- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The recent escalation of domestic crime and economic terrorism, specifically flash-mob looting and organized criminal attacks, have arguably been enabled by text messaging. This silent problem is becoming a serious hindrance to our nation’s economy, yet the epidemic of organized criminal communication at the street level is not earning sufficient attention from lawmakers and law enforcement.

My work includes mitigating small-business theft and malfeasance. So I make this claim based on considerable experience, including one incident as a victim of petty office theft, which proved to be part of a larger criminal ring. What we are seeing is an escalation of premeditated criminal collusion enabled by smartphones. Flash-mob looters, for example, decimate helpless merchants, escalate retail security and insurance costs, and undermine the commercial real estate industry.

Understandably, Homeland Security attorney Charles Kels argues that “the rules for soldiers differ substantially from police officers, for whom lethal force is a last resort; apprehension remains the overarching goal” (“Drones kill transnational terrorists,” Commentary, Wednesday). I would assert that international digital interception tactics must be implemented throughout all U.S. cities in order to apprehend domestic criminals and terrorists before they strike again.

BARON CHRISTOPHER HANSON

Charleston, S.C.