[ISN] Islands in the Clickstream. Doing What's Necessary. November 6, 2001

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 01:26:27 PST

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Bill To Give Tax Break For Security Gear In Congress"

    Islands in the Clickstream: 
    Doing What's Necessary
    Network warfare requires that we identify nodes in a net and the links
    between them, then systematically degrade, transform or destroy both
    nodes and links.  Cyberwar in all of its manifestations is a metaphor
    for the network wars in which we are currently engaged. The Internet
    once again shows the dye in the arteries of the mind of society.
    Because networks are based on trust, network warfare must undermine
    trust. The intended end of terrorism is to destroy the trust that
    holds a civil society together. The war against terrorism is executed
    with the same end in mind.
    But the best defense is to build and distribute trusted links and
    nodes, a network that is redundant, resilient, and infinitely elastic.
    When the infrastructure of society is the weapon as well as the
    target, then all of us are on the front lines. Some are unwilling
    soldiers, some don't know they are soldiers, some can't believe they
    are soldiers - but just as we have learned online that we are each
    responsible for securing our nodes and links, we are growing aware of
    our roles in the new battlespace.
    We are all on the front lines. We are each responsible for doing what
    is necessary.
    I noted previously that the command to "Be alert!" is not
    self-executing. We must be trained to be alert, to recognize what
    constitutes suspicious activity, and to know how to respond
    appropriately. Much of what we need to learn is already available, and
    those ready opportunities must be linked with new opportunities for
    education and training on the web and in our communities.
    Many of us feel a greater urgency to contribute to an effort worthy of
    our deepest values and commitments. The National Security Agency saw
    recruiting calls surge from 2,700 a month to more than 16,000.
    Applications to the CIA increased by 700% after September 11. Army
    recruiters too report an increase in people wanting to enlist.
    Most of us won't be able to join an intelligence organization or
    branch of the military, but it isn't necessary to do so in order to
    gather and focus our energies in positive ways. We have a mandate from
    reality itself to create a network to gather the creative energies of
    just plain people like ourselves and use them effectively.
    A military leader recently said that for the first time in American
    history, the military is not able to defend the infrastructure of the
    nation. Critical infrastructure components - power, water and sewage,
    telecommunications, transportation, financial services - must defend
    themselves from physical and cyber-assault.
    Creating a "partnership between public and private sectors" is no
    longer easy because that simplistic division between sectors no longer
    fits our current reality. The nodes of our multiple networks intersect
    with one another in multi-dimensional ways. Governments can support
    but not provide all of the structures that we need.
    I propose that we create a Homeland Defense Organization, a
    grass-roots effort on behalf of educating and training average
    citizens who find themselves on the front lines of a new kind of
    The Homeland Defense Organization is conceived as a loosely organized
    network of classes, training opportunities, and awareness-enhancing
    experiences which when taken together constitute a pro-active response
    to the mandate to "Be alert!"
    Since September 11, many feel a desire to "do something." The Homeland
    Defense Organization channels that desire in productive ways by
    instructing, training, and supporting all of us in taking an enhanced
    role in defending ourselves in a protracted war with terrorism.
    The HDO will address specific needs as they evolve, but will include:
    + noticing what's out of the ordinary, creating a global "neighborhood
    + responding appropriately to perceived threats;
    + understanding enhanced security as a necessary safeguard;
    + emergency planning on individual, family and community levels;
    + specific responses to urban warfare - what to do when roads are
      blocked, explosions take place, chemical biological or nuclear
      attacks are threatened or executed, communications/electronic
      networks are disrupted;
    + education in the new geopolitical realities of network warfare and
    + physical fitness and training, including martial arts and weight training;
    + self-defense;
    + spiritual fitness and training, including the use of "spiritual
      tools" such as meditation, awareness enhancement, and prayer
      (non-denominational, this aspect would nevertheless include existing
      organizations in a non-partisan way).
    I am inviting you to work with myself and others to build the Homeland
    Defense Organization, to link existing opportunities for education and
    training online and in the physical world with new opportunities.
    HDO is a non-partisan, non-profit, independent grass-roots effort to
    create a positive informed response to the threat of terrorism. It is
    not intended to be administered or funded by any government but needs
    the support and expertise of all sectors of society. I invite your
    ideas and suggestions at this stage of development.
    If you want to be kept informed via the HDO newsletter, reply with
    "subscribe HDO" as subject or text.  A web site will be online soon.
    The challenge to our humanity is absolute. The antidotes to anxiety
    and fear and the paralysis they cause are community, a free flow of
    information and energy, and accountability to our highest goals and a
    vision worthy of our best selves.
    We need to think creatively, differently.  Two friends involved with
    the intelligence community, for example, suggested enlisting "cadres
    of young people who could be teachers." In particular, "African
    American males have had to live in situations in which they often are
    and feel threatened. They survive by recognizing and countering real
    threats. It would be a great win-win if we called upon these young men
    to be teachers for our society."
    We need one another's support in order to stay in our discomfort zones
    as we map the contours of a changed landscape. Alone we will fall back
    but together ... we can do this.
    Islands in the Clickstream is an intermittent column written by
    Richard Thieme exploring social and cultural dimensions 
    of computer technology and the ultimate concerns of our lives.
    Comments are welcome.
    Richard Thieme is a professional speaker, consultant, and writer
    focused on the impact of computer technology on individuals and
    organizations - the human dimensions of technology and work - and 
    "life on the edge."
    Feel free to pass along columns for personal use, retaining this
    signature file. If interested in publishing columns online or in print 
    or employing Richard as a professional speaker, retreat leader 
    or consultant, email for details.  
    To subscribe to Islands in the Clickstream, send email to
    rthiemeat_private with the words "subscribe islands" in the
    body or subject heading of the message. To unsubscribe, email 
    with "unsubscribe islands" in the message. Or subscribe at the web site 
    Islands in the Clickstream (c) Richard Thieme, 2001. All rights reserved.
    ThiemeWorks on the Web:  http://www.thiemeworks.com and 
    ThiemeWorks  P. O. Box 170737  Milwaukee WI 53217-8061  414.351.2321
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY
    of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Nov 07 2001 - 07:50:19 PST