Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Closing Circle

Does mind have a mind? Is there  a pattern in the pattern? 1 + 1 is  not  always  2. Sometimes it is three or four. Sometimes it is a couple. Or an explosion. It all depends on what it is that is being added. 

One of the most interesting trends emerging from adoption of online applications is the escalating security issue. Recently one nation was reported to be considering regarding certain cyber attacks as acts of war. It means many things. Among the implications is that they will then justify a military response to such attacks. It means that, for the first time in the history of mankind, war is now officially online. Real war.

There are many challenges of such war. How will you identify the enemy? If the attack came from country X, will you respond by attacking the military in that country? Or by instituting trade sanctions? Or political sanctions? Will you counterattack using the same tactics as they used against you? Will the response be overt or covert? Or will you use covert assassinations to deal with perceived attackers?

How will peacekeeping be implemented for cyberwars? Where will the cyber peacekeepers be stationed? Who will train them?

These are interesting questions but in my assessment, they are not the central questions. The really interesting question is: How are nations expected to respond to the escalation of cybersecurity incidences? The answer is already here: They  respond  by increasing electronic security measures. In Kenya, these will include a single consolidated  identity  management system for citizens. Government wants to monitor online activities of citizens by requiring authentication every time you try to go online. It will be much easier to monitor and control citizen activities once such an identity management system is implemented.

Many already have such national  identity  management systems. What is of even greater interest is the next move after capturing everyone's identity on the national level: A global identity management system.  Hopefully, by now you can see the pattern inside the pattern. Such a global system has the potential to control a great deal of our life. Indeed it could be used to control all our transactions especially as we become more and more dependent on electronic lifestyles. 

Therefore, the circle of control is slowly closing driven by a carefully crafted paranoia around cybersecurity. Once this serpent has wrapped itself around you, it will begin to squeeze. After squeezing, it swallows...