Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Opus 2014-241: DEFCON: Conflicting Messages, part 1 of 2

DEFCON has been over for almost a month as I write.  I want to offer a final comment before I forget DEFCON for the year.

There were three major messages being advanced at DEFCON this year.  The first, and most obvious, is “Hack everything.”  This is the technology angle that is always important to these events so that they can be written off as a tax deduction.  You hear a lot about codes and back-doors, viruses and malware.  You hear a lot of acronyms that are like the jargon of any group.

It is the other two tracks that concern me.  These are the tracks that explore the tension between security and liberty.  It is a tension we are feeling as organizations like the FBI, CIA, NSA and DHS claim to be trying to protect us while trampling on our liberty as Americans.  It is one of the hot topics of our culture.  Both have traditionally been a part of the hacker community and were conflicting with each other at DEFCON. 

First there is the issue of security.

“Hacker” is ultimately another name for computer security expert.  These guys get paid the big bucks to try to keep the computers and internet presence of major companies and consumers secure.  They work to protect your personal information and privacy.  While they are doing that they like to stray off the reservation and see what they can break into. 

That brings us to the issue of liberty.

Trying to break into other people’s computers is one way they find vulnerabilities that can then be fixed.  It is an important aspect of computer security.  Unfortunately, it is also often illegal.  Hackers want the liberty to do their own thing.  They have a tendency to believe that the rules don’t apply to them, only the government.  Most would even agree that it is only proper when they are doing no harm.  They want to be the good guys and for the most part they are.

Hackers have also seen themselves as rebels.  They felt like one of the last lines of defense against an invasive government and omnipresent corporations.  They cheer Snowden and Wiki Leaks.  They are indignant when the government tries to pry into their lives but feel they have the right to invade the private information of others.  They worked to break down the natural alliance between government and business which produces the modern fascism we are seeing emerge in our culture today.  We have relabeled it “crony capitalism” but it is still fascism. 

Notice the tenses.  Security is discussed in the present; liberty, in the past.  There is a reason for that.  The atmosphere at DEFCON is changing.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.