Case Analysis Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Analysis Report

Name:

Institution affiliation:

 

 

 

Introduction

Mary Kay Inc. is a privately owned corporation founded by Mary Kay Ash with a startup capital of only $5000. Her aim of starting this cosmetics company was to support her son Richard Rodgers and become an entrepreneur in the competitive market. Its headquarters are situated in the heart of Dallas, Texas and has had remarkable success for decades. The company is rated as one of biggest direct sellers of color cosmetics and skin care products in the world. As of 2009, the company recorded $2.5 billion direct sales of its product in the world market. The brand products from Mary Kay are sold in at least 35 markets on 5 continents. The top markets that are served by Mary Kay Inc. are: Russia, U.S., Mexico and China. The simplicity of Mary Kay’s principles remains a key concept in the company to date. The fact that she has put her priorities right has set her on the path of success since the commencement of the company. Her approach to matters pertaining to business, work ethics and success has assured her a position in winning some of the most prestigious awards. These include: America’s Most Influential Women, the National Business Hall of Fame and the Horatio Alger American Citizen Award. It is essential that some of these awards are mentioned to clearly ensure that the success of the company is acknowledged. Over the years, the company has expanded exceptionally and engages mostly in the manufacture, developing and packaging of makeup, skin care products, fragrance products for women and men, body and spa. The Mary Kay Inc. also offers extra-ordinary products such as cleansers, body and sun care products, anti-aging creams and eye and lip care products. The purpose of this case analysis report is to make a definitive case study based on Mary Kay Inc. and answer a variety of questions stipulated in the requirements.

Decision-Making Systematic Process: Decide

Define the Problem

The problem is the performance of hair care products in Mary Kay Inc. In the past, hair care products have not performed well in most countries. This is articulated to different reasons that have caused the reoccurrence of the underperformance of hair care products.

Emurate the Decision Factors

Segmentation and Targeting

As exemplified by CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard (2011), market segmentation is referred to as the process that involves dividing a whole market into different segments for customers. On the other hand, market targeting is referred to as the decision in which a company makes while trying to decide which potential clients it will focus on. It is only logical that market segmentation comes before market targeting because a company has to first point out to which segment they want to target with their products. The two marketing strategies work hand in hand and are essential in ensuring that the success of an organization or company is guaranteed. This is because segmentation involves the search of consumers’ needs and wants. These two aspects are crucial factors that Mary Kay India should evaluate in the decision making process of they want their hairline products to succeed in the competitive market.

In the case of Mary Kay India, the application of the marketing strategy based on segmentation and targeting is applicable in this case. The corporation should carry out a segmentation research to determine the needs and wants of the global people so that they can be in a better position of making models that are in alignment with the tastes and preferences of the global society. While using the targeting strategy, it is crucial that the hair care product line surveys the market and determine the best people to target for their different products. Their moves should be strategically placed in such a way that the segmentation and targeting work cohesively to improve the performance of the hair care products in the global market.

Consider Relevant Information

Suggested Opportunities for Improved Performance

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. As a consultant to Mary Kay India, SWOT analysis is a marketing strategy that is reliable and effective in improving the performance of the hair care product line in India. As seen by the underperformance in the global market, it is undoubtedly true that opposition is an irresistible and inevitable while dealing with different forces of the environment. The SWOT analysis is essential because it is a crucial tool in the identification process of the negative and positive aspects within a given organization. Having this in mind will aid in the strategic planning towards effective decision-making process all things considered. The record of accomplishment of SWOT analysis shows a remarkable efficiency and effectiveness for the organizations that have used it (Wang, Ng, Deb & SpringerLink, 2011).

In the case of underperformance in the global market, SWOT analysis can be an effective tool for improving the product. This is because SWOT analysis explores possibilities for solutions to various problems in an organization, refines and adjusts plans, determines the essential places where change is necessary and makes decisions based on the best path, which an initiative can take to be successful. SWOT analysis is designed in a way that it handles both the unusual and ordinary situations in any given organization. Mary Kay India would benefit a lot from the use of SWOT analysis to improve the performance on the sale of hair care products

The SWOT analysis will ensure that the positive forces in global market work together with the negative forces that needs to be focused into to avoid any inconveniences for the future. Before conducting a SWOT analysis, Mary Kay India should in the first place decide on how they want their analysis to look like. In this case, the adaptation of “Tows Matrix” would be handy. Here is a look at the table that the corporation could use in guidance for the SWOT analysis (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011).

The use of “Tows Matrix” will relay a survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and weaknesses of each specific hair care product. The corporation of Mary Kay in India should take the initiative of completing a table like “Tows Matrix” of each individual hair product they have in the global market. By the end of the exercise, they will have a clear result of what went wrong and caused the under performance of the hair care product line especially in India. The application of a SWOT analysis will definitely be of great use if the company is to improve its performance in the global market despite the failed attempts in the past Solomon, Duke & Nizan, 2009). SWOT analysis has been an effective strategic tool for most of the organizations that have implemented this model. Mary Kay India should take the initiative and use this model as it is a guaranteed for success if proper implementation is used.

This table can be a good strategy that Mary Kay India can use to identify the main areas that have affected the performance of their hair care products in the global market. When conducting a SWOT analysis, it is essential that the truth is indicated in the table so as to have accurate results.

It is a rare chance that the project manager comes from the department of production. This is because in most instances, they are picked from the marketing department. As the production manager, there are many people in the production group that present certain qualities that are essential in filling the position with project manager. However, a few key aspects need to be considered before choosing the best candidate for the job. A suitable candidate for this of project manager from the group of production should be organized, goal oriented, passionate, and have a comprehension of how projects correlate in an organization. The individual for the position of project manager should also possess people skills, be able to work under immense pressure, be comfortable in dynamic environments and have the flexibility techniques of toolkit (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011).

In the process of the project life cycle, the potential candidate for the position should be able to execute the five steps that are aligned in this cycle. The potential candidate should be able to initiate projects in a professional manner so that it meets the criteria of the set goals of the organization. The second step in the project life cycle that the potential project manager should execute is the proper project planning. This will eventually lead to the execution of a particular project. The development and implementation of various projects is an essential part that the potential candidate for the position of project manager should be able to handle.

The final step in the project life cycle that a potential candidate for the position of a project manager should execute is the project closure. This position will require an individual who has had at least an experience of two years in handling different projects that have been a success in the organization, Taking into consideration all the above qualities, it will be easier selecting a suitable candidate for the position of project manager. All these are concepts that Mary Kay India should consider implementing in the short and long run.

In some cases, the underperformance of products has been thanks to the employee training. New employee orientation is perhaps one of the most sophisticated and neglected areas when it comes to training. This aspect is used in the integration of new employees into an organization with the vision of ensuring that they feel acquainted to the organization and be a contribution to team work. Employee on boarding is a process of getting new employees oriented within an organization and ensuring that the first impression made is captivating to the first timers within the organization. It is undoubtedly true that on boarding of most employees has been disregarded in many institutions (Solomon, Duke &Nizan,2009).

 

Identify the Best Alternative

The best alternative in this case can be the implementation of the porter’s five forces for the hair care product line. Porter’s five Forces are referred to as an analytical framework that is used as a business strategy for the purpose of development and industry analysis. There are five forces in this framework and they determine the attractiveness and competitive intensity of a market. It is a simple and a powerful tool that is used for the comprehension purposes in a business situation. This framework is essential as it helps one realize the current and potential position of competition (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011). This model ensures that a corporation can take advantage after identifying the point of strength and make the necessary improvements in weaknesses. This planning tool kit that is essential for organizations that have the urge of making it in the competitive business environment.

