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What is Cyber Systemic Risk?

“Cyber systemic risk” is Internet-driven risk that threatens to destroy the business viability of industry ecosystems.

While cybersecurity risk may be the familiar and recognizable type of cyber systemic risk, it is only recognizable like the tip of an iceberg is recognizable, because most cyber systemic risk lurks well out of view, deep beneath the surface in the ocean of virtual ones and zeros.

“Cyber systemic risk” generally is the Internet version of the financial crisis’ hard lesson of “systemic risk,” where the world learned that risks or disruptions to one or a few financial institutions could cascade to become risks or disruptions to the broader financial ecosystem. That’s because the inherent inter-linkages and inter-dependencies of financial institutions’ debt and liquidity exposed the then underappreciated fragility of the interwoven financial system.

The financial crisis exposed the need and the requirement for corporations to be more vigilant concerning enterprise risk management (ERM). Consequently the next crisis exposing enterprise risk is less likely to happen from a replay of known financial systemic risks, but from new unappreciated or ignored cyber systemic risks.

Cyber systemic risk is arguably more serious than financial systemic risk. That’s because the Internet inherently is: the most inter-linked, inter-dependent, intermediary system ever created; an insecure and un-private system; and more centralized and concentrated at the top than the financial ecosystem.

Google Consolidating its Dominance at Unprecedented Rates - 2012-2015 Chart

The modern world has never before seen a company with the scale, scope, reach and speed of Google’s business dominance. Expect Google’s antitrust problems to proliferate with its proliferating dominance and abuses.

Google has extended and consolidated its unprecedented dominance at unprecedented rates over the last ~three years.

No other company has ever grown several separate and very different, stand-alone verticals simultaneously, by several hundred million users each, in less than ~three years.

Please Read The Most Important Google Article I’ve Ever Read


The single most important Google accountability article I have ever read, out of the literally ten thousand plus that I have read in my nine years researching Google in depth, is Dr. Robert Epstein’s article in Politico entitled “How Google could rig the 2016 election.

Anyone, who has any interest in, or concern about, the integrity of elections in democracies in the digital age, and/or Google’s market power over what information people access, must read this article.

What Is Everyone Missing from the Alphabet Google Restructuring?

There is more to learn from the Alphabet-Google restructuring than Google’s PR narratives.

First for those paying close attention, this restructuring and Alphabet branding should spotlight Google’s truly amazing accomplishments to date, and Alphabet-Google’s breathtaking ambitions going forward.  

At core this restructuring formalizes Alphabet-Google’s very real transition, from a Gcosytem focus of disintermediating and dominating much of the Internet and tech sectors, to a Gconomy focus of disintermediating and dominating much of the rest of the economy.    

Google-Facebook-Apple’s Law-Evasive Encryption Risks

In the coming months, Google, and to a lesser extent, Facebook and Apple are on a collision course with American and foreign law enforcement over their pervasive, law-evasive, encryption of Internet traffic by default, which increasingly means law enforcement with a legitimate court-ordered-warrant, cannot search a Google, Facebook, or Apple users’ communications to investigate, prevent and prosecute terrorism or felony crime.

All three, to different degrees, are seeking to regain user trust lost by Snowden’s exposure of ubiquitous NSA spying, by deceptively trumpeting their encryption of traffic as a panacea for privacy vulnerabilities.

[Please don’t miss the summary below of that encapsulates how more pervasive, law-evasive, encryption is not a privacy/security panacea but a grave threat to both public safety and the global free and open Internet we know today.]     

Fines Alone Don’t Deter Google

EU officials, who believe normally-big-fines by themselves will be enough to deter Google’s illegal antitrust and privacy abuses, are making a profound miscalculation about what actually motivates and deters Google.

Google’s leadership is not motivated primarily by money, but overwhelmingly by the power and influence of “changing the world” by scaling most every facet of data, computing, and connectivity, first and fastest.

Google’s leadership understands the Internet marketplace is really a simple first-mover race to scale -- and that any fines along the way, without serious limits on Google’s power, are insignificant nuisances.       

Google is unlike any other company EU law enforcement has confronted.

Widespread Wiretapping is “How Google Works”

Google’s wiretapping is back in the news. The Guardian reportsGoogle [Chrome] eavesdropping tool installed on computers without permission.”

This is not an isolated incident. It is a part of a broader Google pattern of behavior.

What should be big news and scandalous here is that the company that has gathered the most Internet users in the world based upon public representations of being pro-privacy and open -- is secretly engaged in widespread wiretapping.  

Wiretapping is illegally intercepting and recording people’s communications without their knowledge or consent. In the U.S., wiretapping is a criminal offense punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison.

Intimidation is “How Google Works” -- Ask State AGs or EU

After successfully taming the FTC and the DOJ via the intimidation of politically placing seven former Google executives or consultants in senior positions in most every major federal policy or law enforcement area of legal or commercial interest to Google Inc., Google has turned its intimidation modus operandi on the only American law enforcement arm that apparently remains willing to investigate and enforce the law when it comes to Google – state attorneys general.

They are Google-Driven Cars and You Are the Package

Just as people have come to appreciate that with Google you are not the customer, you are the product, with Google automated vehicles people will come to appreciate that Google is the driver and you are the package to be delivered. 

As the runaway PR leader in this emerging category of transportation, Google interestingly steered the branding of this new category towards misleading misnomers for these vehicles.

They are not truly “self-driving,” “driverless,” or even “autonomous” cars; they are very much cars driven and governed by the company whose software and algorithms automate, control, and drive the vehicle.

If you doubt these are actually Google-driven cars, the software that drives them is called “Google Chauffeur.”

Google’s unique vision is for Google-driven cars to have no steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator; so no one possibly could drive such a vehicle but Google.

Three Big FCC Title II Privacy Questions – My Multichannel News Op-ed

Below is my op-ed “Privacy’s Big Three” on the FCC’s pending interpretation of its newly asserted Title II section 222 privacy authority. It is a side-bar in this week’s Multichannel News cover story “Who’s Watching Whom?” Click here for the full Multichannel article.

This succinct op-ed spotlights the three biggest privacy questions the FCC must grapple with here:

  1. Any privacy protection predictability?
  2. Any competitive privacy policy parity?
  3. An FCC Do Not Track List?    


Privacy’s Big Three


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths