There Are Two Types of Online Security Discussions Going On Currently, One Is Real, And The Other Is Theater

I added "security" as an area of my monitoring of the API space a couple years back, where I curate news stories, white papers, and other resources on the topic of online security. I have carved off most of the API related aspects of this into my security research project, but I have also noticed another schism emerging in much of the information I'm gathering during the course my work.

There are two distinct types of conversations going on, the first one is about security, encryption, and many of the technical aspects of how we protect ourselves, our businesses, and our organizations online. The second half focus on the theater around all of this, using many of the same words, but is far less technical, much more emotional, and wraps itself in special words like "cybersecurity".

This security theater is used by the NSA, FBI, police, and other government organizations, but it isn't exclusive to these groups. Tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter also play the security theater card when it benefits them. Kind of like a soccer player will overplay a foul, to get the attention of the referee. It can be difficult to tell the difference when these groups are truly discussing security, or putting on a play or skit on the online security stage--for the rest of our benefits.

Security theater, aka "cybersecurity" plays just as important role in security, as the technical nuts and bolts. If you get citizens acting on their emotions and fears, it is much easier to shift the conversation in your favor, without ever having to do anything truly technical. Cybersecurity is not that new, it is just an evolution of previous security fear tactics used by the military industrial complex, and government leaders to control the population--it is just now being adapted to the new digital landscape we find ourselves living in.

Security theater will continue to be a box office hit in coming years!