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Politics

Trump, Rubio clash on Twitter over cybersecurity

Commentary: The president takes to Twitter to say he and Putin intend to form "impenetrable" cybersecurity unit. Florida's GOP senator is dismissive.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


President Trump Returns To White House

Hand-in-hand with Russia over cybersecurity?

Pool / Getty Images

Perhaps the most important modern-day problem -- for individuals, corporations and governments -- is cybersecurity.

Perhaps the most important modern-day presidential Twitter account actively addressed it on Sunday morning.

After returning from the G-20 conference, Donald Trump emitted a storming Twitter assessment of his successes, including progress on cybersecurity.

Many believe Russia used hacking to meddle in the US election. Indeed, the president declared: "I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion...."

It's not always been clear what that opinion is. 

Still, Trump added these words on the alleged hacking in another tweet: "Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?"

It might seem discordant, therefore, that he also tweeted: "Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.."

The US security services seem to agree that Russia was responsible for the hacking. Why, then, would the US band together with Russia in order to create something "impenetrable" to prevent further hacking? Some might worry that Russia might find a way around that claimed impenetrability.

Within minutes of Trump's tweetstorm, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio took to Twitter to express his opposition.

"While reality & pragmatism requires that we engage Vladimir Putin, he will never be a trusted ally or a reliable constructive partner," he began

And then he hissed: "Partnering with Putin on a 'Cyber Security Unit' is akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'"

Many believe that Syria's President Assad was responsible for chemical attacks against his own people.

Rubio ended with this flourish: "We have no quarrel with Russia or the Russian people. Problem is with Putin & his oppression, war crimes & interference in our elections."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

But later on Sunday, Trump qualified his "impenetrable" statement with a new counter-tweet: "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't."

With elections coming up next year, voters would surely be heartened if they could be sure there was an impenetrable wall around them and their voting. 

The problem with the cyberworld is that you often don't know what's happened until it's too late. 

As Facebook and other sites battle against fake news and everyone worries that things they see online simply aren't real, the truth is ever harder to find. 

I worry that Russia might not be interested in helping anyone find it.

Updated July 10 at 7:21 a.m. PT: Added Trump' s tweet from later on Sunday.

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