Skip to main content

International Pubbing

I dropped into Westminster this afternoon to have a chat with MP, Jeremey Hunt about internet content and child protection. Is it feasible to even consider some kind of government action which places the responsibility on internet service providers to be more aggressive in filtering out inappropriate, illegal or downright unacceptable content or should we simply surrender to the American model of everything or nothing? There's a powerful moral argument for more direct action but it's a subject that makes politicians uncomfortable, with its tacit implication of internet control in a free society. Now's not the time, it being very late, for me to start thinking out loud about a problem which is starting to show signs of provoking a political confrontation with a moral dilemma.

With the world's law-enforcement gathering for the ecrime congress, en masse, now busily engaged in the pub across the road, I'm struck by how many I now recognise on first name terms. The head of Ukraine's unit, the FBI and this year, both "Tiger" from the Hong Kong police and his counterpart, the director of the People's Security Bureau in Beijing. Even the Cubans have pitched-up with the South Africans, Australians, Vietnamese and forty other countries.

Most interesting of all is the head of the Russian cybercrime unit from Moscow, whose name happens to be the same as the new President. I wonder if they are related?

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 Big Steal

I’m not here to predict the future;” quipped the novelist, Ray Bradbury. “I’m here to prevent it.” And the future looks much like one where giant corporations who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the greatest processing power will drive all economic growth into the second half of the century.

We live in an unprecedented time. This in the sense that nobody knows what the world will look like in twenty years; one where making confident forecasts in the face of new technologies becomes a real challenge. Before this decade is over, business leaders will face regular and complex decisions about protecting their critical information and systems as more of the existing solutions they have relied upon are exposed as inadequate.

The few real certainties we have available surround the uninterrupted march of Moore’s Law - the notion that the number of transistors in the top-of-the-line processors doubles approximately every two years - and the unpredictability of human nature. Exper…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…