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Collapse 20152015
Collapse JanuaryJanuary
China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet
New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies
Leaders in New York and New Jersey Defend Shutdown for a Blizzard That Wasn’t
Five ways technology can help us cope with blizzards
Davos Elites Warned About Catastrophic Cyberattacks
Tech Giants Invest in New Dreams of Grandeur
Protecting Privacy in a Job Search
Officials Say Ebola Cases Are Falling In West Africa
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Challenge Insider Trading Ruling
Google Hopes to Take the Web Directly to Billions Lacking Access
Some VA whistleblowers get relief from retaliation
Ebola Response Provides Key Lessons for Risk Communications
Charlie Hebdo attack spurs EU anti-terror 'projects'
Patriot Act Idea Rises in France, and Is Ridiculed
London: Sexism and the City
Wasting Dimon’s time is the way we do things
Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police
JPMorgan Chase Chief Says ‘Banks Are Under Assault’
In New Congress, Wall St. Pushes to Undermine Dodd-Frank Reform
Ethics and Compliance Programs: Questions Boards May Want to Ask
Call for International Research Notes in A New Year
F.B.I. Is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows
Obama to Announce Cybersecurity Plans in State of the Union Preview
Prosecutors weigh charges against David Petraeus involving classified information
Journalists must stand firm
Honda Fined $70 Million for Underreporting Safety Issues to Government
Terror Attack on Charlie Hebdo Newspaper in Paris Kills 12
Defiant on Witness Stand, Times Reporter Says Little
At the International CES, the Internet of Things Hits Home
Her Task Is to Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks
Courts ‘choose’ to lag behind on tech, says Chief Justice Roberts
Get ready: The FCC says it will vote on net neutrality in February
5 stupidly easy, science-based resolutions for people who spend too much time online
ThinkUp Helps the Social Network User See the Online Self
Expand 20142014

Risk News

1/30/2015
China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet

"Jing Yuechen, the founder of an Internet start-up here in the Chinese capital, has no interest in overthrowing the Communist Party."

Annie's take:

To those of us raised in a democracy, it is extremely difficult to understand why a government would tighten rather than loosen its control over technology.

1/29/2015
New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies

"The Chinese government has adopted new regulations requiring companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code, submit to invasive audits and build so-called back doors into hardware and software, according to a copy of the rules obtained by foreign technology companies that do billions of dollars’ worth of business in China."

Annie's take:

Will American companies still want to do business in China with such rules as building in back doors for scrutiny by the Chinese government?

1/28/2015
Leaders in New York and New Jersey Defend Shutdown for a Blizzard That Wasn’t

"It was an unprecedented step for what became, in New York City, a common storm: For the first time in its 110-year history, the subway system was shut down because of snow."

Annie's take:

There is just not really any way that a big city mayor, or a state's governor, can win in situations that involve the weather. Nor can they forecast the economic toll that a set of well-meaning decisions on behalf of public safety can take.

1/28/2015
Five ways technology can help us cope with blizzards

"There has been innovation in every aspect of how individuals prepare for major snow storms – everything from funky new snow removal devices to new ways of pre-treating road surfaces for anti-icing before the onset of a major storm."

Annie's take:

Though each of these new tools may someday be helpful, not many of them could offset the sheer power of the storm in Massachusetts or Maine right now.

1/27/2015
Davos Elites Warned About Catastrophic Cyberattacks

"Attacks on power plants, telecommunications and financial systems, even turning all of Los Angeles' traffic lights green: Davos elites were warned Saturday of the terrifying possibilities of modern cyber terrorism."

Annie's take:

Two key points in this article: trying to connect everything to the Internet makes us more vulnerable; and designing back doors into software for whatever purpose makes that software more vulnerable.

1/26/2015
Tech Giants Invest in New Dreams of Grandeur

"In the last two weeks, investments from some of the biggest technology companies have raised an important question: Have they gone crazy?"

Annie's take:

It's always wise to keep up with what the kingpins are investing in -- and here's a pretty good list.

1/25/2015
Protecting Privacy in a Job Search

"As a job seeker at the vice president or director level, I have noticed that almost every application process includes at least some online component. But in my most recent search, I am starting to wonder about privacy protection."

Annie's take:

Where you apply for a job should take into consideration how much information you have to give out about yourself. As the article indicates, some information is just plain inappropriate and irrelevant.

1/24/2015
Officials Say Ebola Cases Are Falling In West Africa

"The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa has dropped to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season threaten to hamper efforts to control the disease."

