jm + government   36

Government urged to declare if it wants mandatory ID cards
“The move from a voluntary or small-scale project of Public Services Cards to requiring all passport and driving licence applicant to present these cards is very significant.” Dr TJ McIntyre, a UCD law lecturer and chairman of the privacy advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland said on Sunday these measures marked the introduction of a “national ID card by stealth” and he believed it was being done “in a way which appears to be illegal”.
privacy  government  ireland  id-cards  law 
5 days ago by jm
Chatbot that overturned 160,000 parking fines now helping refugees claim asylum | Technology | The Guardian
The original DoNotPay, created by Stanford student Joshua Browder, describes itself as “the world’s first robot lawyer”, giving free legal aid to users through a simple-to-use chat interface. The chatbot, using Facebook Messenger, can now help refugees fill in an immigration application in the US and Canada. For those in the UK, it helps them apply for asylum support.
government  technology  automation  bots  asylum  forms  facebook 
11 weeks ago by jm
A Yale history professor's 20-point guide to defending democracy under a Trump presidency — Quartz
Good advice -- let's hope it doesn't come to this. Example:

'17. Watch out for the paramilitaries: When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.'
trump  activism  government  politics  us-politics  right-wing  history  hitler  nazis  fascism 
december 2016 by jm
Can the United Kingdom government legally disregard a vote for Brexit?
Oh thank god, there's a "get out of jail" card before they destroy the global economy to appease the eurosceptics.
On the day after a vote for Brexit, the UK will still be a member state of the EU. All the legislation which gives effect to EU law will still be in place. Nothing as a matter of law changes in any way just because of a vote to Leave. What will make all the legal difference is not a decision to leave by UK voters in a non-binding advisory vote, but the decision of the prime minister on how to react before making any Article 50 notification. And what the prime minister will do politically after a referendum vote for Brexit is, at the moment, as unknown as the result of the result of the referendum itself.
brexit  law  uk  government  referenda  eurosceptics  eu 
june 2016 by jm
Gaeltacht development company defends sale of State seaweed company to Canadian multinational
FFS. Fine Gael government sells off more of our national assets for cheap:
Mr John O’Sullivan, chief executive of Bioatlantis Ltd in Co Kerry called on the Oireachtas environment committee to investigate the sale, or ask the Oireachtas public accounts committee to do so.
Mr O’Sullivan said that his company had made a bid of €5.7 million for Arramara, comprising €1.5 million initially and €4.2 million in the post-investment phase, and had been given just 12 days to prepare the bid.
He understood that two foreign companies – the Canadian Acadian Seaplants and French company Setalg – had been given over a year to prepare their bids.
He said that Acadian’s bid was €1.8 million, and the French bid was €2 million, for initial purchase, and that the rating was “changed” when the final bids were in.
No details had been released and the lack of transparency was “frightening” in relation to the final sale, he said.
seaweed  acadian  setalg  arramara  bioatlantis  government  ireland  selloff  gaeltacht  unag 
april 2016 by jm
US government commits to publish publicly financed software under Free Software licenses
Wow, this is significant:
At the end of last week, the White House published a draft for a Source Code Policy. The policy requires every public agency to publish their custom-build software as Free Software for other public agencies as well as the general public to use, study, share and improve the software. At the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) we believe that the European Union, and European member states should implement similar policies. Therefore we are interested in your feedback to the US draft.
government  open-source  coding  licenses  fsf  free-software  source-code  us-politics  usa 
april 2016 by jm
Lasers reveal 'lost' Roman roads
UK open data success story, via Tony Finch:
This LIDAR data bonanza has proved particularly helpful to archaeologists seeking to map Roman roads that have been ‘lost’, some for thousands of years. Their discoveries are giving clues to a neglected chapter in the history of Roman Britain: the roads built to help Rome’s legions conquer and control northern England.
uk  government  lidar  open-data  data  roman  history  mapping  geodata 
february 2016 by jm
The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists - The Atlantic
Phillip Rogaway, a professor of CS at UC Davis, contends that computer scientists should stand up against the construction of surveillance states built using their work:
Waddell: In your paper, you compare the debate over nuclear science in the 1950s to the current debate over cryptography. Nuclear weapons are one of the most obvious threats to humanity today — do you think surveillance presents a similar type of danger?

