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Technology In The Wrong Hands…Disaster Waiting To Happen?

October 11, 2012

Technology In The Wrong Hands

The unit this week is on computer hardware…I thought I would take a look at how computer hardware and technology could have a dark side.

 Long ago it was that only the government had access to “super computers”, taking up entire rooms. As time progressed, it seemed that only the most well-to-do and affluent families had access to technology. Then the pattern progressed to almost all families having access to technology… Today, it seems like almost every member of every family has access to technology. This is a fantastic leap in the right direction. We do need more access. Children are getting exposure to technology earlier and earlier in life. The ease of access has become almost a given.

However, the ease of access can also be a disaster waiting to happen. How?

Let’s take a step back…away from the realm of education. Let’s look at the Department of Defense. Unless you have been living in “technological isolation”, you are aware of one of the newest forms of defense: The unmanned drone. The United States Government has employed the service of unmanned drones to survey, assess, and address particular areas of concern in the world. War seems to have gone far from “man against man” in WW-I and WW-II…and now is fought remotely. A planned attack can be ordered and carried out via remote control from a facility in Colorado, far from harm’s way.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/predator.htm  Check out the article.

So why is this a disaster waiting to happen?

Well, if the United States is able to create and develop the technology to carry out missions from across the world, on “enemy” soil…isn’t it only a matter of time before “the bad guys” have the same technology? Isn’t it only a matter of time before “the bad guys” will be able to carry out missions on U.S. soil? Technology is a great thing. However, in the wrong hands (like anything else in the world) this can be a terrible disaster waiting to happen.

Another example of technology doing harm is in the remote detination of IEDs in other parts of the world. Who would have thought 25 years ago, when some of the first cellular phones were introduced, that this new and exciting technology would/could be used to harm people. A $25 cell phone can cause the death of multiple people…in the wrong hands. Perhaps this is a dark and gloomy way of thinking about smart phones, but it is a realistic issue. It is somehting that is in the news today, and should be addressed.

Finally, take an innocent web browser. A student…a family member. Perhaps paying their electric bill online. All of a sudden, the family computer is “hijacked” by a piece of malicious software. Said malicious software didn’t evolve from dust! It was created by some computer genious with too much time on their hands. A family can have their computer hacked, personal information stolen, and lives thrown into a spiral due to one “smart and bored” person.

From:  http://www.tesionline.com/intl/indepth.jsp?id=337  Do Computer Viruses Influence Society?

All of these are examples of technology in the wrong hands. Do we have ways to defend against these issues? Sure. But just as “the good guys” are working on ways to prevent all of these potential disasters from happening, there are “bad guys” working on ways around them.

Understand that the world sees technology as a fantastic creation that certainly does more good than evil. There are more positives than negatives. This blog is NOT being written to cause paranoia. But rather to open our eyes and bring light to the fact that, in the wrong hands, technology can be a potential disaster waiting to happen.

What are your thoughts? 

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4 Comments
  1. Jodie Gustafson permalink

    Hello Mike,
    Technology in itself is not a bad thing. It all depends on who is using it and what it is being used for. We know that along with new positive uses of technology comes new dangers such as predators looking to find victims. I had to really watch my daughter’s use of the computer and phone when she was younger. One time, when she was staying at her fathers, she was caught calling a boy she met on-line from New York in the middle of the night. We must be made aware of the dangers new technology may bring in unscrupulous hands in order to protect our families.
    Jodie G

  2. Araceli Matos permalink

    Mike

    You are correct about the technology in the wrong hands. I have seen it in the news with all the computer hacking going on. I think about it everytime a bank has had their system intereupted and identities stolen. Unfortunately there is no way around this. We need to start teaching our children right from wrong and hope for the best. Education is the best solution. We need to keep learning in order to stay ahead and be able to protect ourselves.

    If you have a chance can you comment on my blog. Thank you

  3. Wow! I guess I have been in “technological isolation,” as I have never heard about the aircraft described above (my hushand a marine would mostly like be embarrased of me right now). At first glance, it sounds like a great way to avoid losing our soildiers, but at the same time I can see how it could quickly turn the other way.

    As for my personal computer, I am constatnly updating our security software, and scanning for viruses. I am a little paranoid of someone hacking into our personal files, and/or destroying our family picures, movies, or worst case scenario the enitre computer. Thank you for your informative post.

  4. Hi Mike,

    Your post made me think of the recent Pentagon announcement that warned of a cyberattack of epic proportions.I really enjoyed reading the history you shared. Education is key in preventing the misuse of technology – especially character education – as ridiculous as that sounds. As often as I can, I try to teach my students about right and wrong. If more teachers could sneak in character building perhaps this would be an all around safer world and we wouldn’t have to worry about cyberattacks putting our lives in danger.

    Great read!

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