By now the Chinese hacking of the personal data of umpty million government personnel records is pretty much old news. The Hack enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame and then dropped out of sight faster than Mitt Romney. As Officer Barbrady on South Park would say, “Nothing to see here, move along.” But before the attention span of the American public is swept away by Donald Trump’s criticism of John McCain’s war record, Caitlyn Jenner winning an ESPY award for something, or the Greek financial mess, let us take one last look at the Chinese Hack Attack.
The Office of Personnel Management periodically releases new numbers of people whose personal data are somewhere over the rainbow nestling in the Chinese cloud. The number of hackees keeps increasing. Up and up the number goes. Where it stops nobody knows. OPM’s director, Katherine Archuleta , who presided over this breach has fallen upon her sword. She resigned to spend more time with her family and pursue other opportunities. This is one of the few times an official of the Obama administration who screwed up actually had to walk the plank. Be grateful for small favors.
China, too polite to brag, modestly denied it scooped up 22 million Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, financial records, health records and information about the individuals’ families and personal acquaintances. A small silver lining may be that the price of purchasing another person’s identity will go down as so many more identities are now available for sale. Bet you can’t buy just one stolen identity. That’s the thing about buying stolen identities from the Chinese, an hour later you are hungry and want to buy another identity.
No telling what sort of interesting mischief the Chinese could do with 22 million government employees’ personal information. I am pretty sure the Chinese would never blackmail a government nuclear engineer about his nontraditional love for farm animals to obtain blue prints to something significant. While thinking about the Chinese gathering of data on Americans, I recalled Sting’s musical ode to stalking, “Every Breath You Take.” This song features the heartwarming lyrics: “Every single day/And every word you say/Every game you play/Every night you stay/I’ll be watching you/Every move you make/Every vow you break/Every smile you fake/I’ll be watching you.”
Just look over your shoulder, Chairman Mao is watching you.
The Greek financial snafu prodded thoughts about how the Greek Gods would deal with the Chinese checkers identity theft. Recall the Greek myth of Zeus and Io. Zeus was married to Hera. Being a bit of a ladies man, Zeus was known to fool around. The beautiful Io was one of Hera’s priestesses. Zeus spotted Io in the temple. Like Bill Cosby, Zeus was smitten. Being a God, Zeus could turn himself into a cloud. He stole a cloud’s identity and seduced Io. What woman can resist a good-looking cloud? Hera found out about Io. She was not happy. To protect Io from Hera, Zeus changed Io into a white cow. Hera saw through the cow disguise and demanded Zeus give her Io the cow. Hera had Cow Io tied up in a sacred grove. She assigned a 100-eyed giant named Argus to keep Zeus away. Zeus, ready for some more sweet, sweet love from Io, sent his buddy Hermes to rustle Io. Hermes played his magic lute, which caused Argus to fall into a deep sleep.
While Argus was in the land of Nod, Hermes cut off Argus’s head. Greek Gods don’t play. Io ran off to Egypt where she ultimately becomes the Goddess Isis, but not the terrorist group ISIS. Hera gathered up Argus’ 100 eyes and put them on the tails of peacocks. Next time you see a peacock spreading his magnificent tail, remember you are looking at the eyes of Argus.
While you are looking at the eyes of Argus, think of China looking at you. To mangle a great old song: “The eyes of China are upon you/All the live long days/The eyes of China are upon you/And you cannot get away/Do not think you can escape them/From night to early in the morn/The eyes of China are upon you/ Till Gabriel blows his horn.”
China knows when you’ve been sleeping. It knows when you’re awake. China knows if you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake.
Just keep waiting for Gabriel’s trumpet.