Oct 27 2013
“The Battle for Power on the Internet” is long, but it’s a worthwhile read. I’m not going to try to sum it up in a few lines or even a few hundred words, but it’s a well thought out piece by Bruce Schneier. I think I’ve seen him speak too many times, because I can hear his voice in my head as I read it.
One point he makes is worth calling out though, the ‘security gap’. Basically, this is the space between new technologies being created, and exploited, and law enforcement’s ability to police and enforce societal rules on the technology. And because our technology is changing faster than it’s ever changed before, that gap is growing wider and wider.
The mirror of the security gap should probably be called the ‘surveillance gap’: the space between government and corporations’ ability to monitor the activities of citizens and citizens’ ability to maintain some sort of privacy and anonymity. This gap is widening even faster than the security gap, because governments are using terrorism and criminal behaviour as a reason, or excuse, to spend enormous amounts of money on surveillance. And as Bruce points out, the criminals and those who have specific reasons to avoid being watched can find ways around the eyes and ears in the network while the average person is always under the microscope.
There are no easy answers to this problem, but the article raises a number of interesting points. Go, read it, form your own opinions. And think about how this affects our future.