It is the year 2016. It has been a rough couple of years. Now a virulent computer virus, known as Wide Extraction of Information and Replacement of Data (WEIRD) has reached plague proportions. This virus extracts existing information from networks and hard drives and replaces it with WEIRD nonsense. Governments are calling on users to refrain from logging on to all networks in order to assist to reduce the spread of the disease, and monitoring and surveillance of all national and international networks have been stepped up.
What effects will an inability to use networks have? How many and what types of systems are affected by this? Do these systems have a geographic location? If they do, where are these systems? What technologies exist to deal with viruses and how do these technologies impact on users? What types of responses are likely towards an increase in surveillance? What ethical issues exist within this?
This scenario requires the development of a broad understanding of the issue of technological viral-disease, especially as it affects networking. The scenario deliberately raises potential infrastructure problems in order to explore the social implications that arise from dependence on information technology and to begin to develop their solutions or alternatives.
It is the year 2260. The solutions that were implemented following IDIOT and WEIRD involved giving even more control to machines in order to trace and control Hacking and Virus attacks. Increasingly solutions were developed by using the principles of Artificial Intelligence as applied to machines. Eventually this took the form of one great networked-machine responsible for integrating all other machines across the globe. This top level machine was called the Global Order Directory (GOD).
Now, over 200 years since IDIOT and WEIRD were overcome, GOD has increasingly taken control of all human activities. By 2260 GOD controlled all power and transport systems, industry supply and communications. No single person knows the whole GOD network and no person is able to repair the network without using a GOD controlled machine to do so. Most repair is carried out by GODs' robots. Bots (software robots) are used for most system changes and human beings now find themselves increasingly unable to make decisions, communicate, shift goods or travel themselves without the approval of GOD.
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