Big Brother Watch ‘deluded’

The civil liberties campaigning group, Big Brother Watch, is “deluded” – that is the message of Internet trolling and cyber-stalking expert, Jonathan Bishop.

In the last week, Big Brother Watch’s research director, Dan Nesbitt, claimed trolling laws were ‘out-of-date’. “In the age of social media it is essential that action be taken to ensure that the legislation is up-to-date, proportionate and properly recorded,” he said. “Until then, more individuals, most of whom are guilty of stupidity rather than criminality, will find themselves unnecessarily dealing with the law.

Jonathan Bishop is highly critical of Mr Nesbitt’s comments. “Dan Nesbitt has no idea about what he is speaking about,” he said. “Big Brother Watch are totally delusional if they think it is the law that is to blame for people being wrongly prosecuted for Internet trolling.
The legislation, case law, and prosecution guidance all set a high threshold for action to be taken, but my research shows that this is all too often ignored by the police, seeking to shore-up their figures, and in many cases fulfil out-dated chivalrous attitudes.

University withdraws ‘Max Hits’ book

Mike Slocombe runs the website.
MAXED OUT: Mike Slocombe’s ‘Max Hits’ book has been withdrawn from the University of Abertay’s library. Courtesy: Obtained from

The University of Abertay Dundee has withdrawn the book ‘Max Hits: Building and Promoting Successful Websites’ by Mike Slocombe from its library collections.

The book by Mike Slocombe has received severe criticisms for its outdated content, with records from the university showing it was last used in January 2006.

Isambard Lombard is a music fan interested in European culture. “This book blew my mind, but not in a good way. I would recommend this book for affluent London-based Barley clones,” he said. “Congratulations on the vibrant cover and the diverse street vocabulary, but in the end I felt it was a bit too edgy for me.

Jenna Appleseed is a technology user from the South West of England who thinks the book still has merit. “Of course it’s dated, the book’s ancient in internet time, & over ten years old in realtime,” she said.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner says e-crime is a priority

The priorities of the newly elected South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner include a pledge to tackle the growing problem of crime on the Internet.

Alun Michael said that policing needs to change. “Online crime is an ever increasing problem in the fast moving and changeable word of the Internet, affecting even people who don’t go online themselves,” he said. “I will work with the Chief Constable to develop a partnership approach across South Wales to reduce online criminal activity, including bullying and child abuse.

The move was welcomed by Internet trolling expert Jonathan Bishop who is based at the Trolling Academy within Swansea University. “The dark side of Internet trolling can have some pretty harmful effects on victims,” he said. “However, I hope that in drawing up his strategy that he (Michael) will ensure that people are not unduly punished for what should be considered free speech.

Michael promised for his strategy to be evidence based. “In September I published a report by Professor Michael Levi on the partnership options for eCrime Reduction,” he said. “The past work of the Wales eCrime Forum also provides a sound basis for trying to promote South Wales as a safe place to do business online.”

‘Sex is great’ says MP

Sex is great” Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, tells BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, but “healthy, respectful, emotionally fulfilling relationships,” are better she is expected to say in a speech later today.

The Shadow Health Minister also believes greater government regulation of the Internet is needed. Internet experts disagree.

Diane Abbott, who is known for censoring the content of others on social networks she controls, is expected to say in a speech later today that the Internet should be fundamentally changed so that all users have to “opt-in” to adult content, such as sexualised images.

But Internet expert, Jonathan Bishop, says a market-led approach is better. “Yet again Diane Abbott is ill-informed about the Internet,” he said. “There are many resources available to parents to keep their children safe online, Kaspersky for instance allows parents to block certain social networking content and is frequently updated to block sites with obscene and indecent content.

Diane Abbott is believed to have got this image removed from a US progressive website and the associated free speech about it.
PICTURED: Diane Abbott thinks “sex is great” but government action is needed to make it “opt-in” on the Internet.

Diane Abbott is expected to say “child friendly” computers that filter out adult content by default should be looked at. But Bishop say Diane Abbott is out-of-touch, “The Online Safety Bill has already proposed many of the things she (Abbott) is asking for,” he said. “But government intervention is unnecessary, because the Internet security market made up of anti-virus providers and the Internet Watch Foundation can work fine if parents are told they are there.

