Disappointing Cyber/Sec. talk

So, I just walked out of a cybersecurity talk given by a guy named Michael McNerney. He is a former Air Force Officer and now is an independent security consultant. 

I was intrigued by the poster when I first saw it. "Cyber + security + talk-not-given-by-a-baby-boomer-retired-general = interesting." However, when I walking in the conference room thinking that there would be a lot of folks my age there. Nope. A quick glance told me that the average age in the room was closer to 40 than 20.

Still, I found a seat at the back of the room and listened. Mr. McNerney spent half of his talk just to bring the old ones up to speed on what he was talking about. Then he moved into a brief technical part about how the internet functions, and just how many places there are for bad guys to hide. Then he wrapped with the where, when, how, who, and why we can be attacked.

Then he waited for questions. I cannot recall all of the questions asked, but I can recall mine, and most of Mr. McNerney's answer. Paraphrases, not quotes.

My question:

"Due to the revelations made by Snowden about the NSA's unwarranted surveillance program, many people have become concerned about their privacy. Recently, a group of independent cryptologists and hardware developers announced the Blackphone, a phone that is "security based and privacy focused." My question is 'If the United States government continues this immature cyber-policy, do think consumers will turn to the private market for security from the government as well as hostile third parties?'"

He answered something like this:

"Yes and no. Private enterprise has always played a key part in technological development, and it has provided many of the innovative devices that make communication possible. Now the government isn't perfect, but it's still the first and last defense against cyber attacks. Down the road, I could see private industry working more closely with governments, and maybe having more influence on cybersecurity policy, but I don't think that it will replace the operations of the government wholesale."

You might be able to see where this guy is coming from.

I just wanted to share this episode.

Is this the same guy?


If so, he talks like every other government official. Keeps things vague, and somewhat menacing. Mostly vague.