Esther Dyson

Online Security

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Dyson talks about the threats to online security, and how governments, corporations and individuals can address that.

Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings, the reclaimed name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004. In the last few years, she has turned her sights towards IT and health care. She dedicated two issues of her newsletter, Release 1.0, to the topic (Health and Identity: No Patient Left Behind? in January 2005 and Personal Health Information: Data Comes Alive! in September 2005).  Also in September 2005, she ran the Personal Health Information workshop that laid out many of the challenges still perplexing the health-care community.

Currently, she is on the board of directors of 23andMe and is one of the initial ten subjects of George Church's Personal Genome Project. Her primary activity is investing in start-ups and guiding many of them as a board member. Her board seats include Boxbe, CVO Group (Hungary),, Evernote, IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Meetup, Midentity (UK), NewspaperDirect, and WPP Group and Yandex (Russia).

Some of her past direct IT investments include Flickr,, BrightMail, Medstory and Orbitz. Dyson was the founding chairman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000, and was also chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the 90's. In 1997, she wrote Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, which appeared in paperback a year later as Release 2.1. In 1994, she wrote a seminal essay on intellectual property for Wired magazine.


Question: What are the biggest online threats governments and corporations face?

Esther Dyson: Other people also, just like every where it is other people doing bad things the internet gives them More tools and as I mentioned and they have more tools for self defense but it is again people going to spread lies about you they can find that about you if you are doing bad things they could find there and publish it we just add again this they always press your things was not on line but any one can be the world is getting more symmetrical you can vanish in to the security much more easily there are some one really wants to go after you. You have left much more of the trails and you put up in the past you can try to that you can pay cash you can avoid all the some one stuff but life gets more, more difficult because the general level of convenience in all put it. You can travel without a credit card you known the idea that is a different issue but people are simply much more trackable.

Question: What’s the solution?

Esther Dyson: Well, how the government deals with in China they have shut of you tube which I don’t think is the right response. The real way to deal with it is not to be people up and then you don’t need to worry about in critizes you should respond to the criticism by responding to the criticism not by shutting down the critics are but assuming you are benign institution you need good security on your web site you need all the stuff than in a security vendor will tell you, you need to keep your data security you need to keep your customers data security, you need to know whom you are employing and a question that means in waiting The privacy of the people you might employees so can the world is getting more transparent it is not all good but there is in the trade of send they the conflict we need to deal with.

Recorded on: 03/21/2008