Walls Work in the IoT

Are the walls used to secure technology immoral?

Nancy Pelosi does not want a wall. Unlike most of the other tenured Democratic House leaders, she did not vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. She deserves credit for being consistent, unlike her partner Chuck Schumer who did indeed vote for the act. Instead, Pelosi wants a “technological wall” put in place using such things as drones, infrared sensors, surveillance cameras, and “like an electronic dog to detect drugs, guns and contraband”. I wonder, has anyone told Nancy that her technology is protected by walls?

Realistically, as we race into an IoT world, security is finally becoming important to the masses. The realization of what Facebook has been doing with it’s user’s information, has creeped into the mainstream, and people are finally beginning to worry about keeping their private information private. Those of us that have had these concerns over a longer period of time, know that there is one thing that will keep us safe. That is barriers between our data, and those that want to steal it.

The most basic concept of this is none other than a firewall. Most of us use firewalls, or at least complain about the firewall at work. What a firewall does in the most basic of terms is to monitor traffic between your network, and with world wide web. Based upon security rules set up by the administrator, it establishes a barrier between networks, protecting the user. The firewall provides a barrier, to protect what is inside.

If we take it a step further, we can see how Apple has enjoyed a relatively calm world with it’s walled garden. Apple, unlike nearly every other ecosystem out there, controls what is allowed access to their systems. Applications and media can only come through Apple’s own stores, which they guard. The walled garden is controlled by Apple, who is itself the barrier between it’s ecosystem, and the outside world. Apple does this to protect what’s inside their ecosystem, and of course, for financial gain. Now this walled garden is far from perfect. There have been numerous instances of malware getting over the wall, however thanks to Apple’s approach, most media continues to push the narrative that Apple is the safer platform. Safer because it is walled in.

Finally, let’s look at one of my favorite companies out there. A company that has a unmatched reputation in the world of cybersecurity, and which is taking a leadership role in the forthcoming IoT world. Of course, I’m speaking of none other than BlackBerry. BlackBerry has a tried and true method that is used throughout their products. From their phone software, to it’s Workspaces software, to QNX which is responsible for so many mission critical operations. That method is sandboxing. It is a much more pleasant term which isolates systems and files from each other. In other words, it creates a barrier which protects the data and processes behind it from attacks.

Walls, fences, barriers, whatever you call them, are in fact old technology. Just as Nancy Pelosi states. However it is technology which is still being used, and will continue to be used in the future, to protect the very technology which Nancy Pelosi states should be used to protect what is inside the borders of the United States. I wonder if Nancy would consider this an immoral use? I also wonder where one could obtain one of those “electronic dogs”, they sound fun.


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.