IBM Acquires PSS Systems

The lines between compliance and e-discovery are drawing closer. New York’s IBM has acquired California-based PSS Systems. PSS Systems develops Atlas, an information governance suite that helps users analyze and assess risks in maintaining data and formulate policies and automate workflows to dispose of excess data. According to Ron Ercanbrack, vice president of enterprise content management at IBM, Atlas is a “logical complement” to other IBM products like Content Collector and eDiscovery Analyzer and Manager. “With the acquisition of PSS Systems, we are able to expand our portfolio with a broader set of legal solutions that for the first time link corporate legal hold policies to the reality of how information is managed and disposed of,” explains Ercanbrack.

….Read More

Data Visualization – UK Finances

Judge Jacqueline Davies – The Twitter Joke Judge

The twitter joke trial has now become main stream news thanks, almost entirely, to the blogging community.

The case itself it’s pretty shocking and has been dealt with by numerous other articles.

The aim of this article is not to discuss the specifics of case, but the latest Judge to become involved in this case – Judge Jacqueline Davies.

Judge Jacqueline Davies, pictured below, is a circuit judge. She was married to Paul Clark, also a judge, who died on October 6, 2008 (aged 68). 

Judge Jacqueline Davies

Judge Jacqueline Davies

During the appeal against the conviction of Paul Chambers Judge Jacqueline Davies stated that  the “[The Tweet was] menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed. The airport staff did see it and were sufficiently concerned to report it……We find it impossible to accept that anyone living in this country, in the current climate of terrorist threats, would not be aware of the consequences of their actions in making such a statement.

Paul Chambers tweet, for those who have not seen it was

Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!

A key part of her judgements is worth repeating, due to its sheer lunacy:

“[The tweet was] menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed”

Given that thousands of people around the world repeated the words on Twitter, showed that many people do no find it phrase menacing.  Clearly the “ordinary” person reading those words was not in anyway alarmed.

The question is how “ordinary” is Jaqueline Davies to convict a man, on appeal, of little more than an understandable  tantrum?

A quick check of the internet will easily find people saying far more harmful things with no element of humour at all.

Below are a sample of comments taken from YouTube, found within a few moments:

  • god dam pope can burn on a stick shoved up his ass
  • I HOPE YOU FUCKING DIE!!!!!!!!”
  • You fringe neo-Nazi freaks
  • Hey shut the fuck up ur annoying kid , AND EAT MY NUTS NOOB

These quotes are all from the videos on subjects of science and politics, on  one of the worlds largest sites. The people making these comments tend to be repeatedly aggressive and threatening, with no hint of humour. Sadly this is the nature of the internet.

It’s highly unlikely that Jacqueline Davies is aware of the nature of the internet, forums, YouTube, Facebook, instant messaging or Twitter.

Paul Chambers next step is to head to the High Court.


WikiLeaks Under “Attack” by DDoS

Wikileaks is currently under a massive Distributed Denail of Service  according the BBC.

In other, and entirely unreleated news WikiLeaks is just about to release diplomatic cables that are both secret and embarassing for the US Government.

Information Commissioner – June 2009

The current Information Commissioner is Christopher Graham, who replaced the outgoing Richard Thomas

Chris Graham ICO

Chris Graham ICO

Christopher Graham became Information Commissioner in June 2009. The Information Commissioner is appointed by HM The Queen and has independent status, reporting directly to Parliament, with a range of responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998 and related laws. The functions of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) include promoting good practice, ruling on complaints and taking regulatory action.

Christopher’s career began at the BBC as a radio and TV journalist. Most recently he has been:

  • Director General of the Advertising Standards Authority;
  • Chairman of the European Advertising Standards Alliance; and
  • Secretary of the BBC.

He was a Non-Executive Lay Representative of the Bar Standards Board and a Non-Executive Director of Electoral Reform Services Ltd. He studied History at Liverpool University and his interests include media, music, singing, history and writing.

DNA Rention Limits – More of the Same

The Home Office is due to formally  state that their plan is to maintain the DNA data, of innocent people, for 6 years.