Annie's take:

The numbers are all going in the right direction, but borders are being re-opened and the rainy season will soon arrive. But an equally large concern is that funding has dropped.

1/23/2015
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Challenge Insider Trading Ruling

"Federal prosecutors trying to combat insider trading after a recent court ruling partly tied their hands have adopted a Plan B: Fight the court ruling itself."

Annie's take:

I commend the U.S. Attorney for asking for this do-over. We all know what insider trading is, and it is difficult to understand how a bar for prosecution could be set too low.

1/22/2015
Google Hopes to Take the Web Directly to Billions Lacking Access
Annie's take:

Google is opening up opportunity and a revenue stream at the same time.

1/21/2015
Some VA whistleblowers get relief from retaliation

"Bit by bit, examples of the disreputable treatment of Department of Veterans Affairs whistleblowers continue to drop."

Annie's take:

The number of whistleblower complaints at Veterans Affairs may be dropping, but the stories of what happened to those who tried to get problems fixed are nonetheless pretty shocking.

1/20/2015
Ebola Response Provides Key Lessons for Risk Communications

"The CDC fumbled initial communications about Ebola transmission but recovered. What about next time?"

Annie's take:

Ebola has faded somewhat in Africa, but it is not yet gone. What could the CDC have done better this past time around?

1/19/2015
Charlie Hebdo attack spurs EU anti-terror 'projects'

"European states have agreed to launch anti-terror "projects" with Muslim-majority nations and improve Arabic skills in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France."

Annie's take:

Without more detail, I must say that these proposals all look good and positive, rather than reductive. And they come ahead of the next EU meeting, which means there will be time to discuss them in further detail.

1/18/2015
Patriot Act Idea Rises in France, and Is Ridiculed

"The arrests came quickly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

Annie's take:

The problem is, of course, that there is no robust data that is not classified or highly confidential that could help us understand whether or not the measures enacted under the Patriot Act have reduced terrorism in this country.

1/17/2015
London: Sexism and the City


"London’s financial district has a problem with senior women. Despite the countless programmes designed to retain them, why do they still drop out in large numbers — and is there a solution?"

Annie's take:

On this sort of analysis, no other newspaper can touch the Financial Times. This should be required reading for women considering a career in banking, not just in England, but nearly anywhere in the world.

1/17/2015
Wasting Dimon’s time is the way we do things

"The slew of regulators making the bank chief miserable would please our founding fathers."

Annie's take:

Mismatched regulators? Silverman provides us with a brilliant analysis of why we do things this way.

1/16/2015
Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police

"Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred."

Annie's take:

It's a big decision and an end-of-office announcement for Holder. My hat is off to him.

1/15/2015
JPMorgan Chase Chief Says ‘Banks Are Under Assault’

"As JPMorgan Chase reported sluggish earnings and potential new legal costs on Wednesday, its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, lashed out at regulators and analysts, including some who are calling for the breakup of what is the nation’s largest bank."

Annie's take:

"Fortress bank" or sometimes "America's bank." We've heard it all. If JPMorgan Chase is too big to manage without to paying hefty fines that drain off shareholder profits, then perhaps either the culture has to change or the breakup would be of more benefit to shareholders. Banks can only be under assault by regulators if they've actually broken the law or the regulation.

1/14/2015
In New Congress, Wall St. Pushes to Undermine Dodd-Frank Reform

"In the span of a month, the nation’s biggest banks and investment firms have twice won passage of measures to weaken regulations intended to help lessen the risk of another financial crisis, setting their sights on narrow, arcane provisions and greasing their efforts with a surge of lobbying and campaign contributions."

Annie's take:

The lobbying dollars spent by the financial services industry -- estimated at over $99 million in 2014 -- is simply obscene.

1/13/2015
Ethics and Compliance Programs: Questions Boards May Want to Ask

"Building a culture of ethics and an effective compliance program within an organization today is a business imperative."

Annie's take:

This advisory from Deloitte is excellent, and makes a nice complement to an article I have coming out this week in The Risk Universe, titled "Dear Member of the Board."

1/12/2015
Call for International Research Notes in A New Year

"It won’t be long until we publish the third volume of Reflections on Risk, a compilation of the latest ASA research notes."

Annie's take:

Here's the latest issue of our newsletter, in which we call for a research notes from the international community on operational risk issues, and challenges that focus on use of new technology where ethics, policy and law are concerned, along with the guidelines for submission.

1/12/2015
F.B.I. Is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows

"Although the government’s warrantless surveillance program is associated with the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has gradually become a significant player in administering it, a newly declassified report shows."

Annie's take:

The material was received highly redacted by the New York Times, and provided only after a legal request. That is the only reason we are reading about it now. Should we feel reassured that the FBI is entangled at this level?

1/11/2015
Obama to Announce Cybersecurity Plans in State of the Union Preview

"President Obama will announce new initiatives next week designed to bolster online security and improve access to cyberspace, White House officials said Saturday."

Annie's take:

This has been, and will continue to be, a real struggle to implement additional reporting/information sharing requirements with the private sector.

1/10/2015
Prosecutors weigh charges against David Petraeus involving classified information

"Federal prosecutors have recommended that David H. Petraeus face charges for providing classified documents to his biographer, raising the prospect of criminal proceedings against the retired four-star general and former CIA director."

Annie's take:

Let's apply the law consistently, especially in this very touchy area of classified information.

1/9/2015
Journalists must stand firm

"Je suis Charlie Hebdo. If “freedom of expression” is to be more than an empty slogan, Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Paris cannot be allowed to have the chilling effect its murderous perpetrators intended."

Annie's take:

On a day when the terrorists were located with their hostages, all journalists remain on high alert for other attempts to silence their words and pictures.

1/8/2015
Honda Fined $70 Million for Underreporting Safety Issues to Government

"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fined Honda Motor $70 million for failing to submit reports of fatal accidents and injuries to the government."

Annie's take:

Regulatory reporting -- or lack of reporting accurately -- continues to be a problem for the transportation sector. Do large fines and increased scrutiny make a behaviorial difference?

1/7/2015
Terror Attack on Charlie Hebdo Newspaper in Paris Kills 12

"Masked gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire in the offices of a French satirical newspaper on Wednesday in Paris, the police said, killing 12 people and then escaping in a car. "

Annie's take:

A barbaric act against freedom of speech and the power of the press -- and an indication of what more we may expect from such radical Islamist terrorists.

1/6/2015
Defiant on Witness Stand, Times Reporter Says Little

"After losing a seven-year legal battle, James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, reluctantly took the witness stand in federal court here on Monday, but refused to answer any questions that could help the Justice Department identify his confidential sources."

Annie's take:

James Risen is protecting his source, a principled practice that has been with us since the U.S. Constitution was written and the First Amendment created.

1/5/2015
At the International CES, the Internet of Things Hits Home

"By just about any measure, the International Consumer Electronics Show is big. The event, held in Las Vegas, attracts more than 150,000 visitors. It occupies two million square feet, the equivalent of about 35 football fields, of exhibition space. More than 3,500 companies come to show their wares."

Annie's take:

I dislike the term, but "Internet of Things" does convey the attempt to manage all of one's devices and appliances digitally. Just imagine how much lazier and ignorant we could become if this happens -- especially, for instance in times of disaster, when the power goes off. Does everything really have to be digitally connected?

1/4/2015
Her Task Is to Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

"President Obama’s top technology adviser cringes when she hears highly educated adults say how bad they are at science and math, particularly when they do so in front of children."

Annie's take:

Many of us are familiar with the challenge of authority without budget. Moving the federal government into the 21st century without budget seems problematic.

1/4/2015
Courts ‘choose’ to lag behind on tech, says Chief Justice Roberts

"There are few institutions in modern America as untouched by technology as the U.S. Supreme Court. And that's why it was so striking to see, as our Robert Barnes details, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts devote the bulk of this year's progress report on the state of the federal judiciary to musings on what role technology plays in the life of the court."

Annie's take:

Here's a report you'll want to read, as the chief justice explains the court's relationship with technology.

1/3/2015
Get ready: The FCC says it will vote on net neutrality in February

"Federal regulators looking to place restrictions on Internet providers will introduce and vote on new proposed net neutrality rules in February, Federal Communications Commission officials said Friday."

Annie's take:

From this analysis, it sounds as if this will be a protracted battle with Congress, FCC ruling or not.

1/2/2015
5 stupidly easy, science-based resolutions for people who spend too much time online

"We are entering the month of Facebook deletions, of “lifehacks,” of “digital detoxes” designed to cure whatever social-media hangover you suffer from the year before."

Annie's take:

For those contemplating still their New Year's resolutions, here's some digital advice.

1/1/2015
ThinkUp Helps the Social Network User See the Online Self

"Anil Dash, a longtime tech entrepreneur and blogger, was recently studying a list of the top words he had used on Twitter over the course of a month during the fall."

Annie's take:

A new product, which evidently will find a market. Would not it just be easier to be more thoughtful in our posts?

Happy New Year, everyone!