 

 

 

The Porter’s five forces are as shown in the diagram below.

The model is a good strategy that the Mary Kay India can use to win back the market in the global market against competitors. The threat of new entrants is one of the reasons that contributed to the underperformance of Mary Kay’s hair care product in the global market. The hair care product line of Mary Kay India should be keen when it comes to this force as it determines the profitability that a firm can make in the short and long run. It is essential that the threats of new entrants are pointed out and necessary arrangements made to ensure that customer loyalty is maintained. The four generic strategies that Mary Kay India should focus on include low cost focus, differentiation focus, differentiation strategy and cost leadership strategy.

The threat of substitute products is another crucial point that Mary Kay India should focus on if they want to perform better in the global market especially in India. It is a fact that there is a wide variety of hair care products in the competitive global market. . Customers have a wide range of alternatives to choose from due to the unlimited product boundaries. Mary Kay India should be keen on evaluating why their products have been substituted with others. In most cases, substitution occurs due to the products’ prices, differentiation, and a wide variety from competitors, quality depreciation and substandard products. It is up to Mary Kay India to identify the weak areas of their products and use it to make stronger products that will ensure customer loyalty (CIRP Design Conference & Bernard, 2011).

As illustrated by Cooper & Edgett(2009), bargaining power of customers is another force that has affected American Suzuki. This can be described as the ability that enhances customers to put a particular firm under pressure. The corporation needs to make drastic measures that will ensure effectiveness in buyer power. The implementation of a loyalty program will also be of use to providing opportunities for improved performance for the hair care products. The market of inputs is referred to as bargaining power of suppliers. The corporation should work with suppliers that have the best interest at heart for Mary Kay India. The corporation should be in a position of figuring out the suppliers that will take the hair care product to a higher level.

The intensity of competitive rivalry is part of the five forces by Porter. It is a generic strategy that Mary Kay India should consider using to their advantage if they want to recapture the global market. In the case of the hair care products, using this force is essential to determine the intensity of competitiveness in the beauty industry. The corporation should be in a position of ensuring that it identifies the competitive rivalry that made Mary Kay India irrelevant in the competitive market. On realization of this factor, innovation, advertising and transparency are some of the factors the corporation should consider in their plans for the global Market.

Develop a Plan for Implementing the Chosen Alternative

The implementation strategy of the Mary Kay India Company by implementing the five-year plan will be beneficial to the products of this company. This is in the aspect of the development of the products stipulated within five years (CIRP Design Conference & Bernard, 2011). The main product objectivity that is most certainly suitable for the five-year plan is customer royalty. Mary Kay India Company should be in a position to cater for their customers’ needs over the five years and ensure that their products maintain high quality. Most products in the market gain fame for a short period and after a few years are forgotten. This is due to poor managerial skills and misplaced product objectives (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).

It is essential for the company to ensure that their products are in alignment with the five-year plan of the company. This is in terms of marketing budget, pricing strategy and market segmentation. The products need to compliment the five year plan of the company in such a way that their value and worth increases over time. Products often have a life cycle, which they have to pass through over time. Each stage of a product has a specific work that it needs to perform to cohesively fulfill product objectives (Rainey, 2008).

Mary Kay India Company should consider entering their products into a life cycle over the five-year plan. This will ensure that their products develop in accordance with the new technological advances and designs. Every stage of a product life cycle has different objectives and strategies in place. Mary Kay India Company should consider widening their marketing strategies to fulfill product objectivity. If the company adheres to the five-year plan put in place then the product objectives will fall in place automatically.

Current performance appraisal is essential to all organizations in order to enhance and keep the performance of employees on track. Performance appraisal is a process that the management of an organization carries out to determine the performance of their employees in the workplace. It is essential to evaluate employees occasionally to determine whether the aims and goals of an organization are been met by the work performance of the employees (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).

An organization that does not carry out performance appraisal most of the times ends up with employee dispute. This is because the employees need to be accessed on a regular basis to increase the job performance. A successful organization requires that employees are evaluated to ascertain as whether the main objectives of the organization are met.

The performance of the employees is what will determine whether they have a future with the organization. The value of their work is also scrutinized, keeping in mind their capabilities. Current performance appraisal process determines the future of an organization to a vast extent. Performance appraisal process should be done regularly to avoid any mishaps that may collide with the main objectives and purpose of an organization.

Communication is a key tool in ensuring that an organization’s operations run smoothly. It is essential for an organization to facilitate how they communicate with their employees. This is mostly achieved through performance appraisal, which should be carried out on a routine basis. With an open communication between the employer and employees, an organization’s objectives and aims are usually met. Performance appraisal has been said to promote trust between employers and employees. This will ensure that both employers and employees have a common vision in uplifting the organization to a higher level.

Many employees require motivation to deliver quality work. Performance appraisal process is a motivational tool that will ensure employees are always working hard and smart to secure their jobs. This will also ensure that the organization detects which employees require more training to maximize their potential than others. It is proof that current performance appraisal process is effective in any given organization to deliver maximum output from employees (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).

Problems facing current performance appraisal process

Managers dread having to evaluate the job performance of their employees. This is because conducting a job evaluation has its own set of challenges. As much as the performance appraisal process has been effective in organizations, there are also problems that are faced due to this process. In performance appraisal process, there is the problem of past track record. Employees are met with the challenge that when they are evaluated, their past is always criticized with the present performance. No matter how much work the employee puts into his present improvement, his past will always be an issue. This will in turn which hinder the employee from achieving greater things in an organization.

As employees go through the process of performance appraisal process, it is hard not to criticize the work they are doing. In most instances, criticism may seem negative and biased towards employees’ work. This demoralizes the employees who feel that they have put their best in the work they do in uplifting the standards of the organization. The fact that the process is kept secret is also a great challenge among the employees. This is because the manager may be biased when conducting the job performance and no one would be able to know (Solomon, Duke, & Nizan, 2009).

In most cases, the current performance appraisal is assessed on an individual’s performance, not taking into consideration that most of the time people work as a team. An individual is scrutinized based on his/ her character traits and contribution to an organization. This may not be fair to an individual because in most cases, people work as a group, team or a department.

It is unfortunate that most of the managers that conduct this process are not qualified to access the performance appraisal of their employees. They are just appointed to scrutinize the work by their employees because that is their work. They do not have expertise on the performance appraisal process and therefore, cannot provide credible and reliable results. This process has been said to lower the working morale in an organization. This is because most of the employees are either scared of losing their jobs or having reports say that their work is not fulfilling (Wang, Ng, Deb &SpringerLink, 2011).

Solving problems facing performance appraisal process

As seen above, performance appraisal can present various problems to an organization. However, the good news is that there is a solution to every problem. Among ways that problems faced in performance appraisal can be resolved, is by ensuring that constant communication with the employees is made. It is the work of the management of any given organization to ensure that consistent communication. This will ensure that in case of a performance appraisal process, the employees will be aware of what is expected from them (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).

It is essential that once the performance appraisal process is concluded, the results are discussed between the manager and employee. Positive criticism should be upheld in this case, giving employees a chance to air their views. It is also vital to take the managers for training on how to conduct the performance appraisal process to avoid the problems that may be as a result of incompetence in job evaluation process.

Evaluate the Decision and the Decision Process

A marketing plan is referred to as a guideline that aids a business or organization in establishing the methods of interaction between the potential customers and given products. It is used as a directory to evaluate the needs and wants of potential clients. This is a good remedy in the decision process to aid Mary Kay India perform better than the previous years. Situational analysis is a method that the management of a company uses to examine the capability of the environment towards its customers. It is used to analyze the needs and wants of potential customers. This process goes hand in hand with a marketing plan and is a very effective method that is used to create a stable relationship with customers. In a situation analysis, methods like porter five forces, SWOT and 5Cs analysis are used to critically examine the business environment (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).

Currently, there is a lot of competition from other entities in the market. It is essential to conduct a survey to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the product. By carrying out these investigations, it is easier to access the position of the hair care products by Mary Kay India. The situational analysis clearly defines both the micro and macro environment that may affect the development of this product. Competitor companies should be critically analyzed to investigate why customers would prefer their products to Mary Kay India. .

It is essential that the marketing team come up with a marketing research and strategy to enhance the growth of their company. There are different strategies that are most suitable for enforcement in ensuring a good marketing plan. The positioning / comparison research is a marketing strategy that is used to compare different products of the competitors that may be similar. It is vital to use this marketing tool to establish the weaknesses and strengths of the competitor product, to improve the product.

As opined by Rainey(2008), brand name survey is another marketing strategy that is of essence in a marketing plan. This entails research on products that are marketable due to their brand name. It is a sure way of establishing whether the brand name of a product aids it more on the sales and popularity among customers. This is considered an effective technique that marketers in the corporation can use to evaluate whether the hair care products have a suitable brand name for their products.

Customer satisfaction research is a survey carried out to determine whether the customers are happy and satisfied with the services they receive from the given product. Test marketing is another strategy that can be used to evaluate the micro and macro environment. The vision of the team of girls is to expand their business across all campuses in the country. The corporation should be able to carry out a test analysis to get feedback from the global market based on the performance of the hair care products (Rainey, 2008).

The most crucial part when establishing a marketing plan is the customer satisfaction. Customers are kings of any given company or business, and their satisfaction is of the utmost importance for success. A questionnaire is one of the methods that can be used to acknowledge customer satisfaction. By customers filling a questionnaire, they are able to relay their views and opinions. They are also able to view the areas where they are not satisfied and the improvements that would ensure their loyalty. Aggressive advertising is also a strategy that can be enforced to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Advertising and marketing of a product ensures that people are aware of the existence of the product.

Customer loyalty is essential in any given marketing plan. It is evident that customers determine the success or failure of any given company or business venture. It is therefore important to take into consideration the fact that customer loyalty should be looked into keenly. Offering discounts, coupons and special offers are some of the strategies that can be used to ensure customer loyalty. Promotions and free samples are also a strategy that can be used to ensure that customers are satisfied with the product (Gordon, 2010).

The market segments that the company will market to are especially women because these hair products are meant for them. They are the most suitable people to target because they can relate to some of the suitable variables that should be used in these segmentations are advertisement, promotions, gift vouchers and competition. Buying decision process deals with consumers’ decisions that are made after the purchase of a product. It is essential to critically follow buyer decision process for positive results regarding the products. The appropriate positioning for the product is ensuring that it is recognized throughout colleges, prominently displayed, setting up a website for the product and using advertising tools to let the world know of its existence.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the case study has discussed Mary Kay India in both an effective and efficient manner. As seen in the contents of the case report, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the hair care product line thrives in the competitive market. The recommendations and solutions stipulated in the discussion should be taken seriously to ensure that the hair care products do much better than the previous years. The organization should monitor the progress of their employees on a regular basis. It should not only be during performance appraisal that the employee’s work is scrutinized. The management should provide incentives for employees to use anytime to ensure maximum output. The employees should be entitled to trainings sessions, seminars and conferences to improve their job performance and keep up with the competitive market


 

References

CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, A. (2011). Global product development: Proceedings of the 20th CIRP Design Conference, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France, 19th-21st April 2010. Berlin: Springer.

Cooper, R. G., & Edgett, S. J. (2009). Product innovation and technology strategy. Ancaster, Ont.?: Product Development Institute.

Rainey, D. L. (2008). Product innovation: Leading change through integrated product development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Solomon, M. R., Duke, C. L., & Nizan, A. (2009). Launch! advertising and promotion in real time. Irvington, N.Y.: Flatworld Knowledge.

Wang, L., Ng, A. H. C., Deb, K., & SpringerLink (Online service). (2011). Multi-objective evolutionary optimisation for product design and manufacturing. London: Springer

 

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writing assignment

Student
Professor
Course
Institution
Date

In many areas around the world land is being lost due to increased levels of construction and development which reduces the amount of land that is available to be kept in an untouched condition. This paper has therefore been written to provide an opinion on the problems of land development and increased levels of construction, especially in vulnerable locations around the world while providing an example of how over development can have an adverse effect on the environment.
Land will always be developed by people if they think they can make money, either from building houses and selling them for a profit, or by developing industrial sites which can be used to generate income for a country’s economy. A balance must be ensured between the development of land for housing as well as for industry, while keeping as much land as possible in its natural condition in order to maintain the ecology of the environment. Land which is maintained in its natural condition provides a natural habitat for animals, plants and birds, while it also provides an area which is available to the population for their subsistence or entertainment needs.
This balance must be made in order to prevent excessive destruction of vulnerable places and a good example of this is Male which is the capital of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. The entire island has been developed so that there is now no freely available land left on the island. This example has repercussions for other islands with limited space and which are suffering from over development and excessive construction. McKee & Tisdell note that reducing the amount of naturally available land “means that the local poor may no longer have access to such land for enjoyment and for food gathering” (McKee & Tisdell, 1990, p. 54) which has serious implications because they “may be deprived of a part of their means of subsistence” (McKee & Tisdell, 1990, p. 54) and therefore survival.
References
McKee, D. L., & Tisdell, C. (1990). Developmental Issues in Small Island Economies. New
York: Praeger.

Film Title: The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas

Principle Stars: The main star is Bruno. Other stars are as Ralf, who is Bruno’s dad, Elsa who is Ralf’s wife, Shmuel who is a Jewish boy, Gretel who is Bruno’s sister, Liszt who is a teacher, and Pavel, a servant in Ralf’s family, among other minor stars.

Director and year: Mark Herman, 2008

Genre: historical drama

Plot character development, main character: Bruno is the main character. He forms friendship with Shmuel, a Jewish age mate who is in the camp. Bruno is innocent and does not understand what is happening. He mistakes the stripped uniform for pajamas, hence the title of the film. Their friendship grows and Bruno gets an insight of the horrendous treatment of Jews. In an ironic twist of events, both Bruno and Shmuel die by gassing.

Protagonist: Bruno

Antagonist: Bruno’s dada

Motifs: The dominant idea is the innocence of the protagonist in the midst of holocaust.

Patterns: The character and theme pattern are consistent throughout the film. Bruno starts as a curious and innocent boy oblivious of what is transpiring around him. He is flawless, or as flawed as a boy of his age is. His death represents a tragic end to an innocent life.

Overall theme: The implicit meaning is that holocaust was destructive to Jewish and Germans. The death of Bruno with his friend Shmuel show how horrendous holocaust was.

Sound: The music effect captures different moods. The dialogue between characters enables the audience to understand them better. Intensity varies according to situations.

Cinematography: Cinematography captures the mood of the film. The movie is filmed on location. Costumes mimic the historical context and period. Elsa, for instance dresses up like a typical woman in the particular period. The solders too have the appropriate costumes. What appears to diminish the movie is the clear crisp British accent as it bellies the setting in Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Heyman, D. (Producer). (2008). The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis of NASA FTP Hack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis of NASA FTP Hack

Student’s Full Name

Name of University

 

 

Abstract

The 2011 hacking of NASA’s FTP server represented an avoidable breach of the organization’s security and privacy. It was carried out by Romanian hacker Razvan Cernaianu, who could have been motivated by a desire for entertainment, hunger for fame, or a desire to become a paid, ethical hacker. In order to prevent future incidents of this nature, NASA could employ a range of different measures aimed at boosting its security, including improving its DMZ, re-routing port numbers and installing effective NIDS and PIDS to detect intrusions.

