EMAC 6374 Final Paper


Digital Textuality: Using Text, Image, and Sound in New Ways

Digital technology has changed the way we function and provided us the ability to communicate in new ways: textually, visually, and aurally. Most of us, perhaps unconsciously, except that microelectronics, software-based communication system, and other new and merging digital technologies are playing a greater role in organizing our lives. As digitality exerts it’s influence, we witness the remediation of past media forms. Media, by nature mutates, matures, and evolves into other forms of media. For example, books are eBooks, music is captured in audio files and played on iTunes, and television has moved to YouTube. No longer just analog—ink fixed on paper and analogue airwaves transmitted to towers—digital text is more. As we’ve transitioned these media forms, we’ve come to see and use digital text in new ways.

The Transition From Analogue to Digital

As textuality transitioned to the screen, it developed additional iterations. New conventions and genres like e-mail, blogs, micro-blogs, wikis, video and audio mash-ups and remixes, social media sites have emerged. These forms of digital influence former conventions and lead to new forms of digital discourse. As shifting technologies open avenues for user participation, digital textuality provides users the opportunity to develop the new illiteracies for the media they consume, process, and produce.

It is not difficult to see how digital technologies have altered and extended our connection to the media. Digital technology has democratized cultural expression and created participatory culture. Marshall McLuhan’s famous theory postulated that “For the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace of pattern that it introduces into human affairs.” (McLuhan et al. 2003) and “… the ‘medium is the message’ because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” (McLuhan et al. 2003) However, in his book, Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte challenges McLuhan’s well-worn dictum when he says, “The medium is not the message in a digital world. It is an embodiment of it.” (Negroponte 1995)

New Media Forms

Negroponte’s point is perfectly exhibited when we consider the blog. Blogging (originally called weblogging) emerged in the late 1990s and provided readers and users a platform to express their ideas and opinions. Pioneers like Cameron Barrett and Brigitte Eaton began collecting weblogs, collections of links with associated short-form commentary that ranged from personal thoughts to essays on their websites. (Blood September 7, 2000) However, weblogging required specialized computer coding skills, so the community of webloggers was small. Eventually, do-it-yourself weblogging tools developed and the requisite coding skills were no longer required. Blog publishing hit the mainstream as any nontechnical users could quickly and easily publish a blog.

Today, bloggers integrate collage, hypertextuality, and multimodality to extend the boundaries of their text to communicate information in ways that that traditional analogue media cannot. These new media forms can be manipulated, modified, and used; they are transformed from a static medium to an interactive, multimodal features. The metaphorical desktop is designed to create a responsive and intuitive experience. In her book, Material Metaphors, Technotext, and media Specific Analysis, N. Katherine Hayles’s tells her readers:

“To change the material artifact is to transform the context and circumstances for interacting with words, which inevitably changes the meaning of the words as well. This transformation of meaning is especially potent when the words reflexively interact with the inscription technologies that produce them.” (Hayles 2002)

Lev Manovich takes this idea one step further in his book, The Language of New Media, when he says, “New media also allows to create version of the same object which differ from each other in more substantial ways.” (Manovich 2001) Therefore, scalability, spatialization, and variability are all important characteristics digital textuality presents in new media forms like blogs.

This is particularly relevant when we consider the audio-visual components that are now commonly incorporated into the blog structure. Whether videos or images are static, moving or interactive, they can increase the persuasive and emotional impact of a blog’s content. The effect heightens interactivity between blogger and reader. Furthermore, images can be used to support information via parataxis. For example, charts or graphs can supplement or supplant text. Consequently, digital textuality can be seen as a complex relationship between verbal and visual meaning.

Digital Textuality and Design

Social semiotics plays an important role in digital textuality because the materiality of the mode affects the meaning. In the “multimodal landscape of communication” mode and design must correctly express the intended message. As new media forms increase their use of image, motion, and sound to convey meaning, it is important that the appropriate affordances be used. Although writing and speech linear format, when presented on the screen image, motion, and sound may not possess the same causality. Therefore, it helps to view screen design as what Gunther Kress calls “a prospective enterprise.”

In his Expert Forum for Knowledge Presentation, “Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media,” Gunther Kress outlines the questions we should consider as move textual messages to the screen:

“The questions it asks is: ‘what, in this environment, with this kind of audience, with these resources that are available for implementing my design, given these social, economic, ‘political’ constraints, and with my interests now at this moment, is the best way of shaping that which I wish to make, whether as ‘ message’ or as any object (of design)?” Kress

The Challenge of Digital Textuality

Matthew Kirschenbaum reminds us “Historically, the technologies for reproducing words and images have evolved along separate lines of development.” (Hocks et al. 2003) Now digital technology is merging these lines. What we see is that to successfully remediate any textual object, one must be digitally savvy and digitally literate so as to understand how the medium affects its relationship with the original message:

“The ultimate conflict between sight and sound, between written and oral kinds of perception and organization of existence is upon us. Since understanding stops action, as Nietzsche observed, we can moderate the fierceness of this conflict by understanding the media that extend us and raise these areas within and without us.” (McLuhan et al. 2003)

As technology evolves we evolve. We create and embrace new modes of communication and that strengthen our position in a networked society. We participate in the remediation of the analogue and proliferate the digital through our networked communities. Like media, we are mutating, maturing, and evolving. And, we’re exerting creativity to create new forms of digital textuality.

Works Cited

Blood, Rebecca. Rebecca’s Pocket. Rebecca’s Pocket , “Weblogs: A History and Perspective.” Last modified September 7, 2000. Accessed December 10, 2011.

