I’m putting together a document at work that will define the scope of our Digital Future group. The question is, what issues should be included and why if the group is to examine digital competitiveness in Ireland in the coming years?
In 1999 the Government’s Action Plan to Implement the Information Society noted that: “we are at the early stages of a new industrial revolution – one which will have more dramatic implications than any other single industrial development in the history of the State”. Today, the information and communication technology sector accounts for about one third of Irish exports and directly employs 93,000 people in more than 4,000 enterprises. Larger still is the digital sector, which could be far more broadly defined to include sub-sectors of the financial services, medical research, foreign development initiatives etc.
An important contributor to Ireland’s future competitiveness will be the government’s capacity to produce foreword looking policy that enables it to adapt to, and leverage the benefits of, the digital revolution that is currently underway. This means foreseeing not only the benefits of digital convergence and user-driven innovation, but also the vulnerabilities inherent in an increasing dependence on vulnerable – but indispensable – communications technologies. This is particularly true if Ireland is to remain attractive to the forward looking, innovative companies that can enhance our competitive edge and maintain Ireland’s E-ready, knowledge-rich economy in the decades to come. Continue reading
I was profiled in the Irish Independent in an article about the O’Reilly Scholarship:
“…his first book, ‘Countering Militant Islamist Radicalisation on the Internet’, which was launched last year by the former chair of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones. The book argued against the European Commission’s suggestion of using internet censorship to combat terror, and was heavily cited in the Commission’s official impact report that decided to abandon the idea of an EU-wide internet censorship system.”
I’m not too sure about the reference to “MI5 Spies!!”, but it was nice to publicise the O’Reilly Foundation and the support it has given to Irish researchers. See more below… Continue reading
There was little detail in the speech by the UK Home Secretary yesterday, but one possibility is that the CleanFeed system of hybrid URL filtering might be applied to attempt censorship of radical material on the Internet.
I was interviewed for the BBC World News Service and BBC Radio’s Simon Mayo programme. One thought which occurred is that the Home Secretary’s use of language about “grooming” suggests a belief that violent militant radicalisation is a top down process, similar to an adult grooming a child for criminal purposes. I think this is perhaps misleading. Radicalisation on the internet seems to be bottom up and horizontal, a process in which like minded individuals consult the Internet for information that will support their assumptions, and lend foundations to their political perspective. Fighting violent radicalisation as “grooming” would prioritise the identification of “groomers”, which could divert effort from the true priority: tacking the narrative that some young people in Europe are using to groom themselves as militants. Continue reading
“…experts have expressed serious doubts about what can be effective to prevent radicalisation over the Internet, saying little research has been carried out.
Johnny Ryan, Senior Researcher at Dublin’s Institute of International and European Affairs, has told Reuters that users could easily circumvent any restrictions imposed by the authorities.
Web sites could relocate from one country to another unless there was international agreement, while the controversial content was often distributed through services that are hard to block, such as legitimate chat rooms, he said….” Continue reading