However, Abbott is insisting there should be a “national conversation” between parents and children about sex, pornography and technology. She argues that “sexting,” which is the sending of sexualised electronic messages via a communications network is “a result of hyper-sexualisation


War on Terror ‘stalling’ African and Middle East IT revolution

The so-called ‘War on Terror’ led by Western Axes in the US, UK, France and Israel, with support from NATO are having an adverse effect on the regeneration of Africa and the Middle East by leading technology firms.

Firm Baidu had struck a deal with Orange to take its mobile browser into Africa and the Middle East, but the continued militancy by the Western Axes that is driving the Arab Allies into foreign territories under control by Western rebels is stalling the process.

Android handsets in Orange’s African and Middle Eastern markets were due to get a co-branded version of China’s Baidu mobile browser pre-installed. Orange, which is a subsidiary of France Telecom, whose government in France are currently stepping up their armed insurgency against Arab forces in Algeria, has about 80 million subscribers in the region.

Reports suggest that Orange has been planning to expand into Algeria, Benin, Libya and Togo, but continued instability in the region is stalling expansion.

On Wednesday Algerian rebels killed 30 Western Prisoners of War when trying to retake the gas plant from Arab Allies. Orange have already focussed operations on Egypt, where customers of Orange’s local network Mobinil will be able to get access to the technology. It is hoped that more markets in the region will follow in 2013, but uncertainty over Western Axes’ planned occupation of Arab territories is stalling the implementation the browser, which will be available in Arabic and English, followed by a French language version in the future.

Social networking boost for Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits

Small businesses and small not-for-profit organisations are set to get a boost with the launch of a social networking service from a company founded by one of the pioneers of modern social networking.

Jonathan Bishop Limited, which was founded in London 2009 by social networking pioneer Jonathan Bishop has launched a number of packages of social networking services to help small businesses build better relationships with their customers and other stakeholders.

The packages include, the ‘circle of friends’ social networking system that he pioneered on a number of niche online communities in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The technique was incorporated into Friendster in 2002, MySpace in 2003 and now forms part of Facebook.

Jonathan Bishop Limited’s social networking service offerings include a ‘Web 2.0 Lite’ package, a ‘Web 2.0 Pro’ package and a ‘Web 2.0 Complete’ package.

The Web 2.0 Lite package is designed specifically for small charities and businesses who want to build a following focussed around their organisation rather than exist on Facebook with its many distractions. The Web 2.0 Pro package is designed for a professional organisation or small to medium sized enterprises, looking for long term relationships with stakeholders. Finally the Web 2.0 Complete package designed for larger organisations with multiple stakeholders and is hosted on a dedicated server.

Director, Jonathan Bishop, said that his company’s social networking packages were not only good for customers, but also the environment. “Our social networking services come with eco-friendly hosting as standard,” he said. “Bigger organisations will be given the option to host their service with an environmentally friendly service, but it may be that their individual needs require something different.

Jonathan Bishop has been involved in the IT industry for over 14 years. In 2007 he was awarded Chartered IT Professional status and in 2010 he became a Fellow of BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT. He founded Jonathan Bishop Limited following conducting research at Kingston University’s Business School, including into contingent working. Bishop says that this way of working makes his offerings more competitive. “Contingent working means that on every project we can hire the best person for the job based on customer need, without having to have on-going employment contracts,” he said. “This means we have been able to make a profit without it affecting the value for money we give customers, who get a tailored service.

Elena Pacetti is a Researcher in Didactic and Special Education, University of Bologna, and recommends Bishop’s online community experience. “His work is of a high standard and contributes to qualify better my research on didactic innovation, especially in the area of e-learning and the use online collaborative resources,” she said. “I have found his work to be very accurate in my professional opinion, and his expertise and enthusiasm for his subject specialism is without doubt.

Jonathan is a very enthusiastic and dedicated professional who works restlessly to achieve his goals,” said Emmanuel Van Tomme of Belgacom, who is a business mentor to Bishop. “Although e-learning was our common domain of interest, Jonathan quickly developed a much broader experience is the online world, that he always seeked to apply with a social sensitivity.