Hayles, N. Katherine. 2002. Writing Machines. MIT Press, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed December 10, 2011).

Hocks, Mary, and Michelle Kendrik. Word and Image in the Age of New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003.

Kress, Gunther. Expert Forum for Knowledge Presentation, “Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media .” Accessed December 10, 2011. http://www.knowledgepresentation.org/BuildingTheFuture/Kress2/Kress2.html.

Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001.

McLuhan, Marshall, and Terrance Gordon. Understanding media : the extensions of man. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press, 2003.

Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital. New York: Knopf, 1995.

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Text Object – Final Version


Stuxnet: Contagion in the Network

Discovered in June 2010, W32.Stuxnet is a computer worm that targeted industrial systems. The worm was spread through Microsoft Windows and delivered through a USB flash drive. The curation below captures media coverage of the initial event and subsequent news.
  1. The Known, Unknowns, and Uncontrollables of Contagion
  2. Stuxnet exploited the three tenets of cyber security to reveal the knowns, unknowns, and uncontrollables of network contagion. #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:04:10 PM EDT
  3. Stuxnet is the first weapon to be made entirely out of code #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:11:06 PM EDT
  4. November 24, 2011 9:46:11 PM EST
  5.                                       Source:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0723/Stuxnet-spyware-targets-industrial-facilities-via-USB-memory-stick
  6. #contagion “Vulnerabilities that can be exploited are quantifiable risks (known-knowns), while for those for (cont) tl.gd/de456p
    October 2, 2011 7:04:52 PM EDT
  7. Three tenets of cyber security: system susceptibility, access to the flaw, capability to exploit the flaw #contagion tinyurl.com/3qyo6ud
    October 2, 2011 7:05:43 PM EDT
  8. Known-Knowns: June – July 2010

  9. Stuxnet 06/10 infects more than 60,000 computers systems in Iran, US, & 10 other countries via the Internet #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:06:12 PM EDT
  10. #contagion “The Internet is, it seems, robust in terms of resistance to random, and common contagions, but (cont) tl.gd/de45p6
    October 2, 2011 7:06:49 PM EDT
  11. November 24, 2011 1:46:09 AM EST
  12.                                           Source: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/stuxnet-five-main-target/
  13. #contagion Iran blamed Stuxnet worm on Western plot: “Western states are trying to stop Iran’s (nuclear) (cont) tl.gd/de48db
    October 2, 2011 7:15:42 PM EDT
  14. #contagion Stuxnet worm is more complex than previous viruses; spreads via USB drives … propagates by (cont) tl.gd/de466u
    October 2, 2011 7:08:18 PM EDT
  15. Stuxnet: How It Infects PLCs
    November 12, 2010 12:52:06 AM EST
  16.                                          This video demonstrates how W32.Stuxnet can compromise a Programmable
    Logic Controller
    (PLC), resulting in unintended consequences for the
    machines connected to it.
  17. Known-Unknown: July 2010

  18. Is Stuxnet industrial espionage-Cyber spies launched first publicly known global attack via the Internet. #contagion tinyurl.com/3wknw2n
    October 2, 2011 7:08:54 PM EDT
  19. Known-Uncontrollable: July 2010
  20. Stuxnet is an open source weapon. Exploiting the infection on YouTube #contagion tinyurl.com/5tosegj
    October 3, 2011 6:09:37 PM EDT
  21. Known-Known: September 2010
  22. #contagion Stuxnet exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities “A threat using one zero-day vulnerability by (cont) tl.gd/de46g2
    October 2, 2011 7:09:15 PM EDT
  23. Stuxnet target: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant or the Natanz nuclear fuel centrifuge facility? Experts (cont) tl.gd/de46on
    October 2, 2011 7:10:12 PM EDT
  24. November 24, 2011 1:46:09 AM EST
  25.                                       Source:
                                          http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2010/1001/Clues-emerge-about-genesis-of-Stuxnet-worm
  26. Known-Unknown: September 2010
  27. Was Stuxnet built to attack Iran’s nuclear program by targeting Bushehr nuclear reactor? #contagion tinyurl.com/2ce5xl8
    October 2, 2011 7:10:42 PM EDT
  28. Unknown-Unknown: September 2010

  29. #contagion Is Israel responsible for Stuxnet? Biblical reference in Stuxnet code to Book of Esther: Jews (cont) tl.gd/de4926
    October 2, 2011 7:17:59 PM EDT
  30. Known-Known: October 2010
  31. Stuxnet can easily spread because it lies dormant in most machines and may never execute its code. #contagion tinyurl.com/3c47nac
    October 2, 2011 7:09:43 PM EDT
  32. Known-Knowns: November 2010 – January 2011

  33. Stuxnet designed to sabotage power supplies in nuclear fuel-refining centrifuge systems; targets Natanz #contagion tinyurl.com/32ot8bg
    October 2, 2011 7:10:57 PM EDT
  34. Stuxnet is game-changer: likely developed by a well-financed team #contagion tinyurl.com/3z9nfnc
    October 2, 2011 7:24:48 PM EDT
  35. #contagion November 2010 Iran and suspended work at its nuclear facilities but deny that the country’s nuclear (cont) tl.gd/de477t
    October 2, 2011 7:11:44 PM EDT
  36. November 24, 2011 6:59:25 AM EST
  37. #contagion Ahmadinejad Publicly Acknowledges Stuxnet Disrupted Iranian Centrifuges: “They succeeded in (cont) tl.gd/de47k6
    October 2, 2011 7:13:01 PM EDT
  38. #contagion Israeli Test on Stuxnet: Dimona complex critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli (cont) tl.gd/de4963
    October 2, 2011 7:18:21 PM EDT
  39. Known-Uncontrollables: March – April 2011

