Southern Maryland is home to thousands of Federal employees. Specifically, due to our proximity to the nation’s capital, we are home to military service members, intelligence professionals, members of the Department of Defense, and other military and intelligence contractors.

The recent cyber security breach at the Federal Office of Personnel Management, which effectively compromised the sensitive personal information of thousands of our citizens in Southern Maryland, and the Islamic terrorist killing of five military service members has forced the question: How do we protect these individuals at home?

P.L.A. Unit 61398 is the site where many US Intelligence agencies and private cyber security companies claim Chinese hackers conduct their cyber warfare.
P.L.A. Unit 61398 is the site where many US Intelligence agencies and private cyber security companies claim Chinese hackers conduct their cyber warfare.

The likely hackers of this massive cyber attack are the Russian & Chinese governments. Therefore,  it is almost a forgone conclusion that foreign governments now possess both professional and personal information on thousands of our neighbors.  It’s only a matter of time before certain personnel records are shared with terrorist organizations.  Imagine if the Chinese and Russian governments were to sell personal information to ISIS.

In response to the cyber attack, the Pentagon Protection Force issued a DOD warning to employees, indicating that employees could be targeted by terrorist organizations. There are many ways these employees could fall under attack. Individuals could be subject to blackmail, cyber attacks at home, and even physical threats to themselves or family members.

Although many of these attacks at home are not directly linked to specific terrorist organizations, the threat to these employees’ safety remains very real. Terrorist organizations could target employees and their families, since home addresses are now known – many of these families are our neighbors.  This is a clear and present danger to the very people who possess specific security clearances and carry out certain jobs to protect our homeland.

This is snapshot from a real-time hacker map run by Norsecorp.
This is snapshot from a real-time hacker map run by Norsecorp.

The United States of America is in a de facto war with several international actors.  The rapid advancement of technology has enabled countries to wage war with one another without all of the typical motions associated with waging a traditional war. Although the current Obama administration has chosen not to forcefully call out other countries when they have used this tactic, the fact remains that countries like China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have all engaged in acts of war against the United Stated via cyber warfare.

The Patuxent Post takes this matter very seriously.  Maryland should do the same by permitting the right to carry firearms, without further delay, to these specific federal and civilian employees who are under attack. Governor Hogan and the Secretary of the Maryland State Police should implement new guidelines as appropriate, so that these individuals can protect themselves and their families.
We the people of Southern Maryland live in a geographically sensitive area and must use common sense.  The time to honor  the right to carry firearms in Maryland, and to protect and defend our homeland and our families – is now.

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