Friday, June 12, 2020

Removing language with racial biases

Effective immediately, the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Trusted CI, and the ResearchSOC are joining other organizations* in ceasing the use of terms such as  “whitelist,” “blacklist,” and similar cybersecurity terms that imply negative and positive attributes and use colors also used to identify people. This is in alignment with the principles of Indiana University and the principle that there is simply is no place today for biased language with racial implications. No new materials produced will use such language and current materials will be edited to remove its use. Our code of conduct has been updated to bar its use in presentations at our events. We recognize some terminology we cannot unilaterally change without breaking inter-organizational communications (e.g. “TLP White”) and we are asking the broader cybersecurity community to reconsider such language.
We believe the cybersecurity community needs these measures to improve its own inclusivity and as  a small but important statement to support people of color and more inclusive terms across society.  We continue to educate ourselves on these issues and will take further steps as our understanding grows.
Von Welch, for the IU CACR, Trusted CI, and ResearchSOC teams

* For example: