The MobiTV Debacle: A Mobile Security Issue? By: Eric Everson, Founder of MyMobiSafe.com
Making waves throughout the Internet for surfers alike, MobiTV has created quite a stir lately with what seems to come down to a simple security issue. Usually as the founder of MyMobiSafe.com, I review issues that relate to handset security yet this one comes down to securing website content.
As is goes HowardForums.com was slapped with a cease and desist order by MobiTV due to a link that seemingly “back-doored” the MobiTV content. In reality, this entire debacle comes down to the MobiTV content not being secure from its own website. As Michael Krigsman put it, “Rather than rely on true security, MobiTV placed valuable content behind an open, yet unadvertised, web address.”
MobiTV has since suffered the backlash of their decision to issue a cease and desist order, which for many surfers positioned the company as trying to “censor the Internet”. With hindsight being 20/20, MobiTV probably should have simply secured the content rather than taking legal action. As a mobile entrepreneur myself, I can see their logic however it seems that the emerging media company may have jumped the gun. As every online business must contend with the open nature of the Internet, it is important to think smarter.
This debacle merely highlights the way that e-commerce has challenged the traditional principles of business law. We operate in a 2.0 environment where the challenges of intellectual property law are subject to become outpaced. As technology becomes more sophisticated, so must the approach of business and legal minds alike. As this MobiTV issue highlights, a tactic of backend software engineering could have been a far superior avenue of resolution in this matter. It seems to me that the challenges that technology lawyers face is using brains over brawn. A good technology lawyer might have suggested securing the content rather than enabling this storm of fire that MobiTV has endured.
I don’t want to point my finger at their legal team or even at MobiTV (I happen to love their content and believe it is worth paying for), rather I merely cast my voice of concern for the next company that finds themselves in a similar predicament. If you keep your doors unlocked, you can’t get upset when people come in. While technology law may be due for a 2.0 makeover, in the end it comes down to understanding the intricacies of the Internet as a vehicle for commerce. Old school tactics can only backfire in this new school environment.
In the end, there is no mobile security issue here just a couple of bad decisions that have created waves for the web surfing community. I am confident that everyone has learned some valuable lessons in this debacle. In a mobile environment seemingly starved for good content, I say let bygones be just that and continue to enjoy your mobile technology.
Your Mobile Security Guru – Eric Everson
Eric Everson, Founder of MyMobiSafe.com