It’s possible that the Internet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t mean it is any less an important tool than it was a week ago, or a month ago, or even a year ago. On the contrary, more people are using it than ever before.
There’s a downside, however: The more we use the Internet, the more we leave ourselves open to criminal trespass, theft, spying and worse.
That’s the news from Shawn Henry, whom The Wall Street Journal calls the FBI’s top cyber cop.
Henry, in testimony before Congress, says the bad people are winning the cyber wars.
He said companies need to make major changes in the way they use computer networks. Otherwise, they risk great damage, extensive loss, and may put national security at risk.
Henry is suggesting that greater and greater Internet defenses should be launched. But he also says that for now, we all are vulnerable against determined hackers, both foreign and domestic.
“I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior,” the Journal quotes him as saying, “because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security.”
He spoke these words at about the time Facebook was warning employers against asking prospective and current workers for their Facebook passwords. The employers want them so they can check out what prospective workers might have been up to, and also to keep up with what current employees are doing.
The employers know, as we all do, that people will post the darnedest things on Facebook and YouTube sites. Sometimes those postings reveal behavior the employer doesn’t want. That’s just a small example of how what Shawn Henry is talking about can affect us all.
Nobody is safe on the Internet any more.