Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Attack Mode

Although they didn't get much publicity, it is worth pointing out that there were more "cybersecurity" hearings recently, at which the emphasis was on the Chinese and Osama Bin Laden as potential threats. Despite the ostensible subject matter, there wasn't much interest in long-range planning about creating a better taxpayer-supported infrastructure to engineer a more distributed system of the type advocated by the author of the excellent primer on networks, Linked, Albert-Lászlo Barabási. Instead the emphasis in commentary and testimony was on "private sector folks who actually own the things we are trying to protect." This is also bad news for those in the open source software development movement, who believe that transparency is the best way to create robust architectures and that corporate and government secrecy around proprietary materials only encourages data corruption and attacks by crackers.

While you are at it, you might want to check out the government's Dewie the Turtle Campaign, which is directed at the cybersecurity of average citizens. I can't help but be reminded of the similarly turtle-themed old Duck and Cover campaign against nuclear attack.



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