Miss Russia, How Would You Deal With International State-Sponsored Hacking?


The world is full of pageant contests and awards ceremonies and some have Washington, D.C. as their terminus. The winner of the November U.S. presidential election will call the nation’s capital home and the Miss World pageant is holding its finals in Washington in December. In both contests cybersecurity likely won’t be a central topic.

The Republican Party platform  of Donald Trump and the Democratic Party platform of Hillary Clinton don’t really go beyond mentioning cybersecurity in passing. 

According to “40 Common Pageant Questions and Answers ” ($14 direct from beauty pageant guru Gau Callanta Jr.) it appears unlikely a question about cybersecurity will be asked of the Miss World contestants. It is also unlikely that a pageant contestant would choose cybersecurity as her platform.

But times are changing. The hacking attacks on the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gave cybersecurity a boost into at least the temporary spotlight. Fingers are pointed at Russia being the culprit. Trump’s subsequent call to the Russians to hack into Clinton’s private server e-mails also focused attention on the subject.

Meanwhile, Miss World lost probably its best chance to directly address the subject when Rajkanya Baruah, Femina Miss India Kolkata, wasn’t chosen to represent India in the Miss World finals. When Indian and World Pageant magazine interviewed Baruah, she spoke about her “Beauty With a Purpose” proposed public service platform—Cyber Security Awareness. “It’s a universal issue in today’s Internet age. The awareness level is very low in our country and lower in Northeast India,” she said, noting her focus on cybercrime issues and her #ClickSafe initiative. 

Maybe Trump and Clinton could learn a thing or two from Baruah.

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