  40. Iran responds to Stuxnet attack with open call for hackers; amassing cyber #contagion t.co/lC3cgPpK
    October 3, 2011 3:19:34 PM EDT
  41. #contagion Iran concedes Stuxnet infected Bushehr: “If the Bushehr power plant were to go on line, “the (cont) tl.gd/de480o
    October 2, 2011 7:14:22 PM EDT
  42. Uknown-Unknown: April 2011

  43. Senior Iranian official accuses Siemens of supplying US & Israel control system information #contagion tinyurl.com/4x8g3a9
    October 2, 2011 7:19:35 PM EDT
  44. Known-Known: July 2011

  45. #contagion Ralph Langner: “…an attacker needs zero insider information and zero programming skills at the (cont) tl.gd/de4adf
    October 2, 2011 7:22:07 PM EDT
  46. Ralph Langner speaks about Stuxnet
    November 27, 2011 2:37:28 PM EST
  47. Uknown-Uncontrollable: July 2011
  48. US gov: Stuxnet could morph n2 new threat. No way of knowing who will use it/what they will use it for #contagion tinyurl.com/3h9stkr
    October 2, 2011 7:22:44 PM EDT
  49. Known-Unknowns: September 2011

  50. Security Expert: U.S. ‘Leading Force’ Behind Stuxnet #contagion tinyurl.com/6erld6g
    October 2, 2011 7:18:59 PM EDT
  51. #contagion Stuxnet threat remains on Internet. Langer: “The big problem we have right now is that Stuxnet has (cont) tl.gd/de4cv3
    October 2, 2011 7:30:17 PM EDT
  52. A growing network creates new assemblages, new connections spread infection #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:20:17 PM EDT
  53. Uknown-Unknowns: September 2011

  54. Russia Blames U.S. and Israel for Stuxnet Worm #contagion tinyurl.com/3s9v7st
    October 2, 2011 7:19:11 PM EDT
  55. November 27, 2011 2:39:07 PM EST
  56. Rumor is #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:19:23 PM EDT
  57. Known-Known: September – October 2011

  58. A year later hackers study Stuxnet; scant evidence US utilities are building defenses against attack. #contagion tinyurl.com/3vmbojp
    October 2, 2011 7:25:35 PM EDT
  59. U.S. utilities & industries face increasing number of cyber break-ins 342 this year. More expected. #contagion tinyurl.com/6erbdq6
    October 2, 2011 7:26:40 PM EDT
  60. November 27, 2011 2:39:36 PM EST
  61.                                          Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2011/0307/The-new-cyber-arms-race
  62. Dept of Homeland Security & Idaho National La are backbone of the gov’s plan to secure industrial systems. #contagion tinyurl.com/3ha8phn
    October 2, 2011 7:27:35 PM EDT
  63. #contagion Homeland Security and Idaho National Laboratory work to find and stop cyber-attack that could (cont) tl.gd/de4ckk
    October 2, 2011 7:29:16 PM EDT
  64. The uncontrollables are the most troublesome factors of contagion.

  65. #contagion “Epidemic dispersion occurs not simply because the codification of a particular replicator, but (cont) tl.gd/de4ali
    October 2, 2011 7:22:59 PM EDT
  66. #contagion “…the detection problem has become part of a broader struggle for network power, which involves (cont) tl.gd/de4bim
    October 2, 2011 7:25:51 PM EDT
  67. Stuxnet is a perfect example of how virality can be created in stable and instable network.

  68. Parts of Stuxnet can be copied via the Internet to and be used to create another Stuxnet-type attack: Digital dirty bomb #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:20:27 PM EDT
  69. Stuxnet: an example of the unknown threats of digitality #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:07:53 PM EDT
  70. Unknown-Uncontrollable: Present time
  71. Unknown-uncontrollable: Future Stuxnet-like attacks are endemic to the network #contagion
    October 2, 2011 7:26:58 PM EDT
  72. Perfect Storm of Internet Censorship
    November 10, 2011 10:41:39 AM EST
  73.                                          Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgLBwAEEjIk

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Sound Object – Final Version


Arabesque: An Aural Representation of Digital Anomaly

Dreamy, melancholy, and a bit eerie this remix represents the audio component of my Stuxnet project. This audio object represents the perspective of the Stuxnet attack. The rhythms and melodies represent code, and the glitch represents the digital anomaly. Glitch sounds are intended to disrupt the listener’s focus and create an unsettling anticipation for the next occurrence.

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Moving Object – First and Final Versions


Stuxnet: An Overview (Final Version)

This video is a remixes Stuxnet: Anatomy of a computer virus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0pi4J8auQ) and Ralph Langner’s TED talk, “Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS01Hmjv1pQ) to create an overview of the Stuxnet cyber attack. I used glitch sounds and images to disrupt the narrative and audio-visually represent the digital anomaly (Stuxnet worm).

Stuxnet: An Overview (First Version)

Sources:

Stuxnet (HUNGRY BEAST): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0pi4J8auQ

Ralph Langner: Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS01Hmjv1pQ

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Image Object – Final and First Version


Stuxnet Worm: Visualizations of Media Coverage (Final Version)

Hackers create Computer viruses and worms, digital anomalies, to exploit and reveal inherent weaknesses in the web. However, our computers are not the only ones infected. Because digital technology has infused itself into every aspect of our lives, we have become another node in the network. Consequently, our relationship to the screen connects us to the media that spreads news and information of such anomalous events. As we process information about the digital anomalies the virtual becomes real in our minds and we become another point of transmission.

