Thursday, September 5, 2013
It's been a while since I posed the question in my last post, "What's an ethical outlet for legitimate technical activism?" Now that we've all had some time to gather our notes on the subject, let's continue. At the time, my thoughts were leaning toward the Code for America and civic hacking opportunities I'd been exposed to while working in Chicago, as well as SANS' own Dshield firewall log-sharing program. And while these are well and good, they lack a certain romance and scope that the more chaotic good alternatives offer. I was even starting to lean toward suggesting the training programs around the government's cybersecurity recruiting push might fit the bill. But in the wake of revelations that the NSA has subverted many internet encryption implementations, allowing it to intrude broadly on privacy of communications, security expert Bruce Schneier has presented a really compelling argument that the purest form of hacktivism would be for the engineers of the internet to reclaim it and re-engineer it robustly and securely and openly. He's offering the huge pool of talented and disenchanted hackers out there the opportunity to respond to abuse by building up, rather than tearing down, and I think it's a terribly welcome sentiment.