Rogaway: I do. It’s of a different nature, obviously. The threat is more indirect and more subtle. So with nuclear warfare, there was this visually compelling and frightening risk of going up in a mushroom cloud. And with the transition to a state of total surveillance, what we have is just the slow forfeiture of democracy.
ethics  cryptography  crypto  surveillance  politics  phillip-rogaway  morals  speaking-out  government 
december 2015 by jm
Government forum to discuss increasing use of personal data
Mr Murphy said it was the Government’s objective for Ireland to be a leader on data protection and data-related issues.
The members of the forum include Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon, John Barron, chief technology officer with the Revenue Commissioners, Seamus Carroll, head of civil law reform division at the Department of Justice and Tim Duggan, assistant secretary with the Department of Social Protection.
Gary Davis, director of privacy and law enforcement requests with Apple, is also on the forum. Mr Davis is a former deputy data protection commissioner in Ireland.
There are also representatives from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, from the IDA, the Law Society and the National Statistics Board.
Chair of Digital Rights Ireland Dr TJ McIntyre and Dr Eoin O’Dell, associate professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin are also on the voluntary forum.
ireland  government  dri  law  privacy  data  data-protection  dpc 
july 2015 by jm
The Violence of Algorithms: Why Big Data Is Only as Smart as Those Who Generate It
The modern state system is built on a bargain between governments and citizens. States provide collective social goods, and in turn, via a system of norms, institutions, regulations, and ethics to hold this power accountable, citizens give states legitimacy. This bargain created order and stability out of what was an increasingly chaotic global system. If algorithms represent a new ungoverned space, a hidden and potentially ever-evolving unknowable public good, then they are an affront to our democratic system, one that requires transparency and accountability in order to function. A node of power that exists outside of these bounds is a threat to the notion of collective governance itself. This, at its core, is a profoundly undemocratic notion—one that states will have to engage with seriously if they are going to remain relevant and legitimate to their digital citizenry who give them their power.
palantir  algorithms  big-data  government  democracy  transparency  accountability  analytics  surveillance  war  privacy  protest  rights 
june 2015 by jm
Science is in crisis and scientists have lost confidence in Government policy
Excellent op-ed from Dr David McConnell, fellow emeritus of TCD's Smurfit Institute of Genetics: 'Ireland should once again foster, by competition, a good number of experienced, reputable people, of all ages, who have ideas about solving major scientific questions. These people are an essential part of the foundation of our science-based economy and society. Too many of them are no longer eligible for funding by SFI; too few are being appointed by the universities; and fewer PhDs are being awarded. The writing is on the wall.'
science  politics  biotech  tcd  policy  government 
april 2015 by jm
Irish government under fire for turning its back on basic research : Nature News & Comment
Pretty much ALL of Ireland's research scientists have put their names to an open letter to the Irish government, decrying the state of science funding, published this week in "Nature".

'Although total spending on research and development grew through the recession, helped by foreign investments, Ireland’s government has cut state spending on research (see ‘Celtic tiger tamed’). It also prioritized grants in 14 narrow areas — ones in which either large global markets exist, or in which Irish companies are competitive. These include marine renewable energy, smart grids, medical devices and computing. The effect has been to asphyxiate the many areas of fundamental science — including astrophysics, particle physics and areas of the life sciences — that have been deprived of funding, several researchers in Ireland told Nature. “The current policies are having a very significant detrimental effect on the health and viability of the Irish scientific ecosystem,” says Kevin Mitchell, a geneticist who studies the basis of neurological disorders at Trinity College Dublin. “Research that cannot be shoehorned into one of the 14 prioritized areas has been ineligible for most funding,” he says.'

That's another fine mess Sean Sherlock has gotten us into :(
sean-sherlock  fail  ireland  research  government  funding  grants  science  tcd  kevin-mitchell  life-sciences  nature 
march 2015 by jm
Postcodes at last but random numbers don’t address efficiency
Karlin Lillington assembles a fine collection of quotes from various sources panning the new Eircode system:
Critics say the opportunity has been missed to use Ireland’s clean-slate status to produce a technologically innovative postcode system that would be at the cutting edge globally; similar to the competitive leap that was provided when the State switched to a digital phone network in the 1980s, well ahead of most of the world.
Instead, say organisations such as the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), the proposed seven-digit format of scrambled letters and numbers is almost useless for a business sector that should most benefit from a proper postcode system: transport and delivery companies, from international giants like FedEx and UPS down to local courier, delivery and service supplier firms.
Because each postcode will reveal the exact address of a home or business, privacy advocates are concerned that online use of postcodes could link many types of internet activity, including potentially sensitive online searches, to a specific household or business.
eircode  government  fail  ireland  postcodes  location  ftai  random 
september 2014 by jm
ETL for America
This is a really good post on governmental computing, open data, and so on:
The fact that I can go months hearing about "open data" without a single mention of ETL is a problem. ETL is the pipes of your house: it's how you open data.
civic  open-data  government  etl  data-pipeline  tech  via:timoreilly 
march 2014 by jm
FOI is better than tea and biscuits
Good post on the 'FOI costs too much' talking point.
I realise if you’re a councillor, tea and biscuits sounds much more appealing than transparency and being held accountable and actually having to answer to voters, but those things are what you signed up to when you stood for election.
foi  open-data  politics  government  funding 
march 2014 by jm
The Gardai haven't requested info on any Twitter accounts in the past 6 months
This seems to imply they haven't been investigating any allegations of cyber-bullying/harassment from "anonymous" Twitter handles, despite having the legal standing to do so. Enforcement is needed, not new laws
cyber-bullying  twitter  social-media  enforcement  gardai  policing  harassment  online  society  law  government 
february 2014 by jm
We're sending out the wrong signals in bid to lure the big data bucks - Independent.ie
Simon McGarr on Ireland's looming data-protection train-crash.
Last week, during the debate of his proposals to increase fees for making a Freedom of Information request, Brendan Howlin was asked how one of his amendments would affect citizens looking for data from the State's electronic databases. His reply was to cheerfully admit he didn't even understand the question. "I have no idea what an SQL code is. Does anyone know what an SQL code is?"

