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May you live in interesting times


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A presentation given to a Chinese delegation in the Parliament on September 6th.

A presentation given to a Chinese delegation in the Parliament on September 6th.

Published in: Technology

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  • Eero Paloheimo, Martti Tiuri, Jyrki Katainen
  • Transcript

    • 1. “ May You Live in Interesting Times!” Jyrki J.J. Kasvi Parliament of Finland - Committee for the Future
    • 2. Committee for the Future
      • The first committee for the future in the world!
      • Established in 1993 in the middle of a deep national recession
        • Initiative by the members of the Parliament (167/200)‏
      • Does not take actively part in day to day legislation by choice
      • Prepares Parliament’s replies for Government’s Futures reports concerning national long-term development
        • e.g. Finnish population policy
      • Responsible for parliamentary technology assessment
        • e.g. Information society, gene technology, RFID, future of health care
      • Brings into political discussion longer term (20-100 yrs) issues
        • ” A parliamentary think-tank”
    • 3. The interesting times are only beginning
      • The industrial revolution had two stages
        • During the first 50 years, the industrial technologies evolved
        • During the second 50 years, these technologies changed the society
        • The first commercial computers came to market some 50 years ago
      • Industrialisation changed the basic structures of our societies
        • Family, labour market, competency system, government
        • Even distribution of economic, political and military world power
      • In 10 years time just about any technology can be affecting our daily lives even if it were not invented yet!
        • It took 100-120 years to build the wired telephone infrastructure
        • It took 10 years to build 1,1 billion wireless telephone connections
        • It took 2 years for social network services like Facebook to take over the world
        • For example, Intel has just patented working thought recognition
    • 4. Challenges
      • Politicians’ ICT literacy and enthusiasm varies greatly
        • Information society policies are not found politically important nor interesting by all
        • Some of the more experienced and influential politicians still live in typewriter age
      • Legislative process is way too slow
        • e.g. the new Finnish modem hijacking prevention law
      • Net culture has been overlooked by press and politics
        • A whole Finnish generation was in Habbo and IRC Gallery before mainstream media noticed social media
        • Over 100.000 Finns played poker in Internet before…
    • 5. Lessig: Code is Law
      • Politicians do not understood that this is high P olitics
        • Decisions made now define information society as concretely as railroad and electrical network defined industrial society
      • Technologies have built in values that direct the change!
        • E.g. where were the first versions of Internet core protocols coded?
          • Those hippies are still shaping our societies to their own image
      • New interactive participative media create new social cultures
        • SMS, P2P, Wiki, IRC galleries, PodCasts, social media, blogsphere
        • Freedom to select and choose, freedom to create and publish
        • Freedom to create totally new kinds of communities
      • Civil rights and freedoms have to be rediscussed and redefined
        • Politicians do not see the relevance of ICT for civil rights
        • E.g. the Finnish national information society strategy (2007-2015) does not mention civil rights at all
    • 6. A new concept of humanity: Homo Cyberneticus e.g. ”Brain pacer” A dream or a nightmare?
    • 7. Information civilization Level of civilization Before language Speech Writing Printing ICT Available information ~ 10 7 bits ~ 10 9 bits ~ 10 11 bits ~ 10 17 bits ~ 10 25 bits
      • Writing was a prerequisite for cities
      • Printing press was a prerequisite for renaissance and industrialisation
      • What is the real outcome of ICT?
    • 8. Always everywhere with everybody
      • Information society
        • When we can pay for parking with a text message everywhere in Finland
        • When we can read our medical reports in web and get our medicine with a digital prescription.
      • Ubiquitous society
        • When our cars and parking slots agree on the parking fee among themselves.
        • When our grocery's loyalty program tells our doctor's computer what we eat.
    • 9. A great opportunity
      • The three key technologies of a ubiquitous society
        • Identification (what/who – rfid)‏
        • Positioning (where – gps, Galileo, Beidou)‏
        • Geoinformation (context)‏
        • Wireless communication and sensors
      • Only our imagination is the limit of applications
        • Navigators are just a humble beginning
        • Road pricing, mobile gaming, personalised tourist information etc.
        • Social creation of geoinformation
    • 10. Big Brother becomes Some Brother
      • In a ubiquitous society everything communicates
        • Your handset reports your location to your friends
        • Your loyalty program reports your beer and butter consumption to your doctor
      • Everything and everybody can be identified and positioned
        • Kids are already being tracked in Japan
      • But also criminals can read RFID chips in our passports and tap into surveillance camera transmissions
      • The end of double standards or the beginning of neomoralism ?
    • 11. New glocal identities
      • Traditional local social networks are becoming closer
        • ” Mobile tribes” are constantly online, communicating
        • Virtual societies weaken the meaning of time and place (facebook, LinkedIn)‏
        • The concept of privacy is changing as we distribute private information to our personal networks (twitter, flicker, …)‏
      • New global social networks are spreading around the world
        • Global network cultures of like minded people, sharing the same values and interests and interacting in the Web (Open source movement, Greenpeace, Al Qaida)‏
        • Geographical borders lose their meaning as social barriers (Habbo, 2nd Life)‏
      • New interactive participative media create new social cultures
        • Network cultures, even network nations are replacing geographical borders, languages or history as a basis for identity
    • 12. 18.6.2010 Asymmetric conflicts
      • Asymmetric values, crises and conflicts
        • Global network cultures vs. Nation states
          • WWF Rainbow Warrior vs. French secret service
          • Al Qaida vs. Western world
        • Local conflicts spread around the world in the web
      • Completely virtual internet conflicts
        • E.g. civil rights activists vs. hate groups
      • Memes create spontaneous uncoordinated citizen movements
        • E.g. Philippines in 2001: An SMS - "Go 2 EDSA. Wear Blck"
      • Asymmetric costs of cyber warfare
        • Attack is cheap, defence is expensive
        • A limitless number of targets to defend while a single security lapse is enough for the attacker
        • Even identification of the attacker may be impossible
    • 13. (R)evolution of warfare
      • Wars are fought for/with/against the most valuable assets of the time:
        • Agrarian: fertile land and people
        • Industrial: (and) raw materials and industry
        • Information society: (and) information and information systems
        • Value society: (and) values, reputations, brands, ?
      • (Hannu K. Kari, National Defence University)‏
    • 14. U.S. Air Force photo U.S. Drones providing intel for taleban troops in Afganistan.
    • 15. New targets
      • Military information systems
        • U.S. 1997: The Eligible Receiver military exercise
        • Irak 2003: ”If we run out of batteries, we are screwed”
        • Afganistan 2008: Taleban tapping on Predator video feeds
      • Internet infrastructure
        • Estonia 2007: Web War One
          • What if they had had an Internet election at the time?
        • Protected, secured and separated networks for critical systems
      • Data and information
        • Manipulation and destruction of public and corporate databases
        • Weakening the capability to make decisions and to act on them
        • Information integrity, usability and backup
      • Values and attitudes
        • Influencing people’s motivation and attitude
        • Open, transparent society
    • 16. Virtual democracy and security
      • Democracy = privacy & freedom of expression
        • Ability to get information and express opinions without fear of retribution – even in the web
        • e.g. the background of the Finnish Constitution 100 years ago, when censorship of critical papers lead to civil unrest and political terrorism.
      • Security and economic concerns challenge civil rights
        • Retention of telecommunication data (security vs. privacy)‏
        • Blocking of inappropriate content (child protection vs. freedom of expr.)‏
        • Stopping file sharers (copyright holders’ interests vs. privacy)‏
        • No central control is possible in a networked world
      • Prohibitions encourage counter culture
        • The Finnish “video law” inspired the most sophisticated splatter culture in the world, based on a huge number of smuggled ultra violent video tapes
    • 17. Mail vs. email
      • ” Unabomber” terrorised U.S. for 18 years, killing 3 and wounding 29 with his letter bombs.
      • No-one suggested that we should collect data about our mail traffic in order to make such terrorist campaigns impossible.
      • Is email so different?
    • 18. Opportunities for a new society
      • Anyone can be a mass media!
        • 37.000 Finnish blogs alone!
      • New people enter political discussions
        • E.g. copyright laws and child porn filtering
        • Deliberative democracy requires new rules
        • Crowdsourcing as a decision making tool
      • New social networks replace and enhance old NGOs
        • 5.0 million members!
      • Social demands can create new media
        • South Korea:
        • Germany:
    • 19. Challenges for society
      • Selection of information sources that foster personal opinions and prejudices
        • World views become fragmented and conflicts inflame
        • CNN USA vs. Fox USA
      • Populistic Gallupcracy
        • Continuous direct interaction with voters may discourage informed, compromise seeking future oriented decision making
      • From digital divide to activity divide
        • The same technology that can be used to empower people can also alienate them from politics and social questions
      • Technology that empowers citizens may also be used to censor, monitor and control them
        • ” Why should law abiding citizens fear monitoring?”
    • 20. Open information society = Open API
      • In an open information society all public data and metadata are available to all through an open API for free.
        • API (Application Programming Interface) provides access to data in a machine readable format
      • Companies and citizens utilise the data to create their own services
        • From usage fees to tax income
        • Mashups of different data
        • People know best what they want
        • Open API facilitates also multidiciplinary public services
      • A new relationship between public information and privacy
      Wikimedia Commons
    • 21. Me myself and I
      • Identity theft is not a crime in Finland
        • Personal data of millions of people are missing around the world
        • In U.S., identity theft caused estimated €34 billion worth of damages in 2007.
      • Identification technology used has to be solid
        • 1:1.000.000 reliability is not enough if you identify millions of people every day.
      • Biometric identification data has to be kept safe
        • With biometric data you can pretend to be anybody
        • It is impossible to get a new fingerprint or DNA
        • Biometric passports spread our biometrics to every border station
      • Identity protection should become a new civil right!
        • We need a global agreement on data security
    • 22. Out of the frying pan – into the fire
      • Rfid passports may actually undermine security
        • Also criminals and terrorists know how to read rfid chips
        • Rfid passports of many countries have already been broken and data altered
      • Telecom data retention may actually be dangerous
        • Colombian drug cartels have used telecom data to identify informers
        • Azerbaidžan police interrogated citizens that had voted Armenia with their mobile phones in the 2009 Eurovision song contest
      • Child porn filtering may actually help pedophiles
        • Filtering is very easy to circumvent
        • Filtering lists are relatively easy to analyse to find child porn
      • Actions aimed to improve safety and security may actually make the situation worse, if we are not careful.
    • 23. Trust and security
      • Your daughter has a new boyfriend, and you have an untraceable access to a database with his income/health/crime records. Would you take look into his information?
        • Never
        • Only if the guy was somehow suspicious
        • Of course
        • I have already done something like that
      • Who is the real threat to information security and people’s trust on information systems?
    • 24. Sukupuolten välinen digikuilu? Discussion? U.S. Army photo