Tag Archives: DPP

Racing to last place

Even though it is less than 24 hours since my last story that involved the CPS, it is equally less than 6 hours since the Guardian gave us ‘Police outsource digital forensic work to unaccredited labs‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/12/police-outsource-digital-forensic-work-to-unaccredited-labs). It is here that Hannah Devlin informs us of the issues that might plague the courts over the next 2 years. She decides to start strong with the subtitle ‘Market for data analysis called a ‘race to the bottom’, with trials failing because of evidence issues‘ and that is not all. Her article gets stronger paragraph by paragraph. I raised some of these issues yesterday, but that was in general before I even touched on the outsourcing issues. She removes all brakes with the quote: “Gillian Tully, the government’s forensic science regulator, said there is “no excuse” for police forces to continue to use unaccredited providers. “It’s clearly of concern when contracts are being placed with providers that are not compliant,” she said“. Hannah is right, there is a lot wrong at this particular moment in time. And with “The Met outsources digital forensics provision to a defence technology company, called Mass, which subcontracts casework to other private companies, some of which are unaccredited. City of London Police uses six external providers, three of which are not accredited” we see two additional issues. The first is that when a contractor decides to subcontract, they will only do that whilst there is still a profit, so the costing of this endeavour will, once highlighted make matters worse for the CPS. As it is crying on resources, we see outsourcing of outsourced materials. The second issue is that the chain of evidence is now all over the place, which could endanger the privacy of the accused, the victim and possible give additional cause for concern that the course of justice could be in theory end up being perverted in more than one way. This must be the ultimate wet dream for Rupert Murdoch, all that optional information without having to hack mobile phones. The call for an immediate public inquiry in this matter seems almost unavoidable. I think that even without a ‘digital forensic degree‘ the fact that I saw a failing within 5 minutes of reading certain matters in R v Allan is only juicing the frenzy for hard draconian actions in all this. Hannah is completely correct when she states: “In the past decade, digital forensics has evolved from a niche capability to a central element in the investigation of almost every serious crime. The electronic footprint left by suspects can help rapidly establish alibis, identify accomplices and expose spurious claims“, setting is fuelled further that it was not only on disclosure, the joint review gave me clear thought on the lack of actual investigation into the basic connections. That part took me LESS than 300 seconds; or alternatively less than 5 minutes for those less interested in precision. So when we see the BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42417553) which gives us: “A computer disk containing 40,000 messages revealed the alleged victim had pestered him for ‘casual sex’“, we need to realise that checking text messages is done by using the most simple of computer find actions through <CTRL>-F and enter the place of transmission (phone number or identity) would have given the investigation the clue that something was amiss and that is something any IT technician or entry level helpdesk support representative could have done in under a minute, so when Hannah Devlin is implying that something is wrong she is not kidding, she is basically being slightly too diplomatic (a flaw I am fortunately not gifted with). This situation is almost like 30 people walking in on a man sledgehammering another person to death in full view of an audience of 30, and one of them states: “You might require legal representation“. Yup! That would be regarded as the quote of the year!

The article also shows an issue with the view of criminal barrister Andrew Keogh, who gives us: ““You’d be led to believe that there’s some magic in this accreditation and that if you’re not accredited you’re not good,” said Andrew Keogh, a criminal barrister based in Wigan and a visiting fellow at the University of Northumbria. “That’s not true at all.”“, actually, my learnered friend would be wrong in more than one way. You see that unaccredited office is simply ‘not good enough‘, because being ‘good enough’ is ascertained by the accreditation. Feel free to check with the Rt Hon the Baroness Tessa Blackstone on accreditation by the Bar Standards Board and ask whether there is any validity of hiring any legal counsel to represent you in a criminal matter who is not accredited by the Bar Standards Board.

So his view of ‘if you’re not accredited you’re not good’ might sound true, but it is not about being ‘good’, it is about being ‘good enough‘. The commercial sector has all kinds of accreditation, some are as one might think, a ‘load of bollocks‘, and some are essential for keeping afloat. It might merely be my personal view, but being accredited before being allowed anywhere near a life changing situation seems really important to me. Would you trust the first passer-by to use a non-automated defibrillator on you? I reckon that the situation that puts you in prison for life (or merely 8-15 years) requires to be handled by a person who has been checked for having the right qualifications and knowledge of how to deal with evidence. Call me old-fashioned that way, that just how I roll.

So basically I am in line with Norman Lamb who gives us: “The whole fragility of the market and what happens to samples that are suddenly in insolvency, we can’t mess around with this, it goes to the heart of people’s rights as citizens“, so the chair of the science and technology select committee (the person sitting on it) states that there is a flaw in the current tendering and it is leaving the sector vulnerable. I think that it in equal measure endangers the people accused and also the optional victims in all this. So when we consider that there is now evidence that Liam Allan (now 22) has been on bail for almost 2 years will have suing nature with the Metropolitan Police. Can we blame him? In addition, as we might feel for the woman connected to this, the stigma will haunt both. The messages shows him to be allegedly innocent (I am stating alleged, because I never saw the actual messages) and on the other hand we have a case on non-repudiation, because is there evidence that she actually send those messages? That part I can understand as I have had a few messages (from an unmentioned non linked source) where I was offered to ‘fuck her‘ whilst I know she had never had any interest in me in that way (or any other way for that matter). It took less than 5 seconds to realise that someone used her mobile trying to be ‘funny’. The entire forensic screw up gives, again, a wrong light to parties and it could have been prevented, a 2 year mess that could have been largely diffused in less than 2 hours. It now gives both the stigma that could have been avoided as well, and as we read that this work is done by unaccredited companies and people makes it an infuriating one because there are hundreds of people who are hoping to get justice through their day in court and they will be waiting for an additional longer time to get there.

And that is not all, the CPS mad it even worse with the statement: “it was decided that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction“, which in some measure implies that he was the man ‘who got away with it‘ and that is optionally a separate level of failure. That too came from the BBC in December 2017. So, even as we were given the ‘casual sex requests’ part on one side that does not prove that the woman in question was giving consent when they met. Because digital forensics failed, the stigma will remain and in addition they are empowering events where victims grow less and less certain that they will receive justice or get the protection that these victims are entitled to. That is a failing beyond merely the forensic side and that makes the entire mess even a lot larger than merely the academic view of accreditation.

