Metadata, the information that describes data, can provide a lot of context to the content itself, without knowing the content. This interesting information came to us from the Harvard Political Review in their article, “Going Dark: Who is Our Enemy?

American government agencies were ranked the worst in cybersecurity in the past year. This is compared to 17 major private industries like transportation and healthcare. From April 2015 to April 2016, there have been 35 major government data breaches, including the July 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach, which affected 21.5 million people, and the February 2016 Internal Revenue Service hack.

“Going dark” is used to reference radio silence in the intelligence community. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) uses the term to describe law enforcement’s lack of technical ability to intercept and access communications because of shifts in technologies.

Surveillance is a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. All communications companies receive some form of payment from the National Security Agency (NSA) in return for access. The United States government is asking technology companies to build them back doors to American communication technologies. “Back door” refers to a built-in security vulnerability. Although such back doors are only intended for the government’s usage, they could allow any hacker access to these systems.

Once again, metadata is getting a bad rap for doing its job.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.