Chapter 11. Futurepedia – A Platform for Crowd Foresight

10. Security Technologies Overview

Main concept: Security technologies, aided by accelerating IT and nanotech, will be increasingly more naturally secure, with defensive architectures and algorithms borrowed directly from biology. Security leaders will use “biomimetic” strategies like simulations, transparency, immunity, morality, redundancy, memory, learning, antifragility, preemptive attack, and proportionate response, adapted directly from living systems, to create ever more resilient and secure technologies, organizations, and societies.

Leader’s challenge: Growing Local, Nat’l, Global Transparency and Resiliency, Bottom-Up far over Top-Down.

Summary sentence:

“Good security is like an immune system. It has transparency, memory, redundancy, fast learning, proportionate response.”

Area topics:

Reciprocal Transparency and Intelligence. Reciprocal transparency and intel involve a mix of top-down, centralized intel, sensors, drones (“surveillance”), and  bottom-up, decentralized intel (“sousveillance”). As we move to internet of things, souveillance grows fastest.  Improving both creates the best foresight, predictive analytics, scenarios, and simulations.

Immunity, Decentralization,  and Resilience. Security can be done in a top-down, centralized way (think DHS) or a bottom-up, decentralized way, empowering each state, county, city, and public (cultivation of confidential informants) to fish for their own terrorists, build their own immune systems, learn from each other. We need both, but empowering the bottom-up approach delivers a far more proportional, swarm-like response, creates more useful variety, and is more resilient. Think of the ‘spiderbots’ in Minority Report. Sensors, DRACO, quarantines, vaccines for bioterrorism. Create speedbumps for AVLIS, bioweapons, IEDs. Artificial immune systems, network transparency, “fireman’s keys” for autonomous systems. Reciprocal transparency and groupnets needed to manage coming superempowered individuals.

Physical Security, Networks, and Openness. Physical security, dashboards, scopes, sensors, maps, biometrics, networked SALWs, networked LWs and Less-Lethal W’s, arms control, nuclear nonprolif. Riding the J-Curve of openness.

Cybersecurity and Simulations. Digital transparency, big data, next gen internet, local guarding, secure digital ID, end of anonymity and darknets, telepresence. Internat’l consortia of blue and red teams in classified world simulations, trying to break and protect security. These will be major activities of the soldiers and DoD of 2020: “Global Security Games”.

Machine Ethics and Autonomy. Drones & robots need world models, ethical architecture (Ron Arkin). We’ll use artificial selection on evolutionary robots, just like domestic animals. Teleop hub and spoke will give way to autonomous swarms, for both offense and defense.

Books: The Transparent Society, 1998; Privacy in Context, 2009; Wired for War, 2009; Antifragile, 2012.

Leadership Questions:

  1. What are your security technologies research, acquisition, R&D, hiring, training, measuring, & mgmt strategies?
  2. What key disruptions or threats must you anticipate from greater local, regional, national and global transparency, and efforts to avoid transparency?
  3. What problems could be addressed and opportunities taken if you had much better and more resilient departmental and public security technologies? How can you grow organizational and public transparency?
  4. How can you get measurably more of the most valuable security capabilities, at an efficient ROI?

As the STEEPS model reminds us, while Science and Technology are often be the fastest moving systems influencing our future, they are by no means the only important systems. The remaining EEPS factors are also often critical drivers of change. Let us briefly turn now to the last of these, the Social factors, which is also commonly called cultural foresight. Sociocultural processes are often the slowest changing of all, but they can also be the most powerful constraints on our near-term futures, as they represent the kinds of stability and change that groups presently prefer, and it is people, not our machines, that for now continue to drive most economic, political, and social change.