Dirk Knemeyer

Expansion of Individual Power to Harm

Expansion of Individual Power to Harm, June 25, 2015

There’s a lot of power that each of us have as individuals. To hurt people or organizations would have very little to do with us. I mean let’s go back N thousand years, there was a time where the only way to hurt a person or an object in the environment was to be standing within arm’s reach of that thing and pummeling it in a personal way, either with your fists or with some kind of handheld object. Then through technology we have things like the bow and arrow, and on and on and on. And now we’ve created this virtual space which totally changes the rules, but we also have technology within it that can be mastered and learned by an individual but then to harm a scale like a country or the whole of the internet to a certain degree from a service disruption standpoint more so than a data breach standpoint.

But it’s a problem that’s not going to go away, the nature of computer science, the nature of computer security is such that an individual or particularly a group of individuals that are banded together officially or unofficially by a federal government or a federal group have the power to get into anything they want given enough time. And that’s the price that we pay, whether it be the U.S. government or individuals, for having our information on the internet. For engaging with this thing that is, by its very nature, global, virtual, and really hard to protect. It’s tough.