 

 

Analysis of NASA FTP Hack

Cybercriminal Incident

In April and May of 2011, NASA’s Goddard Flight Center was hacked and screenshots displaying classified information from it were posted on an online blog. The perpetrator gained unauthorized access to the centre’s FTP server and transferred data from it without authorization. He alerted NASA shortly after the attack had taken place (Hoffman, 2011). An FTP server is the system that is used to send files between computers (Goyal & Redhu, Hacking via Password Cracking, 2014). By accessing this information, the hacker could potentially have monitored all files uploaded onto this server. It would also be possible to upload malicious files onto the server in order to cause damage to it or remotely control the server without permission (Goyal & Redhu, Hacking on FTP Server: A Review, 2014).

            There are a number of different ways in which access could have been gained to the FTP server. A technique known as ‘brute force’ could also have been used. This involves creating programs for cycling through combinations of letters, numbers and symbols until the password for an FTP server is cracked (Goyal & Redhu, Hacking via Password Cracking, 2014). However, the precise details of how he manipulated his intrusion against the TCP/IP port 21 are not known, as he has not publically disclosed his method for hacking the server (Smith, 2011).

Threat Actors Responsible

The threat actor responsible was a Romanian hacker by the name of Razvan Cernaianu, who used the username ‘TinKode’ (Info Security, 2012). He had a history of similar offences, having hacked a European Space Agency server a month previously and leaked sensitive information from it onto the Internet (Smith, 2011) and having hacked the British Royal Navy, the Pentagon and a variety of other United States government agencies. He is a twenty-year-old information technology university student from the Romanian city of Timisoara (Liebowitz, 2012).

Motivation of Threat Actors

There are numerous different reasons why Cernaianu might have perpetrated the FTP hack. He claimed that he was motivated by the fact that NASA was not disposing of secret data properly and wished to expose this fact (Smith, 2011). If this is true, then it means that the descriptive label of ‘hacktivist’ can be used to describe him. Protesting against inadequate disposal of sensitive data by NASA falls within this category.

            However, TinKode has also stated that hacking is a hobby for him (Smith, 2011). This indicates that his motivation might have been entertainment. The notion that entertainment is a source of motivation for hackers has been put forward by numerous different experts in the field (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2005; Chan & Yao, 2005; Donovan & Catz, 2009). Awan (2014) has described it as being amongst the most common motivations for this form of crime. Therefore, it is possible that this was his sole motivation, although it is notable that he might have used this excuse as a cover for his true intentions.

            Technology consultant Graham Cluley has stated that it is likely that bragging rights were the motivation for the attack (Moscaritolo, 2012). Fame has been identified as a common motivation for hacking (Ciampa, 2012), meaning that this is another likely possibility. It is especially probable, given the fact that TinKode boasted about his crimes on his blog after committing them (Constantin, 2012).

            It is notable that Tinkode acted as a grey hat hacker but claimed that he wished to become a white hat hacker, paid by NASA to expose vulnerabilities (Smith, 2011). Therefore, his motivation might have also been financial. He may have wished to make a career as an ethical hacker and demonstrated his skills by hacking the NASA website.

Defensive Actions and Motivations

There are a number of different motivations for defending NASA from cyber attacks of this nature. Firstly, the most obvious reason is to protect the server from being damaged or having the privacy of the information that is held within it compromised. It contained secret information that was not supposed to be viewed by unauthorized parties (Smith, 2011).

            Secondly, NASA also pays over one and a half billion dollars per year for cyber-security (Martin, 2012). This means that it is within the interests of the security companies that it pays to prevent its server from being hacked to successfully protect it. If these companies fail to do this then their earnings could be at stake.

            NASA is also mandated to prevent unauthorized access to its technologies by United States export control regulations (Government Accountability Office, 2014). It could be argued that by failing to protect its FTP server, it failed to uphold this regulation. Therefore, defensive action on the part of NASA is motivated by a desire not to fall foul of national rules governing protection of technology.

            The police are motivated to prevent attacks of this nature, as hacking is illegal under federal statute 18 U.S.C. 1030, which states that conduct that is aimed at victimizing computer systems is strictly prohibited, including computer trespassing, which is another word for hacking (Doyle, 2010). Cyber crime is estimated to cost the U.S. one hundred billion dollars per year (Gorman, 2013), meaning that there is significant motivation for law enforcement authorities to clamp down on it.

Cybercrime also has a major economic cost in other countries across the world, with a study of twenty-four different nations revealing that it costs them an average of one hundred and ten billion U.S. dollars each per annum (Finklea & Theohary, 2013). It is generally agreed that international collaboration is the key to stopping this type of crime, on account of the global scope of the offences that are committed (Li, 2007). Therefore, the Romanian police force would also benefit from preventing Romanian nationals from carrying out further offences of this nature against the U.S., as demonstrating that are were willing to work alongside the U.S. authorities with regards to this issue would guarantee the cooperation of the U.S. if American cybercriminals compromised Romanian FTP servers.

Malicious Cyber Prevention Techniques

There are numerous different techniques that could be utilized in order to prevent further offences of this nature from being carried out. NASA could ensure that the passwords that it uses for its FTP server contain a large amount of characters and a combination of capital and lower-case letters and special characters, as this makes it harder for the server to be infiltrated by using a brute force attack (Dave, 2013). An ‘ethical hacker’ could be hired in order to test system vulnerabilities so that they can be fixed. This is somebody who hacks for testing purposes and has no background as a criminal hacker (Alisherov & Bhattacharyya, 2009). Technology consultant Graham Cluley (Cluley, 2012) has stated that the server could have avoided being hacked if it was properly secured, meaning that it could have benefitted from being tested in this manner so that security issues could have been identified and rectified. NASA could also improve its DMZs by setting up additional layers of defense on top of those that already exist (Singh, 2001), reroute port numbers (Chen & Wang, 2012), and make use of NIDS and PIDS to detect intrusions (Eloff, Oliver, & Venter, 2004; Hatamikhah & Laali, 2012).

Management and Policy Protection Controls

NASA could implement a policy of not employing individuals to test the vulnerabilities of the system who have previously been involved in cybercrime, as doing so would expose sensitive information to criminals. The organization could ensure that the hackers who are paid to test the system have participated in an ethical hacking course, such as the Certified Ethical Hacker course, in order to ensure that they are both competent and aware of their ethical duties (Alisherov & Bhattacharyya, 2009). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (2014) has suggested bringing in a national strategy aimed at improving the safety of sensitive Internet transactions. This would help to prevent organizations such as NASA from succumbing from future FTP server hacks.

           

References

 

Alisherov, F., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2009). Penetration Testing for Hire. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology , 8, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.sersc.org/journals/IJAST/vol8/1.pdf

Australian Institute of Criminology. (2005). Hacking Motives. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from Australian Institute of Criminology: http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/1/B/A/%7B1BA0F612-613A-494D-B6C5-06938FE8BB53%7Dhtcb006.pdf

Awan, I. (2014). Debating the Term Cyber-Terrorism: Issues and Problems. Internet Journal of Criminology , 1-14.

Chan, S., & Yao, L. (2005). An Empirical Investigation Of Hacking Behavior. The Review of Business Information Systems , 9 (4), 41-58.

Chen, Y., & Wang, S. (2012). A Software of Intrusion Detection Mechanism for Virtual Platforms. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology , 6, 1020-1026.

Ciampa, M. (2012). Security + Guide to Network Security Fundamentals. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Cluley, G. (2012, October 5). TinKode sentenced after hacking Oracle, NASA and others to expose weak security. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from Naked Security: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10/05/tinkode-hacking-sentence/

Constantin, L. (2012, October 5). NASA, Pentagon hacker TinKode gets two-year suspended sentence. Computer World . Retrieved from http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9232113/NASA_Pentagon_hacker_TinKode_gets_two_year_suspended_sentence

Dave, K. (2013). Brute-force Attack “Seeking but Distressing”. International Journal of Innovations in Engineering and Technology , 2 (3), 75-78. Retrieved from http://ijiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/12.pdf

Donovan, G., & Catz, C. (2009). Cookie Monsters: Seeing Young People’s Hacking as Creative Practice. Children, Youth and Environments , 19 (1), 197-222. Retrieved from http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/19_1/19_1_10_CookieMonsters.pdf

Doyle, C. (2010, December 27). Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from Federation of American Scientists: http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-1025.pdf

Eloff, J., Oliver, M., & Venter, H. (2004). PIDS: a privacy intrusion detection system. Internet Research , 14 (5), 360-365.

Ezekiel, A. (2013). Hackers, Spies and Stolen Secrets. Harvard Journal of Law & Technology , 26 (2), 649-668. Retrieved from http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v26/26HarvJLTech649.pdf

Finklea, K., & Theohary, C. (2013, January 9). Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from Federation of American Scientists: http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42547.pdf

Gorman, S. (2013). Annual U.S. Cybercrime Costs Estimated at $100 Billion. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324328904578621880966242990

Government Accountability Office. (2014, June 20). NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-690T

Goyal, D., & Redhu, P. (2014). Hacking on FTP Server: A Review. International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies , 5 (28), 406-416. Retrieved from http://www.ijirs.com/vol3_issue-5/28.pdf

Goyal, D., & Redhu, P. (2014). Hacking via Password Cracking. International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing , 3 (6), 830-836. Retrieved from http://ijcsmc.com/docs/papers/June2014/V3I6201499a65.pdf

Hatamikhah, S., & Laali, M. (2012). Reducing False Positives in Anomaly-Based NIDS. In V. Lysenko (Ed.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Information Warfare and Security (pp. 358-367). Seattle, WA: Academic Publishing International.

Hoffman, S. (2011, May 18). Romanian Hacker TinKode Breaks Into NASA FTP Server. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from CRN: http://www.crn.com/news/security/229502475/romanian-hacker-tinkode-breaks-into-nasa-ftp-server.htm

Info Security. (2011, January 11). Hackers sell access to military and government websites. Info Security. Retrieved from http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/15365/hackers-sell-access-to-military-and-government-websites/

Info Security. (2012, February 1). Romanian authorities arrest suspected TinKode hacker. Info Security. Retrieved from http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/23620/romanian-authorities-arrest-suspected-tinkode-hacker/

Li, X. (2007). International Actions against Cybercrime: Networking Legal Systems in the Networked Crime Scene. Webology , 4 (3). http://www.webology.org/2007/v4n3/a45.html

Liebowitz, M. (2012, February 1). ‘TinKode Suspect Arrested for NASA, DoD Cyberattacks. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/46221921/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/tinkode-suspect-arrested-nasa-dod-cyberattacks/#.U8FvaE1OXIX

Martin, P. (2012, February 29). NASA Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Agency’s Information Security. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from NASA Office of Inspector General: http://oig.nasa.gov/congressional/FINAL_written_statement_for_%20IT_%20hearing _February_26_edit_v2.pdf

Moscaritolo, A. (2012, February 1). NASA, Pentagon Hacker TinKode Arrested in Romania. PC Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399698,00.asp

National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2014, February 14). Ensuring a Secure and Robust Cyber Infrastructure (+$43.4 million). Retrieved July 12, 2014, from National Institute of Standards and Technology: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/cybersecurity2012.cfm

Shinder, D., & Tittel, E. (2002). Scene of the Cybercrime: Computer Forensic Handbook. Rockland, MA: Syngress Publishing.

Singh, K. (2001). IT Infrastructure Security-Step by Step. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from SANS Institute: http://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/basics/infrastructure-security-step-step-430

Smith. (2011, May 17). TinKode Hacked NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2229275/microsoft-subnet/tinkode-hacked-nasa-s-goddard-space-flight-center.html

 

 

 

COSTS AND BENEFITS OF COUNTERTERRORISM RELATIVE TO THE THREAT OF TERRORISM IN AUSTRALIA

 

 

COSTS AND BENEFITS OF COUNTERTERRORISM RELATIVE TO THE THREAT OF TERRORISM IN AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Terror attacks are never isolated cases of insecurity to a country but have currently been witnessed in many countries all over the world. With many threats of terrorism, the international affairs become exposed to jeopardy since key trading partners keep distance from such countries. Poor international relations due to territory are economic impediment to the country, and this must not go uncorrected. Therefore, corrective measure to curb incidences of terrorism has both costs and consequences to the country and to the regional front where the country hails. This leads to the costs and benefits of applying counterterrorism techniques in the country. Principally, this research entails various significance of applying counterterrorism techniques in Australia and how it impacts on the country’s international relations. Australia comes from the APEC region, and its interaction with this confederation determines its success in international relations. In this context, any action made must highlights impacts it generates in the international relations with regards to the major trading federations like the APEC (Lynch, Macdonald, & Williams, 2007). Therefore, antiterrorism measures applied by the Republic of Australia have benefits and costs in almost equal measures. The consequences have direct impacts in the social, political and economic conditions of the country. State of the country is thus instituted on the strength of a country’s economic, political conditions, and social factors amid international relations. Today, most countries risk economic isolation due to constant insecurity emanating from terror act. For example, the Middle East countries, among African counterparts have been terror hubs thereby subjecting them to poor international relations. Efforts of culminating terrorists have had costs and benefits, some of which have led to economic decline of the entire country. Indeed terrorism is an impediment to social and economic integration within the country. With special attention to Australia, subjective policies and military interventions in fighting terrorism have led to immense consequences in the social and economic conditions of the country. Various theoretical lenses are used in justifying these consequences to this country. In this regard, particular attention shall be paid to theoretical constructs supported by empirical research based on the impacts of terrorism in the country.

Costs of counterterrorism acts in Australia

Costs of terrorism to the Republic of Australia are immense and vary from national to international concerns. The impacts are far raging to economics of the country, and require actions that capture both national and international interest. The first cost associated with counterterrorism mechanism is the immediate undermining of international trade. According to the theory of trade and investments, peace and security are avenues to meaningful trade and investments, and absence of security leads to poor trade in the country. In this context, the theory of trade and investments highlights the importance of peace and security to the country’s economic growth. On the other hand, trade is the key pillar to economic progress and stability. In economic sense, trade enhances balance of payment, which is a significant platform in supporting the economy of the country. Therefore, absence of peace ruins international relations that a country enjoys in trade and other exercises. Lack of international trade reduces imports to a county, and this ruins it national GDP and NNP (Klein, Mossop, & Rothwell, 2010). Such situations are lethal to progress and hinder potential trade from taking place. Empirical evidence that supports the impacts of bilateral trade amid the application of counterterrorism measures in 1968 to 1979 to over 200 countries revealed that the terrorist incidence decreased bilateral trade between these economies by 6%. Based on this survey, it is imperative to note that in just ten years bilateral trade in the affected countries with their trading partners had reduced by 6%. This condition is hazardous to the country; especially that it inhibits both economic growth of a country on the international front.