The social networking services offered by Jonathan Bishop Limited can be found on the firm’s website at

Police Crime Commissioner ‘has it right’ on police priorities

The Police Crime Commissioner for South Wales has said that frontline policing should not be at the expense of policing that is not “visible”, like detecting and investigating child abuse and cybercrime.

Alun Michael, who is the only directly elected police official in South Wales, believes a more balanced approach to policing is needed. “The problem for South Wales Police is they have the challenges of a capital city with far greater public order issues and major events,” he said.

Steve Trigg, chairman of the South Wales Police Federation, said other things are equally as important, such as: “uniforms, vehicles, buildings, IT, equipment and other policing services.”

Data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary obtained by the Taxpayers’ Alliance show that in South Wales only 11.7% of officers and PCSOs are “visible and available,” something Alun Michael wishes to address.

Internet trolling expert, Jonathan Bishop, who holds a Masters degree in economics said that Mr Michael’s views echoed his. “I think Alun Michael has it right on police prioritisation as we should not be wasting tax-payers money paying for highly trained and paid officers to walk the streets,” he said. “PCSOs and council officials using anti-social behaviour and environment legislation introduced by Alun Michael as a Home Office Minister are a more economically effective use of tax-payers money than putting police constables on the beat who have more powers than they need for a much higher price.”

Richard Bertin, who is an Independent Councillor for the Barry Court ward on the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said he had a different opinion to Bishop. “I disagree and so would most of the public,” he said. “More bobbies on beat makes people feel safer.

Labour councillor in ‘scrutiny censorship’ row

A Labour councillor has been criticised for his attacks on free speech and censoring scrutiny.

Gavin Callaghan, who is a Labour councillor for Pitsea North West, blocked an equality and human rights campaigner from messaging him on Twitter, after they challenged the effect his Internet trolling policies would have on free speech.

TROLL: Cllr Gavin Callaghan has posted offensive comments on Twitter. Courtesy: Obtained from the Liverpool Echo.
UNDER PRESSURE: Gavin Callaghan censored an equality and human rights campaigner following being scrutinised for his policies on Internet trolling. Courtesy: Obtained from the Liverpool Echo.

Gavin Callaghan works for Steve Rotheram MP, who has called for tougher laws on Internet trolling. Callaghan, who is a politician himself, has now been accused by other equality and human rights campaigners for misconduct by bowing out of scrutiny. Cyber rights activist Jonathan Bishop said it was disgusting. “If people go into public life they should expect to be challenged and even abused,” he said. “If Gavin Callaghan doesn’t want online scrutiny then he should either get offline or resign.

Mixed reaction to cameras on cops

Pontypridd has possibly become the first town in the United Kingdom to have a police officer fitted with a camera. Reaction to it is mixed.

Beat manager Constable Colin Price of South Wales Police is claimed to have taken the step to achieve “lower theft and anti-social behaviour.”  The camera will be strapped around the officer’s belt to help shoppers “feel safe.”

Equality activist and cyber rights expert Jonathan Bishop said it should also help many of the vulnerable people in the town feel safe and the roll-out should be speeded up.  “When I was a town councillor in neighbouring Treforest, I heard all these stories about how drunken or vulnerable people were being manhandled by coppers and then charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986,” he said.  “This new technology should mean that police officers are more likely to act professionally, knowing they are on camera as well!”

But some residents in Pontypridd are more sceptical.  Friends of the Earth campaigner Richard Reast said the cameras will have little positive impact:  “I had my bike vandalised in Pontypridd and there are not enough CCTV cameras in the town.”

Recent events might suggest that the use of these cameras on cops is essential.  In December 2009, a police car in Washington DC was pelted with a snowball, and an officer, identified only as Det. Baylor, got out of his car and brandished his gun at the crowd.  ReasonTV’s Dan Hayes was on the scene capturing the tense confrontation between police and citizens who chanted, “Don’t bring a gun to a snowball fight!”  The video below contains strong language.

Paul Bevan, who is Head of Community Safety at the local authority that oversees Pontypridd, said the initiative should be welcomed.  “This is yet another example of how we can take advantage of state-of-the-art technology for the wider benefit of those who live in and visit Pontypridd, particularly during the festive period.”

