Tuesday, October 09, 2007
This article is filled with paranoia about efforts of unethical hackers to use information as a weapon of mass destruction against society. The author says hackers are practicing "black hat PR" by manipulating information to harm reputations. There is certainly some of this occurring, but there have been no instances of which I am aware of a PR firm setting out to wreck a company's reputation. The idea that a business would be organized to do this is a bit far-fetched. If it were to occur, it would most likely happen first in political campaigning where "dirty tricks" are a part of the environment. Usually, however, these are small and shrouded operations because, once exposed, they can ruin a candidate's chances for election. So, while misuse of information to harm reputations will grow in the information age, it is more likely to be the work of small organizations and entrepreneurs who have moved to the dark side. It means, however, that the work of guarding clients' reputations will get harder.