Around 20 years ago, a mailing list was started to give all CISSP certificate holders a place to communicate with their professional colleagues anywhere in the world: the CISSPforum.
CISSPs who successfully navigated what sometimes felt like a virtual obstacle course to sign-up to the CISSPforum joined a friendly community of several thousand peers - mostly qualified information security pros from all parts of the globe and all sexes. At any given time some were newcomers to the profession, while others were grey-beards with a decade or four of experience in the trenches. Our ranks were swollen by IT auditors, consultants, trainers, security officers, security managers, lawyers, doctors, scholars of ancient Greek and others, mostly but not entirely CISSPs.
Some of the discussions were straightforward questions and answers, although that tended to be rare. Other topics developed into full-blown discussion threads, depending on the skill or good fortune with which the original poster crafted a post containing such subtle nuances or contentious language that more people felt compelled to respond. By and large, discussion was good natured, open and safe, though there’s often the very faintest whiff of sarcasm, especially when someone purported to be an expert on some topic and couldn't back it up. Between the oldest greybeards the language could get very heated indeed, and occassionally must have seemed as if bitter enmity was the order of the day. But the forum was a wonderful safety vent for burning information security issues that bugged people, and to challenge accepted norms. You’d find deep technical threads running alongside lighter topics. Members contributed wisdom, knowledge, opinions and more for the benefit of all. Many of us have become virtual friends through the forum while others are virtually friends simply by virtue of their participation. We’re never stuck for friendly local guides when visiting far-off foreign lands.
However, given a worldwide audience, varying standards of tolerance, and other social factors, as was inevitable, sometimes people got upset. Most of the time disputes got patched up, and often you would see enemies from one topical fray fighting side-by-side in another. Other times people left. To varying extents we mourned those losses.
Over the years we developed a FAQ to guide us. It sometimes worked.
I've kept messages with all kinds of reference information over the years. The oldest I could find with a quick search date to 2002.
At one point, ISC2 created a Web-based social media platform and tried to kill the forum. No, not this one, the old InterSec. (Although, come to think it is, it looks pretty much the same.) At that time the hue and cry from the members of the forum caused ISC2 to back off.
But, now they have killed off the forum. Why? Some say it was GDPR. Others say it was global warming. The official explanations make about that much sense.
Many, many of us mourn it's demise.
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I agree but seriously feel we still need a discussion room free of guardrails, bumbers and fewer moderation rules where CISSP or above practitioners can discuss topics without adult supervision or "be nice. be respectful" policies hampering the community as well.
The purpose of this board is to show a more harmonious, welcoming atmosphere without the realities than plague security in general.