Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Release Management , @CloudExpo

Release Management : Article

Assange, WikiLeaks, Cloud, and Fascism Renewed

The WikiLeaks Acolytes Are Catalysts for the Opposite of What They Want

Cloud Computing has been flexing its muscles over the past week, much to the discomfiture of the American government and numerous other diplomats worldwide.

The ability for Julian Assange and his acolytes to keep the information flowing on the one hand, and to paralyze websites of those that they oppose on the other, demonstrates the original brilliance of the Internet's decentralized structure and protocol.

These cyber-gymnastics will, unfortunately, most likely provoke a reaction opposite of that intended by WikiLeaks and its supporters. 

Rather than bullying governments into a new era of transparency and disclosure, it is likely to unleash an underlying fascism that will manifest itself in increased calls for insane ideas like Internet kill switches, international prior restraint treaties, and strengthened Patriot Act-type nonsense under the guise of anti-terror laws.

If you think the American government has acted fascistically in the past, well just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just as it is now clear that the so-called War on Terror transcends political parties, it will become equally clear that a riled-up donkey is at least as dangerous as an angry elephant.

Who Is On Your Side?
Well played, laddies! You now have noted democracy icon Vladimir Putin on your side, and somewhere, China's leaders are smiling.

It struck me as ironic that many of the world's most technically adept people--ie, geeks--are now telling diplomats how to do their jobs. I can't think of a less diplomatic gathering than a roomful (real or virtual) of geeks; perhaps a room full of umpires or DMV employees.

Opaque, misleading, treacherous diplomacy has been a fixture of all civilizations for thousands of years. The revelations coming out of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable fiasco hardly seem to qualify as anything of a major major nature.

As one German diplomat has commented, "you should hear what we say about you (Americans.)" And anyone who's ever worked in an organization of any size can no doubt recount politics and business moves of a far dirtier nature than anything that's come of light from the WikiLeaks leaks.

Diplomatic Code
But the episode does make me wonder what would happen if geeks ran the diplomatic corps. I guess we'd have reports of "a frank exchange of flame," "agree to mutually trash one another," and "my esteemed hopeless idiot colleague."

The flip side of this is the question of what would happen if diplomats wrote software?

If diplomats had created MS-DOS and Windows, for example, we'd have had the Blue Screen of Denial all these years. The Mac OS would throw a smiley face your way rather than a bomb when it crashes.

There would be no "404 error - page not found" but instead a "404 episode - page accord expected." You would never have a "registry error," but instead a "senior-level communique."

In a world of software created by diplomats, we'd no doubt be faced with inscrutable error messages, a confusing welter of non-standard standards, defiant stonewalling from companies whenever anything went wrong, and an inability to find out for sure what is really going on inside our systems.

Oh wait, maybe diplomats did write all this software after all! Maybe geeks are the same people, playing some sort of double-role spy game on the rest of us.

What is True?
Or maybe geeks are simply the yang to diplomats' yin--whereas diplomats are liars who speak facts as if they are opinions, geeks are truth-tellers who speak opinions as if they are facts.

The DDOS attacks on Visa, Mastercard, et al perfectly demonstrate the concept of the anti-corporate tripwire that exists in the minds of so many of Assange's supporters. These folks are just waiting for an excuse to launch against one of the evil corporate masters who control the world today. 

Their mission is a political mission, one that should be viewed as an outlier position within the political spectrum.

To my mind, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Accepted political debate in the US these days, for example, maddeningly runs the gamut from slightly center-left to slightly center-right.

But the idea that a "war" has been declared is the sort of dangerous talk that gets people killed. The famous Churchillian dictum that "jaw jaw" is preferable to "war war" is an evergreen.

One of Mr. Assange's stated goals is to end the war in Afghanistan. Well, who's against that except for all of the powebrokers in Afghanistan who benefit from the continued largesse of the US and its increasingly slim roster of allies?

Setting aside for a moment whether he's chosen a wise way to pursue his goal, one has to ask how declarations of a new war from some of his backers will end the old one.

War talk is cheap to create, but becomes dreadfully expensive when taken seriously. And you can believe with all of your heart and soul that the US government is taking it seriously, and actively (joined by the tacit approval of the usual suspects who enjoy letting the US be the bad guy in geopolitical affairs).

It's time for the geeks to tone down the rhetoric a bit, to stop promulgating the "fact" that Mr. Assange is some sort of political prisoner, and to stop using WikiLeaks activity as a pretext to act on pre-conceived conspiracy theories about American arrogance and corporate malfeasance. 

Keep it technical, laddies.

Go ahead and mirror WikiLeaks utnil you've run out of IP addresses; but keep the war talk and actual cyberattacks to a minimum, please. It's not helpful, and is likely to provoke the opposite reaction from what you intend. Read this scolding from Reporters Without Borders to get the big picture: http://bit.ly/9lgLGE

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...