Global Peace Index and Hacking Tools

Goodbye Big Mac cost-of-living indicators, hello Peace Index:

The Economist Intelligence Unit measured countries’ peacefulness based on wide range of indicators – 24 in all – including ease of access to “weapons of minor destruction” (guns, small explosives), military expenditure, local corruption, and the level of respect for human rights.


The main findings of the Global Peace Index are:

— Peace is correlated to indicators such as income, schooling and the level of regional integration
— Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of government and low corruption
— Small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs are most likely to get a higher ranking

Lack of corruption? Education? Regional blocs? Ouch. It is like the index was created just to make countries like the US, Israel, Russia and Nigeria look bad.

The US comes in at 96th place, but I am certain someone will try and point out that the top 95 owe their spot to the bad-cop behavior of America. There is no proof of that, of course, any more than a bully in school creates peace in the yard. The underlying problem is one of defining fair governance and representation rather than right by might.

Hard to avoid noticing where Japan and Germany are on the list…near the top.

Speaking of governance and regulation, it appears Germany has just tried to ban “hacking tools”:

On Friday night the German Bundestag – the lower chamber of Germany’s federal parliament – passed without amendment a controversial government bill designed to facilitate criminal prosecution of computer crimes. Only the Left Party voted against it. At a hearing in March security experts and representatives of IT companies raised many objections all of which have been turned down.

It becomes an offence to create, sell, distribute or even aquire so called Hacker Tools that are built to conduct criminal acts like aquiring illegal access to protected data. It is feared by many that this might keep administrators and security experts from doing their job – i.e. from properly testing applications or networks to enhance security while on the other hand the blackhats don’t really care that their choosen tool has been made illegal now. Interestingly a similar clause in the Police and Justice Act amendments to the UK Computer Misuse Act has recently been suspended pending amendment for this very reason.

Another new offence is the unauthorized access of secured data by means that require the disabling or circumventing of security measures. This echoes the circumvention clause of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is still highly controversial after almost a decade and has been used in ways not anticipated by its creators to stifle legitimate security reaearch.

I’d like to get a copy of that bill…

One thought on “Global Peace Index and Hacking Tools”

  1. The conclusion are not exactly surprising, given how the index was made. Regional integration and being part of a stable bloc will help a country score well on the parameters for unstable relations with neighbouring countries (which is part of the index). It is easy to come up with conclusion that support the results of a composite indicator when you design it to tell you what you want. :-)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.