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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Pipeline security

  • Author: WIlliam Cox
    | Opinion
  • Updated: May 31
  • Published May 31

The ransomware hackers who shut down the Colonial Pipeline, causing major havoc on the East Coast, almost certainly never got within miles of the pipeline. They probably never entered the U.S. It was done digitally.

This reminds me of my testimony a couple years back before the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, when they were gung-ho to build an LNG pipeline in partnership with China after Gov. Bill Walker signed a multi-billion dollar agreement in Beijing. I tried to explain to them what they should have already known: Pipelines are operated digitally — that is, by computers, through the internet. Therefore, they are subject to hacking. And if the Chinese were allowed anywhere nearby, it would be studded with microchips and spyware. They blew me off, with AGDC President Keith Meyer praising Xi Jinping as a good man.

I shudder to think where we’d be today if that reckless and dangerous boondoggle had been completed. Someone in Beijing with a laptop would be easily able to shut down the flow of natural gas to Alaska’s Interior and, via feeder lines, to our military bases and missile sites. If timed during an international crisis in the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea, it could cripple our Pacific Command and military response.

The naivete, ignorance and delusional thinking of some of Alaska’s top politicians and businessmen is simply staggering.

— William M. Cox


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