Matt Britt/Flickr

La estatua de la libertad virtual de Brasil

RIO DE JANEIRO – Parece la trama de una película de terror – del tipo en la que un fallo muy poco notorio en la matriz amenaza con causar caos mundial. En esta oportunidad, fue un paso en falso en la programación, un paso simple pero fatal que de pronto hizo que la información más privada de millones de consumidores se torne en vulnerable frente a los ataques de los hackers. Los titulares de noticias advertían a gritos sobre los peligros en línea que apenas podíamos entender, alertando, a su vez, a enjambres de piratas digitales sobre la posibilidad de acceder a recompensas, si aprovechaban de estas nuevas oportunidades delictivas. Las empresas de todo el mundo se apresuraron a garantizar su seguridad en línea.

La historia del agujero de seguridad denominado “Heartbleed” bug, sin embargo, es demasiado real. Apunta a una cruda realidad: en un sorprendentemente corto tiempo, nos hemos vuelto completamente dependientes de la red de Internet, una frontera que apenas empezamos a comprender, y ni que decir sobre empezar a mapearla y regularla. Muchos debates importantes – como los debates de la libertad frente a la seguridad, la privacidad frente a la piratería, y el impacto del ciberespacio en la democracia – están lejos de ser resueltos.

Sin embargo, los temores relacionados al Heartbleed y a amenazas similares, y el furor que rodea a las tácticas agresivas de vigilancia estadounidenses reveladas por el antiguo contratista de inteligencia Edward J. Snowden, ya han puesto a muchos países en una postura defensiva. En muchos lugares, se han obstaculizado los esfuerzos para proteger la libertad en Internet.

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