Cashless Society, Democracy and Information Security

[Disclaimer of Co-incidence : We have been working on organizing a Conference on Information Security for last one month. The Conference called Infocon was going to be held on 18th November at CII-Suresh Neotial Hall of Excellence. I have been editing a journal called Infoquest and was royally rewarded by getting some “expert” knowledge from a range of experts. It was a week back, Government of India announced that Rs. 1000/500 ceased to be a legal tender and this is supposedly a step towards cashless society with other co-incidental benefits. This blog would not have been written or rather would not have undertaken the themes had this announcement not present.]

If you are a citizen of India or of a democratic country or interested in democratic countries (presumably you are not citizen of such a country), you may read some 400 words here to get the orientation.

I present some of my concerns and anxieties after fortified by my newly gained knowledge on Information security but not on the technical aspects of the theme but more on the political and societal aspects :

  • Is the system where Government knows everything about citizen absolutely and unconditionally good and benign ? Imagine your teen years and as if you sleep in a room with glass walls and parents and parents like people have a round the clock view of the room, including sleep time.
  • Today, we find that due to a decision, online transactions remain a back up option. In case of such an event in cashless society, either through cyberattack or the Government becoming rogue, what are the scenarios ?
  • In a cashsless society which is possibly not classless, will a digital attack by a 3rd party or proxy may lead to class conflict / war ?
  • The inner technical world of cybersecurity as well as cashless infrastructure is virtually unknown and unknoawable to a very large proportion of the citizenry and in case of any emergency, unless the citizenry are aware of how things are, there will be catastrophic consequences of law and order situation.
  • Our next generation will find the Internet / cyber world not simply an extension (facebook conversation / socialization) but something deeper and more tighter. There are many lurking dangers related to privacy, control, access, targeting, dissent.

Infocon 2016 will discuss these and other themes on Friday. It is getting colder in Calcutta and you may choose to end your Friday with such deliberation.

Type STANDARD at the registration to have a discount of INR 500 (yes, we accept this digitally) and see you !

Register for Infocon here 

 

 

 

 

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