Category: Articles

Australian Census 2016 Who Is Liable?

Australian Census 2016 Who Is Liable?

It was a dreary day in August, you were trying to finish work early to get home before the Census night deadline or risk paying a fine of $180 or more. You rushed home and sat down in front of the computer, ready to do the survey but only to find out you are unable to access the Census website. Repeatedly, you kept on refreshing your browser hoping for the contents to load but the error message kept on appearing instead like a broken record. There is something obviously wrong and later that night you found out from social media that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website has been experiencing outages causing you and the rest of Australia grief. You are less than impressed and immediately blamed ABS for wasting your valuable time. But are they the main culprit for this chaos?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, per its namesake, is a government agency responsible in gathering data from the public to understand Australia’s inhabitants and its needs. Collected data are analysed and are referenced by the government and the community enabling better planning on social, economic, environmental and population matters. ABS enlisted the tech giant IBM for a staggering contract of $9.6 million to host and manage traffic for the 2016 online Census. Various tests were done prior to the Census being kicked off, however, come Census night the website crashed continually. It was a frustrating incident even for the Malcolm Turnbull, who expressed his disappointment and specifically called out both IBM and ABS. Of course, if you are the client (ABS) your natural instinct is to point the finger towards the direction of the person you are paying to do the job (the service provider, IBM).

So what went wrong? Initial reaction from ABS was inferring to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack or in plain English, their systems were compromised. But further investigation suggests, their servers could not cope with the surge in traffic from users trying to access the website all at the same time. IBM was dragged through the mud, their integrity tainted and heavy criticisms came left, right and centre because of the Census’s poor design and architecture. In essence, IBM’s lack of due diligence caused them dearly and perhaps future multi-million dollar government deals in pipeline. Though it makes me wonder how a veteran technology company, who has withstood the test of time, messed up substantially and out of all clients, the most bureaucratic…the government!

Ensuring data security with cloud encryption

Ensuring data security with cloud encryption

 

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Cryptography has been with us since the dawn of human civilization.  People have wanted to keep sensitive information…

from prying eyes long before the invention of the complex, computer-based encryption methods that we utilize today.  The ancient Greek protected their secret messages by tattooing them on the shaved head of a messenger.  The messenger’s hair would grow back while traveling to their destination and render the message invisible.  The receiver of message would just need to know a good barber in order to read the secret message upon arrival.

So what does this have to do with companies putting sensitive data in the cloud?  Just like the   ancient Greek, we are trying to keep our secrets safe from prying eyes.  The methods have changed, but the goal remains the same.  One of the best ways to ensure confidential data is protected in the cloud is to utilize encryption for data in transit and data at rest.  There are still potential issues with encryption that need to be considered when investigating cloud services.  Almost all cloud service providers support encryption for data in transit, but few offer support for data at rest. The cloud encryption capabilities of the service provider need to match the level of sensitivity of the data being hosted.

 

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Cloud encryption options                                                        

The basic business model of the typical cloud services provider is based on the idea of scalability:  The more customers that can utilize shared resources the better the profit margin for the cloud services provider. This idea works in reverse as well:  The more customers that can utilize shared resources, the lower the cost paid by each of the customers.  These facts play a critical role in the decision of the cloud provider to offer encryption services.  Encryption consumes more processor overhead, so it lowers the number of customers per resource and increases overall costs.  Most cloud providers will only offer basic encryption on a few database fields, such as passwords and account numbers, for this reason.  There are usually options available from the cloud provider to encrypt the entire database, but this will dramatically increase cost to the point where cloud hosting is more expensive than internal hosting.

Some cloud providers have been offering alternatives to encryption that don’t have the same performance impact.  These techniques include redacting or obfuscating confidential data.  This can sound appealing, but is just another form of “security through obscurity:”  Neither technique is effective in securing confidential data because both are easily bypassed.

