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Balloon Fight

Balloon Fight

I guess we could talk about the train crash in Ohio this week. The result of it, the inevitability, and the literal fallout, but since I can’t think of an immediate tie to that for security let's just say I told you so.

Instead, we’ll cover the Chinese Spy Balloons that have so gripped public fervor of late. The politics regarding the response to the balloon is immaterial really. If I had to guess they were probably trying to keep it quiet in the face of Antony Blinken’s China visit. With it out in the open however there wasn’t a lot of reason to keep passively observing it so down it came before being shipped off to Quantico for analysis.

That’s the real meat of this story, what tech was being deployed on a high-altitude mobile platform sent to spy on its neighbors. How much information can its sensors monitor and in what detail? More importantly is any of it actually a threat or does this leave China a peeping tom with egg on its face? U.S. Security services have known about China’s balloon program since at least 2017 so I’m inclined to believe that it might be more bark than bite.

Of course it might be a long time before the public can confirm that, if ever. China may want their balloon back but I’m pretty sure it’s not going anywhere. They clearly have others if we’re counting the ones Canada and South America so I’m sure they can lend us this one. Another result of this international kerfuffle is another six businesses added to the U.S. Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List. Mostly aviation companies but it also includes Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co., Ltd. Any security industry stalwarts making use of their tech? Well, you aren’t now.

It might seem strange, especially with everything that’s happened in the past few years that a relatively low-tech spying solution from a country known for constantly spying on everyone, including itself, to make these kinds of waves. However, when you consider it's one of the least dangerous things flying above our heads in a week that contains another school shooting and a burning train spitting a toxic cloud out above a Midwestern American town it seems like the easy conversation to have.

Speaking of which, look out for an interview with a school administration in Texas upgrading its district’s security later this week. I’ll be asking them how it’s going.

“How many more?”  


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