Yet beyond Andrew Keogh, there is another view. With “Others dispute whether the accreditation system, widely used to assess DNA and toxicology labs, is readily applicable to digital work” we need to realise that this is a bigger basket of worms. One field of science is not the other one and the digital science part has been and will remain in motion for years to come, which also gives more considerations to the digital forensics field. Even as we can agree that there are basic needs, the fact that mobile technologies alone are in transit and in an in-usage evolution spiral, which means that the technology is evolving whilst the technology is used, so there are more issues even below the surface. You have to merely look at the Android and IOS updates a user goes through on a weekly basis to see that there are constant changes. The dangers are that these changes have two sides, the parts we see and the parts we do not see. The second one includes data streams and as these streams optionally change (or have additional digital parameters), there are moments when data is wrong, or better stated wrongly set. To view this I will give you two quotes. The first was: “Google is adding a real-time location sharing function to Google Maps that can be very useful. It can also be restrictive and annoying or, in a worst-case scenario, potentially abusive and controlling“, the second one is: “When we bought our house in 2011, Google maps placed it 1.5 miles south of the actual location“. So important that these are two different quotes, not related to one another. But the essence is that the mobile could have optionally given information that a mail was send from ‘another’ location given the perpetrator a ‘false’ alibi. That error could be the vital part in a defence setting a perpetrator wrongfully free. So in that one instance we see that accreditation is essential and in the second part that there is a supporting side that the DNA and toxicology accreditation might not be (completely) correct for digital accreditation. Without knowing more it is hard to completely agree with the given dispute, but it is clear that here is a possible agreement on that side.

So you would rightfully be left with the question, how anyone in this entire chain of organisations decided to make the call to just outsource it all and how those not passing any quality testing would have been allowed near the evidence in the first place. The implied issues as we see the articles from the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent give a rise to concerns all over the field, not in the least with the victims related to this. You see in light of the transgressor and the victims, the person being the victim in the end is not a given and raises the issue even further. If I can add a reasonable doubt to these cases, how far could I get, without the accreditation to add reasonable doubt to any murder case that relies on digital evidence? In the R v Allan case, I merely needed two minutes and knowledge on how to use an ASCII editor, what happens when a murder case gives me the digital data and optional setting of time and location? The ‘opportunity’ to add reasonable doubt because a lot of this data has no non-repudiation will add to the mountain of reasonable doubt that would add to a long list of acquittals, that is before any barrister can raise the lack of accreditation of the people processing the digital evidence in the first case. And these are all matters that happen before someone wants a proper list of decisions regarding the rules of outsourcing whilst looking at the documentations from the Metropolitan Police, the CPS and the DPP. It is pure speculation on my side, but I reckon that the list of issues would grow even beyond the scope I can see at present. You see, part of this is seen in the BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42453405). Here we read: “Judges heard police asked the woman to retrieve Facebook messages that they had exchanged. Three pages of messages had been printed and the woman, who cannot be identified, told jurors she had deleted some to free up storage space“. I have an issue with that part, because of the setting. In the first how many messages were deleted? What space was freed? I find the entire matter very debatable, especially as something that I noticed almost immediately, that part took the CPS and parties 4.5 year to figure out? OK, it happened 4.5 year earlier which is not the same thing, but the issue stands. How many cases have been bungled like that and what happens when the courts start to overturn murder cases because there is an issue with the digital evidence? Even if the digital evidence was not key; the chance of additional cause and effects could potentially be seen when there are retrials and they could give issues to a lot more damage. Consider the partial quote “jurors at the trial had been given an “edited and misleading” picture“, in a murder case that will have far reaching consequences.

I feel certain that the end of these events have not been reached and I reckon it will take the CPS several months to realise the full impact of all of this, which would be another worry altogether, because all this could potentially lead to a case load that is a lot higher than ever before and the claimed damages that the government faces could add up to a lot more than most could ever imagine. The latter part is speculation, but in light of claims already underway, I am unlikely to be incorrect on that matter.

It is not without concern that I wonder what other matters Hannah Devlin can raise in subsequent articles on this matter, because I am certain that in the near future we will see more, not less of these ‘evidence failure’ events.



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Lawyers on a weakly basis

It is the Lawyers Weekly that gets the attention at present. The article (at https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22159-lawyers-don-t-need-to-become-accomplices-to-white-collar-crime) gives us the nice title with ‘Lawyers ‘don’t need to become accomplices’ to white-collar crime‘, yet is that statement anywhere near the truth or the applicable situation that many face in today’s industry? Monty Raphael QC talks the talk and does so very nicely as the experienced QC he is, yet there were a few points in all this that are an issue to me and it should be an issue to a much larger community. For me it starts with the quote ““Cyber space has not created any new crimes, as such, really, of any significance,” Mr Raphael said.” This is of course a correct statement, because until the laws are adjusted, plenty of issues are not covered as crimes. We merely need to look at the defence cloak that ‘facilitation’ gives to see that plenty is not covered. The case D Tamiz v Google Inc is merely one example and as technology renews and evolves, more and newer issues will rise, not merely in cases of defamation breaking on the defence of mere facilitation.

Yet for this matter, what is more a visible situation is the case of Tesco a how PwC seems to not be under the scrutiny it should be, it should have been so from day 1. So when we read: “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” we are introduced to a statement that is for the most seemingly empty. I state it in this way, because the options of scaling the legal walls while not breaking any of the laws that were bended to the will of the needy is an increasingly more challenging task. If the legal walls were better than PwC would clearly be in the dock 2 years ago, or would they? In addition, they are not alone, merely slightly (read: loads) more visible as the profit before tax for Tesco ended up being minus 6.3 billion in 2015.

Monty makes a good case, yet the underlying issue is not the lawyer, it for the most never was. It is the law itself. This is why I object to the title, it is nice but is it true? PwC shows that even as we oppose their actions, the fact that they are not in the dock is because when we see Reuters (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-tesco-fraud/former-tesco-executives-pressured-staff-to-cook-books-court-told-idUKKCN1C41TK) we see “Tesco’s auditors PwC were “misled and lied to,” Wass added“. Is this true? Let’s consider the evidence, can it be shown and proven that they were lied to?

It might never be proven because the people in the dock have had years to get their story right (read: synchronised). What I stated at the very beginning of the events of Tesco remains true and it remains the issue. The fact is that PwC made that year £13 million from this one customer. Much of it in a project and auditors for the rest and they did not spot the fact that the books were ‘cooked’, will remain an issue with me for some time to come. It is the Tesco case that also underlies the issue here. It is about the weak lawyer, not because he is weak, but the lack of proper laws protecting all victims of white collar entrepreneurs is stopping them from aiding potential victims. In addition as the law is struggling to merely remain four passes behind it all, it becomes less and less useful, not to mention a lot less effective. As the next generation of economic tools are being rolled out (block chain being a first), we will see new iteration of issues for the law, for both the CPS and DPP as it cannot progress forward in light of the legal parties not comprehending the technology in front of them, so showing wrongdoing will become an increasingly hard task for lawyer to work with. The biggest issue is that as it is all virtual, the issue of non-repudiation goes out of the window. Not only will it become close to impossible to work with the premise of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there is the fact that ‘proof on a balance of probabilities‘ is becoming equally a stretch. The fact of non-repudiation is only one of several factors. So as we have seen that successful criminals tend to hide on the edge of technology, the chance to stop them is becoming increasingly less likely.

