Freedom of Information (and Wikileaks) v. Censorship (and Established Power)

The reaction to the Wikileaks story exposes the heady mixture of self-delusion that passes for debate on freedom of information, transparency of government, re-use of public information, secure data sharing, data protection, information assurance, information security, information risk management and even net neutrality. I am waiting for the rumours that the Wikileaks was assisted by the Chinese, Indian or Isreali governments – or a coalition of all three. It was also an accident waiting to happen, given the US approach to “secure information sharing” after 9/11.

Is the US private sector (from Amazon, through Google to Paypal) any more secure?

And what about the lessons for the rest of us?

If a system with 2 million users cannot be secure what about one with 1.2 million (NHS) or 100,000 (DWP)?

What could, should Government, and others, learn from from the security processes of the honeypots with hundreds of thousands employees in the private sector – from aerospace, through financial services, freight forwarding and gaming/gambling to pharmaceuticals and on-line retail?  

The Information Governance group of EURIM appears to be the only group seeking to take a joined up approach to the issues.

Next week it meets to discuss its programme for 2011.

I will suggest that we invite partners (including UK and EU Think Tanks, Trade Associations and Professional bodies etc.) to join us in looking at how UK and EU policy initiatives could and should be joined up – for a world in which it is only a matter of time before any information placed on-line becomes known to our neighbours and adversaries, not just our friends and current allies.

Is that a chilling thought – or merely a call for us to remember that God gave his son a millenium to get celestial communications working in perfect harmony.

Being an IT consultant, Jesus over-ran and nearly two millenia later his development teams brought us the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Now we can misunderstand, betray and fight each other, as well as exchange knowledge, make friends and co-operate, in a whole new dimension.

But like so many IT teams they failed to address the user requirement …

Perfect Harmony?

Happy Christmas and an interesting New Year