The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) published a draft report that contained a thorough breakdown of the upsides, downsides, and a future outlook of governmental relationships with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Titled, “The Internet of Things: Promises and Perils of a Disruptive Technology,” one of the report’s most redundant themes urged governments to become more proactive in defining the future of IoT.
“As IoT devices will appear all around us, optimists see a blissful utopia on the horizon that will solve many of humanity’s problems; pessimists see a dystopian future with less human and more government and machine control. Neither scenario is very likely at this point, but it is undeniable that the IoT will create technology winners and losers,” the report states. “It is therefore imperative to engage in sustained policy discussions on how to harness the promises and check the perils of the IoT.”
In addition to urging governmental entities to play a more defined role in the future shaping of the IoT, the report also covered military risks that could potentially be brought about by this growing wireless technology.
“Historically, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has played a fundamental role in the development of the sensor, computer networking and communications technology that are the foundation of today’s IoT,” the report cites. “Alas, military IoT adoption is still in its infancy. However, as the committee learned during its visit to Leonardo-Finmeccanica in September 2016, defense companies and the armed forces are eager to prepare, understand, and leverage the IoT. The US Defense Information Systems Agency, for example, argues that the IoT will result in an explosion of capabilities on our sensitive unclassified and classified networks.” The agency adds that, “From improved logistics tracking to optimized building security and environmental controls to health monitoring of individual soldiers, the Internet of Things will impact everything we do.”
The report came to several conclusions on IoT technology and the future role of government and military in its development, such as:
- The need to impose regulatory framework and policies for finding the right balance between reliability, security, and privacy;
- Provide incentives for companies that invest in IoT technology;
- Vigorous promotion of IoT technology based on pre-established standards;
- Large-scale IoT adoption made adequate through funding for IoT research and development;
- Government (namely military) reform on adaptations for emerging technologies;
- Governments making long term investments that help fully embrace IoT benefits;
- Redoubled efforts by governments on cybersecurity and other services pertaining to IoT technology.
The draft was discussed at the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly over this past weekend in Tbilisi, Georgia, and will be updated over the summer. A revised draft will also be presented for adoption during the assembly’s annual October session.
You can download the full draft of the report here.
Filed Under: Cybersecurity, M2M (machine to machine)