Today, most of our records are online – some place. We socialize online. We purchase products online. We date online. Our lives are online, and we are dramatically under-policed in this regard.
We approach computer viruses with the same mentality as we do bed bugs: we really do not want them, but we still have to sit down in public places and take the risk. Some of the onus is on the government when it comes to fighting computer viruses.
The magic and awe that hackers feel from their small, insulated circle of contemporaries has to be dimmed.
Recently, the Filipino government passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act as a means to cut down on the out-of-control hacking in the country, especially to government websites. Hackers can now get 6 to 12 years in prison for being found guilty of hacking, and the penalties grow more severe when vitally important sites are compromised.
With all of the behavior that we seek to outlaw, this is an area that is largely unexplored in U.S. law. You are in far less danger with a marijuana user (or salesman for that matter) living in our town than you are with someone that can hack into your computer. Marijuana use is bad, but creating viruses that can derail business is much worse.
This issue should be talked about in the coming election. Law like this would need to be federal. Computer viruses do not know state boundaries and hackers are not political.
We need tougher anti-hacking laws to water down the glamour that comes with creating a national nuisance. The law in the Philippines has yet to show any real results. In fact, their Department of Health website was still hacked shortly after the law was passed.
The laws which cause great debate - such as prayer in school, flag burning, and banning large sugary beverages - are all important, but strong cyber protection is equally as important.
Our money is online now. Our retirement is online. Our applications to college are online. Our applications to work are there, too. It is simply wiser to make a statement about the law before crime happens.
Forecasting whether the Barclays Center will be a financial plus in Brooklyn requires more data than I have on hand. Emotionally, however, it is important for the people of Brooklyn to have a major professional franchise back on their turf.
For years, people left Brooklyn and washed ashore in Nassau and Suffolk counties. When Long Island became too crowded, trafficked, and expensive, people headed out of state. The gentrification of Brooklyn (a kind word for yuppies moving in) bolstered the real estate value. Once again, Brooklyn became the place to be, and that place now has the Brooklyn Nets to call its own.
Is it a colossal waste to put this expensive arena in Brooklyn? Not at all, since much of Brooklyn is now considered the high rent district. If Brooklyn continues to gentrify throughout, building the Barclays Center will prove to be a smart move.
It also will show that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov knows what he is doing. Who would have guessed that the man who still believed in Brooklyn would come from Moscow?
And the Barclays Center will be good for high school and college basketball teams when they play championship games.
When Robert Moses forced the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to Queens (which caused the Dodgers to head west), there was a sense that the word “Brooklyn” was not marketable enough. The establishment of this arena means that times have officially changed for Brooklyn, and that is why this is not a wasted investment.