What were they thinking!!! As a former Commander in the US Navy, I am absolutely appalled at what has hit the news regarding the Predator Drone Program. If you haven’t heard, the Predator, one of the relatively new weapons in the US arsenal against terrorism, transmits signals unencrypted. What that means is that anyone, including terrorists, can intercept the signal and just watch the video it sends back to remote controllers of the vehicle. Some of the articles I’ve read state that the terrorists are using off the shelf (that means Radio Shack) software that costs about $30 (yes, $30 – not $30 million) to punch through US security.
The Pentagon officials are saying… no big deal. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No big deal?! I was watching scenes from 9-11 on the history channel last night and many emotions came flooding back. I asked myself, have we caught Bin Laden yet? Nope. Why? Who knows for sure. But… how about this, perhaps the terrorists have been (and this appears to be the case) monitoring the Predator’s video for years. Perhaps… just perhaps…. Bin Laden and his gang have been monitoring these signals, and every time we get close… they move. Yeah… no impact. Sure.
What bothers me is that a multi-BILLION dollar program forgot, or worse yet decided, to not encrypt the signals that control the Predator. This is basic, and I mean REALLY basic military strategy. Something that a high school student who plays any kind of military strategy game would tell you is a big deal. How could this happen? Is there a leadership vacuum in government procurement? I do recall that in 2003, an Air Force official, Darleen Druyun and several other Boeing executives were let go in a procurement scandal. Are there more out there that we don’t know about? I know, this is a rather large accusation, based on little information. However, this blunder in security is just so beyond belief to me, that I have to wonder, what happened?
In any case, you have poor leadership or poor project management. Now the question is, what is the US going to do about it?
All the best!
All the time!