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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Question of Ethics from an Unethical Blogger

Today I read a blog from Jeffrey Carr (found here http://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2013/11/republican-cyber-security-experts.html). What first strikes me is the title, "The Questionable Value and Ethics of TrustedSec's Pen Test of the HealthCare.gov Website."

Value: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

The website requires a user to enter sensitive data into it. It is discovered that the website is subject to simple reconnaissance techniques that my 13 year old can perform, with the help of Google of course. This reconnaissance results in sensitive data being harvested. I think reporting this to the public is valuable. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior

The problem with arguing ethics is that there is no standard by which to judge. Just as the argument that NSA wiretaps of US citizens is unethical cannot be effectively argued one way or the other, this cannot be argued one way or the other. (Author's note: David Kennedy is perhaps the most ethical person I have ever met. Of course, this cannot be proven. By the very definition, it is untenable.)

At this point, I began reading the swill that follows. The point of the article is to show that the witnesses testimony was swayed by their political beliefs. The arguments are "upheld" by the author in what can only be seen as a completely political tongue-lashing. He seems to be fighting his perceived politics with politics. What? (This reminds me of the "I know you are but what am I arguments of a schoolyard child.)

The author brings up the ethics of publicly "outing" vulnerabilities. David, on more than 1 account, in his verbal testimony and in his report, stated that he contacted the government. He also redacted key information about the vulnerabilities that he reported (clearly stated in the report and in his testimony).

What we have here is an author of a blog that clearly keyed in on a single phrase, David Kennedy speaking on FOX News, and put his political beer goggles on, shut down his ability to reason, and threw a tantrum. What he would have seen if he had performed a simple Google search is that Mr. Kennedy has appeared on CNN and other "liberal" shows several times. As a point of fact, he purposefully spreads the love so as to stay above board. (Plus, he would never hear the end of it from Martin Bos if he did it any other way.)

In conclusion, I could have torn this blog apart line by line and word for word but I have better things to do. So, I will leave you with this: Suck it Jeffrey Carr. SUCK IT!

P.S. One more definition. Slander: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation. (Used in a sentence: Jeffrey Carr's inaccurate blog article on David Kennedy and TrustedSec was slanderous.)

Correction #1 (Sure to be more) Libel: a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation. (Example: Jeffrey wrote therefore he is libel). Thanks to Nick for the correction and sorry to @popehat for not learning a thing from your blog!

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