This now gets us to the statement “In the wake of the Panama Papers revelation from law firm Mossack Fonseca, Mr Raphael cautioned that clients’ criminal activities can come back to haunt their law firms“, the fact that both former prime ministers involved in the Panama paper scandals, Bjarni Benediktsson and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, have been re-elected to the Icelandic parliament (Source: IceNews), so it seems that the Panama papers are a little less of a haunt. In addition there will be a long debate of what constitutes the difference between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, because only one of those two is illegal. In addition certain questions on how 2.6TB was leaked and no alarms went off is also an issue, because the time required to get a hold of such a large amount of documents would take a monumental amount of time and with every option to shorten the path, alarms should have been ringing. When we consider the basic IT issues, we get partial answers but not the answers that clearly address the issues, as they did not. The time it had required to do all this should have placed it on the IT radar and that never happened. So as we see on how patches and security risks are now being pushed for as a reason, we need to wonder if Mossack Fonseca could have been the wealthy party it claimed to have been. When we consider the expression ‘a fool and his money are soon parted‘ the lowest level of IT transgressions that have been seemingly overlooked gives rise to a total lack of Common Cyber Sense, staff that should have been regarded as incompetent and an infrastructure that was lacking to a much larger degree. You see, even before we get to the topic of  ‘illegally obtained data‘ which was used for investigations that have convicted people of crimes, the larger issue that could be in play  on the foundation of that data alone, a few prison sentences could be regarded as invalid, or might get overturned soon enough. There were cases where the story gives clear indications of what was done and here we see the consideration of what is admissible evidence. In this, the one step back is the IT part. The hardware would have regarded as little as $100K to upgrade to better security standards and hiring a better level of University Student in his or her final year might have given a much safer IT environment, perhaps even at half the current cost.

All issues worthy of debate, yet none of it hitting the lawyers; it more hits the infrastructure of it all. Yet these two issues that might now be seen as real hindrances for lawyers, in a place of laws that are now seemingly too weak, the law, not the lawyer. So as we recollect the Toronto Star in January 2017 where we see “Canada is a good place to create tax planning structures to minimize taxes like interest, dividends, capital gains, retirement income and rental income,” when we see the added “the Canadian government has made it easier than ever for criminals and tax cheats to move money in and out by signing tax agreements with 115 countries” we see growing evidence that the law is getting hindered by eager politicians making their mark for large corporations through the signing of tax agreements, and what they think would be long term benefits for their economy, whilst in actuality the opposite becomes the case. So every clever Tom, Dick and Mossack Fonseca can set up valid and legal shapes of international corporations all paying slightly less than a farthing for all their taxations. Legal paths, enabled by politicians and as the laws are not adjusted we can all idly stand by how nothing illegal is going on. So as we admire the weakly lawyers, we get to realise that the law and the politicians adjusting it weakened their impact.

In all this at no point would the Lawyer have been an accomplice. The data lies with IT, the setting of these off shore accounts were largely valid and legally sound and in that, there could always be a bad apple, yet that does not make the Lawyer an accomplice. That brings us to the final part which we see with “Money laundering has been in the spotlight recently, with the Commonwealth Bank facing punishment for failing to report suspicious deposits in its ATMs“. It needs to be seen against “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” in this the banks are already faltering. We seek the dark light events of PwC and Mossack Fonseca, yet the basics are already getting ignored. I believe that the article is missing a part, I feel certain that it has at least been on the mind of my jurisprudential peer. You see, the legal councils will need to evolve. Not only will they need to do what they are already doing, the path where they (or more likely their interns) start to teach IT and other divisions a legal introduction on what is white collar crimes. The fact on how ‘suspicious deposits‘ could be a white collar crime is becoming more and more visible. I see that the education of IP legality in IT is now growing and growing. The intertwining can no longer be avoided. Now, we can agree that an IT person does not need a law degree, but the essential need to comprehend certain parts, in the growing mountains of data is more and more a given.

In all this there is one clear part that I oppose with Mr Raphael, it is the statement ‘There’s nothing cultural about greed‘, you see, as I personally see it that is no longer true, the corporate culture that is globally embraced made it so!


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It starts with a wrong label

Yes, merely ‘the wrong label’ is the beginning of what we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/16/nhs-data-loss-scandal-deepens-with-162000-more-files-missing) when we see the press look at ‘loss‘ and data files. You see, when we see a million documents that have been removed, that whilst the media (in this case the Guardian) uses expressions like ‘went missing‘ and ‘gone astray‘ we need to worry about the media as a whole. You see this is nothing less than an optional cover up of intentional negligence, multiple acts of manslaughter and perhaps even mass murder. That is quite a leap is it not? You see, when 137 documents are removed and wiped from a system it is a clear cover-up. Just lose those and 925.000 other documents and you get a systematic failure and no one looks too deeply, because now we have an optional situation where MP’s can vie for a few billion to ‘fix it‘. Yet the levels of what went wrong and more important the fact that I myself had a solution available (which would require another year to implement) is exactly the solution that would be preventing this. By the way, this is not about me trying to sell ‘some’ solution. This is merely the application of common sense. We can all agree that a document can get lost, it should not, but it happens. After the loss, if the system is set up correctly, the loss could be recovered. That is when a system is properly set up.

Yet, the opposite is what we see now. Now, we get a mess that is even larger and no one has any clue on how to proceed.

This last statement requires clarification, because merely stating an issue, does not make it one. It is initially seen in the quote “Officials said that in the course of their inquiries, they had identified a further 150,000 medical documents that had been mistakenly sent to the outsourcing firm Capita by GPs; and a further 12,000 missing papers that had had not been processed by SBS“. So it involves several GP’s, which means that the infrastructure has either a systemic failure, or has been mishandled by those in charge. The document went out of the hands of the GP’s, and those who had no copies basically threw away the health of their patients. So what happened when it went to the outsourcing firm? They should still have the papers, or they have forward them to someone else. You see, 12,000 papers (with envelopes) is a large bundle of paper and that does not just go missing, someone received it, processed it and what happened afterwards? How was it processed? The systemic failure is larger when we consider “However, despite staff raising concerns, the firm – which is 49.99% owned by the Department of Health – did not alert the department or NHS England until March last year, 26 months later. SBS was then “obstructive and unhelpful” to NHS England in the inquiry it then instigated, the NAO found“. The 26 month period implies in my view that arrests and prosecution of staff becomes clear. Was that done? What were the actions of the Department of Health, the NHS or the DPP for that matter? 26 months of inaction, it is perhaps the first clear part in this that gives rise to my suspicions. The additional “SBS has paid £4.34m for the loss” gives rise to the fact that the negligence goes a lot higher up the ladder than we are shown. In a place where anything more than £10,000 requires autographs from people who usually cannot be found to sign for anything for months at a time, someone dished out £4 million plus to make it go away.

