November 2009 Archives

Is this a scam - how would I know?

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Today I visited the Washington Post website for my daily "Security Fix" from Bernie Krebs. Today it was "Eight tips for Safe Online Shopping" . Then my eye was caught by an an ad "Unemployed Mom makes £47 an hour (Online)". So I clicked, after all it was the Washington Post, surely it can be trusted, and came up with this .   

Why can't victims and witnesses go on the DNA database?

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I read the Guardian article "Police routinely arresting people to get DNA" after it was drawn to my attention by FIPR and came to the opposite conclusion. The "real" issue is that Parliament has not debated the issue and no-one has consulted the public. I am one of those who would like my DNA on file in case I my identity credentials are lost, stolen or otherwise compromised as a result of poor information governance. But I have no more choice than the members of the posses haunting the unpoliced high streets which I go on-line to avoid.  

Do you trust China to run the Internet any better than the USA?

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Do read the news cover on the recent Internet Governance Forum. For example "China says scrap Internet Governance Forum" versus "US stil has Internet in its grip" and "Business leaders warn agains demise of Internet Governance Forum". The US grip over the current english language Internet is slipping, albeit more slowly than some might think. But do you want China to similarly dominate the visual, multi-lingual Internet of the future? 

The McWilliam rules for Internet Security

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One of my mentors, those who truly changed my way of thinking, died last week. John McWilliam  , former Chairman of PITCOM understood Internet security from his days as a top-flight telecoms engineer. He also had a unique grasp of Anglo-US politics as one of those fired on at Kent State University - where he was one of the group of British post-graduate engineers whose promised (but so long delayed that they thought it had been killed off) trip to see the comms networks of NASA came through, "quite by chance", just before the plane carrying the advance guard of the UK press arrived to interview them.  

The fight for Cybersecurity alias Cyberwarfare Budgets

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David Lacey's blog on The New Art of Warfare gave me pause for thought. I looked at it in the context of the proliferation of groups looking at cybersecurity, the Interception Modernisation Programme, scare stories about the Critical National Infrastructure and the Chinese People's Cybermilitia. Then the penny dropped.

A Database too Far: NICE but NASTY

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I have just received an FIPR alert on the NICE (National Instute for Clinical Excellence) consultation on a proposed database to help prevent injuries to children. Last week I attended a presentation of the restructuring of the MOSAIC service  

An implosion of trust and confidence?

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Yesterday, at the annual Get Safe On-line conference, it was good to see the commercial sponsors talking of the direct business benefit they were getting from being seen to take the security of their customers seriously. This also came through in the annual GSOL survey which showed buyers increasingly focussing their purchases on trusted websites.  

Four strikes before the E-Death penalty

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No this is not what happens to the household whose teenagers download material that they cannot buy. It is what happens when the unemployed respond to an on-line advert offering them the opportunity to work from home helping forward overseas payments. 

From Toxic Liability to Strategic Asset: Unlocking the Value of Information

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There has been much debate on "The Value of Information" and on responsibilities for protecting personal data. Last week the Audit Commission released a report on the need to address the problems of quality in public sector information: "Nothing but the Truth". Today the Information Society Alliance (EURIM) released a one page summary for political audiences on the need to treat information as an asset in order to prevent it from turning into a liability.

 

Who is the biggest threat to your privacy? Government, Google or the Gossip next door?

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We have a very muddled and muddied set of debates over privacy, security and data sharing. It can be summarised as  "I want more efficient joined up services from government but I don't want my information used by bureaucratic snoopers". Meanwhile the latest jobsworth excuse for poor or non-existent service is "Sorry can't do that because of Data Protection".

Support the future against the past

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The Department for Culture Media and Sport has today issued a consultation on product placement on television.  The consultation runs for two months and closes on Friday 8 January 2010. I deserves thorugh support from all who wish the UK to retain a content creation industry - for all the reason I gave when I blogged on the previous, potential disastrous, to ban product placement as opposed to using the leeway in the AVMS Directive.   
 

Using the Internet to put "Hope" into Africa

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Next week I will be blogging again on the competition being run by the Information Society Alliance, EURIM, for those capable of using multi-media to explain complex messages to politicians. In the meantime I been sent details of a rather simpler on-line art competition where you can all be judges and then bid to buy the entries you like, whether they win or not. 

The power of government misinformation: be very afraid

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"The still calm voice that drives the strongest of men to panic". Today the Audit Commission  launched a discussion paper "Nothing but the Truth" to start "a discussion on how to ensure that data on local public services is fit for purpose". Read it. Think. Then be afraid. Because some of the data on the files of central government is much worse.

Towards realistic regulatory frameworks for Identity

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Over the past year the Information Society Alliance (EURIM) has been trying to structure a group to look at Identity Governance: the professional and regulatory frameworks that should govern Identity Management systems and those who run them.

Why do you need to know who I am?

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Andrew Yeomans raises some profound points in his comments on my previous blog. They also trigger some obvious "end-user" questions: Who are you? Why do you need to know? What's in it for me? Why should I trust you? Will you tell me if what I tell you is "compromised" while in your custody? WIll you pay me damages for any loss or inconvenience I incurr as a result?  

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