Security…the modern definitions

// Posted by on 03/01/2013 (3:23 PM)
     What does “security” mean in America in 2013?  What is secure?  What is safe?  What is private?  In today’s digitally connected, always on, find it immediately culture we are seeing changes in the meaning of security happen right before our eyes. It is happening every day, in almost all aspects of our society.
     Less begin with the obvious and look at security from it’s traditional definition.  Personal Safety. In the past few months we’ve seen two stories that bring the modern definition of security/safety come crashing home.  One was the tragedy in Newtown, CT–less than 30 minutes or so from my home in New Canaan, CT.  Here we see a sad, sad story of a troubled kid, access to guns and murdered first graders.  We’ve seen this story in Columbine, in Aurora and with the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Security in the “personal safety” sense now means that we are all vulnerable anywhere,anytime. Perhaps there is a need for The Good News channel on TV–but for now death by crazy maniac with an AR-15 assault rifle defines one new definition of individual security  This week’s story about Oscar Pistorius killing his girlfriend due to his claims of fear of violent crime in South Africa are a case in point. Security ain’t what it used to be from Oscar’s perspective.  He shoots and asks questions later!  Preemptive security.  It’s what got the US into a war in Iraq.
     The next new definition of security is security from the privacy and digital sense.  This is security from the digital  Facebook, Twitter perspective.  Virtually all activities now have the chance to be digitally tracked.  Look at the news tonight and see how many crimes are now seen by surveillance cameras.  Today’s article in the New York Times on the record industry (“Music Industry sales rise, and digital revenue use gets the Credit”‘ NYT 2/2213) is fascinating.  Here we see the story of an industry decimated by digital piracy with news that revenues for the music industry is starting to rise for the first time in years.  Goodbye $15 CD’s, hello 99 cents a song!  Security from a digital privacy sense was supposed to kill the music business.  Has it?  Could it digital security be starting to give back? Security/privacy needs to looked at over a long term horizon, it seems.
     Finally, we have security from global, Armageddon perspective.  We see stories on the uses of drones for national defense, the stories in today’s papers about the six nation talks with Iran about their building nuclear weapons, the story this week about South Korea  testing a nuclear  bomb for the third time.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Zero Dark Thirty, etc.  Security has this kind of annihilation aspect today just like it did with nuclear bomb shelters and missile defenses that my Dad has talked about when he was a kid.  That definition I get.  So does he. I hope everyone does, particular some crazy jihadist who wants to take as many non-believers down with him as possible.
     So what is security in 2013?  The old definition remain.  The new definitions I may be capable of living with…but it will take some getting used to.

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