There is the foundation of mismanaged events that are also the stepping stones of endangering the lives of people. The alleged issue, or is that evident issue that there is more going on can be seen in the quote “People should be reassured that despite reviewing over 97% of the records that SBS failed to process not a single case of patient harm has been identified”, so how does the NHS spokesperson know this? 97% whilst hundreds of thousands of documents including treatments and health plans are missing, how are they so sure? It gives rise to my suspicions of something else. What else? I do not know and it is mere ‘conspiracy theorist’ waves to make any alleged setting here, but the setting in the end that we read about is not about prosecution, it is about an upcoming wave of spending that the UK government cannot afford at present, giving rise to even more issues to come. With “Jeremy Hunt must urgently come before parliament to explain what steps are being taken to ensure this does not happen again“, You see, the ‘happen again‘ part implies that it is clear how it happened in the first place and that is the part where the DPP should have visibly stepped in, and as far as we can tell this did not happen. In addition, with ‘what steps are being taken‘, there is an implied setting that there was a thorough investigation and that might have been part of those steps, yet that did not happen (as far as we can tell) and the fact that the mess was covered up for 26 months gives rise to my suspicions that this was not merely about records. We only need to loop sat the Pharmaceutical scandals in 2013 and 2017, the link to Aspen holdings and the fact that someone saw the option, through a loophole to drive prices by 4,000%. Perhaps that now gives more suspicion to so many documents being ‘misplaced‘. I am not implying that Aspen Holdings is involved in this (or implying that they were), I am merely stating that there have been larger bungles costing millions upon millions that might not survive the scrutiny that the light of day brings. With the Times and the Independent howling one side, the report of ‘lost’ documents is even more unsettling, because that now implies that the usage of certain medication is now only in the hands of the NHS, and they seem to be very uneasy of seeing certain numbers appear. Those numbers will still appear, but now possible on a whole stack of other medication, so that the impact of 3-5 medication suppliers remains unseen. So am I correct? Do not take my word for it and do not merely believe me, I am not asking you to do that, I am asking you to see the failure of these lost documents is a lot bigger than ‘merely’ one outsourcing firm, to lose this amount of paperwork require orchestration on a higher level, that is one part that should be pretty apparent. Yet that last part is still speculative in nature because with the loss of one side, reporting and data dash-boarding on the other side is not a given and may not be impacted, that is the part I will admit to, there are unknown sides in that part, yet the question and the speculative consideration remains in place.

Now, this is not a new revelation, In February and June we saw this news hit the papers and magazines. In all this the DPP remains unseen. When we consider the impact that the events are having and the possible dangers to people’s health, to see nothing at all in relation to Alison Saunders is pretty weird to say the least. It looks fine when she makes a speech regarding the expectations of the NHS on fairness. So as we see “Alison Saunders said the Crown Prosecution Service will seek stiffer penalties for abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms“, we think she is doing her job and she is, yet she has yet to give us anything on the entire lost paper trail, the documents, the actions by the NHL and the outside resource. Is that not even stranger?

You see this all started in February with ‘More than 500,000 pieces of patient data between GPs and hospitals went undelivered between 2011 and 2016‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/26/nhs-accused-of-covering-up-huge-data-loss-that-put-thousands-at-risk). With “The mislaid documents, which range from screening results to blood tests to diagnoses, failed to reach their intended recipients because the company meant to ensure their delivery mistakenly stored them in a warehouse” we get a new part. You see, stored does not mean lost, and this gets weirder with “NHS England secretly assembled a 50-strong team of administrators, based in Leeds, to clear up the mess created by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), who mislaid the documents“. So at this point 8 months ago, the DPP had a clear responsibility. You see when we look at the CPS we see (on their own website ‘the three specialist casework divisions are: the Specialist Fraud Division (which also incorporates Welfare Rural & Health), the Special Crime & Counter Terrorism Division and the International Justice and Organised Crime Division. They deal with challenging cases that require specialist experience, including the prosecution of cases investigated by the Department of Health and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency‘ (I skipped the other departments), so we see here that there was a clear setting last February alone, the longer the inaction, the worse the damage becomes, that has been proven again and again.

In June we see ‘Health secretary forced to respond to urgent Commons question after withering NAO report on loss of 700,000 health documents‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/27/jeremy-hunt-nhs-shared-business-services-data-loss-scandal). With “answer questions from MPs after a damning National Audit Office report found that the scandal may have harmed the health of at least 1,788 patients and had so far cost £6.6m“, we see one side, I expect the damage to be distinctively larger. You see the DPP (as well as the whole of the CPS) seemingly ignored “The private company, co-owned by the Department of Health and the French firm Sopra Steria, was working as a kind of internal postal service within the NHS in England until March last year“, so was this an experiment gone wrong? Was this a PLM error (product lifecycle management) on a massive scale and this does not stop with Sopra Steria, there was an increasing risk that CIMPA S.A.S was linked to all this. The operative word is ‘was’ as the DPP and her CPS seemingly sat on their own hands for at least 8 months, maybe even more. You see, my suspicions are taking me to the fact that the Department of Health knew more on a higher level. That suspicion is shown with “the NAO report pointed out that the DH had chosen not to take up two of the three seats in the boardroom it was entitled to as 49.99% owner of SBS“, so please tell me when was the last time that ANYONE in the department of Health was willing to pass up any boardroom seat. Even if the pay sucks (which it never does) it opens up networking avenues for people they never had before, to the ‘let’s not take this seat‘ would be completely out of the question, dozens at the DH would be chomping at the bits to get a leg up in visibility, so that is how I personally see this mess. When certain members steer clear, there is a larger issue and the DPP was fast asleep (or at least so it seems).

And now the plot thickens!

