Friday, September 30, 2016

Heroes and villains


The recent release of the film ‘Snowden’, directed by Oliver Stone, talks about the issue of hackers and their role in society today. Because of  the impact of the Snowden case in the news, some practices of the secret intelligence services -on behalf of the public security- transcended the public debate. 

The reactions came soon. The Nextgov website published an interview with a former NSA official, Chris Inglis, who says there are several technical inaccuracies in the film. For Inglis, technical errors are not the worst part. In his opinion, it is how they show the intelligence services of the United States. In the film, Snowden is described as a patriot that gets disappointed with the secret services after realizing that the agency violated certain people’s rights.


“Nothing further from the truth”, Inglis says. “Snowden was an official with suspicious reasons that would not be able to see all the things the main character sees in the film".

The film has been released during the US president election campaign. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced each other last 26 September and cybersecurity was one of their subjects. According to Security Magazine, the issue was one of the few things both candidates agreed on. They both think it’s necessary to invest in cybersecurity. They also discussed about if Russian hackers are planning to attack more US objectives. Trump said it’s not so sure that the Russians are behind the cyberattacks against the Democratic Convention. “It could have been a guy of 200 kilos sitting on his bed with a laptop”, Trump joked. Both agreed that it’s basic that, in order to defeat ISIS, it is essential to improve and strengthen cybersecurity.

In Switzerland, a country that makes decisions, sometimes unpredictable, they just voted in favour of more intervention by the authorities on security issues. According to Softpedia, 66,5% voters want to give more power to the government to spy them. Because of the fear caused by the attacks in Paris, Swiss voters decided to lose some basic rights. Intelligence services can now snoop on emails, phones, or use hidden cameras and secret microphones. 

And in India, they are concerned about the lack of preparation of their professionals. Security Intelligence wonders if cybersecurity is the answer to the huge skills gap that exists in the Indian country. According to a report, just the 41% professionals feel prepared to mitigate sophisticated cyberattacks. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) estimates that one million cybersecurity professionals will be necessary by the year 2020 because there will be a huge economic growth in the country.

The United States, Switzerland and India. Three geographical locations and cybersecurity. Three places where heroes and villains get along, like in the rest of the world, everyday. 

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