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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Why basic research matters, 28.2.05

The University of Western Ontario: Western Matters

What is the purpose of a university?

Most people believe that a university exists to educate and to perform research. But it has a higher role, a sacred trust, to pass down all the knowledge that we’ve accumulated to the next generation, while developing new knowledge in the process. What would happen if we turned off the whole university system in Canada? I mean literally locking the doors and scattering the people?

In the first year, we would hear nothing much beyond the complaints of displaced professors and students. In the second year, the rumblings would start. In the third and fourth years, companies would begin to feel the pinch of a high quality, skilled labour shortage. They would start to fall behind in international competitiveness. Except for immigrants – now highly sought after – companies would have no new engineers, scientists, accountants or writers. All of a sudden, there would be an outcry: “We must protect our citizens because they can't get jobs anymore!” The borders would be closed. Taxes would be raised. Then we would wake up and say, “Oh my, universities really are important!” So we would open the doors, pour money back in, and hire back the professors—if we could find them. Many years would go by before anything resulted. In fact, it would take years just to get back to the starting point.


[CLB: Please read this article. Here's the link again: Why basic research matters. Keeping in the same spirit, last year, I donated funds for graduate scholarships in physics and astronomy. Please consider doing the same.]

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Grease Monkeys Become Tech Junkies,


[...] Guys who would have been banging under the hood with oily wrenches a generation ago are now more likely to work their magic with lines of software and a serial cable. The goal is the same -- to wring as much speed as possible out of an automobile -- but the computerization of cars has permanently changed what it means to work on your car. [...]

Today's automobiles are packed with about a thousand times as much computing power as was in the Apollo moon landers, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Computer chips run more than 86 percent of the systems in an average vehicle, according to the alliance. Modifying them can ruin a car as quickly as juice it up, but if you know how, you can reprogram controls such as timing and air/fuel ratio to milk more power out of an engine. [...]

First, Coulter plugged his laptop into a computer port under the VW's dashboard and downloaded the car's basic operating information. He e-mailed that to GIAC, which automatically e-mailed back a new software suite for the car, along with a "key" that allowed Coulter to use the file only for that one paying customer. Then Coulter loaded the new file into the VW, which took less than 10 minutes. [...]

[CLB: Did he scan the downloads for viruses or trojans? What happens when phishing sites notice the opportunity to control you car, along with your ID and bank accounts?]

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From Confrontation to Consensus,


A Boletus mushroom has found a home in Pacific Spirit Park. This area was completely cleared by logging and has now recovered to such an extent that part of it has been designated as an Ecological Reserve. In the seaside villages of the Fiji Islands, the elder men gather in a circle in a special hut every day at about 4 in the afternoon. With the sound of a younger man pounding kava root in the background, they speak slowly, in turn, of village affairs. No votes are cast in these sessions. They just keep talking, softly reforming their words until there is nothing more to add, until they all indicate agreement by saying no more. They have reached consensus. Its time for a sip of kava. [...]

Every Round Table process is unique. But it is important to remember that there are some common elements that are necessary to all Round Tables. Some of these are:

  • A willingness on the part of the various interests in the community to voluntarily come to the table.
  • Support from the elected Government for the process, in terms of authorizing the Round Table and appointing members to it.
  • Professional facilitation by a neutral facilitator with experience in consensus process.
  • Good will on the part of the participants. Consensus process will not work if there are hidden agendas, unholy alliances or ill will.
  • A willingness on the part of Government to follow through and to act on the recommendations of the Round Table.

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Nanobacteria - A bridge between the bio, nano, and computational worlds?, 27.2.05


Nanobacteria are claimed to be cell walled microorganisms with a diameter well below the generally accepted lower limit (about 200 nanometres) for bacteria.

Claims of their being living organisms are controversial. If they are living, there is speculation that they may be a new form of life, rather than bacteria. [...] Speculation also that observed repuduction was nothing more than crystal formation.

