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Sunday, November 27, 2022
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Don’t Let Russia Mess with Texas This Summer

Opinion

Texas summer | Image by John A Davis

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As temperatures creep up into the 90s, it’s clear that summer in Texas is already here again. And after last year’s power grid debacle, coupled with rumors of rolling blackouts through the warmest days of 2021, the state breathed a collective sigh of relief when we made it through winter storms and hot summer days with our heat and A/C still running on full blast.

Unfortunately, that relief may be premature, as new reports detail Russian hacking attempts to infiltrate Texas’ energy infrastructure, which, if successful, could shut off electricity to millions of Texans.

Make no mistake, these foreign hacking attempts are a direct attack on our national security and should be taken as seriously as any attack on our land. Any attempt to interfere with Texas infrastructure or business cannot be tolerated and it’s vital that we shore up our cybersecurity now, before it’s too late. As cyber threats become increasingly common from our adversaries like Russia or China, the only defense against this new wave of warfare will be a strong and capable technology sector, equipped to handle the challenges the next generation of Americans will face.

U.S. technology needs to come out on top in the battle for global tech leadership. However, even as President Biden warns of “evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” our legislators continue business as usual, considering legislation that would hamstring America’s innovators while leaving foreign adversaries, including China and Russia, off the hook. We cannot afford to stifle our own tech sector with misguided legislation that could ultimately give our adversaries a leg up.

American technological innovation keeps our nation secure and allows businesses to provide the essential services we rely on, like the air conditioning in our homes and the gas in our cars. If lawmakers continue to push anti-innovation legislation in Washington, we risk ceding our edge and strengthening our adversaries like Russia and China, who continue to try to undermine our democracy and throw a wrench into our daily lives.

Our elected leaders must make smart policy choices that bolster America’s innovation and security, not China’s or Russia’s, and halt any attempt to control U.S. assets. It’s time for us to stand up for American innovators and send a clear message to our foreign adversaries — don’t mess with Texas or our air conditioning this summer.

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