From the Editor: The Safety Issue

Last month, I announced that PUBLICYTE would begin publishing themed issues, roughly once a month. Our first theme, Connectivity, was a great success (you can read all the articles here).

This month, aligned with the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, I am pleased to tell you that our theme is Safety. During October, we will publish stories about how the leading edge of technology is changing a variety of “safety” issues, including government cybersecurity, the security of personal health information, and how a U.S. education and skills gap is a threat to our national security. Safety in our personal and professional lives affects everything from how our children behave on the Internet to how hospitals care for our loved ones. It is an issue larger than any profession, company, or nation.

Microsoft researcher and fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society danah boyd has been studying how bullying and “drama” play out among teens on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. An expert on the behavior of teens online and the meaning of privacy in the modern age of social technology, danah will expand on some of her recently published research for Publicyte and discuss how drama operates, and in her words, understand “teens’ own defenses against the realities of aggression, gossip, and bullying in networked publics.”

Moving from the fate of teens’ conversations on the Web to the fate of America in the world, Stephen Gordon will have a piece from NBC Education Nation in New York, where some discussion involved the severe consequences of inadequate education in our country. There, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff GEN (ret.) William Casey (who I had the pleasure of meeting once in a casual setting) spoke about the resulting skills gap between young people in the U.S. versus other modern nations around the world, and its consequences for national security. That might sound severe, but in my experience, more and more national security strategists and analysts see issues like education, economics, and energy as big issues affecting security and safety of U.S. citizens in the medium-term.

Microsoft is heavily involved in events related to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Publicyte will have a field report from the Safer Internet Forum in Luxembourg, where the company is taking part in discussions about how the public and private sectors approach Internet safety globally. Microsoft is also releasing something called the Confidence in Computing Index, which will provide a detailed look at consumer confidence in online safety, privacy, and security — we’ll have an article about the Index and what it means.

Finally, we’ll continue to have some recurring columns at Publicyte, from a “Who to Know” piece featuring an up-and-coming professional working in an area related to the monthly theme, to Joel Reyes‘ monthly “Five Apps” you have to see, Publicyte strives to being you the most innovative stories about how technology is influencing the public sector and affecting civic life and social change.

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe via RSS or email, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to stay in touch with our content, conversation, and ideas.

Dr. Mark Drapeau

Editor-In-Chief, Publicyte

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