The visualizations below depicts information of the W32.Stuxnet Worm attack (attack scenario and countries impacted) and its subsequent news and social media coverage to visually explore how methods of transmission.

Stuxnet Overview

Countries Infected by the Stuxnet Worm 2010

Image 1: This bubble chart shows the countries that were infected by the Stuxnet Worm 2010. Click the image to access the interactive version. Source: Symantec w32.Stuxnet Dossier (p.3).

Stuxnet Attack Scenario

Image 2: This Word Tree represents the Stuxnet attack scenario outlined in Symantec w32.Stuxnet Dossier (p.4).

Media Coverage

Stuxnet News Headlines, 2010

Image 3: This word cloud was created from 77 Google News headlines. The search term was “Stuxnet” and the period was filtered for the year 2010.

Stuxnet News Headlines, 2011

Image 4: This word cloud was created from 109 Google News headlines. The search term was “Stuxnet” and the period was filtered for the year 2011.

Industry News Coverage

Image 5: This tree map displays links from Tofino’s “Summary of Industrial Security News Coverage Re: Stuxnet.” Click the image to access the interactive version.

Social Media Coverage

Stuxnet: Contagion in the Network

Image 6: This visualization depicts Modtechnic’s revised Storify curation, Stuxnet: Contagion in the Network. The table below explains how the nodes are connected.

Color Code:

  • Red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
  • Green: for the DIV tag
  • Violet: for images (IMG tag)
  • Yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
  • Orange: for linebreaks and block quotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
  • Black: the HTML tag, the root node
  • Gray: all other tags

Source: http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/?url

Social Collider Stuxnet Phrase Search

Images 7-9 are visualizations created through Social Collider. They display cross-connections between conversations on Twitter.

Image 7: Search Phrase: Stuxnet; History Length: One Day.

Image 8: Search Phrase: Stuxnet; History Length: One Week.

Image 9: Search Phrase: Stuxnet; History Length: One Month.

Stuxnet Worm: Visualizations of Media Coverage

Image 10: This visualization depicts Modtechnic’s Blog Post, “Stuxnet Worm: Visualizations of Media Coverage.” The table below explains how the nodes are connected.

Color Key:

  • Blue: Links (A tag)
  • Red: Tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
  • Green: DIV tag
  • Violet: Images (the IMG tag)
  • Yellow: Forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
  • Orange: Linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
  • Black: HTML tag, the root node

Source: http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/?url

Stuxnet Worm: Visualizations of Media Coverage (First Version)

Computer viruses and worms are digital anomalies. Hackers create them to exploit and reveal inherent weaknesses in the network. At some point in time, our computers have or will be infected. However, our computers are not the only ones infected. Mass media helps spread the virology of these anomalies by making the virtual real in our minds. The ten visualizations in this blog post explores news media coverage of the Stuxnet worm.

1. Keywords


Description: Keywords from CSMonitor.com articles (http://www.csmonitor.com/content/search?SearchText=stuxnet&SearchButton=Search)

  1. Assassination plot: New twist in Iran’s secret war with US? 10/12/2011
  2. A year of Stuxnet: Why is the new cyberweapon’s warning being ignored? 09/26/2011
  3. From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later 09/22/2011
  4. Iranian government may be behind hack of Dutch security firm 09/06/2011
  5. Pentagon unveils its new cyberstrategy. Well, some of it, anyway.  07/14/2011

2. Securities Articles Covering Stuxnet


Description: News articles collected from the Tofino website. Related to Stuxnet Worm.

3. ‘Duqu’ Virus Likely Handiwork Of Sophisticated Government,

Description: Text visualization of Forbes article, ‘Duqu’ Virus Likely Handiwork Of Sophisticated Government, Kaspersky Lab Says (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/10/21/duqu-virus-likely-handiwork-of-sophisticated-government-kasperky-lab-says/)

4. Stuxnet News Headlines 2010

Description: Stuxnet new search via Google News; filtered for the year 2010.

5. Stuxnet News Headlines 2011

Description: Stuxnet news search via Google News; filtered for the year 2011

6. Stuxnet Attack Timeline 2008-2010

Description: Stuxnet Attack Timeline 2008-2010. Data in this visualization is presented in the Symantec w32.Stuxnet Dossier (p.3).

7. Stuxnet Attack Scenario

Description: Attack Scenario presented in Symantec W32.Stuxnet Dossier, p 4.

8. Countries Infected by the Stuxnet Worm 2010

Description: Countries Infected by the Stuxnet Worm 2010. Source: Symantec W32.Stuxnet Dossier, p.6.

9. Visualizations : Text Visualization of CSMonitor.com Stuxnet Articles


Description: Text Visualization of CSMonitor.com Stuxnet Articles:

  1. Assassination plot: New twist in Iran’s secret war with US? 10/12/2011
  2. A year of Stuxnet: Why is the new cyberweapon’s warning being ignored? 09/26/2011
  3. From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later  09/22/2011
  4. Iranian government may be behind hack of Dutch security firm 09/06/2011
  5. Pentagon unveils its new cyberstrategy. Well, some of it, anyway.  07/14/2011 

10.  Visualization of Modtechnic’s Blog Post, “Stuxnet: Congation in the Network”

Description: This data visualization maps the digital elements in Modtechnic’s blog post “Stuxnet: Contagion in the Network.”