Unlike the minister, it probably isn't your job to know that SQL is the computer language that underpins the data industry. The amendment he had originally proposed would have effectively allowed civil servants to pretend that their computer files were made of paper when deciding whether a request was reasonable. His answer showed how the Government could have proposed such an absurd idea in the first place.

Like it or not – fair or not – these are not the signals a country that wanted to build a long-term data industry would choose to send out. They are the sort of signals that Ireland used to send out about Financial Regulation. I think it's agreed, that approach didn't work out so well.
foi  ireland  brendan-howlin  technology  illiteracy  sql  civil-service  government  data-protection  privacy  regulation  dpa 
december 2013 by jm
Who Is Watching the Watch Lists? - NYTimes.com
it might seem that current efforts to identify and track potential terrorists would be approached with caution. Yet the federal government’s main terrorist watch list has grown to at least 700,000 people, with little scrutiny over how the determinations are made or the impact on those marked with the terrorist label.
“If you’ve done the paperwork correctly, then you can effectively enter someone onto the watch list,” said Anya Bernstein, an associate professor at the SUNY Buffalo Law School and author of “The Hidden Costs of Terrorist Watch Lists,” published by the Buffalo Law Review in May. “There’s no indication that agencies undertake any kind of regular retrospective review to assess how good they are at predicting the conduct they’re targeting.”

terrorism  watchlists  blacklists  filtering  safety  air-travel  government  security  dhs  travel 
december 2013 by jm
Bruce Schneier On The Feudal Internet And How To Fight It
This is very well-put.
In its early days, there was a lot of talk about the "natural laws of the Internet" and how it would empower the masses, upend traditional power blocks, and spread freedom throughout the world. The international nature of the Internet made a mockery of national laws. Anonymity was easy. Censorship was impossible. Police were clueless about cybercrime. And bigger changes were inevitable. Digital cash would undermine national sovereignty. Citizen journalism would undermine the media, corporate PR, and political parties. Easy copying would destroy the traditional movie and music industries. Web marketing would allow even the smallest companies to compete against corporate giants. It really would be a new world order.
Unfortunately, as we know, that's not how it worked out. Instead, we have seen the rise of the feudal Internet:
Feudal security consolidates power in the hands of the few. These companies [like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc.] act in their own self-interest. They use their relationship with us to increase their profits, sometimes at our expense. They act arbitrarily. They make mistakes. They're deliberately changing social norms. Medieval feudalism gave the lords vast powers over the landless peasants; we’re seeing the same thing on the Internet.
bruce-schneier  politics  internet  feudal-internet  google  apple  microsoft  facebook  government 
october 2013 by jm
The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ
When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new kind of surveillance society
john-lanchester  gchq  guardian  surveillance  snooping  police-state  nsa  privacy  government 
october 2013 by jm
Edward Snowden's E-Mail Provider Defied FBI Demands to Turn Over SSL Keys, Documents Show
Levison lost [in secret court against the government's order]. In a work-around, Levison complied the next day by turning over the private SSL keys as an 11 page printout in 4-point type. The government called the printout “illegible” and the court ordered Levison to provide a more useful electronic copy.


