November 2008 Archives

The future of DNA based security clearance?

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"A Fine Balance", the joint conference of four Knowledge Transfer Networks in Thursday provided an excellent update on the current state of "privacy enhancing technologies". When I introduced the Earl of  Erroll I made the point that the Lord High Constable of Scotland was not only the sole cybersecurity professional in either House of Parliament, he is also the only person genetically cleared to draw a sword in the presence of the monarch

McColo and the lessons for effective Internet Governance

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A speaker at the EURIM Directors Round Table on Information Governance this week sharply criticised the use of the "fetish" word governance in place of "accountability". We use debate about structures to cover up failure to hold people and organisations to account for not  using and enforcing existing law.

Bringing forward the recovery: 2) Tax Free Training.

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Recession is a time to catch up on maintenance and training. Slump is a time for radical change in order to survive. That means you will need a very different skills mix when recovery comes. But so will everyone else. You will go down in the competition for the new skills. The same is true for UK plc. Part of the national recovery package should be a short order "tax free training" programme to use the opportunity to reskill the existing UK workforce for the 21st century.

How can you help shorten the slump? 1) Smarter Public Procurement

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Reviews and postponements of big public sector ICT projects are politically popular but are now hitting industry cash flows hard. When spend restarts ministers will almost certainly wish to follow private sector good practice with incremental, rapid payback projects within strategic frameworks. You can help shorten the transition period.

European ISP gives lifeline to spammers and botnet herders

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A follow up story in the Washington Post today entitled "Answers trickle out as spammer nettowrks remain comptromised" concludes: "On Saturday McColo briefly reconnected its Web servers to a major internet provider in Europe. Under pressure from the security community, the provider severed its relationship with McColo the next day. But that ,,, may have been enough time for spammers to reclaim control of 10,000 to 15,000 of an estimated 100,000 computers ... 

Washington Post slashes US spam after Internet Community fails

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Within an hour of receiving a dossier from Brian Krebs,a Washington Post staff writer, McColo, which supposedly hosted 75% of the US spam operators was taken off air by Global Crossing. It helped, of course, that the latter had been handed the opportunity to dramatically improve service to its other customers with no need to invest in additional capacity.  

Who do you trust - on-line or off?

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The Committee on Standards in Public Life has just published its latest Survey of public attitudes towards conduct in public life . Do read it, not just the extracts. Then read the Register on e-voting experience in Finland . It is not just the UK that has problems of communication and trust between the politicians and the electorate.

It was the Internet wot wun it : lessons from the US election

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How much difference did the Internet really make to the US election?  And how much of what they did would be illegal in the UK? - for example the massive, but also untraceable, donations to campaign funds raised over the Internet.

Do Digital Diapers Deter Data Diarrhoea?

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The shut down of the Government Gateway after an apparent compromise may influence your response to the NHS consultation on other uses of oatient data, on which I blogged on Friday. It should not. There is whole array of privacy enhancing technologies that can be used to prevent such failures. The problem is not hardware or software. "Its the wetware stupid".

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