Skip to main content
One Giant Leap

Technology gave us the Internet and in return, the Internet gave us Worms and Webcams.

Operation Ore revealed, as far as I can tell, the tip of a very large iceberg. While the police are still working through the credit card numbers of the seven thousand or so people, which included my mother-in-law’s doctor, who used their plastic as a pass to the sordid world of paedophile sex, there are many more who are worried by the prospect of a visit by the police.

Such people are desperate for news on how the investigation is proceeding and whether any more names or lists of names have been added to the thousands that the police are already sifting through. I can tell that they are, because this website tracks incoming referrals from the big search engines and the greater part of the last month’s traffic has involved Operation Ore.

Of course, you might say that this is legitimate searching for news on its progress and you might be right but then within this, a proportion of searches appear very interested in the names of the people involved and the websites they might have visited.

Pure speculation, maybe but given that I only wrote a small column on Operation Ore in the first place, there’s a remarkable volume of traffic coming through my front door, sadly with other searches, like those looking for decapitation footage of either the murder of Daniel Pearl or the “execution” of a young Russian soldier in Chechnya. I wrote about the horror of such things a year ago and Google of course throws up this site as a reference, which attracts those with a morbid interest in watching close-up footage of another human being having his head sawn of with a pocket knife.

What I wonder, will people be watching, one day in the not so distant future, when the Internet and television merge into a single device in the living room? Football, of course and a diet of Webcams, soaps and other images I would rather not think about this early in the day


Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.

In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …