Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finding the Limits of Security without Going Overboard

In one of my previous posts, I talked about the consequences of China hacking into Google’s system. Now it appears that U.S. laws helped aid the Chinese hackers. To comply with the law, Google had created a backdoor access system, making it easier for hackers to gain access. This can be good in allowing more government search warrants to capture criminals. However, like any system, it can be abused. With more and more laws being passed that allow the regulation of the Internet, there are more possibilities of exploitation, whether internal or external. Government officials can take advantage by spying on average citizens who are not criminals. And as we have already seen, foreign governments can also break into these systems. Security is necessary to stop criminals, but too much security imposes a burden on all of us when we realize that anyone could be spying on us. If we are not careful in electing our leaders, little by little our rights will be taken away, and our society could end up like the one described in George Orwell’s 1984.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Internet’s Conundrum

In the ideal world we would not have to worry about hackers hacking into our networks and computers. However, that is an impossible dream. There are countless stories these days of some company’s system being broken into. Life would be so much easier if we could just set up our networks and trust that nobody would try to do anything harmful to us. But there are people with ulterior motives, just as there exists good and evil. So when we try to open up our computer networks and then get a computer virus or Trojan horse we realize we have to be more protective of our networks to keep bad things out. On a larger scale this might produce more secure networks, but can also stifle growth and opportunity. For example an administrator might want to limit which ports are accessible to the internet, but this could also limit which programs can communicate. Therefore there needs to be a certain level of trust built into our networks if we want more freedom. Otherwise the system becomes chaos and anyone can do what they want at anytime.
The Internet brings us many great services, but at the same time many dangers. If we let our guard down and trust too much in what we see in web sites our faith in what is really correct will dwindle. With great power comes great responsibility.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Family History: Finding the Time

This topic is very personal to me. Although I know I should do my family history, I also find many excuses why not to do it. These include many things: being a student, not taking advantage of the opportunities I have, and trying to rush things. I do not have much experience with trying to do family history, and I thought that I needed to understand the process more in able to be more effective. Otherwise I would be wasting precious time. In my narrow vision of graduating from college, I have felt that I do not have enough time to do family history, and that it is something I would do at a later stage of my life. Also, part of my family history has already been done, and so it is hard to know where to start. Some of my extended family members have been working on it, so jumping in would require extra collaboration. This barrier has also kept me from working on my family history, since as a student I am more focused on getting school done. However, through all of my experiences I have realized that I am the problem, and that my vision has been too narrow. I could put the blame on many things, but instead I will rely more on the Lord to help me recognize and overcome my mistakes and weaknesses and to recognize that this work involves all of us, even those that have gone on before us.