Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Harry Trott, Lacey Thoms, Adrian Bridgwater

Related Topics: Release Management , CloudExpo® Blog

Release Management : Article

Assange, WikiLeaks, Cloud, and Fascism Renewed

The WikiLeaks Acolytes Are Catalysts for the Opposite of What They Want

Cloud Computing has been flexing its muscles over the past week, much to the discomfiture of the American government and numerous other diplomats worldwide.

The ability for Julian Assange and his acolytes to keep the information flowing on the one hand, and to paralyze websites of those that they oppose on the other, demonstrates the original brilliance of the Internet's decentralized structure and protocol.

These cyber-gymnastics will, unfortunately, most likely provoke a reaction opposite of that intended by WikiLeaks and its supporters. 

Rather than bullying governments into a new era of transparency and disclosure, it is likely to unleash an underlying fascism that will manifest itself in increased calls for insane ideas like Internet kill switches, international prior restraint treaties, and strengthened Patriot Act-type nonsense under the guise of anti-terror laws.

If you think the American government has acted fascistically in the past, well just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just as it is now clear that the so-called War on Terror transcends political parties, it will become equally clear that a riled-up donkey is at least as dangerous as an angry elephant.

Who Is On Your Side?
Well played, laddies! You now have noted democracy icon Vladimir Putin on your side, and somewhere, China's leaders are smiling.

It struck me as ironic that many of the world's most technically adept people--ie, geeks--are now telling diplomats how to do their jobs. I can't think of a less diplomatic gathering than a roomful (real or virtual) of geeks; perhaps a room full of umpires or DMV employees.

Opaque, misleading, treacherous diplomacy has been a fixture of all civilizations for thousands of years. The revelations coming out of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable fiasco hardly seem to qualify as anything of a major major nature.

As one German diplomat has commented, "you should hear what we say about you (Americans.)" And anyone who's ever worked in an organization of any size can no doubt recount politics and business moves of a far dirtier nature than anything that's come of light from the WikiLeaks leaks.

Diplomatic Code
But the episode does make me wonder what would happen if geeks ran the diplomatic corps. I guess we'd have reports of "a frank exchange of flame," "agree to mutually trash one another," and "my esteemed hopeless idiot colleague."

The flip side of this is the question of what would happen if diplomats wrote software?

If diplomats had created MS-DOS and Windows, for example, we'd have had the Blue Screen of Denial all these years. The Mac OS would throw a smiley face your way rather than a bomb when it crashes.

There would be no "404 error - page not found" but instead a "404 episode - page accord expected." You would never have a "registry error," but instead a "senior-level communique."

In a world of software created by diplomats, we'd no doubt be faced with inscrutable error messages, a confusing welter of non-standard standards, defiant stonewalling from companies whenever anything went wrong, and an inability to find out for sure what is really going on inside our systems.

Oh wait, maybe diplomats did write all this software after all! Maybe geeks are the same people, playing some sort of double-role spy game on the rest of us.

What is True?
Or maybe geeks are simply the yang to diplomats' yin--whereas diplomats are liars who speak facts as if they are opinions, geeks are truth-tellers who speak opinions as if they are facts.

The DDOS attacks on Visa, Mastercard, et al perfectly demonstrate the concept of the anti-corporate tripwire that exists in the minds of so many of Assange's supporters. These folks are just waiting for an excuse to launch against one of the evil corporate masters who control the world today. 

Their mission is a political mission, one that should be viewed as an outlier position within the political spectrum.

To my mind, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Accepted political debate in the US these days, for example, maddeningly runs the gamut from slightly center-left to slightly center-right.

But the idea that a "war" has been declared is the sort of dangerous talk that gets people killed. The famous Churchillian dictum that "jaw jaw" is preferable to "war war" is an evergreen.

One of Mr. Assange's stated goals is to end the war in Afghanistan. Well, who's against that except for all of the powebrokers in Afghanistan who benefit from the continued largesse of the US and its increasingly slim roster of allies?

Setting aside for a moment whether he's chosen a wise way to pursue his goal, one has to ask how declarations of a new war from some of his backers will end the old one.

War talk is cheap to create, but becomes dreadfully expensive when taken seriously. And you can believe with all of your heart and soul that the US government is taking it seriously, and actively (joined by the tacit approval of the usual suspects who enjoy letting the US be the bad guy in geopolitical affairs).

It's time for the geeks to tone down the rhetoric a bit, to stop promulgating the "fact" that Mr. Assange is some sort of political prisoner, and to stop using WikiLeaks activity as a pretext to act on pre-conceived conspiracy theories about American arrogance and corporate malfeasance. 

Keep it technical, laddies.

Go ahead and mirror WikiLeaks utnil you've run out of IP addresses; but keep the war talk and actual cyberattacks to a minimum, please. It's not helpful, and is likely to provoke the opposite reaction from what you intend. Read this scolding from Reporters Without Borders to get the big picture: http://bit.ly/9lgLGE

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
2015 predictions circa 1970: houses anticipate our needs and adapt, city infrastructure is citizen and situation aware, office buildings identify and preprocess you. Today smart buildings have no such collective conscience, no shared set of fundamental services to identify, predict and synchronize around us. LiveSpace and M2Mi are changing that. LiveSpace Smart Environment devices deliver over the M2Mi IoT Platform real time presence, awareness and intent analytics as a service to local connected devices. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sarah Cooper, VP Business of Development at M2Mi, will d...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In this session, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, will describe how to revolutionize your architecture and...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” thi...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Thanks to widespread Internet adoption and more than 10 billion connected devices around the world, companies became more excited than ever about the Internet of Things in 2014. Add in the hype around Google Glass and the Nest Thermostat, and nearly every business, including those from traditionally low-tech industries, wanted in. But despite the buzz, some very real business questions emerged – mainly, not if a device can be connected, or even when, but why? Why does connecting to the cloud create greater value for the user? Why do connected features improve the overall experience? And why do...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participa...
Imagine a world where targeting, attribution, and analytics are just as intrinsic to the physical world as they currently are to display advertising. Advances in technologies and changes in consumer behavior have opened the door to a whole new category of personalized marketing experience based on direct interactions with products. The products themselves now have a voice. What will they say? Who will control it? And what does it take for brands to win in this new world? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zack Bennett, Vice President of Customer Success at EVRYTHNG, will answer these questions a...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
The multi-trillion economic opportunity around the "Internet of Things" (IoT) is emerging as the hottest topic for investors in 2015. As we connect the physical world with information technology, data from actions, processes and the environment can increase sales, improve efficiencies, automate daily activities and minimize risk. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ed Maguire, Senior Analyst at CLSA Americas, will describe what is new and different about IoT, explore financial, technological and real-world impact across consumer and business use cases. Why now? Significant corporate and venture...
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.