This is, of course, a lot longer than the zero time of many other countries and the UK less than a decade ago, but still a lot less than the previous policy of “forever”.

This statement now follows on from the previous statement in May 2009 by the government of the intention to retain the data fro 12 and 6 years, depending on the offense.

For those not acquainted with the reasons behind this change in the law this is due to the S and Marper V United Kingdom test cases in the ECHR, where they challenged, successfully the UK law on detaining, indefinitely the DNA samples of innocent.

 

 

PunterNet, PR, and Bad Driving

Harriet Harman is not having a good time. She is accused of failing to stop at road traffic accident, she was embroiled in the  expenses claims fiasco, and she is the deputy leader of a party that just got dropped by the biggest selling paper in the UK. But, this is not why she is on this site.

She is mentioned here because of her statements about the website Punter Net. As the name of the site implies PunterNet is a website, for “punters”, or more precisely clients of prostitutes. It could be described as being similar to a Which? forum for users of prostitutes (not that Which? would like that analogy). PunterNet provides a surprisingly large amount of information about the prostitutes that are reviewed, for everything from costs and location, right down to wheel chair access.

Harriet Harman called for the website to be banned. And, as the site is hosted in California, she address the comment directly to the Californian governor, Arnold Swartzenager

Ms Harman’s exact statement was:

Surely it can’t be too difficult for the Terminator to terminate PunterNet…..If he doesn’t I’ve got a message for Arnie – I’ll be back!

British politicians don’t really pull off the James Bond style quips very well; Ms even Harman less so. Particularly, because it doesn’t make any sense.

Assuming that the Governor chooses to push forward a law to ban this site, and then California legislates against the site, both of which are a huge assumptions, then the site will simply be moved elsewhere. It could move to a neighboring state, or a different country, there will be no difference whatsoever.

What is frightening is that Harriet Harman doesn’t seem to know this. Presumably she is not aware that there are many sites in the world that contain material that the UK government doesn’t like, but can still be viewed from the UK. Everything from Al Qaeda promotional websites to child abuse images and extreme pornography. If she is not aware of this she is remarkably ill informed.

Even more strange is the fact that UK government effectively  operate a firewall that allows them to block almost anything and everything they want to. This has happened for quite some time, but hit the mainstream press recently when a page from Wikipedia was blocked.

How can the deputy prime minster not know this?

More accurately, either she, her advisors and script writers didn’t know any of this, or they did know this and still decided to push the idea of closing down a website, operating legally in a different country, as it fits in with their personal agenda.

The net effect?

The statements by Harriet Harman were in fact so ridiculous that the owners of PunterNet, stated that the recent press had produced lots of new traffic for the site:

I would like to thank you for the huge influx of traffic to my website which your actions have caused….I am sure that the ladies who are a part of the PunterNet community thank you as well, as they will no doubt benefit financially from the many new clients who might otherwise never have found them.

The Law

Historically, the UK has allowed prostitution. Rather choosing to legislate against those who exploit women, banning (in theory) brothels and pimps, put allowing individual women, working for themselves, to make their own choices; the morals for this are not commented on here. Therefore its strange that the UK Government wants to ban  a site, in a different country, which advertises something which can be legal both in the country it resides and the UK. Has she not seen all the adverts in UK magazines, and phone boxes, advertising “escorts”?

Police experience in the UK has learnt that providing safe environments for women to sell sex is the lesser of the two evils, when compared to the problems of “street walkers”. As a result, in many areas the police have decriminalized prostitution, by allowing the practice to continue unhindered.

The government states that they are concerned that about a spike in the sex industry during the Olympics and want to take action to stop this: This is laudable and may be accurate, with previous major sporting events showing a huge increase in the use of prostitutes. This demand for sex for cash leads to the demand for more prostitutes which, in turn, can lead to sex trafficking; and all of the human horrors that brings with it.

If it’s the governments intent is to stop the eastern European gangs kidnapping and moving young women around Europe, then perhaps the best place to start is not shutting down a website that operates in California, and has been since  1999 (according to the WHOIS database)

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