With: “The government’s response has been complacent and evasive. It’s still not clear how much public money has been wasted in this affair or how this private company is going to be held to account. It’s totally unreasonable for Jeremy Hunt to wash his hands of this when more and more details of his department’s failures keep emerging“, that whilst it had been known that up till 8 months ago £6.6 million was spend and it is not mentioned now is only the top of the issue. With the absence of Sopra Steria and CIMPA it seems that certain sides are pushed away from the centre of the room. It is equally seen when we see “Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a Conservative committee member, said: “You tell us the bombshell that whilst on a trawl of local trusts you find another 12,000 and then you found another 150,000 missing items“, here I cannot tell whether the issue was raised or not (it was not in the Guardian article), yet there is no way that Geoffrey was unaware, a graduate of Eton and Freeman of the City of London. There is no doubt in my mind that he was aware of the links, the question is why questioning in this direction was not pursued and/or reported on. So when you might have been thinking that I was all about some ‘conspiracy theory‘ in the beginning. Do you still think so? The entire PLM issue is one that is not bathing in millions, but in billions as infrastructure crack more and more on the paper trails and reports they require PLM solutions are the only one stopping systems from collapsing overnight. In this regard even India is on par with the needs and CIMPA is taking every step to be the only player of significance there. So now some of the events make a lot more sense, do they not? You see CIMPA was on the right track, until AI becomes the path that solves certain issues, it will be about automation and data processing. For a lack of term ‘from paper to digital data without people’ is what is required as people are the drain on speed and the postal sorting machines had proven that side decades ago. In the end what exactly happened is uncertain and might never be known, especially as the DPP is seemingly still asleep in all this. Did the solution fall over, did the data collapse? We might never know, yet in all this the one part I left for the very end. With the mention of ‘private company, co-owned by the Department of Health and the French firm Sopra Steria‘ there is one side not mentioned. You see private companies have revenues and profits, these profits go to private individuals. None of the articles shed any light on those people involved did they? The DPP, the CPS, Vince Cable, and the Guardian made no mention of that at all and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown didn’t ask these questions either did he?

5 parties all with interests are avoiding looking into a direction to the extent that it needs to get. The fact that it happens under our noses is particularly interesting. I wonder what we will learn in a few weeks, especially as this 26 month ‘slicer’ is as quoted by Simon Stevens, the NHS’s chief executive to be dealt with in the next 5 months with: “This should be wrapped up by the end of March. End of March is a feasible goal.

By that time what else will they not have looked at?


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Medici decided to do Shakespear

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances. This is what went through my mind when I saw ‘Phone hacking: CPS may bring corporate charges against Murdoch publisher‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/28/phone-hacking-cps-may-bring-corporate-charges-rupert-murdoch-publisher) this morning. You see, the phone hacking scandal is not new, this started in 2011, and now, 4 years later the CPS decides to get a clue (or was that gives a toss?).  It matters not where they are at, the news as given seems to be the aftermath to the party someone seemed to have missed. The question becomes, who is the mad hatter? Is it the one giving the party? Perhaps that label is attached to a notion, a gimmick or even an organisation. It does not seem to be an individual. Let’s take a look at the story, you see, this is the fact of writing on the mad hatter “The Hatter explains to Alice that he and the March Hare are trapped in a never-ending tea party because, when he tried to sing for the Queen of Hearts at a celebration, she sentenced him to death for ‘murdering the time’. He escaped this fate, but Time, out of anger at his attempted to ‘murder’, has halted himself for the Hatter, keeping him and the March Hare at 6:00 pm forever“. If we paraphrase ‘murdering time’, we could get ‘wasting time’. But whose time was wasted? Is one of the players really a mad hatter? We no longer use Mercury in the fabrication of hats, but the issue remains, this article reads like it is something else entirely. I could go on with the March hare, but I think I am already getting through to you. The question becomes, who is Alice and why is she at this party?

There are two quotes, one following the other that gives way to my thoughts “The Metropolitan police handed over a file of evidence on News International – now renamed News UK – to the CPS for consideration after an investigation stretching back to 2011, when the News of the World was closed at the height of the scandal“, which gives us, why is the CPS only now taking a ‘better’ look? 4 years later, is that not odd? Then we get “We have received a full file of evidence for consideration of corporate liability charges relating to the Operation Weeting phone-hacking investigation”, which implies that the CPS and other players never looked at corporate liability charges the way it should have been looked at. This now gives us loads of questions and it should leave you with the question ‘What exactly was behind the looking glass?’ Who was looking, or better stated, who was NOT looking.

The quote “The CPS decision comes six months after the US department of justice told Murdoch’s company it would not face charges in the US” leaves the impression that the actions of the CPS have been in very bad taste, the rights of the people had been violated with impunity and only after the press at large felt the impending dangers that their time of abuse was over (due to the Levison report) did they dress up like debutantes, eager to take whatever was ‘thrusted’ into them to avoid losing ‘their’ power base. All the efforts in how they claimed that they would be worthy of self-administration, worthy to remain ‘unaccountable’. The ink had not even dried on the verdict when we got to read about the ‘suicide mission’ of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Only now do we see that Murdoch’s company ‘could’ be prosecuted (that does not mean it will be successful) regarding corporate liability. I am not buying it. When we consider the subtitle ‘The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is set to interview former Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke as part of its criminal investigation into the supermarket chain‘ (at http://economia.icaew.com/news/august-2015/sfo-questions-former-tesco-ceo), whilst the news remains massively silence regarding linked party Pricewaterhouse Coopers, we have to start asking a few very serious questions. Yet, the article also tells us: “the Financial Reporting Council launched a probe into the roles of PwC and various members of the accountancy profession involved in the preparation, approval and audit of its accounts“, we should worry if any of this will go anywhere. The entire Tesco matter was a six billion plus pound drop on the economy. Not the smallest of events, yet no serious investigations, or if there is, the press is steering clear of all this, which is another oddity entirely.

Yet 10 days ago, we see “The FCA has dropped its probe into Quindell after the Serious Fraud Office launched a criminal investigation into the business and accounting practices at the insurance technology firm” with the added “In May Quindell announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers had completed an independent review of a number of its accounting policies”, as well as “PwC also identified that some policies were not appropriate. Quindell’s own review confirmed PwC’s findings“. Are the involved players playing footsie (the use of involved is intentional, this game had more than two players), or are we seeing the start of a new dance, one where in the end, no one goes to jail and no one loses anything, other than a few slapping of the wrists.

So how does this all links? Well, it doesn’t link, they are separate entities, but the given is that we are watching several plays where pretty much all the actors will get away with murder and as the cadavers on stage are real, the people go home reflecting on how realistic it all looked, not realising that we watched games with actual casualties.

Are we facing the beginning of a new Machiavellian play here?

