18 February 2018

Information Warfare: The Future of Trusted Words...

Trust is on the minds of almost every American as they read the Washington Post these days.  Reading a publication that utilizes a set of standards for journalism, may address part of your "Trust Decision" to depend on this source for your information.

Reading this Operational Risk blog, you understand that the words and opinions are not under the same editorial guidelines and grammar rule sets as the authors and journalists at the Washington Post.  The sentences and thoughts are being written freely however, by someone who you may know of, yet how do you really validate that the words were actually written by the assumed author?

At an early age in school, as a young student, your teacher at some point assigns that work called an essay, a short piece of writing that tells a person's thoughts or opinions about a subject.  Regardless of the topic assigned by the teacher, when the work is turned in to the teacher, they are assuming it was written by that particular student.  Unless they have doubts.

The trust you put into the author of words written in an essay for a class, or an article in the established news papers, has for decades relied on the integrity of institutions and the validation of persons true identities. Yet as the typewriter replaced hand written documents, so too did the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that actual person : the act of plagiarizing something.

When you read this Washington Post article, you assume that the words are actually from the journalist:
Indictment shows how Russians conspired to disrupt U.S. politics — but not how to stop them next time

By Craig Timberg February 16 The Washington Post
"Efforts to reconstruct the Russian conspiracy to sway 2016’s presidential election benefited from the digital trails left behind whenever people travel, make payments or communicate using common technology such as Facebook or Gmail. Such breadcrumbs provided plentiful evidence for Friday’s indictment by the special counsel of the Internet Research Agency and 13 Russian associates.

But even as the disinformation campaign from two years ago finally came into focus, it was far from clear how to prevent future bids to distort American politics.

U.S. intelligence agencies warned this week that the federal government remains ill equipped to combat Russian disinformation even as crucial midterm congressional elections loom this fall. And technology companies, while cooperating with federal investigators, acknowledge that they still struggle to detect and thwart foreign propaganda without impinging on the free-speech rights of Americans."
Now in the age of computing, word processing and the Internet, the integrity of written words by a person is in question?  The origin and authenticity of the actually words that are written by a human on paper, a typewriter or computer such as these, is now in question?

The utilization of various methods for "Information Warfare" is actually well known:
"Information Warfare has three main issues surrounding it compared to traditional warfare: 

The risk for the party or nation initiating the cyberattack is substantially lower than the risk for a party or nation initiating a traditional attack. This makes it easier for governments, as well as potential terrorist or criminal organizations, to make these attacks more frequently than they could with traditional war.

Information communication technologies (ICT) are so immersed in the modern world that a very wide range of technologies are at risk of a cyberattack. Specifically, civilian technologies can be targeted for cyberattacks and attacks can even potentially be launched through civilian computers or websites. As such, it is harder to enforce control of civilian infrastructures than a physical space. Attempting to do so would also raise many ethical concerns about the right to privacy, making defending against such attacks even tougher.

The mass-integration of ICT into our system of war makes it much harder to assess accountability for situations that may arise when using robotic and/or cyber attacks. For robotic weapons and automated systems, it’s becoming increasingly hard to determine who is responsible for any particular event that happens. This issue is exacerbated in the case of cyberattacks, as sometimes it is virtually impossible to trace who initiated the attack in the first place.[5]"
These words are being written by a human being.  His name is Peter L. Higgins.  Or are they?  The art and science of the truth has been evolving for hundreds of years.  What will we invent next, to validate our identities, provide assurance that the words written are actually human, and not of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Whether the words you read are being written by a human-based "troll factory" in St. Petersburg or by a specialized Artificial Intelligence is not the point of this essay.  Then what is the point?

You have to make judgements as a human being about who to trust.  What to trust.  How to trust.  Why to trust.  This is a foundation of our human evolution.  Trust takes time.  TrustDecisions and the decision to trust someone or something, is actually a factor of science, mathematics and history.

Reading, writing and a decision to trust, is an Operational Risk.  True or False?

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