Color Code:

  • Blue: for links (the A tag)
  • Red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
  • Green: for the DIV tag
  • Violet: for images (IMG tag)
  • Yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
  • Orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
  • Black: the HTML tag, the root node
  • Gray: all other tags

Source: http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/?url

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Text Object – First Version


Stuxnet: Contagion in the Network

The Known, Unknowns, and Uncontrollables of Contagion

Stuxnet exploited the three tenets of cyber security to reveal the knowns, unknowns, and uncontrollables of network contagion. #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Known-knowns/known-unknowns/unknown-unknowns are risk mgmt concepts computer security experts understand #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion “Vulnerabilities that can be exploited are quantifiable risks (known-knowns), while for those for (cont) http://tl.gd/de456p
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Three tenets of cyber security: system susceptibility, access to the flaw, capability to exploit the flaw #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3qyo6ud
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Knowns: June – July 2010

Stuxnet 06/10 infects more than 60,000 computers systems in Iran, US, & 10 other countries via the Internet #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion “The Internet is, it seems, robust in terms of resistance to random, and common contagions, but (cont) http://tl.gd/de45p6
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Stuxnet aka Troj/Stuxnet-A [Sophos], W32/Stuxnet-B [Sophos], W32.Temphid [Symantec], WORM_STUXNET.A (cont) http://tl.gd/de45uq
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Iran blamed Stuxnet worm on Western plot: “Western states are trying to stop Iran’s (nuclear) (cont) http://tl.gd/de48db
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Stuxnet worm is more complex than previous viruses; spreads via USB drives … propagates by (cont) http://tl.gd/de466u
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Unknown: July 2010

Is Stuxnet industrial espionage-Cyber spies launched first publicly known global attack via the Internet. #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3wknw2n
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Known-Uncontrollable: July 2010
Stuxnet is an open source weapon. Exploiting the infection on YouTube #contagion http://tinyurl.com/5tosegj
modtechnic
October 3, 2011
Known-Known: September 2010
#contagion Stuxnet exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities “A threat using one zero-day vulnerability by (cont) http://tl.gd/de46g2
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Stuxnet target: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant or the Natanz nuclear fuel centrifuge facility? Experts (cont) http://tl.gd/de46on
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Known-Unknown: September 2010
Was Stuxnet built to attack Iran’s nuclear program by targeting Bushehr nuclear reactor? #contagion http://tinyurl.com/2ce5xl8
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Unknown-Unknown: September 2010

#contagion Is Israel responsible for Stuxnet? Biblical reference in Stuxnet code to Book of Esther: Jews (cont) http://tl.gd/de4926
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Known-Known: October 2010
Stuxnet can easily spread because it lies dormant in most machines and may never execute its code. #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3c47nac
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Knowns: November 2010 – January 2011

Stuxnet designed to sabotage power supplies in nuclear fuel-refining centrifuge systems; targets Natanz #contagion http://tinyurl.com/32ot8bg
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Stuxnet is game-changer: likely developed by a well-financed team #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3z9nfnc
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion November 2010 Iran and suspended work at its nuclear facilities but deny that the country’s nuclear (cont) http://tl.gd/de477t
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Ahmadinejad Publicly Acknowledges Stuxnet Disrupted Iranian Centrifuges: “They succeeded in (cont) http://tl.gd/de47k6
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Institute for Science & Intl Security (ISIS) says Stuxnet may have shut down 1000 centrifuges @Natanz #contagion http://tinyurl.com/4xgzws5
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Israeli Test on Stuxnet: Dimona complex critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli (cont) http://tl.gd/de4963
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Uncontrollables: March – April 2011

Iran responds to Stuxnet attack with open call for hackers; amassing cyber #contagion http://t.co/lC3cgPpK
modtechnic
October 3, 2011
#contagion Iran concedes Stuxnet infected Bushehr: “If the Bushehr power plant were to go on line, “the (cont) http://tl.gd/de480o
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Uknown-Unknown: April 2011

Senior Iranian official accuses Siemens of supplying US & Israel control system information #contagion http://tinyurl.com/4x8g3a9
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Known: July 2011

#contagion Ralph Langner: “…an attacker needs zero insider information and zero programming skills at the (cont) http://tl.gd/de4adf
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Uknown-Uncontrollable: July 2011
US gov: Stuxnet could morph n2 new threat. No way of knowing who will use it/what they will use it for #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3h9stkr
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Unknowns: September 2011

Security Expert: U.S. ‘Leading Force’ Behind Stuxnet #contagion http://tinyurl.com/6erld6g
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Stuxnet threat remains on Internet. Langer: “The big problem we have right now is that Stuxnet has (cont) http://tl.gd/de4cv3
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Uknown-Unknowns: September 2011

Russia Blames U.S. and Israel for Stuxnet Worm #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3s9v7st
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Rumor is #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Virality is created in stable & instable networks. Impacts the collected & connected #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
A growing network creates new assemblages, new connections spread infection #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Stuxnet is the first weapon to be made entirely out of code #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Uncontrollable: March 2011

Iran responds to Stuxnet attack with open call for hackers; amassing second largest online army in the world #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3bklgze
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Known-Known: September – October 2011

A year later hackers study Stuxnet; scant evidence US utilities are building defenses against attack. #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3vmbojp
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
U.S. utilities & industries face increasing number of cyber break-ins 342 this year. More expected. #contagion http://tinyurl.com/6erbdq6
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Dept of Homeland Security & Idaho National La are backbone of the gov’s plan to secure industrial systems. #contagion http://tinyurl.com/3ha8phn
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion Homeland Security and Idaho National Laboratory work to find and stop cyber-attack that could (cont) http://tl.gd/de4ckk
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

The uncontrollables are the most troublesome factors of contagion.