The quote “A source familiar with the original investigation said there could be an element of politics in the transfer of the file. “My best guess is because nobody in the police has the bottle to draw the line under this, they have just passed the buck on the CPS” gives us something to ponder. The CPS website gives us this: “The statutory role of the Crown Prosecution Service is to advise the police in certain circumstances, and to conduct criminal prosecutions. The police provide evidence and information to enable the CPS to carry out these statutory functions“, which gives us the thought ‘if it is statutory, why was this not done sooner?‘ So why did this happen after such a long time, why was the CPS not chomping at the bits on day one that there was a clear issue with the news of the world? In my view, we need to consider that there are more elements in play. Political elements. It is merely a speculation from my side. I would think that cases like Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile prosecution elements would have learned their lesson, but that does not seem to be the case and face it, this is about money, nothing sexual sexy about it, so the press does not seem to care.

The only question becomes is this truly about going after Murdoch, or is this about tying down resources so that they do not have to go after PricewaterhouseCoopers? My side on this is purely speculative, but consider the fact that the CPS has 8000 man and the fact that the SFO would be (read should be) looking at PwC, the fact that the press steers clear of it is weird to say the least. The Tesco mess will take a long time to unravel, the fact that it is kept away from everywhere is a matter of concern to all.

That is where we are at. So there was no typo at the start, we are watching certain people wield a spear, it is thrust at certain players who will most likely survive and it seems to be for the benefit of theatrics and ‘non-convictions’. Even now, as we see PwC named in linking to Quindell, the press steers clear form PwC regarding Tesco. So in all this, what is wrong with the picture we see, moreover, why is there ‘suddenly’ (implied it is sudden, it is not a given) an investigation 4 years later, one that seems to have been activated as the Americans pull away, which beckons the question why the CPS waited for the American parts in the first place.


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Consent, a complex simplicity

There is an article in the Guardian, some will think it to be a decent piece, but I have an issue with it. There are all kinds of issues in the article, I cannot tell whether it was real, it did not feel as real. Whether it is or not is not really the issue. Yet there is an issue with it. Perhaps it is just me, but that issue is important, because the story touches on several issues, one that is close to my heart, as I was a witness for over a decade, unable to stop what had happened. Only to know, that he fled in fear, because one day, that one day that he saw me, the real me , it scared him all the way to South Africa, where he died of a Pneumonia, what a shame they likely got his prescribed anti-biotic dosage wrong, it must have made it worse. I had a great party celebrating his demise (seriously!).

The story by Monica Tan starts with a title ‘My boyfriend ‘sort-of’ raped me. But I didn’t break up with him‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/05/my-boyfriend-sort-of-raped-me-and-i-didnt-even-break-up-with-him). My very first objection, there is no ‘sort-of’ it either was or it was not. The story as it is written is a mere introduction to a case that is not mentioned here. The case was ‘R (on the application of F) v The DPP [2013] EWHC 945 (Admin)‘, Here we see a review of the CPS as it has decided initially not to prosecute the husband. There was a realistic prospect of this case not resulting in conviction, the High Court took steps to order the CPS to look into the decision in this case. The issue before the High Court was whether ejaculation without consent could transform an incident of consensual intercourse into rape.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 gives us in Section 1:

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person
(B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents

Yet when we look at the definitions of consent we see at S75(3)

Reference to the time immediately before the relevant act began is, in the case of an act which is one of a continuous series of sexual activities, a reference to the time immediately before the first sexual activity began“, the crux is that ejaculation comes after the consent of the act. Which explains the actions of the CPS, yet I was not alone looking at this. This is not a new case and Olivia Stiles, a trainee solicitor (in those days) at Kingsley Napley wrote this: “Penetration is a continuing act and so consent can be withdrawn even after penetration has begun and this will transform an act that begins as consensual intercourse into rape. Levitt was troubled by the facts of this case insofar as it was not clear at what point the intervener should have ceased to have intercourse with the applicant. Levitt’s view was that if the intervener embarked upon the act knowing he would ejaculate inside her against her wishes then it was arguable that he knew she did not consent. However, Levitt felt that as a matter of evidence it would be impossible to prove that it had not been a spontaneous decision made at the point of ejaculation“, Olivia’s article is good to keep next to the actual case, as for me, My issue is (as I see it) stated in S76. Here we see:

76 Conclusive presumptions about consent
(1) If in proceedings for an offence to which this section applies it is proved that the defendant did the relevant act and that any of the circumstances specified in subsection (2) existed, it is to be conclusively presumed—
(a) that the complainant did not consent to the relevant act, and
(b) that the defendant did not believe that the complainant consented to the relevant act

(2) The circumstances are that—
(a) the defendant intentionally deceived the complainant as to the nature or purpose of the relevant act;

So, she objected to the relevant act, she did NOT consent!

Even though it would be very hard to prove that the situation as such existed, there is a criminal event in play.

The article then continues with a reference to the Julian Assange sex issue of 2010, which is exactly what happened in ‘R (on the application of F) v The DPP [2013] EWHC 945 (Admin)‘. Yet here her story goes south in a bad way, she writes: “It was not rape, but my reaction was too involuntary, and its intensity too high, to say that nothing bad happened. Something happened. And it had the whiff of rape”. No! It either is, or it is not and the events as prescribed add up to non-consensual sex, making it rape, assault by penetration or causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. The last one could land you in prison for life!

This all blends with the issue I have here. The quote “There is nothing more dangerous than shutting down public debate around sexual assault and domestic violence with a dismissive “lock the perpetrators up and throw away the key”. Such violence is rife in our society“. You see, some harsh changes are needed in the legislative sphere, it needed to be done yesterday and so far the law has been too soft as I see it. Domestic violence is more than a killer. When we look at the LWA (at http://www.lwa.org.uk/), we see that it accounts for 16% of all violent crimes and that it costs the public £23 billion per annum. These numbers might sound nice (or horrible), but that is not what this is about.

There needs to be much stronger legislation in regards to domestic violence. As I see it (and as I wrote before, in my article ‘Cleaning house!‘ on July 1st 2014). It is my firm believe that Article 3 of the ECHR should state:

ARTICLE 3, Prohibition of torture
1. No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. Domestic violence will be regarded as inhuman and degrading treatment of a person and is as such subject to local criminal law

Until a larger operation makes clear case in a legal way attacking domestic violence, making it a capital crime, a massive portion of the population remains at risk. So in my view, the article by Monica Tan is an issue on several fronts.

The quotes “Now that I’ve taken a small sip at the cup of rape” and “This is not my story of rape. But it is a story with rape-ish qualities” makes me object loudly. As I see it, she never took a sip of anything. Either she was subjected to rape or she was not. It is not to be trivialised in any way. Monica found a case that was an issue in legal terms. Even though the law tries to be protective, it was flawed. The CPS states “Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs“, I am all for that however, WHY does the Sexual Offences Act 2003 not clearly states this? The issues in the caser as mentioned earlier, the writing by Olivia Stiles showed this and above all, the fact that the article ‘CPS and police focus on consent at first joint National Rape Conference‘, written on the 28th of January 2015 discusses this (at http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps_and_police_focus_on_consent_at_first_joint_national_rape_conference/), should be sustenance for discussion.

