One of the ways to be more effective responding to cyberattacks is to understand the dangers of our Internet dependency ("Intelligence officials: U.S. needs to rethink how to respond to hacks," Jan. 5). Years ago, visionary Marshall McLuhan began the study of media theory and coined the phrase "the medium is the message." It's time to revisit his ideas.
To me, the "message" of the Internet is that we have become enslaved to a technology with a potential to do devastating harm. Every nanosecond our way of life is being turned over to cyberspace applications. If a crippling cyberattack or space weather phenomenon were to take down an electrical grid, for example, the situation would be catastrophic.
I read some of the material that was leaked from the Democratic National Committee and to me it demonstrated a lack of cyber security understanding. One of the so-called victims was as careless as to use "password" as an official password. Also, the information and comments revealed in countless leaked emails confirmed amazing naivete. And don't get me started on Hillary Clinton's private email server.
I was shocked by Edward Snowden's revelations about how emails and other material can be accessed by the National Security Agency and others ("Emails were leaked, not hacked," Jan. 5). Even though the whistleblower risked his life to inform Americans of their privacy's erosion, not enough people were paying attention. I believe the best offensive response to cyberattacks is understand that the Internet is not secure and to treat it that way.
This prevalent and marvelous technology is today's glittering media message, but remember — not all that glitters is gold!
R. E. Heid, Baltimore