Day 10 Reflections

In seminar this week we again had an amazing special guest. This time, his name was Jonathan Zittrain, who talked to us about cyber crime, cyber security, and cyber warfare. I was enthralled with the conversation and thought that Professor Zittrain had answer to every question or hypothetical thrown at him, I was quite impressed. In a field with so much uncertainty, Professor Zittrain shared a lot of interesting information about crime online.

After the conversation and some thinking, I believe that the best way to stop cyber crime is the preventative method. Although it is quite difficult, I believe that cyber security must be improved. These attacks happen so frequently, and it makes me wonder why can’t we develop security good enough to stop these hackers? Are these hackers just too good, and no matter what security we have they will be able to break into? I believe that governments should focus more on cyber security as more and more stuff goes online and into technology, we must keep up with the security in these high-tech fields. Additionally, what surprised┬áme was the amount of money that these hackers can make by doing these attacks. These hackers can make thousands and thousands of dollars for each attack they do, and since they are so detrimental to the users, the users are forced to pay these absurd sums of money.

One interesting hypothetical we talked about was the google email “scan” for terrorism. What this scan would do is go through everyone’s gmail account, and see if they have the exact match of a terrorist email. With this email, the government would then be able to know who is in on the act of terror. Is this okay? Does this invade privacy? Do you agree to this by signing up for google? I was very adament in our conversation that I would be okay with this scan. As long as no humans lay eyes on my emails, and it is simply an algorithm that checks through my emails, I am fine with that. But, Professor Zittrain compared it to many other hypotheticals, such as a robot taking pictures of your diary, would I be okay with that? To be honest, I was definitely a little more skeptical after each of Professor Zittrain’s comebacks. Still, with just an algorithmic check of my emails, I feel comfortable, but should I? Does google already have all my email data? Can a worker at google simply go in and look at my email? Although that is illegal, is there anything stopping that worker? It is all these questions that make this hypothetical very confusing, and not as ┬ásimple as one might thing.

But I will always listen to what my dad told me when I first got email:

“Make sure before you send any email, that you would be comfortable reading this email in front of the whole world, because once it is online the whole world can see it.” That stuck with me.

That is all for this week. Stay tuned for my last few blog posts!!!


  1. grosir crystal x

    November 17, 2016 @ 5:53 am


    nice articles.. tq.. GBU

  2. Jim Waldo

    November 19, 2016 @ 11:16 pm


    A friend of mine who has been doing network and computer security for a very long time once said that what makes this problem different from others in computing is that in security, you have a sentient opponent. This means that security isn’t a problem to be solved, but a game you play with someone else, who is always looking for some weakness to exploit. This makes security less like a program that needs to be written and more like playing chess. It isn’t that it is always harder, but the solution space is different.

  3. Mike Smith

    November 26, 2016 @ 12:05 am


    The other thing to keep in mind is that it takes just one mistake in a very large and complex software system to give a bad guy the opening he needs. The software developer, on the other hand, needs to be perfect (mistake and bug free).

    In addition to this meaningful imbalance, security is one of the last things on which most companies focus when they launch a new application. It’s much more fun and more likely to generate customers if you focus on features, performance, connectivity, slick user interfaces, etc. Consider how many products you buy and whether your buying decision would be swayed by a claim of perfect security.

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