Waiting For A Digital Disaster

from the no-silver-lining dept

There's no question that the current model of law enforcement isn't adequate to deal with cyber-crime, with all its complexity. While there are occasionally high-profile cases, it's a lot harder to patrol an area and prevent day-to-day crimes. At least one FBI agent believes the government won't make the sweeping changes necessary to fight cyber-crime until there's a "digital Enron", an event severe and shocking enough to force the government's hand. It's true that the government tends to react to major events (Enron, 9/11, Katrina) to make changes instead of doing so proactively, and it's disturbing that such critical legislation tends to be made in a time of panic. Rushing Sarbanes-Oxley through, at a time when people were outraged over Enron, clearly had major unseen consequences. It's scary to think what the equivalent of a digital Sarbanes-Oxley would look like, should we ever have a digital Enron.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Fen1x, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:16am

    Word

    The only thing you can say... Word

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:32am

    2nd!

    2nd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sofa King Stoned, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:49am

    Govt

    Government does two things well: Nothing and Overreact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Daruku, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:57am

    The government caters to money.

    Victims of Katrina have less money than others. But they pass all kinds of laws for the RIAA. Hmmmmm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Just Me, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:57am

    Often times people tend to take things for granted, until something as big as Katrina happens. In IT, change happens all the time and very quickly indeed in comparasion to other fields. Due to its nature, it might prove difficult to regulate IT.

    Another question that should be asked perhaps is who should be punished or be held responsible for cyber crimes? Should it be the hacker who broke into a network, the adminstrator who should be monitoring the network ensuring its security, or should we hold those who build the software responsible for not building something with security in mind, yet they still charge us for using it.

    I think these questions should be asked, and a law should be passed so everyone is protected, and understand their rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Noah Buddy, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:27am

      Re:

      Do we blame the landlord if a thief breaks into your apartment and steals your TV? Do you get blamed because you were not monitoring your TV? Does the construction company get blamed because the complex they build got broken into?..... The answer is NO. Everyone does the best they can do to stop what they can. What it comes down to is that it's the thief that committed the "wrong" and the thief is the one to be blamed.

      I understand an apartment is different then a network. But the concept is similar. The "good" guys are doing what they can to protect you and the "bad" guys are trying to cheat you.

      Pass as many laws as you want requiring whatever you want. There will never be complete security. Especially in the IT field, where to protect a system effectively, you must first learn how to break it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Wire Cramped, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re: FIRST posting is the topic

        So as Noah said and as you all must admit would these topics including RIAA etc exist if people didnt steal or cheat? No just as the laws to govern things that havent happened dont exist (but they will once one of you makes a reason by stealing or cheating!)

        So it is still the one true law - The evil doer is the reason the law exists not the otherway around. When we start using good 'Old West style sentencing for crime then the deterent may outwiegh the desire to do crime. I in know way beleieve that crime will stop ever.

        Lazy people want it easy and that means stealing. Stupid people want it too so that means cheating. Bad people want it when they dont need it so that means crime.

        Get over it we are humans and we suck that includes you PRO Nazis asses too. I dont care if you intended good doing something like Holocaust is bad and for anyone to refer to it or anything that is a portion or near to it is as bad. Free thinkers are good if they think of only good things. But there we go again the free thinker is a bad guy too and he is freely thinking of raping your dog and eating you wife.

        Now what we going to do??? shoot everyone who is a free thinker? Shoot everyone who doesnt think like us? screw it just start shooting and whoever is left standing wins? See any winners here? didnt think so (oops there I go free thinking, pardon me while I shoot myself)

        Nazis suck ass and I dare anyone to defend them in a new thread where we can REALLY debate that! Oh and SOX (short for Sarbanes Oxely) is a set of rules governing the IT world too, if you dont know that dont comment.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 3:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: FIRST posting is the topic

          Man, I just say lets start shooting.

          Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms...who's bringing the chips?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    messeger is unimportant, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:06am

    RE: Govt

    > Government does two things well: Nothing and Overreact.

    You forgot rape, torture, and murder. Guantánamo Bay.

    Don't you just love our government? The Nazis may have lost WWII, but they won the war of ideas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Haywood, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:16am

      Re: RE: Govt

      No kidding i prefer our government to be reactive rather than proactive. They always get it wrong!! I look forward to paying $100 to renew my drivers license which will now be a national I.D. card, welcome to fascism. The sad part is that terrorists will still be able to move freely around the country, but I'll pay another "tax" and give up some freedom because the government is again getting it wrong.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:28am

    messenger is a dumbass

    There is a little bit of difference between non-sanctioned acts of violence by bad individuals acting on their own, vs. a government carrying out systematic genocide against 6 million people based on their race.

