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ACS Week in Review: 26 September 2014

Friday, 26 Sep 2014

Keeping the peace – Vincent Dempsey of Vodafone in the CXO Challenge

It takes a thick skin to mediate between the IT and digital camps.

In May this year, Vodafone Australia parted ways with its chief information officer, and did not hire a new one.

The CIO role, the company announced, would be ‘absorbed’ into the broader technology team.

Vodafone, like fellow telco Telstra and many others, has over recent years run two technology teams: one that predominantly manages internal systems (IT), and one that manages online interactions with customers (digital). 

Challenge of data retention requires a complex balancing act

THE further we as a nation travel down the path of data retention, with the associated implications for privacy and security, the more important it is we implement checks and balances to protect the rights of citizens.

This is where I believe independent bodies such as the Australian Computer Society play a critical role in holding the government and society to account for the way such measures are implemented.

The recent media storm over whether or not our political representatives actually understand metadata distracted from the issue of how new data retention requirements will be enforced and how we as a society will balance the government’s very real need to know (on some occasions) with the rights of individuals to be safeguarded from over-scrutiny.

When veteran hacker and cyber-security expert Dan Geer addressed the Black Hat conference last month, he asked: “Is there any real difference between a system that permits easy, secure, identity-based services and a surveillance system?”

Beyond the internet: Moves to set up a third network

The public internet is ubiquitous, you can connect from anywhere to anywhere but it's a decentralised, best-effort service, with poor security.

Private data networks, on the other hand, provide guaranteed bandwidth and guaranteed quality and security, but must be preconfigured.

Now the communications industry has come up with a vision for a "third network" that will combine the flexibility of the internet with the quality and reliability of private, ethernet-based, networks.

It's the brainchild of the Metro Ethernet Forum, an industry body charged with progressing data netwo