Another cloud encryption alternative that may be offered by service providers in order to reduce the encryption performance penalty will be its own custom encryption solution.  This is a major red flag for potential customers for several reasons.  The current encryption standards have been thoroughly tested and verified over many years and by many brilliant engineers and cryptographers.  A cloud service provider is unlikely to fund this level of development of a proprietary encryption standard and won’t receive the same level of public scrutiny and feedback as the currently accepted standards.  This creates the strong possibility of a cryptographic mistake, which could leave the customer data vulnerable to exposure.  Proprietary encryption standards should be avoided at all costs.

The cloud provider that offers a standard-based encryption solution may still have other risks that need to be considered.  Encrypted data is only as secure as the private key used to encrypt it.  Key management becomes a critical issue and the cloud provider must have policies and procedures in place for storage, generation and archival of private keys.  It’s important to keep in mind that anyone that possesses that private key has access to your confidential data.

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Additional cloud encryption considerations

There are still other operational encryption issues that must be considered when utilizing a cloud service provider.  These operational processes include the policies and procedures for the encryption of tape backups and other removable media, such as DVD-R and USB devices.  Your data may be safely encrypted in the provider’s database, but if it uses unencrypted media in its operations you may still be at risk of exposure;  it’s important to understand these operational risks before putting your data in the provider’s care.

Finally, there are still other areas where technology does not permit encryption.  The actual processing of the data by the cloud provider will require that the data be decrypted at some point.  This may be changing with the advent of homomorphism encryption, which was demonstrated by IBM in 2009 and allowed data to be processed while still being encrypted.  This is a future technology, but it would certainly increase the security capabilities of cloud providers.

 

Cloud encryption and compliance

So the million-dollar question becomes: “Should regulated data be put into the cloud?”  It’s certainly possible to maintain compliance with regulations while utilizing cloud services.  Encryption plays a big role in compliance as many regulations require specific data elements to be encrypted.  This type of requirement is present in GLBAPCI DSS and HIPAA, to name a few.  The most important guidance on encryption is publically available from NIST 800-111 and FIPS-140-2.  These standards can help you evaluate the encryption capabilities of a cloud provider for compliance with regulations.

Encryption is a powerful tool that can be used effectively to protect a company’s confidential data in the cloud.  It’s important for a company to investigate and understand how the cloud provider utilizes encryption in their operational procedures.  Only then can a company confidently utilize cloud providers knowing that their confidential data is protected by encryption.  Modern encryption algorithms far surpass the protections that were available to the ancient Greeks for their sensitive data –and no one will need their head shaved.

Cloud Concepts and the Impact on Business Analysts

Cloud Concepts and the Impact on Business Analysts

Cloud Computing is generating significant interest and momentum. The cloud eco-system requires new considerations for the business analysis community to fully take advantage of cloud computing opportunities.

This article provides links to key NIST Reference Architectures to provide a stable cloud foundation, identifying just some of the key considerations for business analysts in a “cloudy world”.

 

Cloud Basics
Almost all cloud computing approaches use the National Institute of Standards for Technology (NIST), an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, as a core foundation from which solutions are defined.
The accepted NIST definition for cloud computing is: 

 

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”
Figure 1.0 represents a simplified model, containing the characteristics, service models, deployment models and very important hosting options that also need careful consideration for business analysts.

 

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Figure 1.0 NIST Cloud Basic Core Terminology
Hosting considerations are separate from the deployment models. For example, you can have a Private Deployment that is hosted internally, within your organization OR hosted externally by a third party. This is a critical consideration when the organization may desire a private cloud, but does not want the physical infrastructure within their facility.
The NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture is a “role-based” perspective. There are five basic roles: cloud consumer, cloud provider, cloud auditor, cloud broker and cloud carrier.
Business analysts can provide valuable insights to clarify opportunities and identify associated risks that require consideration to optimize the solution.
Most frequently, the business analysts will clarify the business requirements for the cloud consumer and help identify the “best fit” cloud provider. The business analysts may perform “functional fit” analysis to determine the configuration, customization and acceptance testing efforts for the selected solution. Business analysts may also participate in value, pricing and costing analysis.
That brings us to a common concern that impacts cloud adoption: “security and privacy”.
Security and Privacy are of Everyone’s Concern
In 2013 the updated NIST Reference Architecture evolved to clarify that security and privacy are not just of concern to the cloud provider, but to all the roles in the cloud ecosystem.

