Sitting down to be counted

Now we are all counted. The location of everybody in the country on Sunday is plotted with absolute precision. Public services over the coming decade can be fine tuned to take account of who is where. I am in favour of that. I have no problem with the general principle of a census. But the […]

Separation of powers

“Why”, asked the visiting official from Singapore, “do civil servants have to fill in tax returns?” He was genuinely puzzled. It was 2000, and the world of e-government was still in its infancy, though more advanced in Singapore than most places. His thought was simple. The government pays its staff in the first place, why […]

Not a post about VRM, more a post about lobster pots

The VRM challenge is not just that information is held in big databases. It is that every bit of process – human, clerical, IT system, legal framework, behavioural expectations – is currently designed, or rather has grown up over the years without very much overall design, on the assumption that data is to be found in databases.

Widely shared secrets

Following remarkably quickly from the general point, here is a very particular example: A person claiming to be the hacker who obtained access to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo e-mail on Tuesday has posted a supposed first-person account of the hack, revealing the relatively simple steps he says he took to crack the private […]

Security is not free

Kable reports that: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) has become less effective in enforcing road traffic legislation, as a result of a government wide rule banning devices holding unencrypted personal data from leaving the office. … Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick said in a written parliamentary answer to Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins on 2 […]

Growing up in Facebook

The popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and My Space is beyond question.  Their significance – for those who are part of them and for society more generally – is less easily understood.  Whether explicitly intended or not  (and ‘not’ seems much the more likely), they entail an approach to managing identity and […]

Fragmented identity is stronger

The Register doesn’t ususally do thoughtful and considered, but there’s an article today which expresses identify management thinking in unusually comprehensible language.  It all sounds profoundly sensible to me – and if no longer the absolute opposite of ID card thinking, still a good way away from where the discussions are within government. There are […]