FUD

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: the Real Cyber Attack on the Truth [UPDATE]

[photo: cdrummbks via Flickr]

[UPDATE – see end of article.]

One weaselly senator–with long-identified agendas and a pathetically thin understanding of technology–takes to the microphone. Suddenly, by virtue of wrapping his senatorial lips around a few scary words on topics about which he knows little, we citizens are supposed to quake in fear and plead for salvation.

Screw that noise. This is textbook  “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” — more commonly referred to as FUD in the information technology industry.

Since the 1970s, FUD tactics have used to suppress competition in the computer marketplace, targeting both hardware and software. Roger Irwin explained,

…It is a marketing technique used when a competitor launches a product that is both better than yours and costs less, i.e. your product is no longer competitive. Unable to respond with hard facts, scare-mongering is used via ‘gossip channels’ to cast a shadow of doubt over the competitors offerings and make people think twice before using it.In general it is used by companies with a large market share, and the overall message is ‘Hey, it could be risky going down that road, stick with us and you are with the crowd. Our next soon-to-be-released version will be better than that anyway’. …

FUD has non-technology applications as well; one need only look at product and service brands that encourage doubts about using any product other than their own, in lieu of actually promoting the advantages their product or service might have.

So what’s the FUD about? Senator Joe Lieberman spouted off about cyber attacks in September last year, claiming Iran was behind disruptive efforts targeting U.S. banks.

Right. Uh-huh. Predictable, yes?

But FUD is used in situations where there is competition, one might point out. Yes, exactly; in September 2012, the case for support of unilateral attacks against Iran was up against the news cycle crush, powered by the post-Benghazi fallout and the drive toward the November general election, followed by the terror that was the “fiscal cliff.” That’s a lot of powerful, compelling competition for both attention, votes, and tax dollars, when members of a reliable but lame duck Congress could be mounting up a pre-emptive cyber war without the headwind of public awareness and resistance, or the too-inquisitive pushback from newbies in the next seated Congress. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @nickmanes1 As a Pats-in-the-AFC fan, my first wish is no injuries on either side. @TedLott
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emptywheel @TedLott I thought I was being optimistic counting just 1 pick. @nickmanes1
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emptywheel @TedLott Think you're forgetting to account for the inevitable Revis pick of an errant Fatty pass. @nickmanes1
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emptywheel @amk44139 Big box, asian grocery store, grocery store. Reason I don't normally do this is most places I shop aren't open.
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emptywheel @charlie_savage WEll, thanks for doing it even if there's obviously tons more stuff that could be declassed given what ODNI has released.
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emptywheel @charlie_savage One should be able to charge the redacting agency for each new redaction. Kind of a finder's fee for overclassification.
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emptywheel @charlie_savage Thanks for the heads up.
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emptywheel @charlie_savage "search search search search search search search search search target target target target target target target target"
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bmaz Hey @CBS5AZSPORTS your ability to screw your viewers/customers by giving us worst game possible is unparalleled. Why is this? @barrettmarson
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 They may actually be related--the store is right across Breton fr Toyko Grill, I believe it's owned by Japanese woman.
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 It's on Breton south of 44th in w/Harrocks (or whatever). It has more selection (tho not the Kimchi).
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Nah, went all the way to the one at 44th and Breton. I was REALLY doing errands.
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