#contagion “Epidemic dispersion occurs not simply because the codification of a particular replicator, but (cont) http://tl.gd/de4ali
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
#contagion “…the detection problem has become part of a broader struggle for network power, which involves (cont) http://tl.gd/de4bim
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Stuxnet is a perfect example of how virality can be created in stable and instable network.

Parts of Stuxnet can be copied via the Internet to and be used to create another Stuxnet-type attack: Digital dirty bomb #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Stuxnet: an example of the unknown threats of digitality #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011
Unknown-Uncontrollable: Present time
Unknown-uncontrollable: Future Stuxnet-like attacks are endemic to the network #contagion
modtechnic
October 2, 2011

Bibliography

Albright, David. Institute for Science and International Security, “ISIS Reports: Did Stuxnet Take Out 1,000 Centrifuges at the Natanz Enrichment Plant? Preliminary Assessment.” Last modified December 22, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/did-stuxnet-take-out-1000-centrifuges-at-the-natanz-enrichment-plant/.

Broad, William, John Markoff, and David Sanger. New York Times, “Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay.” Last modified January 15, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/middleeast/16stuxnet.html?pagewanted=all.

Clayton, Mark. “A year of Stuxnet: Why is the new cyberweapon’s warning being ignored?” Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0926/A-year-of-Stuxnet-Why-is-the-new-cyberweapon-s-warning-being-ignored (accessed October 1, 2011).

Clayton, Mark. “From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later.” Christian Science Monitor, September 22, 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0922/From-the-man-who-discovered-Stuxnet-dire-warnings-one-year-later (accessed October 1, 2011).

Clayton, Mark. “How Stuxnet cyber weapon targeted Iran nuclear plant.” Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 2010. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1116/How-Stuxnet-cyber-weapon-targeted-Iran-nuclear-plant (accessed October 1, 2011).

Crawford, David, and Jay Solomon. Wall Street Journal, “Iran Nuclear Sites Temporarily Suspended .” Last modified November 24, 2010. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704369304575633083063905598.html.

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Clayton, Mark. “A year of Stuxnet: Why is the new cyberweapon’s warning being ignored?” Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0926/A-year-of-Stuxnet-Why-is-the-new-cyberweapon-s-warning-being-ignored (accessed October 1, 2011).

Clayton, Mark. “From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later.” Christian Science Monitor, September 22, 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0922/From-the-man-who-discovered-Stuxnet-dire-warnings-one-year-later (accessed October 1, 2011).

Clayton, Mark. “How Stuxnet cyber weapon targeted Iran nuclear plant.” Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 2010. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1116/How-Stuxnet-cyber-weapon-targeted-Iran-nuclear-plant (accessed October 1, 2011).

Crethi Plethi, “Iran Calls on Islamic Hackers to Enlist to the Iranian “Cyber War”.” Last modified March 20, 2011. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.crethiplethi.com/iran-calls-on-islamic-hackers-to-enlist-to-the-iranian-cyber-war/islamic-countries/iran-islamic-countries/2011/.

Dehghan, Saeed. The Guardian, “Iran accuses Siemens of helping launch Stuxnet cyber-attack.” Last modified April 17, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/17/iran-siemens-stuxnet-cyber-attack.

Dilanian, Ken. LA Times, “Idaho lab concentrates on cyber-security.” Last modified October 1, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-idaho-cyber-20111001,0,6859511.story?track=rss.

Dunn, John. CIO, “Russia Blames U.S. and Israel for Stuxnet Worm.” Last modified September 27, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.cio.com/article/690574/Russia_Blames_U.S._and_Israel_for_Stuxnet_Worm.

Finkle, Jim. Reuters, “U.S. government says Stuxnet could morph into new threat.” Last modified July 28, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/28/us-cybersecurity-stuxnet-idUSTRE76R5PH20110728.

FoxNews.com, “Utilities and Industries Face Rising Number of Cyber Break-Ins, DHS Says.” Last modified September 30, 2011. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/29/dhs-says-utilities-and-industries-face-rising-number-cyber-break-ins/.

FT.com, “Disclosure of risk is an ethical dilemma.” Last modified September 20, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/48307322-28d9-11da-8a5e-00000e2511c8.html

Gjelten, Tom. NPR, “Security Expert: U.S. ‘Leading Force’ Behind Stuxnet.” Last modified September 26, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.npr.org/2011/09/26/140789306/security-expert-u-s-leading-force-behind-stuxnet.

Gross, Grant. PC World, “Experts: Stuxnet Changed the Cybersecurity Landscape.” Last modified November 17, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/210971/experts_stuxnet_changed_the_cybersecurity_landscape.html?tk=rel_news.

Keizer, Gregg. CIO, “Iran blames Stuxnet worm on Western plot.” Last modified October 6, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.cio.com.au/article/363318/iran_blames_stuxnet_worm_western_plot.

Langner, Ralph. “A time bomb with fourteen bytes.” Langner (blog), July 21, 2011. http://www.langner.com/en/2011/07/21/a-time-bomb-with-fourteen-bytes/ (accessed October 3, 2011).

Madrigal, Alexis. The Atlantic Journal, “Ahmadinejad Publicly Acknowledges Stuxnet Disrupted Iranian Centrifuges.” Last modified September 29, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/11/ahmadinejad-publicly-acknowledges-stuxnet-disrupted-iranian-centrifuges/67155/.

Markoff, John. New York Times, “In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue.” Last modified September 29, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/world/middleeast/30worm.html?scp=1&sq=stuxnet old testament&st=cse.

McMillan, Robert. PC World, “On the Front Line Against the Next Stuxnet.” Last modified October 1, 2011. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.pcworld.com/article/240955/on_the_front_line_against_the_next_stuxnet.html.

