Have you ever thought back on your childhood?
When I was a child I used to play with all that I found around me; for example, I dismounted an old umbrella and turned it in a fantastic bow, full of arrows; or I was building a slingshot or a scooter using old wooden boards and wheels with two old bearings that gave me the mechanic near my grandmother’s house.
I had no experience, no guides but only fantasies and desire to play!
One day, a friend of mine received an air gun from his father and he called me for playing. The gun had a simple operation of charging and fire small lead projectiles.
After few days, as soon as more friends came to know that we had an air gun, someone told us that it was possible to turn it into a real gun!
With no experience and few information, using that toy gun, we turned it into a real weapon! The small town where I’ve been living let this news make the round very, very fast. Once my father came apart of this, he forbade me to attend my friend and gave me two slaps. I did not understand my father also because the parents of my friends were proud of how good their children were!
When I got older I realized that there were many dangers around my “hack”, how much it could hurts other people and the fact that it was illegal.
Now the scenario is a little different and a teenager who attends to school owns or can use a computer, a portable console, a smartphone and does not need nothing more to engage the boring summer days. A teenager passes whole days playing with the console rather than chatting from time to time or, in some cases trying to create an app to earn some money imagining how to become millionaire like Jan Koum and Brian Acton.
The power of the web is an endless source of detailed information and our teenager are wandering here learning how to program in iOS, communicating with a lot of small groups of expert programmers; for him the computer have no secrets.
The parent of a brilliant at school teenager, brought up with the neighbors, regarded by professors a real computer expert, can only be proud of his boy, unlike my dad who gave me a couple of slaps to have modified a toy ; Times change!
35 years ago the knowledge was transferred through books and words of mouth and the experience was a personal thing.
Today, everything is on the web, which becomes an inexhaustible source of up to date information. In short, unlike 35 years ago, an enterprising teenager is be able to find instructions on how to convert a toy into a deadly weapon, or worse, able to find directions about how to build a deadly weapon using “harmless” household products or “simple” instructions and tools to violate the neighbor’s router; he communicates via set up “ad hoc” forums and his dream is the podium as “hacker of the year” because he have passed and violated the security systems of the KGB website.
Now, if they can do this, what an evil enemies can do?.
I invite you to reflect.