Terror attacks and counteractive efforts lead to deplorable international trade, as a result, of the shutdown of major airports and ports in the entire Australia. Ports and airports are major trade terminals that the Republic of Australia relies upon for her international exchange, and any incidence that undermines these terminals puts the country at risk of development isolation. The risk of having this terminals shutdown is immense, especially in the international affairs. For example, the close of ports and airports leads to low turnout in a number of foreigners visiting the country, and this leads to an economic meltdown to a country. According to the dependency theory, a terror hub slowly turns from first-world status to a developing category (Jackson, 2005). Therefore, costs associated with terrorism leads to the manifestation of dependency theory since a country can hardly support its population, which comes, as a result, of the balance of trade. Lack of formidable international trade is an avenue to poor balance of trade and investment. This is one of the long-term problems, especially within the application of antiterrorist techniques without considering its consequences. Validation of the cost of airports and ports shutdown is exhibited in two weeks lockout at the 29 US West Coast ports in 2002, which delayed the unloading at the port of up to 200 ships that carried 300,000 containers. The loss occasioned to this delay was immense to the US GDP, being estimated at 0.4%. This effects was not only felt in the US, but included other Asian countries which were involved in the delay. Based on empirical research, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore encountered a loss of 1.1% on the total GDP. This was a significant loss in just one month of delay. Therefore, a prolonged delay in these two terminals can have more effects on international trade to many countries that both directly and indirectly trade with the affected country. Australia economy is based on international trade. Thus international relations are key factor towards the development, lest dependency theory sets in. This is true considering that the US West Ports delay resulted to a significant decline in the nominal GDP of the affected countries.

Escalating threats of terrorism raises the cost of doing trade, and this leads to poor economic performance of the country. In this first case, increased costs of trade come about due to increased insurance cost for cargoes and passengers. The fear for terror threat leads to high-insurance costs and this amount to high expenses on international trade. With the high cost of international trade, most people will consider diverting to other routes since looming attacks risk ruining their business fortunes (Owens, & Pelizzo, 2012). This incidence is very costly to a country that depends on international trade for absolute economic sustainability. Risks of terrorism create an incentive to have higher levels of inventory, and this haphazardly reduces the benefits of Just-in-time manufacturing processes, which undermines supply chain management. In addition, security threats lead to vulnerability in the supply chain. APEC economies, in which Australia is a member state, depending on international information technology and automobile chains distribution get so vulnerable due to the poor state in supply chain. Research states that if the US must carry a 10% rise in inventories and pays 20% more for the sake of commercial insurance premiums due to increased terrorism menace; this will translate to 0.1-% and 0.3% of GDP per year. This estimated loss leads to US$7.5 billion, and US$30 billion per year respectively. Australia, being among the developing APEC economies, has integrated production chains which would face relatively higher costs due to the fact that trade holds significant position in her GDP internationally. Mush loss will result due to terror threats emanating from her borders, and this will have great impacts on the country’s nominal GDP.

Other than costs discussed above, threat of terrorism reduces investment and economic growth of the country. The terrorism specter of future terrorist acts generates uncertainty, which magnifies perceived risk in the investment and commerce into a country. The first effect that is associated with such fear is the increased costs through several channels, which dampens economic activity (Husband, & Alam, 2011). The escalating risk perceptions undermine the confidence of investors, thus reducing their willingness in committing to new projects. This fact is accelerated due to increased premium rates, which increases the rates of returns on investments. All these conditions reduce the equity prices and lead to biasing investment decisions. All these effects impact cumulatively on the country’s economy thus reducing investment and retarded economic growth. Australia economy responds negatively to the higher risk premiums since it has substantial external financing requirements, which pays more for capital thereby lowering investment and output growth. Reduced level of investment to a country leads to the manifestation of ethnic conflict theory, where regional quotas within the APEC region engage in frequent feuds over terrorism menace. This theory explains why most countries have had sluggish economic growth. These are some costs associated with terrorism.

Benefits of Counter-terrorism

Counter-terrorism measures have various benefits to the Republic of Australia, and the APEC federation in entirety. The measures applied in culminating effects of terrorism in the country have led to a progressive economic development in Australia as well as the region. This fact is attributed to the growth and developments that have steadily been witnessed in the country. The first benefits attribute to the investment opportunity against future attacks. With viable counterterrorism techniques applicable in the country, the investment prospects are fully assured (Gopal, & Rumley, 2007). In this context, application of new counter-terrorism measures lay viable portfolio of a one-time investment in new infrastructure, and this may sometimes lead to short-to-medium term increases in costs of doing business internationally. Good background of investment in the country is a factor of many considerations, including security measures. Therefore, contingents of security initiatives are best made and implemented through such short-to-medium development platforms. In this context, investments come in the form of security initiatives, which generate economic development and prosperity in the country. An empirical study on the US security measures taken with regards to the 11th September attack cost, which rose from 1 to 3% of the North American trade flows. This increment was an equivalent to a rise in the traders’ annual costs from between US$5.6 and US$15.8 billion. This measure was rated as a top achieving project in the security sector. However, if such a measure would have been applied in totaling 2001 world merchandise trade, the extra cost would be between US$60 billion and US180 billion. The significant rise in the example below is attributed to the extra investment undertaken in the security field. This rise in security investment, with the aim of countering terrorism, is believed to as the cause of such a huge investment. Other than this study, another research indicates that world welfare would be on the verge of decline by an estimated amount of US$75 billion annually for a corresponding annual 1-% increase in the costs of trade. The two illustrations are supportive of the fact that security investment leads to an increase in the level of investment of the country through innovation. The hospitable grounds created, as a result, of viable investment promote growth innovation. This illustration is in favor of the normative theory, which states that states the world is controlled by social values. In this context, values render good choices that people make in the society. Therefore, the investment decision in the security field comes amid normative interventions, which lead to the establishment of conducive business environment. The application of normative theory is of utmost importance of applying counter-terrorism acts in enhancing regional development as well as international relations in the entire Australia. The costs associated with security investments are thus viewed as avenues that reduce the threat of terrorism by paying for future dividends through reduced risk premiums and increased trade efficiency.

Other than being an avenue for future investments, security measures act as facilitation for both local and international trade. It is imperative to note that the Australian economy and the APEC region entirely depend on national stability through the fights against terrorism. At the national level, terrorism subjects a country to severe security pilferage and exposes its national intelligence to a collapse. Therefore, the security situation is Australia is strategic towards its national development through trade and commerce; thus the fact is valid for APEC’s trade facilitation and improved security objectives, which are mutually reinforcing (Fischhoff, Brewer,& Downs, 2011). Benefits of reducing exposure to terrorism include technological advancement, which increase security and thus enhancing efficiency of cargo handling and people movement. The result of having such incentive is low-trade costs and thus making trade flows more efficient. The theory of economic efficiency aids in the advancement in international trade and investment. There are various empirical researches which have showed how security measures facilitate trade in the country. One such area where security measures have improved trade relates to the acquisition and utilization of advance passenger information and other electronic identification techniques at key terminals of Australia. Such aforesaid techniques are essential at improving security at the border. This research shows that enhanced security measures at airports and other public transport terminal lead to improved services. In addition, there is increased the level of confidence in the country due to the security measures it puts across. With such incentives, Australian trade and international relations will improve and thus encouraging growth in the entire country. In the recent past, APEC region has witnessed a high turnover in trade fortunes due to security initiatives that it puts across. The policy-relevant theory is in favor of security measures in Australia. In this context, this notion of one hazard leads to the benefit on another front. This is how Australia has benefited in terms of having sophisticated security system within the country.

