IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
3/30/2006
04:08 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Is Your Enterprise Data Secure - From the Inside Out?
Jun 15, 2016
Is your network an M&M? It's hard on the outside, soft on the inside? If so, it's time for you to ...Read More>>

Globalization, Or Sailed Ships And Election-Year Politics

The car's left the driveway on the globalization of IT, but the United States apparently still thinks it has the keys. International deals of all sizes have been coming under increasing scrutiny over supposed security questions, and the atmosphere doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. Well, at least until after November.

The car's left the driveway on the globalization of IT, but the United States apparently still thinks it has the keys. International deals of all sizes have been coming under increasing scrutiny over supposed security questions, and the atmosphere doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. Well, at least until after November.International IT mergers and foreign business with the United States government are in the line of fire in the wake of the political feast that was the Dubai ports debacle. It goes without saying that the government needs to prevent highly classified technology from falling into the wrong hands, and there are procedures to do so. But now as then, the sensitivities of the voting Lou Dobbs fans (love ya, Lou) seem to be trumping real discussion of security, economic stability, and the trade-offs necessary to ensure each.

Take the proposed Alcatel-Lucent merger (eww, the French). Lucent-owned Bell Labs still does some sensitive eavesdropping work, but it's a shadow of its glory days. Yet politics are afoot, with a senator talking up the need for watchful eyes and observers saying he's just the first of many.

Tack that on the tail end of the scuttled Israel-based Check Point bid for Sourcefire's already open-source technology, and you've got a matzo ball of politics. But still the soup wouldn't be complete without fears that China's Lenovo will spy on the United States through American-assembled, IBM-serviced systems doing unclassified work at the State Department. Of course, slashing deals individually isn't enough, so Rep. Duncan Hunter, R.-Calif., has introduced legislation that would make foreign investment in critical "systems" more difficult to begin with.

Politicians may run into walls. Big U.S. companies are doing tons of work overseas, and that's increasing toward tons and tons as offshoring accelerates. Meanwhile, a defense advisory board admits that keeping even all classified work inside the United States would be too expensive (caution, PDF), and the GAO has found (also PDF) foreign companies working on weapons system software.

Time to restate the thesis. The questions need to be about what technology we must keep to be safe, and how much we're willing to fork over to keep it that way. They don't need to be about who can rabble-rouse the most and who can pose as a strongman.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of June 19, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.