Therefore, figure 2.0 represents a draft model, better communicating that privacy and security are “cross cutting” considerations.
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Figure 2.0 Draft Updated NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture for 2013
NIST is also generating a Cloud Computing Security Reference Architecture that is due for release April 2014.
Other NIST Cloud Computing publications available or being worked on include: Cloud Roadmaps, Security & Privacy, Service Level Agreements, Cloud Carrier, Metrics and Standards. Many documents are available and free for download from www.nist.gov.
Pricing and Costing
Cloud computing solutions can result in tremendous cost savings when planned and implemented properly. When poorly planned and/or pricing is blurred (obscured due to clouds), then cloud computing benefits may be realized, or it may result in higher costs than traditional solutions.
Pricing and costing of cloud computing solutions is often complex with various pricing options, service levels and terms and conditions that directly impact core decisions moving forward.
Business analysis can help provide core context and considerations that help estimate the Total Cost of Ownership, which is a core measure to help focus value and cost discussions.

Of course, many other benefits exist from cloud, but price is often at the forefront.

Summary

Value-focused business analysis will remain a core and necessary activity to balance business needs and the technical solutions. However, the role will evolve to analyze cloud computing solutions in conjunction with business objectives, opportunities and risks.
A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) already contains the basics for cloud computing analysis. Some extensions and clarification will be developed as the cloud eco-system becomes more accepted and common place. Many organizations such as NIST are clarifying the cloud models, opportunities, risks and plans.
The cloud computing market share will continue to increase, therefore business analysts will need to be comfortable with the cloud eco-system, recognizing specific opportunities and challenges in the cloud.

Strategies on Dealing with Sensitive Data

Strategies on Dealing with Sensitive Data

Unless you are living under a rock or in a cave somewhere off grid, the not so United States of America chose a very eccentric leader earlier this week which made the last few days more or less a circus. Yes, Donald Trump won the US presidency and a lot of people are upset causing volatility and shockwaves not just in the US but also across the world. What happened on election night with the Canadian Immigration website was extraordinary and describes the sentiment of non-Trump supporters. The website was reported to have crashed as it could not cope with the surge in traffic from the US, this support talks of some Americans wanting to move to Canada or anywhere else “rational” like Australia and New Zealand. I must say that I am grateful mum chose to migrate a couple of decades ago to Australia instead of the US! Thanks mum, I owe you peace, sanity and a good life!

So what went wrong for Hillary Clinton which caused her the oval office? I asked my American colleagues about their opinion of Hillary and one key denominator is trust. Clinton’s email controversy triggered a south bound ripple effect on the polls. The fact that she had set up a private server for personal and official communication while serving as a Secretary of State, instead of an official government account where classified information is deemed to be secure, was uncovered and scrutinized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation not just once but twice. Of course, Clinton’s opponents and the media feasted on this opportunity, even if the FBI cleared her twice. Regardless if she is innocent or not, damage was done. Clinton was regarded to have been “extremely careless” by the FBI and dodgy and suspicious by her critics.

Clinton’s mishap is a lesson for all. Security of sensitive data is a growing concern in a data-centric world like ours. In a much smaller scale like at home or at a personal level, there are ways we can do to protect sensitive data, such as:

  • If it is not necessary to collect and store the data then don’t – determine what is important and delete, delete, delete
  • Encrypt to prevent unauthorised access – data encryption is said to be the most effective way of securing data as access to a secret key or password is required. But don’t unknowingly give away that key or password (IE. writing it in your wallet or notepad for everyone else to see).
  • Store securely – there are a number of ways to achieve this from data masking, having backups from secure locations, use of security tokens, VPN, etc. It is ideal to research and seek advice from data security experts which can help you determine what is the best way for your situation.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has further information on securing information, which can be accessed via the website https://www.oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/guides/guide-to-securing-personal-information). I highly recommend to visit and read through the fact sheets as it tackles Privacy Act, personal information security, information lifecycle, risks, types of security and so forth.

