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IPB excuse #74

Posted by Kevin on October 19, 2016

Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) in the Lords; from Hansard: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party) The amendment simply requires, first, a threshold of reasonable suspicion that a serious crime has been planned or committed and, secondly, a factual basis for believing that the targeted communications data will contain information relevant to the criminal investigation. This […]

IPB Excuse #73

Posted by Kevin on October 18, 2016

A new report from the government-backed Get Safe Online organization says that almost £11 billion pounds was lost to fraud and cyber crime in the UK last year. That translates to £210 for everybody over the age of 16. No, wait. It’s likely to be £523 each, because that’s the average for victims of online […]

Lock up your data – the British IPB is coming

Posted by Kevin on October 17, 2016

Until a year before the Brexit referendum, I was firmly in favour of the UK leaving the EU. This was because I have zero faith in European politicians. Then I did a 180. This was because I have even less faith in British politicians. And IPB. And here’s why. In a highly significant judgment released […]

Targeted Advertising — a new farce in one Act

Posted by Kevin on October 11, 2016

Ain’t targeted advertising wonderful? Top of the list of adverts that LinkedIn thinks I might be interested is Dessy. I’ve never heard of Dessy. This is what it offered me: If you actually know me you will laugh. I get most of my clothes from Mole Valley Farmers, where they do a wonderful line in […]

Why cyber security doesn’t work

Posted by Kevin on September 29, 2016

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO and founder of High-Tech Bridge, has an interesting article in CSO Online. It’s worth reading – but I just want to consider the first part here. He examines two sets of figures: spend on cyber security; and the losses to cyber crime. Both are rocketing: Gartner predicts a rise in spend from […]

Automatic takedown – a step too far

Posted by Kevin on September 5, 2016

Europol announced yesterday that “1,677 media content and social media accounts in 6 languages containing terrorist and violent extremist propaganda have been processed for the purpose of referral.” ‘Referral’ by Europol’s Internet Referral Unit effectively means ‘takedown’ without judicial oversight. Few people will object to the removal of illegal content from the internet. ‘Terrorist and […]

Spammers are spammers whoever they are

Posted by Kevin on September 2, 2016

Two spammers’ spam samples took my eye today: Kevtownsend, our VIP host has a message for you Kevin, you’ve been chosen to participate in our Desktop Virtualization Research Panel The first was caught by my spam filter; the second, more subtle sample, was not. The first, obviously a bit OTT, clearly took my name from my […]

Time for the people to take back control

Posted by Kevin on August 14, 2016

The basis of the Labour Party in the UK is that it is the party of the people. Well, that hasn’t been true for many years – certainly not since Tony Blair decided that the people didn’t understand that they wanted an illegal foreign war. Recent events have shown that nothing has changed. Labour MPs […]

Windows 10 privacy concerns are growing

Posted by Kevin on August 3, 2016

We’ve often talked about our concerns over Windows 10 privacy. See these for example: Serving Formal Notice to Microsoft Corporation Falling into the Windows 10 PIT again ‘PIT’, incidentally, stands for ‘privacy invasive techniques’ The agony of indecision – Windows 10 Windows 10 makes Google look like it still does no evil Microsoft’s encryption: a […]

Same as it ever was

Posted by Kevin on July 4, 2016

Baroness Neville-Rolfe has laid out Britain’s IT security and data protection plans in the post-Brexit era. It is simple and consistent with Britain’s historical approach: we don’t know and it all depends. That, frankly, is amazing. She doesn’t even know if the UK will proceed with GDPR. It seems to depend on whether the EU […]