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High Tech Policy

The RSA conference is quite a show. There are hundreds of exhibitors in this huge hall. Lots of very cool stuff. The major themes seem to be moving from passive to active defense, baking security into the network, and automatic application of security policy management withing networks. All good things. It’s also easy to see that the engine of VC investment, investments in well over 300 companies since 1998, is in full swing here. You have to like the vibe.

There’s been a lot of talk of spam, spyware, phishing and carding. These are serious issues. But it’s always struck me that part of this story is ‘there’s nothing new under the sun.’ We’ve been dealing with illegal activity since the beginning of time. In the off-line world we call this theft, fraud, deceptive trade practices and extortion (and way back when -- ‘boosting on trains’ and ‘piracy on the high-seas’). The use of the net is a new tool to be sure, but I really think the underlying legal and moral principles here are the same. We really need to stamp this out. We’re going to hear from the head of the US Secret Service later today and I’m looking forward to seeing his plan. I hope it is fully robust. Let’s bring back Elliot Ness. This is global, a lot of the activity is coming from organized crime overseas, so I hope he’s got the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty game down cold.

I was excited yesterday when John Chambers talked dynamically, broadly and deeply about the vision of self defending networks, adaptive threat defenses and infusing security into networks, including the application layer. He put it in both a broad and specific context, and I think people got it and were thrilled. Really worth a look at the presentation, link in post yesterday post by John Earnhardt.

Well, off to the conference…. More to come… Cheers…

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