Monday, November 29, 2010

The Diplomatic Facebook and Technology

Geofish quote:  "Technology is not kind to bureaucracies"

This Wikileaks episode accurately parallels my experience with the old company, when the new internet technology became available.  Apparently, all this diplomatic crap came from the equivalent of a diplomatic Usenet or Facebook.  Everybody and their dog had access, and could store it all on their laptop unencrypted.  It's probably been released a zillion times.

This is exactly what happened with the companies, except that there was no Wikileaks, only lawyers.  For a company, all of this can be released with one lawsuit.  Many new companies had engaged in a internal internet free-for-all.  Our company was also at the leading edge of this, thanks to me.  So what happened then?  They clamped down, and no information was available on any channel.  No emails, no colourful language, no analysis, no brains.  Everything was done on private channels, with a different story down each one!  I remember the IT department was telling one story to the techies, and a different one to the execs. Nobody made any decisions in meetings, because that would be recorded in the minutes.  So, it was all private, and all decisions appeared arbitrary.

What happened?  -- Total 'gut' governance.  You can see the results.  (Niagara Tunnel)

Does it have to be this way?  Is there any way to have reasonably open discussion, but in a closed sphere?  I don't think so, since all communication has to be decrypted to be read, and then this can be stored in a 10,000 email inbox by your typical busy power-person.  If the US goes completely private-verbal-channel, then we are doomed!

You can think of technology ideas - closed tablet viewers with no storage - custom encryption to each recipient, etc.  Any suggestions?

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