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Changes to government email domains

We have been made aware of the changes being made to government email domains, migrating from ‘.gsi’ family domain names by end-March 2019.

Many of you are registered on Knowledge Hub using a gsi-family domain (gsi.gov.uk, gse.gov.uk, gcsx.gov.uk or gsx.gov.uk).

To help you update your registered email address and continue receiving email notifications from your groups and networks, follow the below to find out how to change your registered email address. 

How to change your registered email address on Knowledge Hub:

Go to ‘my profile’ (select your name at the top right) and enter your new email address. You’ll re-ceive an email to verify your new address – click the link and then sign in with your new email ad-dress and usual password. 

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Council Co-Designed Information Governance Training

The Data Protection Act 2018 governs the way that public sector bodies share, process and handle data. As such, it is critical to ensure that all staff fully understand the requirements.

Whilst many will have had initial training when the GDPR and the wider regulations came into force, there is still some way to go instil confidence at all levels in information governance and practice. 

To address this, eight councils have come together to co-design local government focused InfoGov training with BAFTA winning film-makers and education experts. 

Starting from an outline based on ICO guidance, Data Protection Officers and Information Governance Managers from across local government have worked through real life InfoGov processes and agreed clear steps around processing, sharing and managing data. 

The resulting nine modules cover: 

  • Data Confidence 
  • Data Type & Purpose  
  • Lawful Bases  
  • Special Category Conditions  
  • Impact  
  • Document & Notify  
  • Data Near Misses & How to Avoid Them  
  • Sharing Data Confidently  
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  • Hygiene & Good Governance - and including Surveillance (CCTV, drones, body worn cameras, dashcams etc). 

This week a significant milestone was reached in that the scripts were signed off by the eight collaborating councils, meaning that production now begins to transform the words on the page into interactive, engaging videos and eLearning. 

The training will be animated in the same style as the Dojo series (https://cc2i.org.uk/products/all-products/dojo-local-government), and use proven methods to embed learning and best practice, whilst instilling confidence in all levels of staff. 

The nine new modules with supporting SCORM compliant eLearning will be delivered in March 2019, be accessible on any device and include subtitles. 

If you would like access to the scripts to understand what is covered and whether it might be relevant for your organisation, please get in touch withsam.hore@cc2i.org.uk 

The councils co-funding and co-designing the training include Blackpool, Derby, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Oldham/GMCA, Portsmouth, Staffordshire and Warwickshire, and were brought together by the public sector collaboration platform, CC2i. 

 https://cc2i.org.uk 

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Friday Roundup: A Week in Tech (14/12/18)

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Christmas is on the way! Are you feeling suitably festive? Well, let me ruin that burgeoning joy with more astronomically appalling stories from the world of big tech…

Twitter. The word has come to conjure up feelings of such…emptiness. So, what’s happened this time?

The social media network’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has been busily promoting genocide hotspot Myanmar as a cool and groovy tourist destination.

The apparently utterly oblivious Mr Dorsey rabbited on in a series of tweets about a recent mediation retreat he attended in the country, preening that the ‘people are full of joy and the food is amazing,’ and urged his followers to pay a visit.

I know we’re all desensitised by now and nothing matters anymore, but still: Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority have been and continue to be oppressed, dispossessed, humiliated, tortured and murdered by the country’s ruling elite, with thousands killed and nearly a million driven from their homes and into neighbouring Bangladesh.

But hippyish billionaire tech lord Dorsey wouldn’t appear to be the sort of man to let a detail like a lake of human blood interfere with quality transcendental relaxation time.

And he’s got form. Last month, the tech boss complained about a new tax aimed at improving the lives of homeless people in San Francisco, claiming that the move isn’t ‘the best way’ to ‘fix the homelessness problem’.

A small note: billionaire Mr Dorsey based his firm in San Francisco because the city gave him a massive tax break.

And while we’re on the subject of social media billionaires and mass murder in Myanmar, it’s worth reminding ourselves that earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook was exposed for hosting deeply racist and inciteful material calling for the slaughter of the Rohingya people.

Social media: bringing the world together. Pass the prozac.

***

And while the scent of Facebook is hanging in the air, let’s have a quick look at its weekly disgrace.

Journalists brought in to fact-check the drivel pulsing around the social media network are abandoning their posts, claiming that the firm is ignoring their advice on tackling fake news.

One particularly displeased fact-checker is Brooke Binkowski, former editor of excellent nonsense-quelling website Snopes, who has accused Facebook of essentially using journalists ‘for crisis PR,’ adding that ‘they’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck. They clearly don’t care’.

Making themselves look good? Clearly don’t care? Can this be the same Facebook we know and love? Of course it is!

Even more damningly, Ms Binkowski told Facebook ‘over and over and over’ about the wave of hate speech, lies and genocidal propaganda that appeared on the blue pages in connection with the oppression of Myanmar’s Rohingya people, but the network ‘were absolutely resistant’.

The company started reaching out to news outlets after the ridiculous 2016 US presidential election, which was bathed in an ocean of often bonkers fake news. Attempting to cover its ass, I mean protect democracy, Facebook asked hacks to flag drivel and stem the flow of mendacity.

But it doesn’t seem to have worked out very well, with some lie-hunters perturbed by recent revelations that the social media outfit paid a PR firm to smear its critics by erroneously linking them to billionaire George Soros – a move coincidentally used by anti-Semites the world over.

