Election Tech 2016

Election Tech: It's time for US to hit its cyberwar enemies hard, says Ben Carson

Not known for tough rhetoric, GOP candidate Ben Carson unleashed a couple zingers on tech topics on Saturday on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. Cyberwar and Net Neutrality got him riled up.

Baltimore neurosurgeon Ben Carson's campaign for president has been characterized by the kind of calmness that is more often found at reading time in the public library than at a political rally. But on Saturday in New Hampshire, the candidate delivered a pair of crisp, stinging opinions on two important tech topics: Net Neutrality and cyberwarfare.

"I want the government out of everything," Carson said. "The last thing we need to be doing is stifling the use of the internet."

It's unclear why Carson sees Net Neutrality as stifling. That will require further follow-ups, and since TechRepublic is on the ground in new Hampshire covering the election from a tech perspective, we'll work on getting further clarification.

SEE: Is tech breaking the 2016 election?

The GOP candidate then followed up with a critique of US cybersecurity. "We have excellent offensive cyber capabilities," said Carson. "Our defense needs a little shoring up... If anybody attacks us, we should hit them so hard they'll never think about it again."

The challenge there, of course, is that the No. 1 cyberwar enemy for the US is China, which has proven itself very capable of launching clandestine cyberwar offensives of its own.

This kind of tough talk is uncharacteristic for Carson. He finished a distant fourth in the Iowa caucus—the first vote of the 2016 election cycle—and he may have decided it was time for him to state his positions more forcefully.

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Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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