Monica Tan has now mixed two issues, issues that are clearly linked, but remain separate. The law is so bend on the sexual crime issues, making it all murkier, and again more powerful legislation needed to deal with domestic abuse falls behind again. I personally feel that if we can effectively lower domestic violence, it would also impact sexual offences as a whole. I personally witnessed as a kid for many years how my mother was beaten to near death again and again. I was too young and too late to protect her, but in the end I danced on my father’s grave (I did it to the Shaggy song ‘it wasn’t me’) in 2002.

As I personally see it, Monica Tan found an interesting case, added a picture of a woman looking distressed in bed added emotions and got a story out there. The legal ramifications on consent are interesting, but that is all, interesting! The issue of consent stays, and is still debated largely. I personally feel that taking the CPS event as a centre piece, illuminating that consent remains an issue would have been a lot better. You see, the heart of the matter was a clearly stated in the CPS article in 70 words: “Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “For too long society has blamed rape victims for confusing the issue of consent – by drinking or dressing provocatively for example – but it is not they who are confused, it is society itself and we must challenge that. Consent to sexual activity is not a grey area – in law it is clearly defined and must be given fully and freely” and guess what, domestic violence is NEVER EVER done with consent. There is always a transgressor and a victim!

That part must be dealt with, it should have been done so decades ago. If that had been done, than perhaps my mother might have been around to share in the pride, when I was added to the roll of attorneys, it was not meant to be!

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Rated into immorality

Can anyone explain something weird to me? The news is given (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/14/twitter-given-junk-credit-rating) to impress upon us a combination of values and steps that are beyond immoral. Consider the tweet, tweet twitter engine. I use it almost every day, it is the one unbiased part where we can follow events, people and companies so that we keep up to date, small messages that bring the actual information. A company that had a massive idea, is making money, when we see the quote “Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, pointed to S&P’s own words as comment: “Twitter will continue to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure.”“, we see issues, but is anyone seeing the question behind it? Then we see the one little gem hidden in all the text “The rating is unsolicited“, is this part of the issue? You see, as we look at companies, their revenue, their profit and some might consider their contribution, so as we look at it why is S&P suddenly decided ‘Twitter given junk credit rating‘? It seems to me that there is an economic shift going on. As companies are doing well, they are now getting downgraded for not meeting the expectations of some analysts.

Yet, where is this world going to?

Consider the application of morale (a word not found in a financiers dictionary) and reasoning for my thought train at present is the following: ‘Forex-rigging investigation: George Osborne gives full backing to SFO‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/14/forex-rigging-investigation-george-osborne-sfo). Libor, Forex, Tesco and there is absolutely ZERO indication that this is just it. At the edge of reason we see the quote ‘Because I don’t want you to see any of my wobbly bits‘, which sounds ample and applicable as the financial district of happily ‘screw everyone over‘, it is all about the wobbly bits, according to Bridget Jones!

Consider the Forex articles. The second one is http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-banks-forex-crime-idUSKCN0IY0LV20141114. The issue is not just the events, the quote “Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and UBS were hit with penalties. Barclays is still in talks with authorities over a settlement“, which not just how far the issue has overstepped, but the issue is where banking laws are falling short, short to the extent that we have in access of half a decade. The issues continued after the banking collapse as the financial population continued to be nothing more than an eager courtesan to the bonus they so crave. The end result is a malignant decay of morals, standards and all this now (as I personally see it) on the standards as the poor are left with less than none, so Standards & Poor it is!

We now get back to what I regard to be a new level of exploited levelling. Consider the hidden simplicity that Libor held; now consider that debt ratings Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and the relative newbie Egan-Jones decide on ratings. Combine ‘how to lie with statistics‘ (a famous book by Darrell Huff) and the need to manipulate the market for 23 billionaires and we see the light of junk status made Twitter in a whole new light. Consider the basic state of an economy. A company sells, makes profit and pays taxes, a nation flourishes! This is a naive (remember my non-economic degree?) approach towards the worlds cloud of business. Investors, shareholders, analysts and raters are a cog within a machine of cogs. Yet this inner circular machine is different. It inflates, malleably changes and coaches towards a change that seems to be intent on syphoning and draining virtual cash flows into a different premise of profit, which is then turned to actual money. In an age of debts that go beyond the total of all treasuries, virtual numbers that have little to no foundation. The foundations and the levels they have been compromised towards are of a dimension we never imagined possible. Consider that the big banks have been fined in excess of 2.3 billion (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/12/04/big-banks-fined-2-3b-over-illegal-libor-cartels-more-fines-on-the-way/), I wrote about it in ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘, on April 1st 2013, yet do not think this article to be a joke. I stated “If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and US combined) then that difference would be $112T“, several people laughed out loud then, yet now consider not just Libor, but the audited events of Tesco, the $5.3 trillion market of Forex and the fact that morality might be found in a church, but as we see the evidence, morality is not found in banks and financial institutions, where will it end?

With the Twitter events that question becomes more debatable and the impact that rating companies now impress upon profit turning companies have. Is it just about profit, or about the stated ‘anticipated statement of profit’? As certain ‘analysts’ claim that events are not exceeded, stock becomes junk, waves are created and as such, the welfare of companies are tweaked into a state of artificially changed state, some are inflated, some deflated, but always towards the claim of raters and analysts. The bottom line set towards an algorithm. Consider these states as we have seen not just the change of Tesco, but the events as they also gave way of downgraded profits with Sainsbury, which was not so vocally seen before that day in September. Interactions on many levels, based upon foundations that no one seems to question. Consider how the expectations were set by ‘analysts’ based upon data given to them and data available to them, now consider how Tesco had a quarter of a billion inflated and how the Pricewaterhouse Cooper auditors were ignorant of the inflated condition, now consider how Analysts used that element in predicting waves, the raters predicted and set the value and they are now setting the anticipation of investors and shareholders, an artificial pool with tidal wave creating capacity, and the two elements that have the ability to set the power and size of the waves. So how is your view of financial morality now? Consider the final part in this story. When we consider a story on Fortune titled ‘Twitter is junk, while Alibaba is class, ratings agencies say‘ (at http://fortune.com/2014/11/14/twitter-is-junk-while-alibaba-is-class-ratings-agencies-say/), why is that? Twitter is still holding its own, is it perhaps that the waves of Alibaba can be more easily influenced? Companies valued at the ability where the waves can be decided by the financial cogs, the stability of Twitter is less interesting to them, so they make way for whoever can aid in creating the waves these financial people want. (The last part you read is all speculation on my side), yet speculation or not, when we see the waves of Libor and Forex, are my thoughts so far out of bounds? How Twitter making millions is downgraded, how Tesco, beyond the inflated profits, still made a billion, it’s downgrade of 90% seems excessive beyond punishment, but Tesco is not a good example (because of their own internal manipulation), Consider the Fortune quote “And the fact that Alibaba is 90% dependent on a home market that is slowing, while acknowledged as a risk, doesn’t seem to scare the agencies“, it does not scare them, or it appeals the dependency of Alibaba to make certain decisions down the line? There is a side that seems ignored by all, I personally still have a hard time believing that (as my calculation went in ‘Price Waterfall Blooper‘ on October 25th) the price for 199 auditors could not find two events of inflation of each well over 100 million. Are my suspicions in regards to manipulations that far-fetched?