What is the BA’s role in shaping what customer data to store, if at all?

What is the BA’s role in shaping what customer data to store, if at all?

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What is the BA’s role in shaping what customer data to store, if at all?

Business analysts have a critical role to play in deciding what a customer data, if any, needs to be stored for a system in development to achieve its objectives.

Two main considerations need to taken into account in arriving at this decision, which include:

Business Considerations

What data is necessary for the system to effectively function and produce value for the business?

Taking into consideration requirements elicited and business rules articulated, the following questions must be considered:

  1. What data needs to be collected for short term use but is not required to be stored?
  2. What data needs to be collected and stored temporarily?
  3. What data needs to be collected and stored for longer periods of time?

Questions may be difficult to answer as different stakeholders may have different opinions. A business analyst must be able to keep focused on the objectives of the system under development and what ultimately produces greatest business value.

Legal Considerations 

A business analyst must be able to balance business considerations regarding data with legal requirements. He or she must be aware about the boundaries according to the law and what data is legally allowed to be collected on customers.

In NSW, customer data collected is subject to laws namely, the Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records & Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) which governs the manner in which data is collected, stored, used and disclosed. Corporations are prohibited from collecting the following data including details of ethnic/racial origin, political opinions, religious/philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, sexual activities and any previous criminal records.

A pragmatic approach is necessary in arriving at appropriate decisions regarding customer data storage. The general rule is: if you don’t need to collect or store particular customer  data – don’t. Customer data should only be collected and stored if it satisfies business needs and legal requirements satisfactorily. A Business Analyst acts as a medium between business (who may not understand what data is necessary for a system to function effectively) and IT (who don’t understand necessarily what data is critical and gives business value). He or she has to tread a fine line to satisfy stakeholders but remain compliant and sensible in a business and legal point of view.

Ethics in ICT projects and Kaizen

Ethics in ICT projects and Kaizen

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Both small and large-scale ICT projects pose ethical questions for individuals including business analysts, developers, business product owners and strategy makers.

Many questions may be raised including:

What ethical standards are applicable for projects?
Why are ethics important?
When should ethics be considered (before, during, after or continuously during a project)?
Who should ultimately be responsible for the creation, implementation, checking and continual improvement of compliance with ethical standards within companies?
How should ethical behaviour be developed practically within a company?
How should ethical standards be communicated within an organisation?
How should ethics be linked with agile project management and system development?

Ethics is a difficult matter in that what is legal is not always ethical and what is ethical is not always legal. The concepts of legal compliance and ethical compliance are not synonymous, nor are they of course mutually exclusive. Business can excellent in their knowledge of the law, such as those governing privacy, and in not technically breaching regulations; however there is often a grey area regarding ethics. The common human tendency to rationalise behaviour, arguing that the ‘means justify the end’, can lead individuals to perform unethical actions which they deem to be right. An organisational obsession on short-term goals and profits may lead them to condone unethical behaviour in particular in their use of technology and data. Rewarding short-term performance may put pressure on employees and can compromise their ability to clearly judge what is right and wrong, ethical and unethical.

Ethics in ICT projects is strongly linked to the concepts of data privacy, property, accuracy and accessibility. Any IT system functions on a platform of data, people, processes and technology. It is in the matter of data that business can fall into the trap of unethical behaviour. Sensitive data may be collected on customers that, although legal, is entirely unnecessary and inappropriate. A business may further breach the law, be clearly unethical, and collect data about customers which clearly violates their privacy. Customer data may also be used by the company not only for their use, but sold to third parties for profit. This has been done by large corporations such as FlyBuys which is known to sell customer data onto other corporations.