Working with particles less than 0.2 micrometres in size, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found indirect evidence that the particles had self-replicated, and found that they had a cell-like appearance under an electron microscope. They also believe that the particles are producing RNA, since they absorbed one of its building blocks, uridine, in greater quantities than would be expected in the case of pure absorption (by crystals such as apatite). Using an antibody produced by the Finnish researchers, the particles were found to bind to diseased arterial tissue, and to the same sites to which a DNA stain bound. The researchers now hope to isolate RNA and DNA from the particles.

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UK gets official virus alert site, 25.2.05

Business chiefs wake up to IT as productivity driver, 22.2.05

Computer Weekly

Survey shows CIOs and business leaders in agreement on value of IT

The gap in understanding between IT and the wider business is closing as companies learn the lessons from disappointing IT investments made during the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to a survey published this week.

The survey of 300 business and IT managers in the UK and Ireland found that 84% of business managers and 76% of ITmanagers believe better use of IT has been the key driver in productivity gains over the past three years.

However, there is still room for improvement in the perceived performance of IT. The survey found that both groups believe IT is under-delivering against investments.

Three keys to business gains from IT

  • A strong emphasis on IT governance - there is transparency in all investments. They know what they are spending and why.
  • All projects are owned by a steering committee made up of both business and IT leaders, often chaired by a business leader.
  • The operational model includes a core relationship management role to work between internal businesses and IT teams, as well as external outsourcing or offshore agencies.

    And, Top seven skills CEOs say what they need from CIOs - in reverse order of importance


    Speak in English, and business English at that.

    Be a hero

    Be a half-full person, not half-empty. Never play the victim. I am on your side and always will be if I have confidence in you.

    Control your personal brand

    I have no way of proving how good you are on paper, so your success comes down to what I and others think of you. That is your reach (how many people know you) and your reputation (what they think of you). You have a brand, you must decide whether to take control.

    Influence and persuasion

    See the world from our customers' view. And please, never ever call me a "user". There is only one other industry that uses that term - drugs.


    It is not what you do that determines what people think of you, it is what people think you do. Perception is everything, so focus on relationships, rapport and trust.


    Your role is to awaken the leaders within your team, and yourself.


    Be business first, business always. Understand accounts. Be a business person and your career will flourish. Be a technologist and your career will stop in its tracks.

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  • The next big little thing, 20.2.05

    Jerusalem Post
    Ben-Gurion University's new Laboratory for Nanoscale Systems will enable scientists to form sophisticated chips with structures dedicated to the interface of extremely small elements like single atoms and molecules. Such a newly-created 'smart surface' will help miniaturize matter wave quantum technology (MWQT), which uses single ultra-cold atoms and ions to form devices such as ultra-precise clocks, navigation systems, sensors for underground mineral deposits, communications systems (quantum cryptography) and even ultra-fast computers (quantum computing).

    The 'smart surface' concept will be used to develop other devices such as bio-sensor chips and chip interfaces with organic material. To build the 'smart surface,' the facility will incorporate different technologies such as photonics (surface light guides and optics), micro-electro-mechanical moving parts and micro and molecular electronics. The smart-surface concept approaches nanotechnology in two ways, with the final goal of integration and synergism. BGU scientists will continue to focus on bottom-up fabrication, also commonly referred to as 'self-assembly,' dealing with structures between 0.1 to 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter).

    A "top-down" approach will specialize in the creation of the above-mentioned "smart surfaces," with structure scales on the order of 100nm to 10,000nm. Thus advanced top-down fabrication will be utilized to create an interface between self-assembled structures (from one to 1,010 atoms) and the outside world through a dynamic surface (or "motherboard") that would trap, manipulate and measure these structures. This can be considered a sort of dynamic packaging aimed at the enhanced functionality of elementary particles such as atoms or self-assembled materials.

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    Security experts: Hacking attacks rarely made public, 18.2.05


    ... most hacking incidents go unreported to police or the public, experts said on Thursday.

    Afraid of negative publicity, most companies that suffer intrusions take a tight-lipped approach that leaves consumers unaware when their identities may be compromised, they said.

