This video is two minute report of President Obama announcing his new White House position coordinating the nation's digital security, saying the country faces what he called a transformational moment. You can use this to introduce a general conversation, or continue with the analysis of the plan and the challenges of protecting America from hackers and cyber spies.
"Our technological advantage is a key to America's military dominance. But our defense and military networks are under constant attack," Mr. Obama said.
Overall, the Defense Department reported 360 million attempts to penetrate its data networks last year, up from six million in 2006. And cyber-damage has cost $100 million over six months.
Just last April, The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. electrical grid had been hacked as cyber-spies probed the power system and planted software to cause disruptions.
"Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have spoken of their desire to unleash a cyber-attack on our country, attacks that are harder to detect and harder to defend against." – President Barack Obama
"Acts of terror could come not only from a few extremists in suicide vests, but from a few key strokes on the computer, a weapon of mass disruption." – President Barack Obama
"Our digital infrastructure, the networks and computers we depend on every day, will be treated as they should be, as a strategic national asset." – President Barack Obama
1. What is cyber terrorism?
2. What is infrastructure? What parts of American infrastructure are controlled by computers and therefore vulnerable to cyber attacks?
1. Do you think the president's plan will be effective?
2. How important to you is cyber security compared to the economy, health care, education and other issues?
3. President Obama has appointed a health care czar, a efficiency czar and now a cyber security czar. What are the pros and cons of these positions? How do they compare to the Homeland Security position created by President Bush after 9/11?