In the digital age, Internet security is a growing concern amongst Web users not only domestically, but on a worldwide scale. Since its inception, the Internet itself has remained free of international censorship and government oversight. However, cybersecurity is an issue that continues to create controversy, as some believe that a truly secure Internet may only be possible by sacrificing user privacy.
Recently, proposed bills such as SOPA and PIPA have stalled, largely due to negative backlash by Internet companies and more importantly, the Obama administration. The well-documented intent of those bills was to eliminate piracy of copyrighted material online by allowing the U.S. Government to block websites. President Obama indicated that Internet piracy and security are both significant issues, but such bills could potentially stifle innovation and damage the integrity of the Web.
Today, a new proposal regarding the important issue of online security is gaining momentum in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), was introduced by Michael Rogers (R-MI) and is intended to defend American Internet companies and U.S. Government sites from security threats. Although this bill differs from both SOPA and PIPA in many ways, it is surrounded by similar controversy.
Should CISPA be signed into law, it would grant any U.S. Government agency the power to attain user information from sites such as Facebook, Google or any other private company in the event of a “cyber threat.” The bill defines such threats as, “efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy government or private systems and networks.” Any gathered information on users suspected of involvement in such threats is then forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security.
Known supporters of CISPA include Microsoft, Facebook and Google. However, the bill is opposed by the White House and President Obama has already announced that he will veto the bill. The official position of the Obama administration is as follows:
“Cybersecurity and privacy are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, information sharing, while an essential component of comprehensive legislation, is not alone enough to protect the Nation’s core critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Accordingly, the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, in its current form.”
CISPA has recently been passed by the House of Representatives, despite the opposition in the White House. However, the bill has been amended to help protect the privacy of individuals. Regardless of the changes made to CISPA, opponents of the bill remain unsatisfied. There is still debate over the broad and somewhat non-specific nature of CISPA, that some view as a greater threat than cybersecurity itself. Supporters feel that CISPA is an effective countermeasure against hackers and does not eliminate or reduce the privacy of American Internet users.
The Obama administration is backing a Senate-proposed alternative to CISPA, which would grant power to the Department of Homeland Security to monitor the Internet for cyber threats. Internet users, online companies and the government are all going to play instrumental roles in the future of cybersecurity and individual online privacy in the months ahead. As this situation moves forward, it poses a very important question that is relevant to the entire online community: Can Internet security be achieved without compromising privacy?
The success of Jeremy Lin as a brand cannot be understated. We are introduced to a man who was released by two NBA rosters, only to be given a chance by the New York Knicks. His instant rise-to-fame as the starting point guard of the Knicks proves more to consumers than simply a lesson in professional sports.
As much as Lin serves as an example of how a brand can reach a “tipping point” and develop a vast follower-base, his story also shows marketers and advertisers that “pathos,” or emotional appeal still has an effect on consumers and their buying-behavior.
Lin’s brand reinforces an age-old marketing tactic –emotional attachment.
This notion is supported by Lin’s quick rise to fame in the NBA and the result of which has been a trending sensation on social media and traditional media alike. In addition, consumers attaching themselves to Lin’s story include those who do not typically follow the NBA, evidence that trending phenomenon can develop new target audiences.
One of the most important lessons that can be learned includes the principle that when consumers establish an emotional attachment to a brand, they follow and invest in it. This is evidenced by the fact that even consumers that do not typically follow the NBA now do, evidence that trending brands can catapult and capture new audiences.
Communications experts would refer to this as an appeal based on “pathos,” or emotion. Marketers can leverage this notion to reflect on their own marketing strategies and perhaps reintroduce products that would have a similar appeal to consumers.
Furthermore, it is true that specific industries can reflect on Lin’s story to reestablish “pathos” with products that captured audiences in the past, including those products that have experienced up and downs in their product life-cycles (i.e. automobiles, fashion, etc.). This example is also a demonstration of how consumer-buying behavior can suddenly shift to a specific brand or trend, establishing new target audiences at any given point.