Open honest communication is the root of trust creation and peace of mind. Information technology is our universal communication tool, we use it to reach wider audiences faster and to translate our message into multiple languages. The more we talk — the less we fear, and the less we use force.
The silent enemy that will not show himself we fear the most. Like Keyser Soze in the movie The Usual Suspects, hackers pretend to be good and hide like cowards in attempt to obtain stealth like access by stealing the identity of an authorized user. And the majority of successful ‘black and green hat’ hackers are using valid credentials to break in to avoid detection.
When enemies are sentient and can minimally listen we still have the opportunity to warn them that unauthorized actions will be dealt with using force if necessary. This is why the Internet is a tool for peace, because it is an effective tool to inform the world about everyone’s perspective and hence we all chat and use social networking sites to get to know each other better. But it only works if we can prevent hackers from using buffer overflow attacks to get root access to make unauthorized changes and we must prevent bot nets from impacting the availability of a site to ensure that the information is available to the target audience.
Even the most difficult situations can be resolved with communication. It is the act of communication that prevents war, because impossible force is unethical without all of the facts. And when both parties are still talking, the future is uncertain and the use of force should be postponed.
In the movie Avatar, war on Pandora was postponed, and a diplomatic process of communication was attempted to obtain access to unobtainium without the use of force. It was only when both sides stopped talking that war began.
Information technology and free speech is the current diplomatic process, and it is the responsibility of the speaker to communicate with responsibility honesty and integrity in order to deliver a message that will be received and that SHOULD be believed.
That is the trick that Roger Kint used in the Usual Suspects to avoid being caught by the detectives, he simply lied. And the poetry in this story is that Keyser Soze’s nickname was “Verbal”. And hence do not trust the flatterer who hides behind compliments and the smooth talker who only says what you want to hear. A trustworthy communicator delivers bad news with integrity and authenticity.
This is premise of Security and Privacy on the Internet. Some websites are trustworthy and others are created from sources with no integrity. Our responsibility as creators of trustworthy sources of information on the Internet is to detect and to prevent good information from being altered by malicious users. And our responsibility as listeners and readers is to verify that the source of the Information is Authentic.
Hence, security on the Internet is not primarily about confidentiality, IT is about Integrity and Availability of Information using technology that is managed by trustworthy people who follow an approved and mature quality control change management process such as ISO and the emerging NIST special publication 800-128 on secure change management.
After all the I in IT stands for Information, and the Technology is the tools to communicate peacefully in our universe — videos, music, blogs, websites, newspapers, coffee shops, SMS txt messages and e-mail.