In conclusion, the impacts of having counter-terrorism measures in Australia leads to both costs and benefits. However, before considering a given benefit, it is important for a country to consider its IR portfolio and how such moves can impacts into the country’s economy. Adopting such platform is essential in curbing instances of costs, while advancing benefits. The nature of any operation depends on the circumstances under concern, and this makes it viable to have relevant attributes in the application of security measures. In addition, every measure must be supported by relevant theoretical ideals of International relations.

 

 

References

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. (2010). Annual report … for the period. Canberra, The Centre.

Australian National University. (2005). The Australian yearbook of international law. Sydney, Butterworths.

Bobbitt, P. (2009). Terror and consent: the wars for the twenty-first century. New York, Anchor Books.

Chalk, P. (2006). West European terrorism and counter-terrorism: the evolving dynamic. Basingstoke [u.a.], MacMillan [u.a.].

Chalk, P., & Rosenau, W. (2004). Confronting “the enemy within” security intelligence, the police, and counterterrorism in four democracies. Santa Monica, CA, RAND Corp. http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=197450.

Davis, J. (2010). Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lanham, Md, Lexington Books.

Fischhoff, B., Brewer, N. T., & Downs, J. S. (2011). Communicating risks and benefits: an evidence-based user’s guide.

Gani, M., & Mathew, P. (2008). Fresh perspectives on the ‘war on terror.’ Canberra, ANU E Press.

Gopal, D., & Rumley, D. (2007). Globalisation and regional security: India and Australia. Delhi, Shipra Publications.

Husband, C., & Alam, Y. (2011). Social cohesion and counter-terrorism: a policy contradiction? Bristol, Policy Press.

Jackson, R. (2005). Writing the war on terrorism: language, politics and counter-terrorism. Manchester [u.a.], Manchester Univ. Press.

Klein, N., Mossop, J., & Rothwell, D. (2010). Maritime security: international law and policy perspectives from Australia and New Zealand. London, Routledge.

Library Information and Research Service. (2008). The Middle East, abstracts and index. Pittsburgh, Penn, Library Information and Research Service.

Lynch, A., Macdonald, E., & Williams, G. (2007). Law and liberty in the war on terror. Annandale, NSW, Federation Press.

Mueller, J E., & Stewart, M. G. (2011). Terror, security, and money: balancing the risks, benefits, and costs of homeland security. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Owens, J. E., & Pelizzo, R. (2012). The War on Terror and the growth of executive power?: a comparative analysis. London, Routledge.

Pillar, P. R. (2011). Terrorism and US foreign policy. Washington, D.C., Brookings Inst. Press.

Primoratz, I. (2004). Terrorism: the philosophical issues. Basingstoke [u.a.], Palgrave Macmillan.

United States. (2001). Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

Viotti, P. R, & Kauppi, M. V. (2011). International relations theory. Harlow, Pearson Education.

Wardlaw, G. (2009). Political terrorism: theory, tactics, and counter-measures. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire], Cambridge University Press.

Post-Industrial or Network Society

Topic: Post-Industrial or Network Society
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Introduction
Societies have been in a constant change; Man has been transforming to a better being biologically, socially and economically. From the cradle of humankind to the current man, there have been numerous changes. As man continues to change, so does the society he lives in. Many factors contribute to these changes; among them is information and technology. A few decades ago, countries were driven by the amount of energy they produced. This has however changed. Despite energy being a crucial fabric in the society, information has surpassed it. Today, countries are depending more on efficient flow of information (Castells, 2000b). With good systems of information, work is easily done and out increases in the different sectors of economy. According to Castells (2000a), the society has been intensively connected to network today to a point where it can be referred to as a global village. Networking has made it possible for people based in Asia to receive updates on what takes place in Europe on timely basis. With this speed, many people have become successful while others have continued to languish in abject poverty. Wacquant recognizes the situation and elaborates how some people become victims of segregation. This paper addresses the inequalities generated by the changing society to a more networked society and the effects such as dark ghettos (Wacquant, 2008).
Information acts as a double-edged sword cutting both sides with equal precision and depth. Many countries especially those in Europe and states in North America are continually expanding their economies. Other countries in Asia are also expanding their economies. However, a number of countries based in Asia and in Africa have continued to lag behind in terms of development. There has been inequality in the major in which growth has been occurring. Castells uses Africa as a perfect example. Technology is identified as one factor that has contributed to a huge success in turning around economies. With advancement in technology, western countries have succeded reducing the poverty levels. However, this has been the reverse in Africa (Castells, 2000a). In essence, technology appears to have failed to benefit Africa; the advancement of technology has failed substantially to take place. Technology is highly developed in industrialized regions such America, Europe and parts of Asia such as China and Israel. Therefore, it is a fact that the growth of technology mostly occurs in matters pertaining to industrial production. Africa, on the other hand, is not industrialized hence the technology does has not posed major impact. the adverse situation has turned Africa to be an agricultural continent where it does not even feed its entire people.
A network society has also created inequality in terms of labor. As countries develop better communication systems and advance in technology, more people are absorbed in communication sector of an economy. In addition, many people become informed and cannot accept wages below a certain level. According to Castells, the global economy is still capitalist because many organizations are after making profits. The current economy, just as the previous ones is based on property rights. As a result, companies look for all ways to ensure that they capitalize on all options to increase their profits. One of the ways to increase profits is by cutting the production cost. In production cost, cost of labor in some many cases is very high (Castells, 2000a). Consequently, many organizations have opted to cut on labor cost. With the current knowledge and flow of information, companies have opted to obtain cheap labor from countries in Asia and Africa. A good example is the Nike; the company has outsourced its operations to parts of Asia because the region has abundant cheap labor. Workers in the region receive wages far less than what was offered to workers when the entire operations were based in the United States. This is the height of inequality presented by the trend in society despite the rise of network. While some economies have grown through advancement of technology, some are deteriorating because of relying on cheap labor; poor children are exploited in Africa to work for various organizations. Subsequently, they forget the value of their studies and hence remain illiterate with high levels of illiteracy, poverty remains at high levels.
Many people have purported that poor governance and lack of political will is the main reason for poverty in Africa. However, Castells recognizes the effect these aspects have on the economy, but goes ahead and explains that the network society causes the major part of inequality in society. Politics and governance are not directly linked with production but communication and technology are part of production. The systems of communication are not homogenous in all organizations and countries. The situaion creates a gap between those with efficient communication systems and those with poor systems. As a result, production levels are high in organizations and countries with good communication systems and lower in those with moderate to poor systems.
Castells developed the theory of the social theory of space to explain the advancement of human life. The social theory of space stipulates that space played an instrumental role in conducting a society. Built space such as the landscapes, cities, and buildings influence how human life as selfhood, cognition, politics, power, ideological and social relations. The process of articulating concepts of built space is a fundamental instrument of understanding identity, and conciseness of humankind. On a similar note, Castells being an urban geographer addressed the issue of space in space of flows and space of places. The space of flows recognizes the internet as an area where business can be made more efficient.
Today, most companies have adopted the use of websites in their marketing policies. In social media, companies advertise their products and also have time and space to interact directly with their customers. This clearly brings out the idea of a space that is not geographically based. The space of flow, however, is not purely electronic space. It is a combination of technological infrastructure, transportation lines, and telecommunications (Castells, 2000b).
In the creation of the global city, many people claimed that space would be lost. However, Castells, firmly denies their claims that no space will be lost. He bases his facts on accounts that the space is not what many think it is. He defines it as the material support brought about by time-sharing practices especially social practices (Castells, 2000b). The space of flows, therefore, brings together locations that are a distant away through the sharing of functions and use of electronic circuits (Friedmann, 2004). These factors combined with fasts transportation systems.
The space of flows posed serious implications in the society that are segregated in terms of infrastructure lag behind in development. In defining space of flows, it is made clearly that social practices are crucial to success of any society as it brings societies together. This together with connectivity to internet forms the fabric of developing economy.
Waquant describes the existence of dark ghettos in US and the Red Belt in France. These two societies are the resultant of a neglected society (Wacquant, 2008). The government neglects them and societies for being blacks, racism influence the formation of the ghettos. The Latinos are equally affected by racism. The government fails in its duties for failing to provide reliable infrastructure. Without fast transportation systems, service delivery is slow. This way, very few if any organization may be located in the ghettos. The ghettos are also highly populated. With resources being scarce, many of the youths tend to enter into drug trafficking deals while others in crime (Wacquant, 2008). This has made them susceptible to frequent arrests. Due to racism, space of flow in the ghettos is not functional. There is no good information exchange between people living in the ghetto and the neighboring communities. The poverty levels in these ghettos are also very high. As a result, many children do not get a chance to attend school. Those that get the opportunity to go to school excel and are able to shift from the ghetto because they are exposed to adequate information. Additionally, they attend schools where internet and infrastructure are good.
With poor roads, frequent arrests by police and poor communication systems, societies living in the ghettos languish in poverty (Garnham, 2001). They are discriminated by the rest of society. Black people are often termed as urban outcasts especially in the cities. The inequality exists in society as revealed by statistics that a black American is more likely to be arrested in the US than any other community is. Prison has in fact become a common place for the blacks (Wacquant, 2009). Many people recognize the hand of the government in this segregation especially because the government does very little if any to reform the ghettos. Additionally, for a long while the government has been silent in the levels of racism. The concept of space of flows can be used to improve lives in the dark ghettos. Without the flow of information and quick delivery of services, the economy is hard to grow.
Conclusion
The analyses by both Waquant and Castells bring out the main problem in the contemporary world. It presents the cause of the trends in today’s world and focus on the future of societies and economy as well. Advancement in technology has had a great impact in the contemporary world. It has promoted production as industries can now produce more units at the same time when compared to some years back. However, this advancement in technology and the rate at which information flows has also had negative impacts on the society. Countries in Africa are the worst hit by the effects of flow of information and high technology. Many of these countries have been used to provide labor for the developed countries. Laborers are lowly paid hence they always depend on the developed society for help.
The concept of space of flow is yet another factor that is very important in the contemporary world. Without fast communication and transport systems, development is slow. A social practice, which is part of space of flows, plays a huge role in society. With practices such as racism, dark ghettos have formed in the US. To correct this, the government and other stakeholders should ensure that they eliminate the inequalities brought about by the rise of a network society.
Reference
Castells, M. (2000a). Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. British Journal of Sociology Vol. No. 51 Issue No. 1 (January/March 2000) pp. 5-24.
Castells, M. (2000b). The rise of the network society (2nd ed.). U.S.: Blackwell Publishing
Friedmann, J. (2004). Reading Castells: zeitdiagnose and social theory. In F. Webster & B. Dimitriou (Eds.), Manuel Castells, Volume III (pp. 152-164). London: Sage Publications.
Garnham, N. (2001). Contribution to a political economy of mass-communication. In M.G. Durnham & D. M. Kellner (Eds.), Media and cultural studies (pp. 225-252). U.S.: Blackwell Publishing.
Wacquant, L. (2008) Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Wacquant, L. (2009) Prisons of Poverty (expanded edition). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Is Scrooge the True Hero of a Christmas Carol?