Data accuracy is important in that customer data may not maintain its integrity when used in systems. Invalid data may have consequences on customers, after which the company may not want to claim any responsibility for any damage incurred. Companies also need to be concerned about data accessibility as it could be construed to be unethical for certain individuals to have access to data across numerous departments, which may lead them to take advantage of their position and access to information for personal gain.

Clearly articulated ethical standards regarding data privacy, property, accuracy and accessibility are very important in all ICT endeavours as they function is the basis for trust between businesses and consumers. Ethics are important not only because they often lineup to what is legal, but because they place the customers best interests at top priority. Ethics need to be considered before, during and after an ICT project is completed and continuously assessed. The concept of kaizen is very relevant in this goal of the ethical compliance. Organisations need to continually seek ways to improve compliance with ethical standards; they need to focus on the greatest risks and implications first, they need to fix problems immediately when they are identified and they need to brainstorm possible ethical dilemmas that may arise in their sprint-cycles. Agile software development allows companies to continuously develop and assess their policies and strategies to properly guard sensitive customer data that needs to be collected and stored, insure that customers know their rights regarding their data and the use of their data (outlining what the system will use customer data to do), ensuring that there is data integrity throughout business processes and insuring that system architecture is developed in such a way that data is protected from access by unauthorised parties (be it outside or internal to the organisation).

Why being ethical is important in Business Analyst’s role?

Why being ethical is important in Business Analyst’s role?

Ethical people are those who recognize the difference between right and wrong and consistently strive to set an example of good conduct. In a business setting, being ethical means applying principles of honesty and fairness to relationships with coworkers and customers. Ethical individuals make an effort to treat everyone with whom they come in contact as they would want to be treated themselves.

Build Customer Loyalty

Consumers may let a company take advantage of them once, but if they believe they have been treated unfairly, such as by being overcharged, they will not be repeat customers. Having a loyal customer base is one of the keys to long-range business success because serving an existing customer doesn’t involve marketing cost, as does acquiring a new one. A company’s reputation for ethical behavior can help it create a more positive image in the marketplace, which can bring in new customers through word-of-mouth referrals. Conversely, a reputation for unethical dealings hurts the company’s chances to obtain new customers, particularly in this age of social networking when dissatisfied customers can quickly disseminate information about the negative experience they had.

Retain Good Employees

Talented individuals at all levels of an organization want to be compensated fairly for their work and dedication. They want career advancement within the organization to be based on the quality of the work they do and not on favoritism. They want to be part of a company whose management team tells them the truth about what is going on, such as when layoffs or reorganizations are being contemplated. Companies who are fair and open in their dealings with employees have a better chance of retaining the most talented people. Employees who do not believe the compensation methodology is fair are often not as dedicated to their jobs as they could be.

Positive Work Environment

Employees have a responsibility to be ethical from the moment they have their first job interview. They must be honest about their capabilities and experience. Ethical employees are perceived as team players rather than as individuals just out for themselves. They develop positive relationships with coworkers. Their supervisors trust them with confidential information and they are often given more autonomy as a result. Employees who are caught in lies by their supervisors damage their chances of advancement within the organization and may risk being fired. An extreme case of poor ethics is employee theft. In some industries, this can cost the business a significant amount of money, such as restaurants whose employees steal food from the storage locker or freezer.

Avoid Legal Problems

At times, a company’s management may be tempted to cut corners in pursuit of profit, such as not fully complying with environmental regulations or labor laws, ignoring worker safety hazards or using substandard materials in their products. The penalties for being caught can be severe, including legal fees and fines or sanctions by governmental agencies. The resulting negative publicity can cause long-range damage to the company’s reputation that is even more costly than the legal fees or fines. Companies that maintain the highest ethical standards take the time to train every member of the organization about the conduct that is expected of them.

Considerations When Using Copy Written Materials

Considerations When Using Copy Written Materials

So you have a project due which requires some research but time is against you and the due date is fast approaching. You turn to the almighty power of Google’s search engine for comfort where you innocently copied and pasted materials to build up your project. At the back of your head a little voice is whispering “You are missing something here, something is not right”. And as you continue, the voice becomes louder and louder, forcing you to think what are you doing wrong. Are you unintentionally harming anyone?

