For all our optimism about the online world, there are some gathering clouds on the horizon of “the cloud”.
We still don’t have affordable access for a large segment of our population here, and in other parts of the world. At least there are a number of announced and underway programs by tech co like Google and others, and noises from the FCC that they are on the case.
Beyond that big headache, are the ongoing security problems where hackers seem to get into anything they want. Online spying, harassment, trolling, and ID theft is “out of control”….whether part of rogue countries’ hacker farms, our own government apparatus, young coders showing off, or common criminals looking to steal and rob, or worse.
Since it’s unlikely that the “human condition” will change in the near term to insulate us from “bad guys” online, anyone looking to foster trust and support in a group SLC, needs to not be naive, and to know how to protect the sheep from the wolves. Easier said then done, but it’s worth doing what can be done.
AS a vaccine or inoculation against complacency in this regard, here’s a story about a “troll farm” in Russia, that spends huge amounts of manpower to create and sow mis-information, confusion, and lies around the online world. Including cities and towns in the US.
Elaborate hoaxes intended to damage our communities in strange but egregious ways have been ongoing. It’s as if we were at war with Russia, or they with us, and they had opened a “new front” sabotoging our civic society’s ability to cohere as communities and as a nation.
(Which is what they are apparently trying to do to their own population.)
Russia’s information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history, and its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space.