McMillan, Robert. PC World, “Was Stuxnet Built to Attack Iran’s Nuclear Program?.” Last modified September 21, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/205827/was_stuxnet_built_to_attack_irans_nuclear_program.html.

Mills, Elinor. CNET, “Details of the first-ever control system malware (FAQ).” Last modified July 21, 2010. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20011159-245.html.

Murchu, Liam. “Stuxnet Using Three Additional Zero-Day Vulnerabilities.” Symantec Official Blog (blog), October 14, 2010. http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/stuxnet-using-three-additional-zero-day-vulnerabilities?API1=100&API2=4166869 (accessed October 1, 2011).

Software Protection Initiative, “Three Tenets of Cyber Security.” Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.spi.dod.mil/tenets.htm.

Shearer, Jarrad. Symantec, “W32.Stuxnet.” Last modified September 17, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.symantec.com/business/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2010-071400-3123-99&tabid=2&API1=100&API2=4166869.

Timmerman, Ken. NewsMax.com, “Computer Worm Wreaking Havoc on Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities.” Last modified April 27, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2011. http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/iran-natanz-nuclear-stuxnet/2011/04/27/id/394327.

The Spam Book: On Porn, Viruses and Other Anomalous Objects From the Dark Side of Digital Culture, eds. Parikka & Sampson, Hampton Press 2009.

Walsh, Courtney. “US Prepares for Cyber Threats in the Wake of Suspected “Stuxnet” Attack in Iran.” Harvard National Security Journal. http://harvardnsj.com/2010/10/us-prepares-for-cyber-threats-in-the-wake-of-suspected-“stuxnet”-attack-in-iran/ (accessed October 1, 2011).

Wisniewski, Chester. “SophosLabs – computer security.” An updated video from SophosLabs showing the shortcut vulnerability launching malware on Windows 7. Infection occurs without user interaction. Posted July 17, 2010. YouTube. Web, http://www.youtube.com/sophoslabs

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Remix and Revolt!


In his TED Talk, Larry Lessig, cleverly wove three stories together to show how business, law, and technology influence and impact our culture. He used John Philip Souza to illustrate his point. In a 1906 speech before congress, Souza warned that the “talking machine” (phonograph) was going to “ruin the artistic development of music in this country.” Souza’s statement supported Lessig’s argument that our “culture has moved from a read-write to read only existence” where professionally created content has relegated the consumer to consuming and not creating. Lessig explained that although digital technology has democratized creativity, copyright law continues to suppress and choke the forms of digital creativity.

Lessig’s vision for copyright law reform includes a balance between law and common sense where “free content competes with less free content” because artists choose to make their work available for noncommercial use. Thus the Internet revives the read-write culture as digital technology opens the door for amateurs (nonprofessionals) to create/recreate/remix user generated content.

Lessig reminds us in his speech how technology has shifted our former model of cultural consumption and empowered us to grow an ecology of free(r) content so that we are longer just passive consumers. We become instead active participates who have the technological tools to create, recreate, and refashion content.

This brings me to Adam McKay.

On April 19, 2011 McKay launched a new website dedicated to promoting music created for the public domain. The music it seeks can be described as public commentary for public consumption. McKay describes the site on the HuffingtonPost.com as:

“The songs are completely free. No strings attached. But more importantly we want your songs and raps. We also want you to take one of our songs on this site and re-record it, re-write it, mash it up, hack it to bits, tear it apart, then put it back together again. …If you’re in a band and you cover one of our songs, send it to us. If you play a cover of “Which Side Are you On Boy?” we’ll post that too.”

Through this site McKay uses the Internet to revive our public conscious. He’s angry that our economy is in the pits and that our country is faltering from an inequitable distribution of money and power. He wants to create a revolution through protest music, and he aims to achieve this revolution by embracing user generated content and invoking free speech to make a comment. McKay’s site is democracy in action, and it reflects the creative freedom Larry Lessig promotes.

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Google’s Copyright Dilemma


This week’s reading provided quite an education to copyright law. From Lawerence Lessig’s bold challenges to the clever “Bound by Law” which “translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into ‘visual metaphors.’” via a comic. Brad Templeton also broke down to the lowest common denominator various copyright myths. But as I was searching for angle for this week’s post, I ran across a story about Google Books that I think provides a different view – the corporate realities of copyright wars.

In September 2005, The Authors Guild filed a class action suit against Google known as Authors Guild v. Google. The Authors Guild is the nation’s largest organization of books authors who advocate and supports copyright protection for their published writers. The suit claimed that Google violated copyrights in books and other writings by scanning, organizing the digitized versions into an electronic database, and displaying excerpts without the copyright owner’s permission. Following two years of negotiations, in October 2008 Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers announced a settlement that would provide access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. The agreement provided that Google pay $125 million to establish a Book Rights Registry which would cover legal fees from existing author and publisher claims. Former foes had become allies and partners.

Through this partnership, the new Google Book Search could digitize millions of book making them searchable. Readers, researchers, authors, and publishers would all benefit from unprecedented access this digital library would provide. It would be available everywhere at anytime thanks to the Web. At least that was the plan.

On March 22, 2011 Judge Denny Chin ruled that the settlement would provide Google a significant competitive advantage and create a “de facto monopoly.” But what’s really at the heart of the ruling is the millions of “orphan” books Google wants to add to its library. Orphan books are books that are still protected by copyright but no longer in print. The catch is that their copyright ownership is undetermined. Should Google gain access to these books, its realizes the competitive advantage Judge Chin rebuked. Google would be able to charge high prices for its collection because no other company would be able to build a comparable library. Furthermore, the deal could position Google to monopolize the Internet search market.

