The idea that technological improvements are a primary basis for-and an accurate gauge of–the general progress of society has long been a fundamental article of belief in the Western Countries. In the last half century, however, that belief manifestly has lost some of its credibility, as of increasing number of frauds and related crimes. Where as technological innovation is limited to address fraud and related crimes at the margins, thus it is true to say that the issues and problems are fundamentally social rather than technological as an index of social progress.
Bruce George & Mark Button (2000) asserted that the term ‘private security industry’ is a generic term used to describe an amalgam of distinct industries and professions bound together by a number of functions, including crime prevention, order maintenance, loss reduction and protection; but these functions are neither common nor exclusive to all the activities of the private security industry, though the more that apply to a particular activity more clearly it can be considered as private security”1. Machines are, in social-science jargon, path-dependent creatures that run remorselessly along the grooves initially set for them.
Nonetheless, a disappointing or disastrous performance can force their minders to circle back so as to reconsider abandoned or ignored alternatives. The objective here is not to bewail or decry technological change in itself (which would be foolish) but rather to expose the manufacture of self-serving images of technology, their causes and consequences, and to venture beyond the narrow ambit of conventional wisdom, which ensnares us in false dilemmas, and draw attention to new options and expand access to decision making. Planning in modern societies is unavoidable.
Corporations never have been particularly hostile to planning — only to public planning that might form a democratic counterweight to unhampered pursuit of profit. This pursuit duly is portrayed by corporate public relations wizards as compelled both by market competition and technological “imperatives. ” Yet technological transformations always occur according to values that will favor some actors over others. Neutral words like “pragmatic” and “efficient” are really value-laden ones that tend to cater to social groups according to the slot they occupy in the distribution of power and wealth.
So the key questions motivating any serious inquiry into technical change are: Who controls what and whom else, on what grounds, and for what ends? Science today is widely regarded as the sole rational means for acquiring knowledge, and many enthusiasts have deduced from this powerful status the political lesson that there is likewise a single best way to organize society to promote material progress2. Modern society was beheld as a delicate bundling of mutual interdependencies in which all the members perform integrated tasks serving the needs of the complex whole.
Affective (emotional) ties are reformulated and gratified through new social organizations. Sociologist Emile Durkheim essentially measured modernization according to a society’s capacity to master, or shelter itself from, nature. Hence, modern society was seen in a benevolent light as man’s progressive liberation from environmental and tribal tyrannies. Durkheim foresaw a harmonizing of individual needs with social demands through a happily benign process whereby each person enjoyed liberty within their own “bubble” inside the larger society.
But a long shadow fell between this pleasant scenario and a more rambunctious reality. Whether technological civilization today exemplifies signs of maturity or protracted adolescence is, or ought to be, a pertinent question. German sociologist Max Weber described history as a narrative of the progressive imposition of a legal-rational modern state upon society. Rational organizations — driven by warfare — leveled ascriptive roles, culminated in the advent of capitalism, and surged toward an all-embracing and allsmothering bureaucracy.
Rationalization, as he grimly saw it, was a potent propelling force that was bereft of brakes. He foresaw the bureaucratic usurpation of all significant political activity in a centralizing state and, on reflection, found it “horrible to think that the world could one day be filled with nothing but those little cogs, little men clinging to little jobs and striving towards bigger ones. Bureaucratic centralization, in Weber’s reckoning, annihilates organizational alternatives. Relationships are reduced to the administration of things and/or persons who are treated as things.
The state, according to this glum account, bulldozes any barrier impeding control in order to direct its institutional energies to tax collection and the waging of expansionist wars. Weber characterized the full-fledged modern state as one that exhibited a precise legal order, an administrative apparatus that conducted business according to legislative rules, a compulsory jurisdiction over a territory, and the monopolization of the legitimate use of violence. In order to achieve this dominant status the state had to dissolve all feudal obstructions to the growth of commerce and of its own power 3.
If new capitalist entrepreneurs were dependent upon the ruler to provide a secure environment for abundant business opportunities, the ruler was almost equally dependent upon the support of these economic interests. These groups demanded a clear legal system that would be free of both administrative arbitrariness and aristocratic interference, that would offer guarantees of the legally binding character of contracts, and that, in consequence of these factors, would function in a calculable way.
