Open Data and Open Government are upon us and the world is changing rapidly. A deep fear has set in globally, as the various deep states begin to see the writing on the wall. Within the next several years, the ability of the deep states to guide agendas will collapse to a near non-functional level. The priority now for civil servants, military and the intelligence community is to be forward thinking and develop methods of operating in this brave new world.
Let's begin this by looking at the central issue.
Its What You Know, Not Who You Know
As the digital transformation takes hold across the world, we shall observe a progressive collapse of social networking as a primary tool in driving agendas. The reason for this is simple, as Open Data and analytics become the norm, it will increasingly become the sole method of both adapting government policy and guiding enterprise actions. That is, personal relationships will no longer have the functional capacity to deliver goals the way they once did and thus the amount of investment into these groups and individuals is expected to collapse. From golden parachutes, to Super-PACs, all of this will be ancient history.
This raises some important security concerns. Modern social networking in complex economic and political spectrums is a tool used to maintain the broader global security order and this house of cards is coming down. This brings up an interesting question of how to maintain global order in such an environment.
The expected approach is to stand athwart to history and yell stop. It won't work, it wouldn't even slow the transformation by very much either. Change is required in order to increase the competitiveness of each nation and meet increasing demands from citizens. Thus, how do deep state actors now maintain control? The answer is that they can't. The ability to strong arm, to divide and conquer, to manipulate in the shadows simply won't function as everything will be data driven, rather than built upon a general consensus of opinion and snake in the grass behavior.
Intelligence agencies across the globe will need to begin a deep review of their current programs and practices and assess their usefulness in this evolving paradigm shift. The key finding that all will come to is the limited value in the political realm and increasingly the world of business too, as each will be data driven. Further, with the looming collapse of political control, agencies must be wary of over-stepping their lawful remit as there will be limited cover in this future environment and an increasing tendency to prosecute. The future environment will be extremely clean and above board.
The State Of Play
As of now, Open Data and Open Government are well established throughout the world to various degrees. Whilst the current focus is getting government data into machine readable formats and out of government, we can already observe Open Data aggregators emerge that will ultimately spawn an entire eco-system of analytical tools and services. The push for Open Data and Open Government is beginning to shine a light on corruption, dark money, various nefarious practices and shady deals. Moreover, it is also revealing names and organizations that would otherwise escape public attention. In time, these various networks will be lit up like a Christmas tree as they put up a resistance to Open Government and Open Data. As such, they will be unable to function given their broader business dealings and potential repercussions.
This is not something far off in the future, the networks are being highlighted today and within the next 24 months, most will feel the deep impact of change.
This will also impact networks operated by intelligence agencies across the globe that seek to alter behavior as a means of achieving political control, from faux charities to NGOs, most of this will be worthless except for general on-the-ground intel gathering.
The Future Of Global Security
As mentioned above, with the toolkit of manipulation drastically reduced, how do nations ensure others are not developing weapons or not abusing the system? How do we prevent the rise of a power that won't play by the rules?
For the most part, much of this requires extensive social networking and money, two key mechanisms that will be virtually non-functional in a data driven environment. There is little value to be gained by running media campaigns to sway public opinion, as most matters will come down to crunching the numbers. This will also make it very difficult to launch wars, as the economic repercussions will be clearly visible from the outset, as well as economic projection that could indicate future aggressive behavior.
Obviously, there will be a transition period where both forms of global security co-exist, but the present form will change quite rapidly as the new system rolls out. This is something that will find a natural order as it goes along.
At first glance, much in the old guard would say that this is naive, but take a look around and realize it is already here. There is no turning the clock back and all the distraction, delay tactics and general obstruction in the world will have very little impact. Thus, it is clear that all must learn to adapt to this new environment and be forward thinking.
The sheer scale of disruption is nothing short of breath-taking, that said, it is important to focus on practical solutions, that compliment the new way of doing things, to key security challenges going forward. This will take a lot of thought, a lot of new skills and a lot of thinking outside the box to both develop and implement.
The worst possible approach is to continue on the current path, as it is a dead end ultimately. All things have their time. Further, the skills obtained during this transition period will be criticial throughout government and industry for decades to come. Thus, there are plenty of opportunities to lead and develop a range of new skillsets.