So what does the March 22 ruling mean for Google’s mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. “ We’ll have to wait and see.

Currently, readers can access books whose copyrights have expired meaning those in the public domain. Google categorizes these books as “Full View.” For books whose publisher or author has only given permission to preview, readers will see a select number of pages in the “Limited Preview” option. Google’s “Snippet View” covers books that Google is licensed. This view shows citation information and a few sentences that describe the book.

These are obviously great features for users, but one question lingers regarding the underlining copyright complaint. Why didn’t Google exert its power and influence the legislature to help change copyright laws? Siva Vaidhyanathan argues this point so eloquently in the Chronicle for Higher Education:

“For any global digital library to work, we need to reform the global copyright system. Google would never have run into trouble had it opted to work through the legislatures of the world rather than the courts of the United States to change copyright, using a class-action settlement to create a monopolistic licensing system over unclaimed works. The alternative would not have been easy, perhaps not even likely to succeed. But courts should not be making law at the behest of big companies. That’s what Congress is for.”

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Is Avenue Q Right?


As I watched Alexandra Wallace’s rant about “Asians in the Library,” I recalled the famous Avenue Q song, “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist.” And like Avenue Q, Ms. Wallace did a fine job of reminding us and reinforcing the fact that we do not live in a color-blind society.

As a member of a minority race (soon to be the majority in Texas – VIA LA RAZA!) I know this to be true. As a “light-skinned” Mexicana America, I’m often spared the experience of out-right racism. Though as someone whose appearance is ethnically ambiguous, I’m often present when racist comments are made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the presence of someone like Alexndra Wallace whose stereotypical comments about Mexicans are equally as demeaning.

So is Avenue Q right? Are we all a little bit racist?

Unfortunately, I think we are. The reasons we are all a little bit racist (whether we want to admit it or not) are tremendously complex and multifaceted. They are also bound by history and perspective, and perhaps justified to a degree by each group. However, this is content for a future post, so I digress and return to Ms. Wallace.

As I watched her on YouTube, I shook my head and sub/consciously applied the same tired stereotypical judgments of race, gender, and class to her. To me, she looked and sounded every bit the part of the privileged Barbie-doll co-ed.

Then I read Professor Kim Knight’s blog post and realized that my characterization and judgment of Ms. Wallace was highly sexist, and I thank Professor Knight for enlightening me. In her response to Wallace’s “Asians in the Library,” Knight discusses how subsequent YouTube responses to “Asians in the Library” are attacks on Wallace’s sexuality and often overshadow her racism:

“But her status as a blonde woman dressed in a revealing top becomes the subject of many of the rebuttals and focuses attention on assumptions about sexuality rather than the real issues at hand – her ignorant and racist remarks and lack of moral framework.”

Indeed, the outcry against Wallace’s racism easily turned into expressions of misogyny. But why? Could it be that we’re also a little bit sexist too? Is it possible that we are victims and perpetrators of both racism and sexism? Perhaps it’s time that we acknowledge this fact because the first step in battling racism and sexism is to be conscious of our own prejudices.

The video below by the Women’s Media Center provides several examples of this form sexist attack. Some examples are covert, some are blatantly obvious, and not even Secretary Clinton’s cleavage escapes criticism.

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I blog, therefore, I am


As an instant form of global self-publishing, blogging is, for the amateur and professional writer, the podium from which we broadcast our ideas and opinions into cyberspace. As a “spontaneous expression of instant thought” our blogs are a record of sorts that allow us to track through our thoughts and impression and link them (via hyperlinks) to other references and sources. Blogging is free form, informal, and real-time. A blogger does not write long dissertations or subject their musing to numerous cycles of edits. In fact, blogging does not follow a set of  journalistic rules, and this is what makes blogging so accessible, and perhaps so enjoyable.

Yet, as a responsible and conscientious bloggers, whose words and links may influence the thoughts and actions of others, should it behoove us to follow some basic blogging tenets to ensure the integrity of our blogs? Well, Rebecca Blood thinks so and proposed a set of ethical standards in her book, The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog. For Blood, transparency in blogging is essential, and she bases her ethical standards on this idea: “… The weblog’s greatest strength—its uncensored, unmediated, uncontrolled voice—is also its greatest weakness.”

Her belief guides the formulation of six principles she believe all bloggers should follow:

1.     Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true

2.     If material exist online link to it when you reference it

3.     Publicly correct any misinformation

4.     Write each entry as if it could not be changes; add to, but do not rewrite of delete, and entry

5.     Disclose any conflict of interest

6.     Note questionable and biased sources

However, Jonathon Delacour’s has some different ideas and published a rebuttal to Blood’s rules in his blog. He responds to each of her rules with a more realistic representation/interpretation of what I believe really occurs as one blogs. For example, he challenges her first rule, “Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true” with the following:

“The problem here is the assumption that facts and truth are equivalent. They’re not, necessarily, for me. I’m more concerned with emotional truth. As in: I don’t know if Jonathon ever dated a woman named Ikuko for real, but I know that I believe the stories he tells about her.”

Both Blood and Delacour have caused me to reflect on the ethical standards I employ for my blog, and I’ve realized that I haven’t been conscious of them. Instead, I’ve been more concerned about capturing all the different ideas and concepts that swirl in my head and relating them to the subject matter I am exploring. Though I agree in principle that blogging ethics are a good thing (who would argue against having ethics?), I wonder if there is a danger in imposing requirements on an act of creative self-expression that thrives in spontaneity.

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