Terror watchdog calls for new online spying law
The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation published his report into online government surveillance this week, calling for a comprehensive new law to replace the various outdated legislation currently in place. David Anderson QC raised a few eyebrows in the civil liberties arena by giving the green-light for bulk collection, but caveated this by recommending a stronger single commissioner to monitor surveillance and increased judicial oversight in warrants. The test for the Government will be how to factor the review into the Investigatory Powers Bill and there was an interesting Guardian editorial on this plus an in-depth look from TechCrunch.
Digital services reducing Government costs? N(A)O chance…
This week, a National Audit Office (NAO) report into central government staff costs revealed that a large number of Government departments are not managing to get the expected savings from the transition to digital government services. Additionally, the NAO found a surprising lack of belief amongst civil servants that their departments could achieve the digital plans laid out– just 36% believed that their departments had the required skills and only 26% claimed to have seen progress in the digital agenda. Computing covered the report as did the Daily Mirror.
Twitter unfollows CEO
Dick Costolo resigned as the CEO of Twitter, as the social network failed to meet expected earnings and user growth. Despite revenues increasing 74% to $436 million, it still made a loss of $162 million and saw growth in monthly users fall to 14%. It is still substantially behind Facebook in both monthly users and advertising revenue, and it is thought Costolo was urged to quit by investors who have seen Twitter perform poorly since going public in 2013.
This highlights a major for challenge for tech firms going public, namely how to communicate new business models to traditional jittery investors and the increased public scrutiny that comes with being on the stock exchange. The FT covered the story and Reuters wrote on Costolo’s internal support.