|Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – Professional issues in computing
In the 1990s with the 1st appearances of the Internet, individuals were fascinated by this new communication technology and all the possible enhancements that can be provided by the Internet. We focused at that time on how we can fully take advantage of it.
Later, many improvements have added an extra value to the Internet. A lot of system were built upon this technology and many hard and fastidious tasks that we performed in the past were redesigned and improved and became possible with simple clicks.
At this stages we start depending on this technology, the whole companies’ secret is stored in databases spread over the world and connected with different technologies. Personal data about us (health, studies, finances …etc.) which is really critical also depends on the availability, the efficiency and security of this technology.
And here new questions arise as the crucial question of information security which is (or should be) one of the 1st priorities of authorities, governments and ISPs. Information security involved many aspects of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
Confidentiality deals with protection the data and ensures only authorized access or to data.
Integrity deals with the modifications part of the access to data, i.e. prevents unauthorized alteration of data and protect the correctness of data.
Availability consists in putting in place all the necessary support and redundancy in order to ensure a high level of availability and ensuring that individual can access to the information when they request it (Mark,S. 2011).
These are some of the aspects of information security, so why it is so important?
Answering such questions depends on the context; individuals might see the important of information security as the protection of their privacy, while in business context it protects the business itself and the image of the company. Different opinions can be presented here, however, we all agree on the importance of information security and its direct or indirect consequences and possible damages in case this last broke (Kimberly,K. 2004).
As any innovation, Internet has also its negative aspects that were especially noticed these last decent. The fact of publishing information or data over the web and in particular in social networks and make it available to everyone over the world can be seen by some individuals and governments as weakness.
Some governments try to filter and limit the access to certain kind of data and this might be due to different reasons such as:
- – Sensitivity due to religious values.
- – Political orientations.
- – Terrorism and violence prevention.
- – Pornographically and illegal content.
If we ask the government members that put in place such limitations, they certainly will answer that this is for the benefit of their citizens and they do this to protect us. However, it can be considered by others as illegal and against the expression property or freedom.
In my country (Algeria), such movements have been recently seen especially in social networks were many groups have been formed and express their rejection and repulse of certain manipulations of the system or other high personalities in the government.
As during the terrorism period it was really dangerous and difficult for people to express their opinion or talk about the system, they keep indirectly the same attitude and prefer using the internet and be hidden behind an anonym identity to say or tell the other Algerians or world things that they cannot say.
This should be considered carefully as we cannot and should not trust all the content available online. The Algerian government has not tried to block or filter the traffic, as it can worsen the atmosphere that was there specially during the Arab movements that we’ve seen recently.
Mark, S. (2011) Information Security: Principles and Practice, Wiley. ISBN: 978-0-470-62639-9.
Kimberly,K. (2004) Information Security: A legal business , and technical handbook. ISBN: 1-59031-300-3