One disgruntled fact-checker said: ‘Why should we trust Facebook when it’s pushing the same rumours that its own fact-checkers are calling fake news?’

Why indeed?

But let’s leave the final word to another despairing fact-checker who, I don’t believe, could have put it any better: ‘They are a terrible company and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have anything to do with them.’

***

I was going to conclude today by covering Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s quiz session in front of the US House Judiciary Committee, in which he insisted that the search giant hadn’t ‘programmed’ its algorithms to be biased against conservative views.

Republican senators are apparently genuinely baffled/suspicious that dozens of images of President Donald Trump appear in Google Images if the word ‘idiot’ is searched for, and would seem to actually believe that Google would have to contrive such an outcome. I can’t be bothered to go into it. Read all about it here.

So, let’s wrap things up with some mild fun. A Russian ‘robot’ has been exposed as a man in a suit.

‘Robot Boris’ made an appearance at a state-sponsored tech event from whence its dance moves and vocal abilities were broadcast on Russian state TV.

However, eagle-eyed journalists began to question various aspects of the thing’s properties and it was ultimately revealed to be a man wearing a £3,000 costume called Alyosha the Robot.

What does all this mean? I dunno. But if you run through today’s roundup, you might detect a familiar pattern, or flow, or model. It goes: Twitter/Facebook > Trump/Russia > Tech/Deception.

And I can’t see any of that changing in the near future.

 

by Max Salsbury

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Friday roundup: A Week in Tech (07/12/18)

I knew 5G was going to lead to trouble.

At the weekend, would-be global-5G-delivering-wonder-firm Huawei saw its founder’s daughter arrested in Canada, where she now awaits extradition to the Land of the, still just about, Free.

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Meng Wanzhou, who is also the firm’s chief financial officer and deputy chair, was swept up by the scuffers in connection with possible violations of the US’s determined sanctions against current enemy-of-the-month, Iran.

Predictably, China is incensed and the Chinese embassy in Canada is demanding the CFO’s release etc. Huawei, meanwhile, is, equally predictably, playing dumb over the accusations.

Huawei is increasingly becoming THE tech global pariah. Last week, New Zealand became the latest country to forbid the firm from bidding for 5G licenses, over concerns about where it ends and the Chinese government begins.

According to various news reports, the troubled company is under investigation by US investigative types over suspected violations of sanctions against both Iran and North Korea (how many countries is the US currently enforcing sanctions against? There can’t be many left).

Additionally, some in the US boss class believe Huawei is a threat to the country’s national security, which is very serious indeed.

Yet– all this and glaringly corrupt crime nebulae Facebook remains at large and unmolested! What do you think of that?

***

The socialist paradise of Cuba is to get a big bag of 3G this week, gifting perhaps millions of its citizens the opportunity to stare at a small rectangle for most of the day.

Until now, islanders have had to rely on weird, archaic, slightly spooky things like internet cafes, with most of the population spending their time doing whatever it was we did 15 years ago.

Wonderful as the opportunity to go on Twitter and have utterly unproductive spats with idiots is, it won’t come cheap: 3G provider Etecsa wants $7 a month for a measly 600mb, but the average monthly wage on the island is only $30 – so you’ll have to be particularly desperate to view Dave from Axis Chemicals LinkedIn update on motivational management techniques to sign up.

For a communist people-loving state, Cuba seems reasonably relaxed about its subjects going on the internet, at least according to the information I am literally reading while I write this. Internet cafes in 2013; WiFi hotspots in 2015; home connections in 2017. Give it another 200 years and they’ll be allowed to make jokes about the government.

Interestingly, Etecsa hasn’t ruled out the possibility of ‘glitches’ within its 3G fabric – which might be code for ‘don’t look at stuff you’re not supposed to’. We shall see.

***

If you’re an O2 user you may have noticed that everything’s broken and the world’s come to an end. Having said that, there’s probably a very slim chance you can read this at all, so it’s all a bit academic really.

The big network provider’s…um…network went horribly down yesterday, plunging millions of screen-gazers into pre-internet primordial darkness.

(Anecdotally, my work phone is O2 and my personal phone is giffgaff, which is powered by O2, and I noticed nothing untoward going on. Having said that, I only use them to occasionally check the weather and to see if Holland & Barrett have sent me my latest £1.50 discount voucher, so I don’t think I truly fit into the ‘deeply troubled’ demographic.)

And this is a rolling news story: O2 is still blundering in the dark as I type, but is ‘confident’ everything will be fine at some point tomorrow (Friday).

And it’s not just O2 users who are feeling the pain: the bungling firm powers a wide-range of services, such as live bus timetables and payment systems – many of which also crumbled into digital oblivion in the mess.

Chief exec Mark Evans reckons the problem has been isolated and all will return to normal, claiming: ‘We have hundreds of people from both Ericsson and O2 working around the clock to identify the issue. We are starting to restore the network this evening, and we’re confident. Ericsson have given the assurance that by tomorrow morning it will have been fully restored.’

Do you remember, oh, some months ago or something when Visa’s network fell flat on its face, too? That was quite ominous. Back in the day, TVs never just stopped working – and if they had of, it would’ve made little difference as they weren’t interactive: you just looked at them.

But today, our payment methods and, increasingly, how we interact with the material universe hangs on the whims of vast and complex digital systems – systems that it’s imaginable collapsing, taking our access to the world along with ‘em.

Have a good weekend!

By Max Salsbury

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