Saturday, January 18, 2014

NSA, Cybercriminals in murky tug of war that sounds like string theory; the "implicit content" problem, and chess theory!

The New York Times is reporting Saturday (story by David C, Sanger and Claire Cain-Miller here) that the president did not give big Internet and technology companies the reassurance they wanted that the government would never degrade their security layers in order to do back door spying.

Google had considered moving all of its servers overseas after the Snowden leak, and it’s hard to say how that might have affected the services if offers, including Blogger.

And Microsoft is irked that the government exploited known security holes (especially on “zero day”) to spy overseas.

At the same time, another report in the Times, on the Target breach, shows how much damage very determined criminals can do.  Putting this all together, NSA’s tactics could, inadvertently, make some consumers or businesses (perhaps even utilities)more vulnerable to attacks from criminals or even rogue states or cyberterrorists.  At least as of now, the president doesn’t seem to have answered this idea.
   
The notion that the world is a dangerous place does feed the idea that people need to accept socialization and fit into patterns where their actions meet the real needs of others, first of all “their own”.  Some of us, like me, don’t fit into this too well, and are sometimes affected by policies intended to send message to “society” for people to “get with the program”. 
    
I’ll be covering a lot of difficult topics soon on my new “footnotes” blog (in support of my DADT-3 book).  Some of the material will be disturbing, some might seem self-deprecating or even (in an implicit content sense) enticing, given the lack of obvious commercial motivation.  It write, in large part, to record the “experience” of someone who is different and lead other to ponder to consequences, both to sustainable civilization and to individuals along the way, of policy and commercial choices whose consequences are Janus-faced and, like many sharp chess positions (yes, the Sheshnikov), very hard to assess.  I do get questions as to why I won’t go down some specific road to make money with one specific, scope-limited commercial activity.  (Why won’t I help salespersons make their commission money, or sit in their seats in my turn?)  I feel, at age 70, past the point of no return.  I have only my own contribution to make to progeny.  I can never bargain away my own goals.   

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