Is Scrooge the True Hero of a Christmas Carol?
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Is Scrooge the True Hero of a Christmas Carol?
A Christmas Carol focuses on the spirit of Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge is a hero in the story because he allows the reader to understand the value of Christmas. He is a miserable old man that fails to see the value of Christmas. However, through it all he remains the hero of the story(Dickens, 2009). This is because he proves that there is a bit of good in everybody, regardless of how miserable a person will be. In addition, he proves that the spirit of Christmas lives within us all even though it is masked by misery and unhappiness. Therefore, Ebenezer Scrooge is a hero based on his ability to illustrate kindness beyond his unhappy life.
In the First Stave (Marley’s Ghosts and the Three hundred Spirits), Ebenezer Scrooge is reluctant to give Bob a break on Christmas day. The rationale behind his reasoning is the value of ensuring that the business keeps operating during the holidays. “What good is Christmas that it should shut down bus-iness”(Dickens, 2009). However, even with the thought of losing business on the day, Scrooge allows Bob the day off on Christmas. He chooses to do his part and at the expense of his happiness (of making money and not working too much). It illustrates that Scrooge is willing to make sacrifices even though he remains a miserable man.
Though Scrooge is not willing to embrace the spirit of Christmas in the same vein as Fred and Bob, he is a symbol of practicality(Dickens, 2009). There is no doubting that Ebenezer Scrooge is a sad man and lacks any sense of compassion; however, he has business sense. For example, his refusal to purchase or add an additional lump of coal to add extra heat to the office ensures that Bob is not complacent in his manner of working because of the heat. Extra warmth would reduce concentration, which is a valid aspect of business. Therefore, the lack of extra heat in the workplace may appear mean or portrays Scrooge as a miser, but the reality is that it is good for productive purposes.
Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim are heroes in their own right based on the unfortunate aspects that negatively affect their lives(Dickens, 2009). Bob is a kind-hearted man who seeks to do the right thing at any opportunity. Inaddition, he is subjected to unfair treatment for Scrooge who is his boss. To a certain degree, Bob is the depiction of an employee in the modern; underpaid, overworked, and making an effort to make ends meet through the problems. He is a hero because he remains positive even though the various problems that occurthrough his life and to his family. He even manages to remain cheerful and optimistic that Scrooge would give him Christmas day off even though he knows that his boss is cruel and a miserable man.
Tiny Tim is Bob’s son who is a cripple. He was crippled at birth and he embodies the aspects of hardship and struggles of life. His is the image of sympathy because his helpless was not his fault and his parents could do nothing to avert the problem. He is a hero because he takes his situation in stride and is willing to make something of his life regardless of his problem. He is a source of inspiration for Bob who works towards providing a better life for his family(Dickens, 2009). Tim is essential for the story because he embodies the ideology that even through the various problems in life, a person can enjoy life, which was the case at Christmas day. Though the premise is to look down on him, Tim illustrates his willingness to rise above his problems, which is a source of motivation for a reader.
Scrooge and Fred illustrate the nature of extremes in the story. While Scrooge is a bitter and miserable person, Fred is an up-beat person who is always willing to enjoy the holidays(Dickens, 2009). He always makes the effort to invite Scrooge for the Christmas, even though Scrooge always rejects his invitations. Fred is Scrooge’s nephew, and is a positive individual always willing to celebrate the festivities to the extreme. He is a hero based on his likeable character. He can inspire joy based on his demeanor and his approach to socializing.
In contrast, Scrooge is a symbol of hope for humanity in that goodness is within us all. Scrooge endures a period of speaking to ghosts to realize that it is important to be kind. Though he rejects the notion of the ghosts, his hallucination serves as a means of awakening the good in him and embraces the aspects of Christmas. This suggests that Scrooge has always had well in him, but he chose to be miserable out of his own accord. Therefore, Scrooge proves that being miserable is a choice and good resides in everyone regarding of the situation (Dickens, 2009). Therefore, the nature of the characters in the story presents how happiness exists. In the case of Scrooge, his aspect of good is introverted and he extenuates the misery in people. However, majority of the other characters exude happiness. This illustrates the various elements of social values and perspectives.

Reference
Dickens, C. (2009). A Christmas Carol. London, UK: Cricket House Books.