Sadly on the 19th of July, Romulus Maier left us, after facing a long and painful illness with a courage which is difficult to describe. In the same way, it is extremely difficult to find the words to write a last homage to one of the founders of the IT media in Romania and the quarterly magazine CyberSecurity Trends.It is with the same courage, coupled with his discretion and humility which were Romulu’s “genetic characteristics”, a man of few words and lots of facts, that he decided in 1992 to face the challenge of directing, redacting and editing media dedicated to the technological world, founding the AGORA media group.
For all those not acquainted with Romanian recent history, and to seize the mountain Romulus decided to climb, 1992 was the worst year ever for the Romanian economy. The country’s GDP was cut by half as a consequence of the lack of investors’ trust after the last bloody repression of protesters – in September 1991 – performed by the miners called by the Government to put an end to social protests.
How far Romulus then went in 26 years of career! He gave birth to numerous topic-dedicated yearly congresses and published more than thirty journals, among which we can quote the most renowned, like «If», «PC Report», «Open – Tehnologia Informaţiei», «Byte România», «Net Report», «Gazeta de informatică», «PC Magazine România», «eWeek România», «IT Trends», and the famous «Digital Trends».
Behind the scenes, Romulus has been the “magnus artifex” who made possible the launch and the smooth realization of the first editions of the yearly Central European Public- Private dialogue platform a.k.a. “Cybersecurity-Romania” in Sibiu – today replicated in Porrentruy (Switzerland) and in Noto (Italy), adapted respectively to the Western European and the Mediterranean ecosystems and their needs.
Remaining in this field, when, in January 2015, the ITU (UN- Geneva) and several Institutional partners of the “Cybersecurity- Romania” congress asked us to evaluate the possibility to materialize the fruitful debates held at Sibiu, I met Romulus for a coffee in the center of Bucharest. Well aware that we were dealing with a totally voluntary and huge effort, I still remember his crystal clear phlegmatic, “come on, ok, let’s do it: one issue each three months”. The first volume of Cybersecurity Trends in the Romanian language was printed two months later…
The same year, the congress and the journal were awarded the highest possible recognition, as one of the “Best practice Examples for the European Continent”. Today, the quarterly magazine is published in five different linguistic variants , thanks to prestigious partners, among which iCyber-Security Group, co-ordinating the U.K. edition.
Crafted by Romulus and by his team in Bucharest, delivering texts written by specialists from all over Europe, the different versions of Cybersecurity Trends offer, free of charge, a little drop of security culture to their readers, from Rome to Chisinau, from Berlin to Paris and of course all over Romania.
This year’s second issue was published just a few days before Romulus departed for other horizons. We had a bitter feeling while achieving the different editions. Usually, once ready, proof-read, corrected and indexed, it was “our” moment, with Romulus coming with all sorts of images, from the most serious to the most funny ones, for choosing together the one to use to adorn the main cover. It was our relaxation break, knowing that the hard work was behind us. This time it did not happen. This time, in our hearts, Romulus was already on every cover. There is a little of him in each page of the editions you read, are reading and will read in future. The curtain came down, a Great Man who wrote the history of the IT media in Romania and abroad is no longer with us. Now it is our duty to keep alive a flame which would never have been lit without him.
Rest in Peace, Romulus Maier!
Laurent Chrzanovski (HDR Postdoc Phd MA BA) is a Professor at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral School of Social Sciences at the University of Sibiu (Romania). Thanks to his work experience in 12 European and South Mediterranean countries, he has since 2010, expanded his fields of research into cyber security, social, behavioral, cultural and geopolitical aspects. As such, he is a member of the ITU (UN-Geneva) cyber-security expert group and a contract consultant for the same institution, as well as for several Swiss and French think-tanks (PPP). He founded in 2013 and continues to run, the “Cybersecurity in Romania”, a macro-regional public-private platform (www.cybersecurityromania.ro), supported by the ITU, all related public institutions in the host country, as well as many other specialist organizations from France, Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom. In the same spirit, he co-founded in 2015 and is editor-in-chief of one of the very few free quarterly cyber-prevention journals (a PPP) designed for the general public. Originally, intended for Romanian audiences, Cybersecurity Trends is today published – with the collaboration of prestigious specialist partners – in multiple languages adapted to French, Italian, English (as of June 2017) and German (as of September 2017) audiences (https://issuu.com/cybersecuritytrends). It should be noted that the Congress and the magazine have been promoted and supported by the ITU since 2015 as the “Best Practice Example for the European Continent”. Laurent Chrzanovski is the author / editor of 23 books, of more than 100 scientific articles and as many other texts intended for the general public.