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Dick Tracy: Something else to worry about

All the hand-wringing that’s going on about Iran having atomic weapons seems odd to me. Israel, America, Pakistan, India, China and North Korea already have atomic weapons. And none have been used in combat since 1945.

The ultimate weapon (which is what the overlooked hydrogen bomb was supposed to be) would be if an enemy found a way to completely shut down the nation’s Internet service.

As journalist Ted Koppel points out in the most recent AARP magazine, it’s unlikely any of the major powers would launch such an attack on us, since our economies are so intertwined. If we go down, so do they. But what about Looney Tunes North Korea? Or ISIS?



No bombs or weapons of mass destruction could do as much harm.

Think of it: No communications with our armed forces. No communication with the government. No post office service. No interstate commerce. No police service. No way to coordinate electrical production or service. No way to operate banks or the stock market. Your iPhone would be as lifeless as a clay tablet.




It’s almost impossible to think of all the aspects of our lives that the Internet provides. This letter, for example, is not being banged out on my 1938 Underwood typewriter.

How would cities pump water to their clients without it? Or supply electricity? How would grocery stores keep their doors open with no lights and no cash registers or scanners? Television or radio? Forget it.

A friend once forwarded an article to me about the effect of a high-altitude atomic explosion on the Internet. Lights out. Now, there’s something to worry about.

Dick Tracy

Grass Valley


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