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Improving Technical Security 13 April 2018

Security Research is Critical to Protect the Open Internet

Mark Buell
By Mark BuellRegional Vice President - North America

On, April 10, 2018 I joined over fifty like-minded individuals signing a letter emphasizing the importance of security research. The letter renounces a number of recent lawsuits, such as Keeper v. Goodlin and River City Media v. Kromtech, against security researchers and journalists and highlights the importance of the work they are doing to defend against a rapidly increasing number of security threats.

Security research, sometimes called white-hat hacking, is a practice by ethical hackers whereby they legally find flaws in information systems and report them to the creators of those systems. The ability to find and report these vulnerabilities before other bad actors can manipulate them has become increasingly important, especially in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT).

As we discussed at Enhancing IoT Security in Ottawa, Canada this week, Internet-connected devices offer great promise, but they can also create a host of security issues. It is crucial that we continue to encourage individuals to seek out and correct flaws in these devices as their application and use grows.

As Olaf Kolkman, Chief Internet Technology Officer at the Internet Society, wrote recently, security researchers are helping to make the Internet more secure. Collaboration between those who find vulnerabilities and those who fix them improves trust in the Internet and benefits everyone.

I urge you to stand with me in support of security researchers and reporters who carry out critical work to protect consumers and businesses from security threats.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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