    At the same time, businesses are becoming more willing to discuss security issues with their competitors behind the scenes in an effort to head off online threats, an approach experts say has managed to reduce the impact of computer worms and viruses.

    Still, a 2004 FBI cyber-crime survey found that only 20 percent of companies report computer intrusions to the police, and half don't report them to anybody.

    [CLB: This needs to change.]

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    Graduate Cryptographers Unlock Code of 'Thiefproof' Car Key, 17.2.05

    The New York Times> Search> Abstract

    Matthew Green starts his 2005 Ford Escape with a duplicate key he had made at Lowe's. Nothing unusual about that, except that the automobile industry has spent millions of dollars to keep him from being able to do it.

    All that would be required to steal a car, the researchers said, is a moment next to the car owner to extract data from the key, less than an hour of computing, and a few minutes to break in, feed the key code to the car and hot-wire it.

    The implications of the Hopkins finding go beyond stealing cars. Variations on the technology used in the chips, known as RFID for radio frequency identification, are widely used....

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    Lexus cars potentially vulnerable to virus?,


    Russian anti-virus research firm Kaspersky Lab says you can now add cars to the growing list of things that can be infected with a computer virus. It's not clear whether or not this has ever actually happened, but apparently someone asked Kaspersky Lab if they knew "how to cure a virus, which 'infected the onboard computers of automobiles Lexus LX470, LS430, Landcruiser 100 via a cell phone,'" and they conjecture that a virus could potentially use Bluetooth to jump from a Symbian-powered cellphone to the navigation system of certain Lexus models.

    We won't be rushing to install anti-virus software on the fleet of cars we have parked outside, but sooner or later most new cars sold are going to have both onboard computers and some sort of wireless connectivity, making them low-hanging fruit for hackers and virus writers.

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    Writing policies that demonstrate compliance,


    A serious problem associated with many information security policies is that management often has no idea if staff and systems are in compliance with these policies. This disconnect between the policy's intention and the policy's implementation is in large measure a reflection of the compliance auditing technology being used to support information security.

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    Citigroup chief preaches ethics in the counting house,

    Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian

    All of Citigroup's 260,000 employees are to receive ethics training every year as part of a plan to avoid further repeats of the regulatory scandals that continue to dog the world's biggest financial firm. [...]

    Chuck Prince, the Citigroup chief executive, designed the plan after a series of "town hall" meetings around the Citigroup empire.

    He said that his goal was for "employees to share a collective experience of Citigroup, to understand that all of us have been given a great gift - the opportunity to work for one of the world's most dynamic and successful companies, whose leadership for two centuries has transformed the industry and whose best years are still ahead, provided we all pull together".

    Plan Summary [CLB]

  • We want every employee to spend some time reflecting on our company, its history, the great legacy handed down to us and on our shared responsibilities to build on this legacy
  • A 25-minute documentary will be shown to employees in almost 100 countries who will be asked to "attest that they have seen the film and understand the shared responsibilities"
  • Business chiefs will no longer receive their bonuses just on their own unit's profits but on the entire group's performance.
  • All 3,000 senior managers will be required to keep 25% of the shares they receive in their bonus each year. They will also be sent on "annual franchise training" and spend a full day each year reviewing what they can do to live up to their "shared responsibilities".
  • Franchise training will also be given to 30,000 managers and all other employees

    [CLB: Curious to see how this will work, if the steps above are even nearly sufficient to be called an ethics plan. Seems like a RA-RA session around companies values. Good in and of itself, but not necessarily related to 'ethics'. I'll work on locating the video or a transcription.]

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  • The case for self-defending networks,

    SearchSecurity @ RSA 2005

    Chambers' keynote summarized

    Chambers said companies can no longer afford to run on a loose patchwork of standalone devices; that everything must be tightly integrated.

    'Whatever you do must be largely automated and self-defending,' Chambers said. 'You can't rely on human intervention. Architecture is vital... security must go across every device in the network and be part of your business process. You must be able to watch for patterns and abnormalities. You must be able to audit behavior.'

