April 2009 Archives

Number 10 Petition for HMG to support the fight against E-Crime

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The taxpayer is by far the biggest victim of E-Crime: both directly and indirectly: from £150 million looted from the Individual Learning Accounts to a £billion or so from automated VAT and Benefit fraud to the computer-managed mortgage fraud that helped bring down the former building societies - plus the tax revenues on the lost profits to business from crime against the private sector.   

Who Should Police the Internet?

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Today is the first day of Infosec. In my article in the Guardian supplement, I refer to comparisons of the Internet with Railways and the Wild West. The first police force in England was created by the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company to protect their construction sites, then their tracks and later the goods they carried.

Information Security Industry or e-Protection Racket?

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What other industry would collectively spend over £3 billion a year on protection and less than £30 million a year on tracking, tracing and removing the predators who are milking them? Come to InfoSec (Tuesday to Thursday) and see how and why the security of the on-line world is in such a parlous state.

Death by Data Protection: those lethally secure databases

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More patients die because their medical record was wrong than because it was not available. More suffering and injustice are caused because police, justice and care records are not fit for purpose than because they are insecure. There is a very old rule of thumb that about 10% of records will have random errors unless entered by those with a vested interest in their accuracy and in a position to know what is correct. That is not the case with the records on many public databases.   

A Rapid Payback Budget

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Industry is now focussed almost entirely on "stopping the bleeding" with forward thinkers looking at what can be done on positive cash flow. Hence my suggested three point plan:

 

Copyright Wars and the future of Digital Britain

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Last week saw the Digital Britain Summit and the conviction of Pirate Bay The stakes could not be higher. The UK comes bottom of the 16 nations looked at by Consumers International, when it comes to protecting consumer rights, according to a recent article in Outlaw.Com. Nor is it much better at protecting the rights of those whose material is used to attract traffic to offshore, advertising funded, websites.      

UK recession wipes out business case for Offshoring - and more

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The April 2009 quarterly survey from Salary Services Limited (SSL) indicates that recruitment advertising has more than halved over the past year. Last week I heard a former offshoring consultant say that the impact of recession on contract rates, on top of the fall in the value of Western Currencies (not just the pound), had all but wiped out the case for moving East to save cost. 

Why we need a Rights Agency for the Digital Age

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Andrew Yeomans, who occasionally posts comments to this blog, sent me some very thoughtful comments in response to my entry on the proposals in the Digital Britain Interim Report for a Rights Agency. He believes it will be difficult to avoid, with the amount of well-funded vested interest in exploiting copyright.

How does Guido Fawkes acquire his e-mails?

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Leaving aside the issues of concern to the Westminster Village", for which Guido Fawkes is one of the prime on-line gossips, there is an overdue need for more realistic and informed debate on whether the Internet is, or should be, a vehicle for confidential communication.

Why were we wrong? Lessons from 1980 predictions for 2000

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We all like a good laugh at past predictions of the future. I have just been given a copy of "Twenty Years On: Life with Micro-electronics in the Year 2000 - text of an article to appear in the September 1980 edition of Video-world: the magazine of electronic living". This time I was the butt of the joke. At least I had begun the article with "A forecast is a pretence of knowing what would have happened if what does happen hadn't."  

Which is the biggest threat: Nosey Parker or Big Sister?

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In my blog entry yesterday I forgot to elaborate on the threat to electronic privacy of our friends, enemies and neighbours. Facebook and Bebo are now included in more UK searches than eBay, the BBC, Amazon, Tesco, the BBC and Sky added together.  

 

Are you a bigger threat to privacy than Government or Facebook?

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I recently listened to a headhunter describing how he googles applicants and trawls social network entries, bypassing any privacy settings. I would never put anything on a social network entry that I would not put in this blog, but this morning was startled to received a piece of spam addressed to a pseudonym that I have used on only one blog.

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