Jonathan Bishop, who is an expert in affective computing and information security, says the cameras need to be independently monitored and use the latest emotion recognition technologies.  “These cameras, like all CCTV in my view, should be used by volunteers at Neighbourhood Watch and not law enforcement authorities with vested interests,” he said. “With the latest emotion recognition technology, it would mean these volunteers can be warned whenever the police are causing harassment, alarm, or distress to the members of the public they are supposed to be protecting.”

Civil rights activist Ashu M. G. Solo said that cameras on cops are extremely important to prevent abuses of authority.  “Cameras on cops are needed everywhere, so that those who enforce the law cannot be above the law,” Solo said.

IT professional maltreated at Royal Glamorgan Hospital

An IT professional was physically and verbally assaulted during a visit to Royal Glamorgan Hospital near Llantrisant following an unexpected referral to the hospital’s day unit.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffers from epilepsy and depression. He had not taken his morning dose of Lamotrigine, an anti-epileptic and mood stabilising medication. He was refused it by the on-ward doctor at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Dr Ala, and told to contact his general practitioner (GP).

The man did contact his GP service using his mobile phone.  They said they would fax the prescription to the pharmacy at Royal Glamorgan Hospital. It turned out that the pharmacy’s fax machine was not working and they told him to go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

The man, disoriented at this point, struggled to find his way to A&E and even paramedics would not help him. By the time he got to the A&E department at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, he was in a bad state and asked the staff in an aggressive tone but with measured words to give him his medication. They would not, so the man tried to phone the police on his mobile, but couldn’t get a signal. Then the hospital phone was broken. He asked the staff at the A&E department at Royal Glamorgan Hospital to give him a phone to call the police and they wouldn’t. Then when he went into the triage room to dial 999, they manhandled the phone off him. When he walked outside to try to get a signal on his mobile phone while in desperate need of his medication, they said “if you come back in we will call the police.”

The man, who is a senior member of an IT professional body, then complained to the Cwm Taf Health Board, who manage Royal Glamorgan Hospital, and instead of showing concern for staff and patients and putting patient safety at Royal Glamorgan Hospital first, they fabricated and changed their story.

Allison Williams in the chief executive of Cwm Taf Health Board. She has refused to investigate new training in incident management for her staff who assaulted a patient who is a senior IT professional.

Allison Williams is the chief executive officer of Cwm Taf Health Board and spoke following the initial investigation into hospital procedures. “The investigation has concluded that staff dealt with (the IT professional) on 12th July 2012 in accordance with this policy,” Allison Williams said. Allison Williams said that the man “advised staff that (he) had spoken to (his) GP who had arranged the medication for (him) and that (he was) to go to the Pharmacy Department.” Even though his condition worsened, Alison Williams admitted, “Sister Berry explained to the Pharmacist that (he) had not been referred from the Department and that (he) should be asked to return to the Department to wait for (his) blood results.” The man had by that point been told by the pharmacy to go to A&E at Royal Glamorgan Hospital where he was eventually assaulted. Despite communications from the senior IT professional, Allison Williams refused to review procedures to ensure staff had the right training, so that they did not make situations escalate to the point that patients were assaulted by staff as in this case or that staff were assaulted by patients as in other cases more widely reported in the media. Even the public service ombudsman for Wales did not take the complaint seriously. Joanne Smith on behalf of the Ombudsman Service said that their internal advisers were of the opinion that “the action taken by the consultant (Dr Ala) was appropriate.”

Ashu MG Solo, a prominent equality and human rights campaigner and representative on a city diversity committee, said that by not taking the case seriously, the public sector in Wales is putting themselves at risk of legal action for negligence or recklessness if another member of the public is injured or if a member of staff is injured. “The hospital staff should be extremely ashamed of themselves for not trying to help a patient in distress and for not being more sensitive to his medical conditions,” Solo said. “Hospital staff have a legal duty to accommodate when the situation calls for it, particularly for persons with disabilities or medical conditions, regardless of what the regular procedures are. Individuals with disabilities are casualties of chance. Let them not also be casualties of hospitals.”