    He said enterprises need networks that can easily adapt to rapidly evolving threats in the next decade. 'You have to look at the trends of the next decade and plan for it,' Chambers said. 'We all understand the trend -- security incidents are getting worse. You can't predict when and where things will happen, so you'll have to understand the how.'

    Chambers predicts a rapid integration of technology in the next decade. 'Everything will be connected,' he said. 'You'll see a consolidation of data and voice companies...voice technology will be commoditized, you'll see more consolidation of telecommunication companies.' With that will come new threats, he added.

    The latest phase of Cisco's Self-Defending Network initiative, Adaptive Threat Defense (ATD), was formed with those trends in mind, he said. It's designed to help enterprises minimize network risks by "dynamically addressing threats at multiple layers, enabling tighter control of network traffic, endpoints, users and applications," according to a company statement. Key components of ATD include better coordinated threat mitigation through Anti-X defenses, application security, and network control and containment.

    Anti-X defenses prevent and mitigate network threats through a combination of traffic and content-oriented security services, Cisco said. Core security enforcement technologies include firewall, intrusion prevention, anomaly detection and distributed denial-of-service mitigation fused with application-inspection services like network antivirus, antispyware and URL filtering.

    Application security provides advanced business-application protection using application-level access controls, application inspection, and enforcement of appropriate application-use policies, Web-application control, and transaction privacy, the company said.

    Network control and containment provides the ability to layer sophisticated auditing and correlation capabilities to "control and help protect" any networked element or service such as Voice over IP (VoIP) with active management and mitigation capabilities, the company added.

    A full list of Cisco's new security products is available.

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    Subscribe to Compass, 15.2.05

    Compass, Integrity Incorporated's Online Newsletter

    Educate your inbox with Compass: The Compliance Newsletter from Integrity Incorporated.

    Be assured you are up on the latest legislation, summary of current issues and news stories related to security, governance and integrity. Plus:

    Case studies by company and industry

    Compliance questions submitted by readers and answered by our security and integrity experts

    Upcoming events related to privacy and integrity

    Links, cautionary tales, resources and more!

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    A Guide to Peer-to-Peer,

    Jim McKeeth

    Start with an introduction to Peer-2-Peer technology, different networks and how they work. Then look at a simple Peer-2-Peer implementation with Indy. Then a more complex implementation.

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    Motorola and Oakley Introduce First Bluetooth Sunglasses,


    Motorola, Inc. and Oakley, Inc. today unveiled a new line of premium Bluetooth(R) wireless technology eyewear designed to keep consumers comfortable and connected. Named RAZRWire, the invention frees the wearer from cumbersome wires and allows active users to quickly answer or place calls with the touch of a button. RAZRWire represents the fusion of world-class Oakley optics with Motorola's industry-leading Bluetooth technology.

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    DNA-assembled computer circuits,

    Inside the future - Next - http://www.smh.com.au/technology/

    "Already you can use DNA to assemble electronic circuits, very simple electronic circuits, but the DNA itself is a little tiny machine," Ian Pearson says.

    "In 15 years time you could design a bacterium (similar to yoghurt) with the DNA in it to assemble circuits within its own cell. Because it's part of its DNA, it will be able to reproduce. So as long as you provide it with a food supply, this bacterium will become a quite large computer over a period of time. It will just breed."

    With the merger of information technology and biology comes the possibility that we will merge our minds with machines, says the British futurist. Education will be a doddle because we will have intimate access to the world's information or any of our gadgetry in a nanosecond. And if "you have a back-up of your brain on the computer, you don't die," he says.

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    Pressure builds to name privacy-law offenders, 9.2.05


    Canadians had high expectations of a new privacy act that came into force on Jan. 1, 2004, designed to safeguard personal information in the private sector.

    But the high hopes have not been fulfilled, according to two recent critical reports.

    The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) "has not been kind to consumers," says the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

    'This is truly a bizarre situation, in that individual complainants are free to post the entire decision but the commissioner is self-censoring.'

    Similar arguments are made by Chris Berzins, a lawyer with the Ontario labour ministry, in an article published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology.

