Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy festive dispute-season and a litigational new year..

.. well what DO you wish a bunch of IT lawyers for Xmas?? World peace? An end to spam, malware and windows Vista? But then what would we do for a job??

Panglos is back from Beijing and Thailand but has not yet had time to clear all the yuan and bhat out of her purse, let alone absorb the apparently daily accounts of government departments giving personal data away with ten free gallons of petrol plus Green Shield Stamps.

Meanwhile, exposure to the street markets of Beijing, Bangkok and Phuket has persuaded her that any attempt to assert globalised IP rights against Asia ls a lost cause. Pirate DVDS of every quality from perfect to dodgy sold for c 50-70 baht - less than a pound - including Futurama, not yet out in the UK, and The Golden compass, not yet out on DVD legally ANYWHERE, yet possesed of utterly convincing cover artwork and copy.. Pangloss may have purchased some of these but only with which to thrill her classes, nota bene. Meanwhile knock off designer goods are so commonplace that frankly I came back covetous more of a Tescos set of napkins than a Gucci handbag. Dilution? Yes, I am very diluted:)

Serious Content will resume after Xmas.

In the meantime , have two nice images for the season.

One, a postgraduate class on cybersecurity I taught at the Beijing University of Telecommunications, in English, without translator (only days after producing a report accusing China of being the main player in cyber-terrorism :-). The class, all Mandarin-speaking, were attentive and excited and asked incisive questions. No developing country lag at all there. When we tried to look up something on Wikipedia and found it blocked by the Great Firewall, a student lackadaisically simply punched in a proxy server address. Censorship? What censorship?

Secondly, yesterday I was proud to attend the wedding of my PhD`student Rowena Rodrigues, herself an IT law blogger. Congratulations to Rowena and Jovito, and I hope for a long and happy marriage and bouncing baby PhD thesis in the years to come!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

MI5 warn of chinese hacking theat too

Only a day after the McAfee report warned of the possibility of Chinese hackers attacking states around the world including the UK, MI5 has, unconnectedly, sent out a confidential letter warning of exactly that. the Chinese embassy has of course denied the allegations - just as they did in response to the original report.

More over at Blogzilla.

And Pangloss goes to China Tuesday to give a paper entitled "Chinese zombies or Japanese worms? What can the law do about cyber-security?". Synchronicitous times..

Meanwhile on the domestic security front, fall out from the great child benefit disc scandal continues. Contactpoint, the database to combine data on most the country's children for multi-agency communication purposes , has been put on hold for five months.

Shadow Children’s Minister Maria Miller said: "The government should also use this opportunity to see whether it really is necessary to have a database for every single child in the country, accessible to 330,000 people, given the significant amount of concern that this could overload the system and lead to a dumbing down of information.

Pangloss just turned in a somewhat critical chapter on Contactpoint for a book on social work, privacy and confidentiality; perhaps by the time it is printed it will already be a dead letter?

First, Contactpoint: next the ID Database? Watch this space.