A bright light bulb lit, which given you the idea to seek advice from a wise colleague of yours, Paul, who is a subject matter expert in this field. Paul has done extensive research on the topic of copyright and has happily shared the following points with you as guidelines on remaining compliant when projects like this arises and research is required:

  • Create yourself – as much as possible if it is achievable to create the material yourself then it is best to do so, this saves time in researching for contents and getting permission from owners of the material. So, if you require photo of a native tree for your project, then walk around the park and take photos. The sunshine and fresh air is a bonus, it is healthier!
  • Obtain permission to use material from the owner – if you must use someone else’s work, ask the owner nicely and have it in writing with their details (such as having an email confirmation). Good to cover your back side if things go south and they changed their mind later on.
  • Check if the website does say the content can be used or copyright free – look for this indicator that the content on their website is copy right free. I recommend to screen shot this section as a point of reference and store in a secure location.
  • See if you can pay royalty or get a licence to use the material – something that is frowned upon especially if you are a struggling student but if you need to then you must! Better to pay than get sued by the owner. Legal fees and bill on damages can further drain your funds.

In a nutshell, always assume no one is exempt and everything is under copyright. It is highly recommended to read through the Australian Copyright Act of 1968 which outlines the scope of copyright laws in the country which can be found on the Australian Federal Register of Legislation website (www.legislation.gov.au). Also, the Australian Copyright Council is there to help for inquiries relating to copyright in Australia. For international copyright, Australia has treaties with some countries where copyright laws are reciprocated but it is best to look for the local copyright laws of that country to ensure you are doing the right thing and abiding by their laws.

Copyright, law at informational technology business analyst’s role

Copyright, law at informational technology business analyst’s role

With the internet changing the way we create, share and access information, the question is, when it comes to copyright, as a consumer, are you breaking the law? As a creative, are you protected?

After a review of copyright in the context of the digital economy the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) recommended that Australia introduce ‘fair use’ as a defence to copyright infringement.

Many in the tech and start-up ecosystem find Australia’s current copyright provisions restrictive and inflexible. On the other hand, musicians, film-makers, writers, innovators and other creatives in the digital area have argued strongly for ensuring that IP is protected, perhaps putting the onus on internet services providers to take responsibility for illegal downloads and sharing.

Would a “fair use” provision be an adequate protection for innovators, or is it a vague term which would reduce a creative’s right to decide where and how their content is used?

The issue of copyright is a hot topic, and not a simple one. Beyond the Review: Copyright and the Digital Economy brings together a panel of industry experts who are leading the charge in this field to debate the future of copyright in Australia.

As creative practitioners, our “rights literacy” can often be pretty limited, so we’ve asked some of the key players in the sector to bust some common copyright myths.

  1. If I change more than 10% of the words (or image) am I infringing copyright?

Most probably!  There’s no magic number of words/images/changes you can make to something that will stop it being a breach of copyright.  Copyright doesn’t protect just identical copy, it also protects copying of a part of a work (anything more than an ‘insubstantial’ part) or making an adaptation.  Adaptions such as translation or screen plays that might change all the word in a work would still be a breach of copyright if done without permission.

  1. Is it okay to move my legally purchased content around my own personal devices?

That depends on exactly what you want to move. Because the laws around personal format shifting are technology specific, you can copy a legally-acquired videotape to your tablet, but you can’t do the same for a DVD.  The Australian Copyright Council (ACC) has a useful sheet setting out what you can and can’t legally do titled “Copying and Converting Formats for Private Use”.