But one should not forget that this love for law ends where disadvantages begin. Today the process of economic globalization relies “overwhelmingly on ad hoc, discretionary, closed and non-transparent legal forms fundamentally inconsistent with a minimally defensible conception of the rule of law. ” This occurs because a porous and open-ended legal system provides economic giants with a considerable leeway of action against weaker actors and agencies. There are factors involved in resistance to change that are implicit in group behavior.
The collective behavior of groups is expedited by orderliness based on the ability to anticipate the behavior of their members. Innovations are disruptive in that they affect not isolated persons but members of groups who influence the behavior of all with whom they come in contact. There is in consequence group resentment against innovators because they disturb established relations, upset routines, and cause temporary confusion. Social pressure upon the deviant to conform follows.
Caviling criticism, ridicule and disparagement, economic discrimination, social ostracism, and violence are utilized. In order to avoid such reprisals most persons endorse customary procedures and refrain from projecting or supporting innovations. Social approval gives the tone to personal adjustment, and the restraints imposed by group attitudes are thus powerful deterrents of change. The size of the community is a factor in determining the strength of its power of coercion.
If it has many members, cohesion is not as close, and the innovator, finding some support, may be able to ignore detractors, but in a small community, contacts are more immediate and the influence tends to be more direct. The deterrent of group criticism functions not only in the general group life of the community, but within specific industrial organizations. To avoid the unpleasant, an individual tends to continue established routines rather than to venture with revolutionary innovations that will meet the resistance of his co-workers and superiors.
“Not to venture, is not to lose”, becomes a guiding principle unless incentives are strong. In different cultures, opposition to technological change has varied in its character and strength. The factors-inhibiting innovation in primitive societies, apply to a large extent to small isolated communities throughout history, and to rural communities in the modern world. Absence of knowledge of writing in preliterate societies, and illiteracy in civilized societies, establish the need of conserving tradition through speech and behavior.
Sparcity of the technological base, a relatively scant margin of safety and wealth which permits few risks, the conformity demanded within closely related groups, little division of labor which diminishes the possibilities of experimentation, dominantly non-empirical attitudes, isolation which limits horizons and experience and permits few collisions with novel concepts from without, and close integration of different aspects of the cultural configuration–all intensify conservatism.
In the ancient world, technological advances such as Hero’s steam engine and mechanical appliances for construction work, were neglected mainly because of the abundance of the labor supply, because of the belief that it was degrading to science to put it to practical uses, and because of the disparaging social attitude toward artisans and manual labor.
The cultural retrogression of the Middle Ages in Europe, which made the situation prevailing in many medieval communities approximate in some respects that of primitive societies, was not conducive to innovation, least of all in the field of technology: The hierarchic social stratification that was sanctioned as divinely ordained by the Church, which spiritualized poverty and denounced materialism and experimentation, created an economic setting and authoritarian attitudes fatal to scientific progress and technological change. Medieval society was not entirely immobile and unprogressive.
But local self-subsistence was a limiting economic frame, and the anti-scientific attitude of the Church enforced by heresy trials afforded an environment hostile to scientific and technological innovations. The revival of interest in classical science, slowly followed by the beginnings of the experimental methods; the discovery of new continents, the plunder of which brought vast new wealth to Europe; the rise of cities with consequent increasing power of the burghers formed the social setting of capitalism that accelerated change and led the way to increasing receptivity to technological progress.
Delays were now occasioned not only by efforts of the aristocracy to check the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie, but factors, peculiar to the structure and functioning of capitalism, impeded technological advance. The almost-exclusive incentive to the incorporation of technological improvements into industry has been the drive for profits. The profit motive undoubtedly served as ferment, accelerating change, in the early days of capitalism in contrast to a relatively static feudal economy.
Its effectiveness ill this respect was and is dependent upon the availability of markets, and the need to acquire or maintain control of that market in competition with rival capitalists. When new continents were being opened as markets, and capitalism was an expanding economy, new machinery could more readily be used to supplement the old. Competition between entrepreneurs, although it led to wasteful anarchic production and marketing, to some extent stimulated a response to technological innovation to keep ahead of competitors.
But in the degree to which monopoly in the setting of the profit system is able to control prices, standardize products, and restrict production, alertness to technological change is diminished, a brake is put on inventions and their applications. The technocratic idea of progress is a belief in the sufficiency of scientific and technological innovation as the basis for general progress. It says that if we can ensure the advance of science-based technologies or, in a word, if we can perfect the means–the material base–the rest will take care of itself.
