Category Archives: A learned man

A different kindof community Outreach –

Today I finally published a website I built for a local barbershop located in Laurel, White’s Barber Co. I did the entire project refusing to take any money and sacrificing a lot of time to meet their deadlines for marketing. This was one of the first projects I put on my calendar for this year with a few goals in mind:
1. To help a business owner desiring to make a positive impact in their community
2. To make this the first year that I utilized every bit of every skill that I have to help others in need.

A lot of times we think about community outreach as making food for the hungry, or building houses for the homeless. While community outreach is this and then some, I want to spend this year (and hopefully many more years to come) expanding the scope of how we reach out to our community. I want to make 2013 where I spend time trying to help local businesses with any active, latent, refined or rusty skill that I have to help them reach their goals and dreams in hopes that our efforts will stimulate our economy in a way that economist have not thought of yet.

Join me, maybe?

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Some of the Difficulties policy-makers face trying to counter cyber-crime

Most national level policy is complicated. Each policy proving difficult to create and implement simply because our nation is made of up of so many different types of people who all have been a voice to express their wants. However, creating policy to address cyber crime in the United States has been the toughest and most complicated policy issue to date. This is primarily for three different reasons, our massive dependence on cyberspace, the rapid pace that technologies are being introduced and evolving in cyberspace and the disparity between the average level of knowledge and the required level of knowledge needed to create policies that will adequately and legally address the crime and issue.

Throughout American history, policies have swung on a pendulum powered by election seasons but motivated by current events. The recent series of violent crimes involving high powered guns has tilted gun policy more to the restrictive side. However, it will only take time and another series of events where it can be justified that citizens need to be heavily armed to protect themselves to swing it back to the other side. The difference between gun policy and cyber policy is our everyday dependence on it in almost every factor of our lives. Inevitably any policy created to provide security in cyber space against cyber criminal will infringe on the rights and freedoms (or perceived rights and freedoms) of the innocent utilizing cyberspace. A prime example of this is how the Cybersecurity act of 2012 did not pass due to the concern of it being used for surveillance on innocent citizens rather than cyber criminals. This concept of the “Internet of Things” where every single thing we interact with has an IP and is connected to cyberspace frightens those who are privacy conscious.(2011)  This issue is compounded by the rapid pace that technologies are being introduced and evolving and becoming available to the consumer before being fully considered for security. Companies are rushing to push the use of cyber space into the next frontier, providing new ways to do everything, consumers are jumping on it as soon as possible in efforts to be on the edge of innovation and criminals are right behind them looking to exploit it before the companies or consumers can catch on. One day we are using credit cards to make transactions, the next day we are using our phones as wallets to make those same transactions. This trend renders public demand as an effective means to counter cyber crime useless; it complicates things for policy makers who cannot realistically keep up with the pace at which things are growing and do what it takes to make effective policy. This gap between how fast policymakers are learning about cyberspace and the speed of policy vs. the speed of new technologies in cyberspace is leaving a door wide open for cyber criminals.

In the end, we have cybersecurity policies that do not adequately address the nation’s cybercrime concerns. Homeland Security Presidential Directives like HSPD-7 have been the main pieces of policy being helping to defend against cybercrime. However, it is more national security focused and there is still a need for a major policy that addresses cyber crime in a way that can be applied in every instance, state and appliance. As Susan Brenner highlights in “Cyber crime and the U.S. Criminal Justice System”, factors like whether the cyber criminal is a juvenile, the definition of “force” and inflammatory charges like child pornography makes it hard to prosecute against cyber crime, especially in a nation that has varying definitions of basic concepts like cyber space or cyber crime. (2006) However, the recently released Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Presidential Policy Directive 21 and Executive Order for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity is set change our government’s stance on how much the private sector defends the national critical infrastructure. Presidential Policy 21 is set to assess, redefine and improve the relationship between the government and the private sector, update the NIPP and clearly identify who has a hand in protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from the federal government. The Executive Order for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity is accompanies the presidential directive, but provides much more verbiage for understanding how the nation’s stance on cyber security in the private sector will change and how it will include the owners and operator of critical infrastructure and the sector specific agencies who are already assisting them in defending themselves in cyberspace. This presidential order is the most important directive to date that makes it clear that the government will tell the private sector how to improve and their cybersecurity.

While Presidential Policy Directive 21 may be a landmark policy clearly stating how the government will interact with the privacy industry to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure, it does not have any verbiage clearly outlining how much the private industry should be responsible for protecting national security of the critical infrastructure that owns and operates. Consequently, this executive order is the most feared order to be released since the inception of cyberspace. There are varying opinions about how much the private industry should be responsible for protecting national security, all agreeing that they should be responsible on some level but no consensus on how much. Essentially, as the Department of Homeland Security and the government as a whole tackles the deliverables tasked to them by the Presidential Policy Directive, they must develop recommendations for determining how much each sector and each operator and owner should be responsible for protecting national security.

–Marcus Stallworth 02/28/2013

Brenner, S. W. (2006). Cybercrime and the U.S. criminal justice system. In H. Bidgoli (Ed.), Handbook of information security (Vol. 2). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons

Lopez, J., Najera, P., Roman, R. (2011). Securing the Internet of things. IEEE Computer. Vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 51-58, Septermber

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), (Dec. 17, 2003) Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection.

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Teach us to number our days, to understand the brevity of our life, that our hearts may grow in wisdom.

One of the first nuggets of wisdom that we learn in life is that life is short. However, we mostly learn this through seeing it play out in someone else’s life and often fail to apply it to our own. Stumbling through the days putting off the things that truly matter, many of us end up on our deathbed regretting what we chose to spend our lives doing. Our aim has to be to become good stewards of every breath we take, every second and moment we have and even every thought that comes into our minds. Each breath, second, moment and thought presents a choice, do I live life or not? Take the last 30 days of your life for an example and examine each day, and if you can, the decisions you made that day. Now imagine how drastically different your month would have been if you made every choice mindful that your life is short. Imagine how much healthier your relationships with friends and loved ones would be if you took the time to call them instead of answering an email or watching a mindless movie, that probably in many ways does more harm than good. Imagine how much closer to your dreams you would be had you wrote down that seemingly random thought that quickened your heart; and followed through with it, instead of dismissing it and moving on. Maybe most importantly,  imagine the unexpected lives you would have changed and impacted by valuing your own life so much that you decided to live it instead of maintaining it.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits that come from numbering our days is the growing of the mind to always consider the future and value the present. Balancing these two things will undoubtedly lead to a long and prosperous life; one filled with love, fulfilled dreams and destinies, one spent well and not wasted, one cherished and not regretted. Furthermore, I submit to you that without this mindset, it will be impossible to leave a legacy and make an impact in this world of short lives and even shorter memories.


Teach us to num…

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