    Comments like yours are what lead to the Holocaust...making such acts out to be just part of the "status quo" and justifiable by geo-political goals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      WirelessGuy, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:46am

      Re: messenger is a dumbass

      But don't you realize AC, the Iranian president said the holocaust never happened, just a way for the UN to force the Jews into their (muslim) lands....therefore it couldn't have happened. Trust him, he seems like an honest guy.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Lay Person, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:01am

      Re: messenger is a dumbass

      #9 Anonymous Coward is a Dumb and Dumber Dumbass!

      If you were ever in the military, you would know that you can't even take a piss without requesting it through the chain of command. If we took your view, the Nazi generals did what they did, as individuals, because it was not sanctioned. The Nazis weren't a part of it. Rather individual generals and officers acted on their own.

      But history shows that after asking the officers why they did what they did their answer was because they were just following orders.

      See, it was sanctioned, it was the status quo and since we see this very behavior existing to this day, in our own society suggests to me and any other free-thinking individual that yes the Nazis DID WIN THE WAR OF IDEAS.

      Lets not be blind people! Dismissing the actions of our governement as being "for the common good of the homeland" is very similar to dismissing the holocast as being " for the common good of the motherland!"

      Comments like yours, where the government is right just because it's ours, are the biggest threat to our country!

      A government held unaccountable for it's actions is a dictatorship! Autonomously exerting it's will and power.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward is a dumbass, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 3:19pm

      Re: messenger is a dumbass

      > messenger is a dumbass by Anonymous Coward on Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:28am

      > There is a little bit of difference between non-sanctioned acts of violence by bad individuals acting on their own, vs. a government carrying out systematic genocide against 6 million people based on their race.

      Hello, dummy. GW Bush most certainly sanctioned torture, kidnapping, and murder in Guantánamo Bay. Why do you think he didn't let U.N. observers in Guantánamo Bay to ensure that there were no human rights violations? As our government always says, "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide."

      Why did the Bush administration cover up the human rights violations, censure the pictures found of G. Bay, and use Soviet secret prisions? That is sancture.

      > Comments like yours are what lead to the Holocaust..

      A statement that is both inaccurate and offensive. Congratulations. There are those of us who know that the price of liberty is eternal vigilence. And then there are scum like you who want to silence the truth so that these attrocities continue.

      After WWII when people found out about the Holocust, they said *never again*. But it has happened on smaller scales many times in the past half century. Eventually, it will happen on a large scale again, unless we refuse to tolerate it on a small scale.

      Torturing and killing thousands of people is as unacceptable as torturing and killing millions of people.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    WirelessGuy, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:31am

    The sad truth

    Is that criminals will always be one step ahead of the law. In our society, people are only doing something wrong AFTER they get caught, prosecuted, and convicted. You can't be charged for planning, except if that includes wanting to do something bad to the president. We protect people's rights and that is the right thing to do.

    The problem is that if there is no law to break, then there has to be precedent set. New Law. So until something bad happens, ie Katrina, Enron, 9/11, the government assumes that people are good until they act evil.

    Should we ever change this? The only way you can is to remove the reasons people want to act criminally in the first place. Why did Enron do what they did? Corporate greed. Why did the government fail to act in Katrina? Because after Andrew they started to force people to leave, yet the big one never came. They cried wolf trying to prevent things, made people laugh off their doomsday stance, then when people didn't react to their warnings on Katrina they ask why did you not tell us???? They did, people just didn't listen and they didn't implement an actionable plan.

    I used to live in NO and Biloxi and was sent away about 10 times for hurricanes that never once amounted to more than a lot of rain. Would I have left? I doubt it. But I wouldn't have then cried to anyone about losing anything because I made the decision. Now what will happen? Who knows, but I would bet that in 10 years Katrina will have been forgotten, the lessons learned in some dusty manual on a wall and then Tampa will get nailed and this will start all over again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Technomancer, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:40am

    More sad truth

    Big events that get noticed by the whole world get used by politicians like props in a bad soap opera. I remember when Katrina was coming ashore, I turned to a friend of mine, and said, "Know what? This storm is going to do a LOT of damage. I'll bet they spend a few weeks talking about the 'tragedy', and then they will start asking 'couldn't something have been done to prevent this?' and then they find a way to blame it on the president."

