Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The most serious cyberthreat is to gag Internet freedom

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist” stated by British writer Salman Rushdie. In this regard, we would add another question: what is the best mean for exercising freedom of expression? Without freedom of expression, Internet become orphaned.
The arrival of the Internet allowed any citizen to convey his opinions and ideas freely to the world. However, as happened lots of times throughout history, powerful people hate being criticized. Therefore, some of them put all means at their disposal to prevent that, demonstrating a null democratic sensibility. If a country like Turkey – which has repeatedly expressed its public desire to join the European Union – blocks websites as popular as Youtube, it is not surprising that the EU authorities urges its government to fit “European standards” and jurisprudence from the Strasbourg Court.
Thus, to gag the Internet could be considered as the most important threat that we face in cyberspace. However, there are many others. For example, the theft of personal data and sensitive information from all kind of organisms. In the health sector alone in the U.S., breaches of this kind have affected more than 30.5 million individuals. Meanwhile, the Canada’s federal government reported that only in 10-month period alone between April 2013 and February 2014, there were more data breaches than in the previous 10 years. To make matters worse, the British government took advantage of the launch of its new Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK) to state that 93% of large corporations suffered “a breach” over the past year and that cyber attacks represent an average cost £450,000 and £850,000.
Although some people keep identifying Internet with desktop computers, the fact is that all types of devices are permanently connected to the network since some years now. Therefore, the number of sides to be protected from cyber threats have increased dramatically. Our mobile phones are potential victims of all types of hazards. For example, malicious code injections through HTML5-based apps. But even our cars are increasingly vulnerable to cyber criminals. According to researcher Nitesh Dhanjani, by unblocking Tesla Model S via a mobile app with a user passwordwould allow an attacker who managed to capture the owner’s credentials to open the car or to check its location at any time.
So let’s fight against barriers to free expression on the Internet, let’s fight for increasing security on the devices and let’s fight to make everything much harder for cybercriminals.
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