As the global conflict for resources heats up, the Internet is just another battleground.
Last weekend I watched a terrific documentary about the bottled water industry called “Tapped.” The second half of the movie is an intensive look at the plastic bottle manufacturing industry, and the enormous damage that these petroleum-based products cause to our environment (ie. the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). Many plastic bottles and containers also leech hazardous chemicals, such as bisphenol A, into food.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to try a little experiment: To go one week without purchasing, or throwing away, anything made of plastic. Since plastic is a centerpoint of conflict, it seems fair to ask the question, “Can we live without it?” After all, if everyone on the planet stopped buying plastic, big companies would stop producing it, and a lot of environmental damage and conflict over access to natural resources would be avoided.
Normally on Philosecurity we focus on information security threats, but information security is of course just a part of the larger problem of global security. You can’t separate information security from social, economic or environmental factors. For example, one reason so many companies are suffering from intellectual property theft due to the “insider threat” is because employees are underpaid, mistreated and have no economic or social incentive to act in their employers’ best interest.
As our world’s environment degrades, the fights over clean water and life-sustaining resources will become increasingly violent and brutal. Over the next decades, as the global population becomes desperate for access to essential resources, corporations will have to work harder to defend their physical and network infrastructures from attack. On the flip side, social network data mining and surveillance efforts will heat up, as companies work to identify and splinter resistance groups (see, for example, Monsanto’s “army of private investigators” who intimidate and conduct surveillance operations against small farmers throughout the Midwest. (Vanity Fair, 2008)
The goal is simple, but executing it is very hard. Today I started planning and preparing for one week without consuming plastic. Stay tuned for more details!
|PGP-signed text: 2010-02-22 (current)|