  1. With so many regulations, who is monitoring these and does anybody actually get sued for infringement?

There’s been an increase in the ability to monitor copyright infringement, especially with the increasing use of digital content.  Some sites (think YouTube) automatically check uploads for copyright content.  People found to be infringing copyright may be asked to stop using the content, be asked for compensation or may,at the extreme, end up in court.  However, realistically, most of us breach copyright several times a day without even noticing it, and most of these very minor infringements (unauthorised doodles, forwarding emails etc) slip under the radar.  That doesn’t make them legal however.

  1. Can I use pictures found from Google image searches without worrying about getting permission?

Only if they are openly licenced (for example Creative Commons licenced) or public domain (no copyright) images.  You can choose to search certain types of licenced images in the advanced search option, or there are several sites that specialise in only open licenced or public domain images.    If you can’t see any licencing information, then it is wise to assume that it is ‘all rights reserved’.

  1. Do I need to register my copyright in order to protect it?

No, copyright automatically exists as soon as you create the work.  There are some circumstances where the copyright in something you create will not belong to you – for example works you make as an employee doing your job normally belong to the employer.  It is always a good idea to put some indication of how you want your copyright to be observed, so the © symbol for ‘all rights reserved’ or an open licence if you’d like others to share your work.

  1. What are these reforms and how will they impact me?

The ALRC made several recommendations to update copyright. The headline recommendation is a flexible ‘fair use’ exception, which would allow people to make some uses of copyright material without permission if the use was fair.  Examples where uses might be fair would be copying a DVD you own to your tablet to watch while travelling or an artist making a mash-up work from TV advertisements.  For each use though you have to consider what is being done, what sort of work is being used, how much is being used and most importantly whether it has a negative effect on the copyright holder.  Fair use is the system that exists in the USA.  By focusing on whether a use is fair (as opposed to the purpose of a use as the current exceptions do) it can adapt to changes in technology and markets.

The ALRC also made some more technical recommendations about reform of the statutory licences (education, government and disabilities) library and archive use and some government uses, as well as making some suggestions on broadcasts and re transmissions for the government to consider at a later date.  The ADA has a summary of the recommendations on the website.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence

AI ( Artificial intelligence)  had been an extraordinary field for the past few years. From amazing development to extensive opportunities of implementation AI is slowly providing an easier lifestyle. From robots to help out at home to professional industry uses we are needing less manual power as the days go by. Automation wouldn’t be nearly as good if the machines couldn’t adapt to the changes and reflect on every situation differently.

Recently I came across an article stating that an AI lawyer had just been hired by a law firm.  This just shows the amazingly limitless potential that AI presents. If implemented in the health, security or customer service industry the profits would skyrocket. Not only do we eliminate human error but also increase work time by essentially eliminating any down time. Tests to implement more AI are already underway E.g self driving cars.  By having self driving you are eliminating taxi drivers as we would only need to call the taxi using an app on put phone and then the car would drive itself! . By eliminating humans we are increasing road safety. Sure you can argue that machines can malfunction but they are still going be more effective than humans.

Back to Ross the new layer. ” Ross, the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney, has its first official law firm. Baker & Hostetler announced that they will be employing Ross for its bankruptcy practice, currently comprised of almost 50 lawyers “.  

“ Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI Ross to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers. According to CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, other firms have also signed licenses with Ross, and they will also be making announcements shortly.

Ross, “the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney” built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson, was designed to read and understand language, postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. Ross also learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more you interact with it.

“You ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and Ross then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly,” the website says. “In addition, ROSS monitors the law around the clock to notify you of new court decisions that can affect your case.”

Ross also minimizes the time it takes by narrowing down results from a thousand to only the most highly relevant answers, and presents the answers in a more casual, understandable language. It also keeps up-to-date with developments in the legal system, specifically those that may affect your cases.

This is only the start who know one day AI will be able to formulate better Ai and so forth causing an evolution in all industries ( hopefully) .  The goal in my eyes should be to eliminate any forms of errors. History shows us human aren’t capable of doing so maybe the machines are. “  

Source:

  • www.futurism.com
  • www.rossintelligence.com
  • Image link : http://m.c.lnkd.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/1/005/0a2/3f4/2d96566.jpg