Electric Sector Cyber Security
Jonathan Schneider is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Stinson Leonard Street LLP. He published an expanded piece on this topic in the November, 2016 edition of the Energy Law Journal.
Ted Koppel earned his place as one of America's most celebrated journalists with his run as Nightline's anchor during the Iranian hostage crisis. Koppel's turn at Nightline between 1980 and 2005 capped a stellar career, beginning with his years as a Vietnam War correspondent and continuing through a stint as ABC News bureau chief.
During the Iranian crisis, under the banner "America Held Hostage," Koppel sold sensational news to a riveted nation. He fueled a sense of national outrage and powerlessness that helped lead to Jimmy Carter's loss of the White House and Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Koppel's "Lights Out" is a return to form. The book focuses on America's cyber vulnerability, and on what he perceives as the fecklessness of institutions designed to protect us. Opening with a fictionalized account of the nightmare that would follow a power outage of some weeks or months in a major population center, Koppel's aim is to wake us up.
There are good reasons to be concerned, and Koppel deserves credit for raising a serious subject in greater depth than it is generally covered in the media. But Koppel's expertise in the area is not deep, he gets some fundamental things wrong and his gotcha-style journalism elicits ostensible concessions from serious people who are unwilling to extend a firm security guarantee while grappling with a real challenge.