Cyber-Cop, Educator & Author, Joseph Rampolla ~ Part 2

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Rampolla_J1Part 2 of our interview with Joseph Rampolla, a law enforcement Captain and Executive Officer, a cyber security educator/expert, and author of Augmented Reality Dirt.

(Check out Part 1 of our interview here).

 

 

 

CJSI: Your “passion is to teach about the positive uses of emerging technologies while raising awareness to the potential downside of innovation”. Could you give a couple examples of the positive uses versus the downsides?

JR: I am glad you mentioned passion. I believe everyone is on a journey and with this short period of time on Earth we need to do things we love and are passionate about. When you work doing something you are passionate about you never work a day in your life. I encourage everyone to seek what they love to do as a profession or career on their terms. It is your life so why not do something that you love, and not what others expect you to do. I firmly believe that every day is a teaching lesson for us as we discover and unlock our true potential. If you don’t utilize your talents and reach your true potential you are wasting a gift that was given to you.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to positive uses for emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality. Doctors can use AR to assist them in complicated surgeries with Augmented overlays. People can wear Augmented Reality glasses which help them navigate and show them the “Internet of Things” right before their eyes. True AR would augment all senses and could assist in haptic or auditory functions. A deaf person could be alerted to objects through vibrations in a wearable device. A blind person could hear descriptions or warnings as they walked. Augmented devices could read signs for those who are visually impaired. Wearable technology embedded with facial recognition could help Alzheimer patients recognize loved ones they forgot or replay videos on the fly of past memories. Real-time facial recognition could recognize people walking into banks and recognize if they are customers, or identify criminals before they commit a crime.

“I believe everyone is on a journey and with this short period of time on Earth we need to do things we love and are passionate about. When you work doing something you are passionate about you never work a day in your life.”

I don’t like to get into the possibilities of the downside of technology because as I said earlier, I do not want to create a blueprint for criminals. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that autonomous drone technology, facial recognition, and wearable technology can aid criminals in many ways. Cyber-cops spend endless nights awake thinking about the downside potential and I can say quite firmly that I am extremely concerned.  I recently co-authored a book on Augmented Reality that can be found at ARdirt.com/arbook.

CJSI: What advice would you give those wanting to work in cyber crime as positive e-warriors? For example, do you recommend a particular educational program, experience, etc.

JR: I recommend getting over the fear that you “can’t do it.” Keep a positive approach and become a learning sponge. Go to school, study hard, and get as many degrees as you can. Criminal Justice, Technology, Programming, are all important areas. Getting a good understanding of how computers and mobile devices work is important. Understanding Windows and iOS operating systems are also important. Train your mind to understand how networks communicate with each others and how packets flow from device to device online. Internships in companies and law enforcement agencies that conduct computer forensics and online investigations would be great ways to learn.  The key is don’t stop learning. Someone asked me once – How do you eat an elephant?  I had no idea. He answered – in small bites. If you create a plan in small bites you will not be overwhelmed. You will find that a natural course will develop for your progress and may take you where you did not expect to go. I originally expected to be a computer forensics examiner and my course was altered by my journey.  I was pulled away from my computer forensic course to an online investigator.  Things change over time so listen to your instincts and be flexible on where your passion takes you and be true to your journey.

CJSI: Which categories of cyber crime or technologies should we be most concerned about in the near future?

JR: I am concerned about a number of emerging new technologies.  Here are just a few that concerns me.

  • Closed Social Proximity Networks
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones)
  • Facial Recognition (stalking, privacy issues)
  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
  • 3D Printing of weapons
  • Flashmobs
  • Botnets, Mobile Malware trends
  • Augmented Child Porn

However, I am most concerned about rouge drones.

CJSI: In your opinion, is there are currently a global cyber war taking place?

JR: There is no doubt that a cyber war has and continues to be waged through bytes and data packets. We continue to be an online society and the global cyber war will continue to grow. When the Internet was created, it was founded on a closed network among trusted nodes. It morphed into an open network among untrusted nodes, thus the problem began and continues.

“It is a special occupation because when a crisis develops we run toward the problem while most people are running away. There are not many professions that have that philosophy.  It always impresses me with how many police and cyber-cops are fighting to protect children and society.”

CJSI: What do you love most about your profession?

JR: The reason I joined this profession was to help people. There is no better feeling knowing that you made a positive difference in someone’s life. I think events like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Terror bombings reveal our dedication. It is a special occupation because when a crisis develops we run toward the problem while most people are running away. There are not many professions that have that philosophy.  It always impresses me with how many police and cyber-cops are fighting to protect children and society.

CJSI: Is there anything you would like to add?

JR: I would like add that my favorite quote is from William James – “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Some of the greatest thinkers, innovators and leaders have accomplished that goal. I hope to be able to do the same.

Check out Joseph Rampolla’s site, Augmented Reality Dirt, for news, discussions and podcasts on the dynamic world of Augmented Reality.

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