Sunday, November 18, 2007

Damn straight... but sorta' bendy

From Drazen comes this snippet of a quote from Computerworld interviewing the legendary Frank Abagnale of 'Catch me if you can?' fame:

"Computerworld Staff: Is there anything we can do to make illicit computer-related activity a less attractive pursuit for young people?

Frank Abagnale: There are about four reasons why we have crime to begin with. One of them is, of course, that we live in an extremely unethical society. We live in a society that doesn't teach ethics at home, a society that doesn't teach ethics in school because the teacher would be accused of teaching morality. We live in a society where you can't find a four-year college course on ethics. I have three sons who went through graduate school; only the one who went to law school had a course even offered on ethics. So today you have a lot of young people who have no character, no ethics and they find no problem in defrauding somebody or stealing from somebody or cheating somebody. Until we change that, crime is just going to get easier, faster, more global, harder to detect.

Computerworld Staff: Any thoughts on how we can bring that change about?

Frank Abagnale: I think you need to bring character and ethics back into schools, and you certainly need to bring it back into colleges and universities as part of a curriculum. Only about half of Fortune 500 companies even have a code of ethics or code of conduct. The ones that do have one publish it every five years on an inside page of their annual report to appease their shareholders. So, obviously, there's no big effort out there to bring about that change. Rutgers just finished a five-year study that found that 56% of MBA students cheated.

There are really no con men anymore like there were in my day, because you really don't have to associate with anyone. You don't have to be well dressed and well groomed and well spoken. Everything's done on a computer; there are no witnesses. So even if you know who's doing it, you probably don't have the ability to go capture them. Chances are you have no idea what they look like; they can sit in their pajamas and commit all these crimes."

There seems no mandatory or enforceable cost anymore for performing an act that is detrimental to the health of the net or its component systems. Our super-organism(internet) is being eaten from the inside out while we don't realise nor appreciate the symbiotic relationship we have created between man and machines.

Who is held accountable and how, when we can't even agree upon nor incentivise actions to help protect our immediate and more fragile internetwork, the green planet we call home. I had a few ideas here: Some cud, but I still wonder about the fact that there are too many humans, just ask Mr. Malthus!

1 comment:

Deda said...

I left some material for chewing on the original post.

Hope it is sufficiently provocative.