Nice try though! Bottom line is they demanded the SSL private key. (via Waxy)
government  privacy  security  ssl  tls  crypto  fbi  via:waxy  secrecy  snooping 
october 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: Reforming the NSA
Regardless of how we got here, the NSA can't reform itself. Change cannot come from within; it has to come from above. It's the job of government: of Congress, of the courts, and of the president. These are the people who have the ability to investigate how things became so bad, rein in the rogue agency, and establish new systems of transparency, oversight, and accountability.
Any solution we devise will make the NSA less efficient at its eavesdropping job. That's a trade-off we should be willing to make, just as we accept reduced police efficiency caused by requiring warrants for searches and warning suspects that they have the right to an attorney before answering police questions. We do this because we realize that a too-powerful police force is itself a danger, and we need to balance our need for public safety with our aversion of a police state.
nsa  politics  us-politics  surveillance  snooping  society  government  police  public-safety  police-state 
september 2013 by jm
Necessary and Proportionate -- In Which Civil Society is Caught Between a Cop and a Spy
Modern telecommunications technology implied the development of modern telecommunications surveillance, because it moved the scope of action from the physical world (where intelligence, generally seen as part of the military mission, had acted) to the virtual world—including the scope of those actions that could threaten state power. While the public line may have been, as US Secretary of State Henry Stimson said in 1929, “gentlemen do not open each other’s mail”, you can bet that they always did keep a keen eye on the comings and goings of each other’s shipping traffic.

The real reason that surveillance in the context of state intelligence was limited until recently was because it was too expensive, and it was too expensive for everyone. The Westphalian compromise demands equality of agency as tied to territory. As soon as one side gains a significant advantage, the structure of sovereignty itself is threatened at a conceptual level — hence Oppenheimer as the death of any hope of international rule of law. Once surveillance became cheap enough, all states were (and will increasingly be) forced to attempt it at scale, as a reaction to this pernicious efficiency. The US may be ahead of the game now, but Moore’s law and productization will work their magic here.
government  telecoms  snooping  gchq  nsa  surveillance  law  politics  intelligence  spying  internet 
september 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet
The new Snowden revelations are explosive. Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the Internet. They're doing it primarily by cheating, not by mathematics.
It's joint reporting between the Guardian, the New York Times, and ProPublica.
I have been working with Glenn Greenwald on the Snowden documents, and I have seen a lot of them. These are my two essays on today's revelations.
Remember this: The math is good, but math has no agency. Code has agency, and the code has been subverted.
encryption  communication  government  nsa  security  bruce-schneier  crypto  politics  snooping  gchq  guardian  journalism 
september 2013 by jm
Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack responses
'Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack monetary policy' includes this amazing snippet:

[Contingency] ...(d) a total nuclear attack employing high power missiles which would destroy all but a small percentage of the UK population and almost all physical assets or civilised life. [...] As for (d), the money policy would of course be absurdly unrealistic for the few surviving administrators and politicians as they struggled to organise food and shelter for the tiny bands of surviving able-bodied and the probably larger number of sick and dying. Most of the other departments contingency planning might also be irrelevant in such a situation. Within a fairly short time the survivors would evacuate the UK and try to find some sort of life in less-effected countries (southern Ireland?).


