former Google Senior Vice President, Chief Business Officer, and a special advisor to the CEO. As described in my last article, Google -- Illegal Competitor or National Security Threat, and about which I will write more, Google hates Trump and is itself a national security threat.

It is imperative that President Trump be able to speak directly to the people. Few people trust any news source of any political persuasion to honestly report what President Trump says and their biased misreporting is itself a national security threat, much like Trump using Twitter.

But President Trump should stop using Twitter. He should blog on his own simple website hosted on an NSA web server. A simple website means HTML only, with no programming (e.g., Javascript) for interactivity, since this is a leading security vulnerability ("web app hacking") these days; see my article, Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities -- Deck Chairs on the Titanic. Hosted on an NSA web server this website would then be as unhackable as possible and more fully controlled by Trump.

Some further big benefits: Trump's blog wouldn't have the character restrictions of Twitter. Of all people the President of the United States has to be able to make himself as clear as possible and not speak in shorthand. The Twitter character restrictions have had the effect of severely dumbing down public discourse. Through the web server logs the President would know how many people are following him, like on Twitter, but would also know where these people were really from, unlike Twitter where at best it is known where they say they are from.

Some non-disadvantages: Unlike a presidential candidate, the President of the United States does not have to worry about getting followers -- they will go where he is. And a web page can be as easily seen (and remembered) on any device, particularly a smartphone, as a Twitter page can; in fact, Twitter pages are web pages. A lot of tweets are just links to web pages. Further, there are ways to inform followers when a new blog entry is made, although this is probably not necessary given the frequency of President Trump's posts and how often followers would check anyway. Finally, it could be easily arranged that President Trump could still blog anytime from anywhere.

Apscitu Inc. could securely set up President Trump's blog. Unlike many providing IT services and consulting to U.S. government and business, Apscitu Inc. is a U.S. corporation and I am a U.S. citizen, born in the U.S.A. I was born on an Air Force ICBM base during the Cold War while my father, an Air Force officer, was manning a missile silo (plus a couple of years ago my wife, daughter and I lived among active silos in Montana), and I was raised on Air Force bases throughout the U.S. and the world. While I was at MIT I did some mathematical modeling of nuclear war scenarios with Russia. My years of work with U.S. Government supercomputers at NASA and ARSC, a Department of Defense facility, required clearance. My brother, a former police officer, is an ICE agent for the Department of Homeland Security.