Governments must be transparent and should be as open as possible, according to European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.
This is both important and practical, for with fewer secrets there can also be less leaked.
This is one of the lessons Kroes draws from the “Wikileaks saga,” as she describes the leak of 250,000 secret U.S. official messages.
Kroes taught her American audience a lesson on the ins and outs of this spectacle, which has dominated the world news now for weeks.
Wikileaks compels openness
The “top secret” telegrams were on SiprNet, a private intranet for the U.S. Defense and Foreign Affairs. But they were not really secret as at least 2.5 million officers and soldiers have access to all files. Private Bradley Manning is suspected of the mega leak, he has been confined to solitary confinement as of May.
Kroes: “From the perspective of cyber security this stresses the necessity of combating the threat of theft of confidential information in our possession.
“But, she stresses: “We, as governments and official organizations should be sure that we are as transparent and open as possible. I think this is important in itself, but it also has an enormous practical advantage: it reduces the amount of information that must be specially protected. ”
Kroes notes two other newsworthy events around “Cable Gate”, such as the cessation by Amazon and EveryDNS of the hosting of Wikileaks.
She wonders aloud: “Was there a case of violating the terms of service of the differents providers?
And finally, the numerous cyber attacks through DDoS* attacks on Wikileaks sites, and sites which blocked Wikileaks such as PayPal, Mastercard and Visa**. Even though information on how many PCs took part in these attacks is unreliable, Kroes noted that “it does show that such attacks can be organized by a small group of people.”
On the other hand, the services of the affected firms were hardly affected by the DDoS attacks. According to Kroes these results demonstrate the resilience of cloud architecture***.
Privacy by design
The European Commissioner for ICT matters stressed that trans-Atlantic, public-private partnership is crucial to combating cyber crime and protecting “the integrity of the internet”. To that end, last month the EU-US Working Group on Cyber Security and Cyber-crime was created.
Besides stressing embedded security Kroes reiterates the importance of “embedded privacy” in technologies and business processes. “Those who only see privacy as a cost are near-sighted: currently it is already a competitive advantage, in the future it will be a necessary condition.”
* A DDoS attack or distributed denial of service attack occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. (Wikipedia) . Essentially making accessing that webserver impossible.
*** Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared servers provide resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand, as with the electricity grid. (Wikipedia)