    Guess what happened?

    It's not the event that causes the actual changes to be made. It's the big money and corporations that capitalize on the chaos and use it to further their own agendas...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:46am

    OK, we want the govt. to begin doing (or at least thinking about) something to prevent crime, yet AT&T gets hauled into court for supplying information to a govt. agency trying to prevent things.

    You can't have it both ways.

    As for forgetting Katrina, why not? The Corps of Engineers told everyone that would listen 15 years ago that the levee wouldn't withstand a Cat. 5 storm. The Federal Govt. never did anything about it because they only pick up part of the tab to upgrade the levees, and LA never requested it, because they couldn't afford their share.

    Spend money today to protect the future? I think not, we take our guidance from Medicare and Social Security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      ebrke, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      Well, I believe Katrina was only cat 4 when it actually made landfall, and the Corps has since admitted that some of their levees were badly designed.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:15am

    Lay Person, I know its not that popular idea, but what the NSA was doing with AT&T wasn't against the law (according to the Supreme Court) and didn't violate privacy.

    Another non popular idea on the web (or at least hear) is that most Americans have no problem with the NSA doing what they were doing.

    Some would call most Americans sheep, most Americans would call some of the people here wack jobs worthy of tin foil hats, but most people have looked at what the govt. did "for the good of the motherland" and decided what they were doing was pretty good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Tyshaun, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      Lay Person, I know its not that popular idea, but what the NSA was doing with AT&T wasn't against the law (according to the Supreme Court) and didn't violate privacy. Another non popular idea on the web (or at least hear) is that most Americans have no problem with the NSA doing what they were doing. Some would call most Americans sheep, most Americans would call some of the people here wack jobs worthy of tin foil hats, but most people have looked at what the govt. did "for the good of the motherland" and decided what they were doing was pretty good.

      I respectfully have to disagree with your assertion for one basic reason, most american didn't look into anything. Most people sat their watching Fox News (the number one news show in the US and it makes no bones of the fact that it is incrediblly right leaning) and decided to believe the President and his team. Most people didn't actually research and find out what the law actually says or what Electronics Frontiers is actually contending AT&T did wrong.

      Most Americans are sheep, and I guess I'm happy being amongst the minority that chooses to research and come to decisions based on that research, not merely believing my leaders "because they said so". BTW, in no way do I disagree with everything Bush and his folks do, and my arguement would hold no matter who is in office:

      The consitution was designed around the idea that ordinary citizens should question their representatives on a regular basis. The minute I hear any politician say "trust me, you don't need to know the facts, we're doing the right thing" is the minute I start wanting to know more. Never blindly trust men of power, their pursuit is almost always more power.

      Even if later on it turns out that Bush and company were in perfect legal position, let that be because evidence shows it not because you were brainwashed to believe it to be true.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Lay Person - Read before you type.

    Maybe you should go back and read AC message again. You will specifically see that the argument is that the Nazi regime DID sanction the violence against the Jews. But you are using that to claim that unlawful acts committed by all individuals must somehow have been sanctioned by their superiors too.

    There is no logic to that argument. Sometimes people collude, and sometimes people act on their own. The only way to know which occurred is to know the details of the situation. You just want to point your finger at the whole world and say "Liar, Liar, Liar" to anyone you don't agree with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Lay Person, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:54am

      Re: Lay Person - Read before you type.

      Think before you type.

      I've reexamined your text and my opinion still stands. There is no other way to interpret what you wrote.

      It's too late to back-out now.

      You have the right to be wrong.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Think outside the box
    http://www.xlnsystems.com/openvms.html

    + Open VMS unhackable
    + OpenVMS survives 9/11

    More via Google...

    BTW after Defcon9, the Defcon organizers changed the rules to exclude OpenVMS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Republican Gun, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 12:55pm

    Relevant first post

    It 's refreshing to see a first post that is smart, witty and isn't about being the first post.

    Katrina was poverty. No one cares if the there are murders and crime in the ghetto. Why should they care if it floods? Look who they re-elected!

    When a digital Enron happens, expect the Federal Government to become the communications utility. Some would fear it be a disutopia like 1984. I rather hope it would be like StarshipTroopers, but I digress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 10:20pm

    time to vote Libertarian www.lp.org

    what can i say- they are the only party that wants to simplify the complex and tangled web of government waste.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This