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May 08, 2008

Mobile Musings

Late in the day at the Berlin deep dive, we let participants choose a topic that they would like to discuss. The group chose Mobile Security, which is a fascinating, but at times confounding, subject. Here’s what happened:

At first, the group struggled mightily with the topic. As often happens, many of the participants bemoaned the current state of mobile security. There were comments about how terrorists use mobile phones to set off bombs and coordinate movements. There was some fear around sending sensitive information over the airwaves (despite the fact that sending information wirelessly is no more or less secure than sending it over wires.) And there were many that talked of how easy it is to steal mobile phones and the information on them.

It went on like this for a while until Marshall Behling, director of business development and strategy at Verisign, a GIO partner, put an end to that talk by simply saying: “Every new technology has the inherent ability to be used for good or evil.” Well said. Now let’s get on with it.

What came next was a far more thoughtful, progressive conversation that yielded some interesting ideas about we can use mobile technology to our collective advantage. First, we started thinking about the uniqueness of mobile devices. What is it about them that we could leverage for better security: they are pervasive (nearly everyone’s got one, some people have two); they’re personal (we carry them in our pockets, and this is a hugely important characteristic); they are increasingly powerful and functional (phone, camera, email, video, web); and they will soon have blazing fast connections to the Internet (WiFi, WiMax, 4G).

With this arsenal at our disposal, we began to discuss the potential all kinds of security applications. For example, you could issue localized security alerts that could be sent to all the mobiles in a given area. If there were a terrorist threat, a warning and a short set of instructions could be sent out, potentially saving lives. On the flip side, concerned citizens could send security alerts to law enforcement, even snap photos or stream audio and video of an event in progress. Some of this is already being done, though it’s not as organized or sophisticated as it needs to be.

Time constraints prevented us from doing much more than scratch the surface on this front, but you get the idea. When you combine a powerful, networked technology with the notion of personal responsibility (see last entry) you get some pretty compelling possibilities. We’re looking forward to exploring these ideas in our upcoming dives in Tokyo and Taipei, where the technology is highly advanced. Check back next week for a look at the results of the Tokyo dive.

May 8, 2008 in Security and Society | Permalink


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Because mobile phone is personal, it is a good mechanism for user authentication.

1. It has keypad and display whose integrity can be trusted (If you use a smartcard for authentication, you have to rely on the integrity of the smartcard reader).

2. If you lose your cell phone, usually you will immediately notice and revoke its authentication capability.

Posted by: Hiroshi Maruyama | May 15, 2008 2:53:01 PM

Natural disasters and global weather changes are occurring more frequently over the last ten years than ever before. While we rely on Government whether Federal or Local to assist the general population, most fail in the reduction of the loss of life during and after a catastrophie hits a particular country, region, city or town. With all of the technology we have within our grasp, we can organize specific coordinated efforts to help reduce the effects of such events.
* Create an all in one -- First Emergency Unit Response ... like the size of what FED EX uses (stackables in an Air Plane).
* Each FEUR houses it's own re-chargeable Solar battery pack, wireless Laptop(s) for
emergency Satelite imaging and grid work patterns for the area hit, that can be used with distributable CELL Phones for 1st Emergency Team (community based volunteers), LIGHTS, Awning, Pop-up Tent like structures, WATER & Water purification system, Toilet(s), First Aid equipment. You name it -- the FEUR is put together with WHAT that area needs to better Manage, Coordinate and Coop with Saving lives.
* It is the beacon to which volunteers and the community can rely on for assistance
and home to home, or building to building search & rescue.
* These FEURs that are placed into the area cover an even Larger Grid like pattern
that can connect locally or REMOTELY to a
Master Location, where Emergency requirements, additional technical support in whatever capacity is needed is addressed or provided.
* If the Skill-set of the single FEUR is not enough the cell phones/laptops can be connected Remotely to the Specialist who can provide advice: Structural engineers, doctors, biological, sanitation, et.al.
until they can coordinate meeting these FEUR's needs in person or locally.
* We ask companies to THINK of WHAT Software Database applications can be supplied to best organize, coordinate these information grids systems, health-medical, missing/living contact lists, sanitation, body bags-(burial), sustaining survivors HEALTH & IMMUNE Systems et.al.
* We ask companies to THINK of their PRODUCT base and what can best fit the needs of these FEUR's for whatever circumstances or needs may arise and make it durable, reusable, sanatized et.al.

In highly populated areas.
* We can also start implementing these FEUR's in town's, cities, et.al. at or next to the local Firestations, hospitals, Red Cross Centers, blood banks, et.al.
* Coordinate with the Red Cross and YMCA/YWCA, Community & Senior Centers, GregsList, so a larger based population of trained citizens can be prepared and ready to be a FEUR Disaster community volunteer for their area.
* Ensure every third GAS Station has a power generator to be able to pump gas in case of the loss of electricity.

* We also look at a new number x11 that can be used by the local/general population.
+ Hourly Status Alerts
+ Identify where they can go for safety, food, shelter, water, or for volunteering.
+ Identify contact Watch missing/ living /(dead) lists.
+ Provide Free VITAL Information HOW TO information / exchange to support the survivors.

The list is endless. But you get the point. If we start building it and putting it into place Now, we will be better prepared for when it happens in our neighborhood, our community, our country, our world.


Posted by: Georgann E. Putintsev | Jun 5, 2008 6:53:39 AM

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