Cyberspace and the Loss of Paradise
Beatrice E. Rangel
2018 will end with several astounding casualties from all trades of life. Leslie Moonves the much-acclaimed chief executive from CBS; Meng Whanzou. Huawei’s CFO and the most revered Charlie Rose, CBS anchor and PBS star. The common factor intervening in their downfall was their incredible lack of understanding of the visibility of all their deeds in cyber space and thus in real life.
Moonves believed that the power of his talent would be enough to bury evidence and thereby dash away from the CBS board thoughts of removal. Who also would create so many and rich income streams in times when advertisement through TV was melting away by minutes? Moonves saw himself as irreplaceable.
Meng Whanzou believed that she could hide financial flows to and from Iran during the time of the sanctions. Financial data banks proved to be too efficient for her procedures to hold.
Charlie Rose betted that the modest and scarce lifestyle he led would protect him from any suspicion of sexual malfeasance. But everywhere in cyberspace there were testimonies of his misconduct that he could not hide, let alone erase.
Transparency has long been a scarce commodity in public life. Today however technological change has placed this virtue at the center of any healthy and enduring leadership. Indeed, cyberspace is a dimension where everyone sees everyone else as they are with their virtues and their flaws. Therefore, flaws cannot be outright misdemeanors or crimes. Because there are people who do care about enforcing the rule of law and they will turn against offenders with gusto.
Further, as competition steeps in the area of communications tools and data mining capabilities exposure will be enhanced beyond control of any given individual. Also, the cost of keeping secrets will increase with the same speed and strength as computer prices fall. This means transparency is here to stay and the thought of resisting this is simply madness.
So what can modern leaders do to preserve their place in paradise? First, you need to be coherent. What you say and what you do need to be perfectly aligned or else contradictions will show with destructive might. Second, it is essential to rethink the concept of privacy as it will no longer exist in integrality. Information will be preserved for some time but eventually it will become public and the important thing to remember is that when it becomes public it should support the leader’s narrative.
Finally , given that privacy is no longer warranted or expected should you have any skeletons in the closet prepare their way out into the sunshine. A mistake accepted and told by the principal moves people to compassion and law enforcers to open-handedness. You will come out with scratches, but these are better than a full-fledged fall from paradise.
Published by LAHT.com on Monday, December 10th. 2018
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*