Essays Tagged "Irish Times"
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Americans have a weird relationship with the word “war”. We hate using it to describe actual wars but we love using it in a rhetorical context. We had the war on poverty, the war on crime, the war on drugs and the war on terror.
One of the big “wars” we’re talking about now is cyber war and, in this case, the word is dangerous. It is both a rhetorical war as well as something with elements of actual combat. The word also confuses the political debate about how to deal with cyber security.
The danger is that words frame the debate. If we use the rhetoric of war, we invoke feelings of fear and helplessness. We understand that this is something nations do to each other and that it’s not “normal” time when we’re at war…
We’re in the early years of a cyberwar arms race. It’s expensive, it’s destabilising and it threatens the very fabric of the internet we use every day. Cyberwar treaties, as imperfect as they might be, are the only way to contain the threat.
If you read the press and listen to government leaders, we’re already in the middle of a cyberwar. By any normal definition of the word ‘war’, this is ridiculous. But the definition of cyberwar has been expanded to include government-sponsored espionage, potential terrorist attacks in cyberspace, large-scale criminal fraud and even hacker kids attacking government networks and critical infrastructure. This definition is being pushed by the military and government contractors, both of which are gaining power and making money from cyberwar fears…
As networking sites become more ubiquitous, it is long past the time to look at the types of data we put on those sites. We’re using social networking websites for more private and more intimate interactions, often without thinking through the privacy implications of what we’re doing.
The issues are hard and the solutions to them harder still, but I’m seeing a lot of confusion in even forming the questions.
Social networking sites deal with several different types of user data, and it’s essential to separate them.
To start that conversation, here is my taxonomy of social networking data…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.