You can always count on pride

On DC’s beltway, you can easily spot trucks carrying concealed military equipment. All you have to do is to go about your business, and you will pass one or two semi trucks every day, each carrying some big payload wrapped in canvas. While the trucks are generic, the canvas isn’t. You will almost certainly find some logo or initials on it.

If you’re diligent, you can trace that logo back to the company, then find out what contract they were awarded, by whom, and finally, what concealed equipment you might have seen. It’s not hard to do this if you have a somewhat basic knowledge of how government/military contracts work.

I’m not saying this because I want to divulge any government secrets or put anyone at risk. I simply want to point out that most people can’t keep their mouth shut when it comes to bragging about their work, particularly when they’re proud of what they’re doing.

Remember Napster back in its golden days (circa 1997)? You could log on and download music all day long. College students everywhere were doing it. I did it too, for a while, until I realized it was wrong to rob artists of their hard work like that. Later, I even deleted most of the music I’d downloaded, and since then, I’ve been buying my music.

I’m not sure how online music sharing works today, but back then, most hardcore music sharers would mark their files by putting some sort of identifier (such as a nickname) inside the meta data. Some even put site URLs in the meta data. I’m sure that as music labels clamped down on file sharers, these nicknames and site URLs made it easier for them to find the culprits.

These file sharers and the military contractors are just two examples of how one can always count on pride to get at some information. Like most things in this world, this is nothing new, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re working on something you’d like to keep under wraps.