Hey, at least they were considering these scenarios. (via Charlie Stross)
nuclear  attack  contingency  government  monetary  policy  uk  ireland  history  1960s  via:cstross  insane  fallout 
august 2013 by jm
Minister Rabbitte welcomes EU agreement on re-use of Public Sector Information
Lots of talk about "charging regimes", "income-generating public sector bodies" etc., but not a single mention of open data or free access. Terrible stuff. :( (via conoro)
via:conoro  open-access  government  public-sector  ireland  eu  open-data  public  free 
april 2013 by jm
IT expenditure and failure – submission to public expenditure consultation
Antoin lays into the disfunctional Irish IT procurement system. "The status quo isn’t just making things expensive and slow, it’s asphyxiating the government’s ability to serve."
antoin  it  procurement  ireland  government  civil-service  letters 
july 2011 by jm
PSI License [PDF]
the license under which the open data from various councils around Fingal and Dublin (see www.dublinked.ie) is being published
licensing  open-data  dublin  fingal  open  public  government  county-councils  city-council  ireland 
june 2011 by jm
France To Launch a National Patent Troll
'The operation, called "France Brevets" will buy up patents from small operation and put the French government in charge of [...] shaking down companies for money.' I think the word is: incroyable
france  fail  omgwtfbbq  patent-trolls  swpats  patents  government  innovation  software  europe 
june 2011 by jm
Dylan Collins asks: has Ireland peaked as an Internet hub?
based on Twitter's surprise move passing over Dublin for London, and how to fix it: "launch the Internet Visa, an aggressive program that allows all Irish Internet companies to recruit from anywhere in the world. Reduce the red tape (combine all permit and visa documentation), guarantee a turnaround time measured in days (a small number) and avoid all the mistakes the UK has made with its Startup Visa initiative. Bring the talent from everywhere outside the EU to Ireland. Ireland doesn’t scale organically. So it needs to in-source. We need to be honest about our shortcomings and tackle them with something which will make HR Directors smile. Imagine a country with all the existing advantages of Ireland plus the ability to hire anyone in the world you wanted. Who in their right mind wouldn’t establish their European base there?" He's dead right, this is a massive problem for the Irish tech industry right now
ireland  bureaucracy  red-tape  twitter  tech  business  visas  work  government  dylan-collins 
april 2011 by jm
WikiLeaks Archive: A CAUCASUS WEDDING
Dagestan knows how to party. 'The main activity of the day was eating and drinking -- starting from 4 p.m., about eight hours worth, all told -- punctuated, when all were laden with food and sodden with drink, with a bout of jet skiing in the Caspian'
russia  government  politics  leaks  wikileaks  weddings  funny  dagestan  caucasus  from delicious
november 2010 by jm
Protection of Intellectual Property...: 11 Nov 2010: Seanad debates (KildareStreet.com)
this is not looking good -- the Seanad debate on the subject of filesharing and internet filtering in Ireland is going in the direction that IRMA have been lobbying for; only the Labour senator came up with something sensible, by at least reading an email he'd received into the record
irma  copyright  filesharing  ireland  seanad  debates  government  piracy  from delicious
november 2010 by jm
Putting up barriers to a free and open internet - The Irish Times
Ireland's Dept of Justice is investigating setting up a "Great Firewall" filtering the country's internet, a la China and Australia. “Blocking involves censorship taken on no legal basis. There is no judge, no jury and no right to be heard if you are blocked,” says [DRI's TJ] McIntyre. “The chances are it also will be used in unaccountable ways by unaccountable organisations.”
blocking  censorship  government  internet  ireland  dri  filtering  great-firewall  from delicious
april 2010 by jm
Socializing the Weather
so Met Eireann's crappy weather forecasts are actually just what they give out "for free"; if you pay extra, they have more accurate forecasts. what a scam for a govt department! Handily though, they are mandated by law to give out decent forecasts to pilots -- which are available online
eidw  taf  terminal-area-forecasts  aviation  flying  pilots  met-eireann  weather  forecasts  government 
august 2009 by jm

related tags

1960s  acadian  accountability  activism  air-travel  alan-turing  algorithms  analytics  antoin  apologies  apology  apple  arramara  asylum  attack  automation  aviation  big-data  bioatlantis  biotech  blacklists  blocking  bots  brendan-howlin  brexit  bruce-schneier  bureaucracy  business  caucasus  censorship  city-council  civic  civil-service  codebreaking  coding  communication  computing  contingency  copyright  county-councils  crypto  cryptography  cyber-bullying  dagestan  data  data-pipeline  data-protection  debates  democracy  dhs  dpa  dpc  dri  dublin  dylan-collins  eidw  eircode  encryption  enforcement  england  ethics  etl  eu  europe  eurosceptics  facebook  fail  fallout  fascism  fbi  feudal-internet  filesharing  filtering  fingal  flying  foi  forecasts  forms  france  free  free-software  fsf  ftai  funding  funny  gaeltacht  gardai  gay  gchq  geodata  google  government  grants  great-firewall  guardian  harassment  history  hitler  id-cards  illiteracy  innovation  insane  intelligence  internet  ireland  irish  irma  it  jgc  john-lanchester  journalism  justice  kevin-mitchell  law  leaks  letters  licenses  licensing  lidar  life-sciences  location  mapping  met-eireann  microsoft  monetary  morals  nature  nazis  nsa  nuclear  omgwtfbbq  online  open  open-access  open-data  open-source  palantir  patent-trolls  patents  phillip-rogaway  pilots  piracy  police  police-state  policing  policy  politics  postcodes  privacy  procurement  protest  public  public-safety  public-sector  random  red-tape  referenda  regulation  research  right-wing  rights  roman  russia  safety  science  sean-sherlock  seanad  seaweed  secrecy  security  selloff  setalg  snooping  social-media  society  software  source-code  speaking-out  spying  sql  ssl  surveillance  swpats  taf  tcd  tech  technology  telecoms  terminal-area-forecasts  terrorism  tls  transparency  travel  trump  turing  twitter  uk  unag  us-politics  usa  via:conoro  via:cstross  via:timoreilly  via:waxy  visas  vodafone  war  watchlists  weather  weddings  wikileaks  work  wwii 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: