The reaction to the Wikileaks story exposes the heady mixture of self-delusion that passes for debate on freedom of information, transparency of government, re-use of public information, secure data sharing, data protection, information assurance, information security,...
There has been much debate on "The Value of Information" and on responsibilities for protecting personal data. Last week the Audit Commission released a report on the need to address the problems of quality in public sector information: "
This week the Economist publishes an excellent article describing the ambivalent attitude of the British Public towards Civil Liberties and the Surveillance Society. It could be, but is not, summarised as: "We want to be looked after but do not trust the systems".
There in no excuse for permanent secretaries and senior responsible owners to ignore "The Directors' Guides to Managing Information Risk" published yesterday. Each of the eight guides follows the format a Churchillian "prayer": "pray let me know on one sheet of paper ..."
The announcements this week of further data losses result from a flurry of overdue reviews across Whitehall. But attention is still focussed on "data protection" rather than "information risk management". It therefore risks doing more harm than good.
I have just received the letter asking for inputs to the independent review requested by the Prime Minister. Inputs to this review will be discussed at most of my meetings tomorrow. What will you be doing to help?
Recent revelations and those yet to come, including from the private sector, threaten untold damage to trust in the on-line world. The time has come to transform attitudes towards information risk management.
The petition on the No 10 calling for urgent action on an NHTCU replacement has been signed by two of the House of Lords Committee on Personal Internet Safety, many leading lights of the ICT world and not a few journalists
Until last week, HMG information assurance policy assumed that hundred of thousands of public servants would follow security procedures better than the Wermacht, Luftwaffe and Gestapo whose codes were broken by Bletchley Park.