I wonder how long it will take for the law to catch up, for the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or Crown Prosecuting Services (CPS) to get a handle on these events and deter these actions to such a degree. There should be additional questions as the raters are all American, in light of their shortfall that approaches 18 trillion at present. It seems that the US has no options, no solution and no resolution strategy, yet we see that the big four give ratings are all American. The last part is not an accusation in any way, yet the fact that the Auditors need new oversight, especially in the light of American auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper as they will face questions regarding Tesco. As the 4 largest auditors include UK and Netherlands, why are there only American raters (of the proportions of the large 4)? With the risk of manipulation, should there not be a British and even a French or a Dutch rating service? Let’s not forget that PwC faces possible investigation, not because they are more likely than not guilty, but because their innocence needs to be proven beyond any doubt, especially in light of the amount of companies audited by them as well as the issue of 199 auditors (as I calculated them) not finding anything. When we consider the length of time that PwC has had Tesco as a customer, yet, these are two separate issues, there is no inkling of suspicion that auditors are part of any manipulation, yet the auditor’s data is essential to such steps.

Where is the solution?

Not sure if I know of one, laws can be made draconian to give much harsher sentence to the transgressors, but the issue is not the transgressors, the issue is that these ‘manipulators’ have by definition of law not broken any rules. Yes, we see the fines of Libor and soon Forex, these transgressions are seemingly clear, but what of the raters and the analysts? The issues of data are at the foundation here. That what is raw data and how it becomes processed data is now at the centre of it all. That what is construed to be the creator of waves through analysts, raters and auditors; Auditors collecting the data, analysts to manipulate (which is what they might see as a simple application of personal preference and weighting) and raters to set the pace for investors and shareholders.

So tell me, how wrong is MY view and why have these influential cogs not been dealt with through legislation?


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Protecting Consumers!

I am still on the Sony horse! It is interesting to see how consumers are do not seem to be protected and how little visibility some cases seem to get. I seem to have found what I consider to be severe consumer injustice!

This injustice is on two levels. The first level is on the side of ‘the small print approach’, the second side is on the consumer side through the shops. So as discussed in my previous blog (pricing a Sony game), where they changed the user agreement to make illegal the reselling of games and on the other side the TPP will allow them big companies to charge us more.

At the DPP, no one was willing to take any calls (they apparently do not take any calls ever). They referred me to the ASIC and the Law society of NSW. They were little help, however the Law Society did what it service minded does, and they would be able to refer me to private solicitors. This is what they do (and what they are supposed to do), so there is no case here, other that they were willing to give all the assistance they could. From there I ended up with the fair trades commission who listened and explained on how I had to go to the ACCC.

The ACCC logged the issue and it is now investigated internally.

I also talked to Channel 7, Channel 9 as well as the Sydney Morning Herald. They were all interested, but seemingly unaware to the issues that are going on at present. In my view I have always be loudly outspoken against this and I did so against the acts of Don Mattrick when he was with Microsoft. It seems hypocrite not to speak out against Sony when they try to hide in the weeds not quaking!

I am all for protecting gamers, if the little time I have left on this earth is to get some protection for them against injustice and greed, then this is a fight worth fighting. The gamers are now swiftly placed between the TPP (Trans Pacific Pact), raising the price of entertainment even further and the forces crushing the options of pre-owned games for those not being able to afford full priced games, something must clearly be done.

It is also interesting how the government and the Fair Trade commission remain silent on these matters. Shops rely on pre-owned games to survive after the margins of new games are reduced to an absolute minimum. The pre-owned games keep them into business. As large companies are paying less and less corporate tax as their offers go to downloaded revenue (which often goes via non-commonwealth tax shelters). We see that they are paying less and they are the cause of shutting down local shops with these new arrangements. I believe in fairness and at present there is no fairness in any of this.

Too squeeze a population already in hardship, to hurt them even further with these events is beyond acceptable!

In case you see some response on ‘generic’ or some party line response how this is not the intent of the Sony User agreement, then consider one other piece of information. PlayStation Home offered an amazing private space for sale. It was by loot and it is a graphic and technological highlight. You buy the private space where you can walk around. It is so amazing as this is a new form of private space. Not only is it graphically superior on many levels, it has a new level of interactivity. The private space allows you to monitor twitter via a light bar in your apartment. It offers LOOT™ Radios (music) and EOD TV (movies, TV shows). This is a new era in entertainment, yet not everywhere available. They were very clear in communicating that part. I get that part! Yet, consider that Loot is part of Sony, and that the TPP is about to limit retransmissions of broadcasts even further, how long until consumers ‘lose’ those options? In addition some places cost US$2.99, whilst in Australia the same places cost AU$4.99 and in the UK GBP 2.39. So, when we set this all to the same (US) currency we see:

United States $2.99, Australia $4.61 (+54%), United Kingdom $4.19 (+40%). So not only do we pay on average a lot more, we get less for the overall package. Interesting how this lacks the visibility it deserves!

I wonder how much visibility the press and the news casts will give all this in the coming days. In my eyes it might be an interesting stretch to see how much power they have over the press, in case of the UK we should look at how much visibility they give all this. They claim that they could regulate themselves? Well, if this is true, how come that NO ONE (of the big newspapers in the UK) has had any visibly outspoken view on these matters by Sony? I saw a few sources like ‘reddit’ and other bloggers pick this up, but that is about it. If you are wondering on the size of these matters, I am not a journalist, I am not some high powered media mogul, I am just a blogger who knows games. The gaming industry encompasses a market in extent of 20 billion dollars a year. That is a market big enough for ALL newspapers to keep one eagle eye on any news that impacts it. No visibility seems to have been given at present. A questionable turn of events!

Who is looking out for the consumers, especially those who do not have that much to spend?

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