Civil Rights Don't List |
Social Engineering [security] refers to obtaining confidential information by manipulating and/or deceiving individuals.
Social Engineering [political science] is a means of influencing particular attitudes and social behaviours on a large scale.
Examples of social engineering are gossip overheard or some elements inserted into the nightly news. Propaganda can be overt, emotional and target a whole population. Social Engineering is more personalized, manipulative and in the background. (1)
Many popular definitions of social engineering state that it's a criminal element, hacker thing. It was developed over the last hundred and fifty years by modern psychology and national defence agencies (think cold war era).
A weak parallel is DARP creating the Tor network then releasing it for public use. Postmodern era spycraft and it's SE component quietly seeped down the levels from rarefied wartime spies to civil entities. As things always go, it was in turn taught to criminal targets, who in turn revealed it to office workers and mainstream media. The current spin that the computer age is the moment in history when black hats popped up and started making victims of citizens is an opportunistic cover for an active development campaign.
The sudden rise of social scoring in numerous parts of the word proves the adage about overnight success.
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(1) Wikipedia, Retrieved 10/23/18