Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Message Dissonance - youtube launch vs sexting fail [was: WTF Giambrone]

Adam Giambrone has had big ambition for a long time. He then has a dalliance and leaves a trail?

Even if he was only having a texting (or sexting) relationship - in my opinion - the fact that he didn't take more care to insulate himself is problematic. Especially for a guy who launched his electoral bid with a youtube video to show how hip he was to new media and our new electronic age.

In political parlance (and marketing) we call this message (cognitive) dissonance.

"Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts."

"Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another. For example, a belief in animal rights could be interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to dissonance"

- Wikipedia - Cognitive dissonance

I expect this incident will sink Giambrone's bid for mayor this time. In 1-2-4 years, he'll be back and will be forgiven.

As a former political staffer (and lifelong political activist) who buried bodies and/or held the light for others who were doing the deed... the sheer incompetence of his handling of this causes me substantial pause.

I say all of this as a person who has met Adam Giambrone, liked him, and thought that his youtube campaign launch video was brilliant (and funny). I am very sad that this has all occurred.

Not that my opinion really matters - I live in the prairies.


Just to drag this blog kicking and screaming back from the Giambrone pile-on, this episode, from a privacy standpoint, shows how easily a person's privacy can be violated. How easily something assumed to be transitory as a text message turns into something permanent.

(FYI - I am also an instructor for a technical institute. I also do lectures for youth and schools [and parents] on safe computing)

I have talked about privacy and permanence of record with teenaged girls that have webcammed. They seem to think that their camming sessions are gone as soon as they are done. WRONG!!!! The record is often permanent (you can record or log any data stream - including IM or webcam) usually with a single checkmark on a control tab.

Anything put outside of computer or network resources that you TIGHTLY control MUST be considered in the wild - even if just recorded on a backup somewhere.

I tried to explain it to some teenaged boys who were convinced that files they were transferring through free FTP servers were just available to them because they were the only ones who had their password. WRONG!!!! Server administrators can look at your data. And most servers get backed up. There is a copy of that data somewhere. Even if the teenagers missed the back-up time, there is still an image of that data on the server hard drive. If the police were to scout around, or an enterprising server admin, they could find and recover the data even if it had been deleted.

Oh, and just for the record, some of the open source tools available for free on the internet are used by the police to recover deleted child pornography and other such material. I know this personally because I had a discussion about some of the tools used by the RCMP at a job fair at our local university. We discussed the tools and tricks each of us used - me to recover data my users had accidentally deleted - him to bust pedophiles (he was trying to recruit me to come work for the RCMP). Some of the software and tools were the same.


google search



poof - no more delete

think about it

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