On this view, instrumental values are fundamental to the progress of society, and what formerly were considered to be primary, goal-setting values (justice, freedom, harmony, beauty, or self-fulfillment) may now be relegated to a secondary or epiphenomenal status. Conclusion and Recommendation We have entered a new phase of technological change. But “there isn’t even a beginning of understanding” of all the issues relating to the protection of cyber security. The speed of technological change overtakes considered planning. Legislation cannot catch up with changing technology.
The legal and political people have backward–looking mirrors on their head, and they compare everything they see with what was done in the past 200 years. But we see new things all the time. We have not completed the transition to digital technology. Nor have we yet adopted common terminology. We are facing all sorts of non–traditional financial transactions. We do not fully understand the implications of cyber security on data privacy. And we have only seen the beginning of a discussion about these issues across industries and among governments.
Key to dealing with the phenomenon is perhaps not to try and govern it, but to enable it and provide a framework for the public and private sector to learn by doing and best practices. Industry must insist on secure and trustworthy hardware and software and more dependable technology. Standards are an important in this – indeed indispensable – tool for enhancing cyber security: Access protocols, authentication certificates and security procedures. By preference these should be based on open source, rather then a single closed source (like Microsoft).
It is far preferable to have a multiplicity of issuing authorities. A member of management must be chosen as to blame for security. This individual must function in a staff capacity reporting openly to the country or plant manager. Depending on the size of the operation, the requirements of the position, amount of attention, and the qualifications of this person might vary. Though, in a large operation, prior experience in security management, municipal police, or military service must be a must for the position.
In the absence of this background, then the assistance of the corporate security director or a qualified security consultant must be obtained. Certain aspects of security force administration must be highlighted in providing security and property protection proceeding to a terrorist attack4. Trust presents a paradox. On the one hand, trust is an essential element of effective cooperation. Europol, for instance, cannot be effective without trust from the private sector and from counterparts in other countries.
ISACs cannot function without mutual trust. Industry expects government not to harm its business interests inadvertently. The FBI counts on business to report the information it needs to do its job. So trust is a key element in dealing with cyber security and related crime. On the other hand, misplaced trust can lead to serious trouble. The cyber security field is littered with examples of the damage that can be done by insiders (compare, in other contexts, the Ames case at CIA and the Hansen case at the FBI).
Thus, there is an inescapable requirement for due diligence in the commercial field, and of proper security practices – such as password protection and reliable authentication procedures – that are applied and consistently followed. Thus, in protecting cyber systems and practices, the trust issue remains an element of tension that requires the thoughtful application of good judgment. Criminal justice cannot be applied effectively to cyber crime absent disclosure by injured parties to law enforcement authorities of the circumstances of their losses.
Such disclosure is tightly linked to trust that putting a company’s losses into the public domain will not lead to further, competitive losses. Voluntary industry associations, such as ISACs, and a base of experience in this nascent area can help establish that trust. Law enforcement must learn to apply shared information selectively 5. The successes, such as they are, of coping with cyber security problems is due in large measure to the existence of an increasingly global community of experts, in government, industry and academia 6.
The organizational structures created for dealing with cyber security forms a useful skeletal framework for cooperation. However, much of the effectiveness of the cyber security community is due to informal contacts and networking. Creating more venues is not the answer; this approach would simply add to the busy conference schedules of the same set of experts. But much is to be gained by widening the public debate. References 1. Ades, A. , and R. Di Tella. 1996. “The Causes and the Consequences of Corruption. ” IDS Bulletin 27 (2): 6–11. 2. Alderson, A. , and C. Scott.
1998. “Crime Kings Meet to Carve Up Europe. ” Sunday Times, March 29. 3. Balassa George. The Evolution of Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. 4. Jones & George (2002) Contemporary management` Boston . Irwin & McGraw Hill. 5. Ades, A. , and R. Di Tella. 2000. “The New Economics of Corruption: A Survey and Some New Results. ” In J. Tulchin and R. H. Espach (eds. ), Combating Corruption in Latin America. Washington, D. C. : Woodrow Wilson Press. 6. George, Jennifer M, Jones, G. R.. 2003. Contemporary Management, 3rd edition. Boston, MA Irwin McGraw-Hill