    'The all but categorical refusal to reveal the names of complaint respondents,' he says, 'has a number of unfortunate results.'

  • It greatly undercuts the instructive value that complaint investigations might have.
  • It deprives companies of the recognition they deserve when they comply with the law.
  • It unjustly rewards companies that flout the law.
  • It penalizes consumers who are unable to make informed privacy decisions.
  • It prevents the market from rewarding or penalizing companies based on the public's awareness of privacy practices.
  • It makes it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the commissioner's office in promoting compliance.

    For example, there are now more than 100 investigations involving banks.

    However, the public can't tell how different banks compare to each other."

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  • Towards a truly clever Artificial Intelligence, 8.2.05

    University of Reading Press Release

    A pioneering new way of creating computer programs could be used in the future to design and build robots with minds that function like that of a human being, according to a leading researcher at The University of Reading.

    Dr James Anderson, of the University's Department of Computer Science, has developed for the first time the 'perspective simplex', or Perspex, which is a way of writing a computer program as a geometrical structure, rather than as a series of instructions.

    Not only does the invention of the Perspex make it theoretically possible for us to develop robots with minds that learn and develop, it also provides us with clues to answer the philosophical conundrum of how minds relate to bodies in living beings.

    A conventional computer program comprises of a list of instructions, and if one of those instructions goes missing or is damaged then the whole program crashes. However, with the Perspex, the program works rather like a neural network and is able to bridge gaps and continue running and developing even when it sustains considerable damage. [...]

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    Be honest or beware, watchdog says,


    In the year since Sheridan Scott took over as Canada's competition watchdog, the federal agency has turned up the heat on major advertisers.

    Since last January, the competition bureau has won a tribunal decision against Sears Canada Inc. and an out of court settlement against Forzani Group Ltd., the sportswear retailer that operates Sport Mart and Sport Chek.

    Now, it's investigating Bell Mobility, the wireless telephone service provider.

    All three cases centre on the issue of whether consumers were misled through advertising. The penalties so far have gone as high as $1.7 million, in the Forzani case, although the company did not admit guilt.

    And the bureau is looking to get even tougher by seeking amendments to the federal Competition Act that would make misleading advertising cases easier to prosecute, raise the maximum fine to as much as $15 million, and for the first time provide restitution to consumers. [...]

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    Nuclear regulatory officials formalize security standards for safety systems, 7.2.05


    Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are preparing to write new computer and software standards for safety systems in nuclear power plants.

    NRC officials released a 15-page draft guide, 'Criteria for Use of Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants,' in December 2004. They are seeking public comment before revising the draft, a process that could take six months or more. The new document will eventually replace a three-page guide that NRC officials issued in January 1996 for ensuring the safety of the nation's 103 nuclear power plants.

    Regulatory guides are not substitutes for regulations, and compliance is voluntary.

    PDF: Draft Regulatory Guide DG-1130: 'Criteria for Use of Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants'

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    Leadership: How to Put Meaning Back into Leading,

    HBS Working Knowledge

    [...] So, meaning has these two components—a component emphasizing the ability of individuals to engage in action that is directly connected to their own ideals, and a social component, where the pursuit of those ideals occurs in the context of enduring communal relationships.

    Our proposal then is to look at how a leader's choices about vision and design impact on these two dimensions of meaning. We expect that the meaningfulness of work will be strongly impacted by:

    1. The leader's willingness to uphold organizational values especially when there is some perceived economic cost to doing so. (If values are violated when there is a perceived benefit in doing so, they are little more than guidelines and thus likely to be the object of suspicion and derision.)
    2. The leader's willingness to make sure (through design and training) that each individual's positional assignments fit their conception of self and their aspirations.
    3. The leader's willingness to commit her own time and organizational resources to ensuring that each individual understand how his or her own actions link up to the larger organization's purpose.
    4. The time and attention that goes into hiring and retaining those individuals who derive personal meaning from the organization's values and purpose.

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    Integrity Incorporated

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    "We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
    Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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