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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30206" align="aligncenter" width="606"] Police need to be trained and equipped to provide trauma care at disaster scenes, commander says.[/caption]

Few police or emergency services are adequately preparing their staff to respond to major terrorist incidents, an Australian Federal Police commander has warned.

Agencies need to invest in training that simulates highly complex scenarios to develop first responders’ decision making and problem solving under pressure, according to AFP Commander Christopher Sheehan, state manager NSW.

Recent terrorist incidents overseas have demonstrated that police also need to be able to provide trauma care on the scene, and law enforcement agencies should be equipping their staff with personal tactical emergency kits, he says.

Commander Sheehan said a review of the 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which killed 49 people and wounded 53, identified that the mindset and preparedness of first responders was critical.

“The review found first responders need to train and practice decision making and tactics in environments that simulate as closely as possible the realities of uncertain, devastating and overwhelming operating environments,” he told the Emergency Management Leaders Forum in Sydney last week.

“I’m looking around the room here today, we have federal and state law enforcement and emergency services, how many of us actually train our people to operate and expose them to that sort of training before the bad day happens? I’d suggest not many of us do.”

The need to train first responders, and police in particular, to provide emergency trauma care at the scene of major incidents was also identified by the review into the response to the Pulse nightclub attack, Commander Sheehan said.

The Orlando police department provides its police with emergency medical kits, which was found to have had a marked impact on the outcome of the attack.

Hospital staff reported that the 58 survivors were likely saved because they had been treated appropriately at the scene and their bleeding was stopped, he said.

Need to undertake reviews

Commander Sheehan said that authorities in the United States were “far, far better” at conducting timely reviews into the responses of emergency services to major incidents. “As a nation we’re terrible at it. There are legal reasons why, there are coronial inquests and a range of other things, but it stops the lessons getting out in a way that still resonates with people in proximity to the event,” he said. A review into the response to the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, which is often cited as a case study in successful preparedness for major incidents, highlighted the importance of partnerships between agencies, he said. “The Arlington County Fire Department had really strong pre-existing relationships with [agencies] in their jurisdiction; they’d just conducted a mass casualty exercise at the Pentagon the week before the incident occurred. “Those relationships meant agencies were familiar with each other; they understood their own disaster plans and their partner agencies’ plans and respective capabilities. They had pre-existing mutual aid agreements covering how they would work with each other when they were stretched beyond capacity, how other agencies could come in behind and help them,” he said. The authorities adhered closely to Arlington’s comprehensive emergency management plan, which was written in 1956 and had evolved over time in response to different threats that agencies believed could occur in their area, Commander Sheehan said. Nonetheless, the review also identified issues that hindered the agencies’ response to the attack. Radio and mobile phone communication brown down while “self-deployment” without request presented a challenge for both police and fire services, he said. “Agencies from as far away as two states were deploying to the scene to help, that caused problems around duplication of resources and access to the incident scene.”

‘Level of concern’

Discussing the terrorist threat locally and internationally, Commander Sheehan said the number of foreign conflicts was having a “galvanising effect” on the ability of extremists to recruit. “At least a couple hundred Australians have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with or on behalf of ISIS. We still have people over there now; some of those people have come home and you can imagine the level of concern that creates for the AFP and our partners around the country,” he said. Commander Sheehan pointed to extremist groups’ exploitation of technology, the emergence of big data and the affordability of international air travel as factors that challenged law enforcement’s counter terrorism efforts. “Groups like IS and Al Qaeda are highly proficient users of multimedia platforms; they’re as good as anything that can be turned out in Hollywood in many respects. They use it for propaganda, to advertise their operational successes and to recruit and radicalise people around the world.” Commander Sheehan also referred to the speed with which groups like ISIS were radicalising young men and convincing them to commit acts of terrorism. “In Australia in recent years we’ve seen cases where from the moment of contact online with someone overseas to radicalisation to initial planning has been days.”  

Plots harder to detect

He warned that agencies could no longer count on the long-term sophisticated planning that is characteristic of Al Qaeda style attacks. “They’re much more likely to be higher casualties and more symbolic targets, but they take a lot more planning, they require logistics, communications and finance. That affords opportunities for law enforcement to detect and then intervene before those plots can come to fruition. “We still have to worry about those types of attacks but we also have to be prepared for the low tech, low sophistication and high impact attacks using everyday weapons like vehicles and knives committed by one or a small number of highly radicalised individuals. “The opportunities for detecting those sorts of plots are very limited,” he said.
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[post_title] => Agencies need better training on terrorism: police commander [post_excerpt] => Few police or emergency services are adequately preparing their staff to respond to major terrorist incidents, an Australian Federal Police commander has warned. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => agencies-need-better-training-on-terrorism-police-commander [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-08 10:54:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-08 00:54:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30193 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29524 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-03-16 11:14:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-16 00:14:56 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29485" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Government needs a more agile approach to digital development, says Paul Shetler. [/caption] Government tries to build digital products the same way it builds bridges, says the former CEO of Digital Transformation Office. Paul Shetler, who was inaugural chief of the DTO, told a parliamentary inquiry into the digital delivery of government services on Wednesday that a key issue was the way government commissions and funds the development of projects. [caption id="attachment_29527" align="alignright" width="144"] Paul Shetler[/caption] “It approaches it the same way it builds bridges, with lengthy specification documents at the outset of the project, which makes it impossible to deliver a lean solution quickly, one that you test with users and continuously improve based on their insights,” he said. Mr Shetler proposed an approach where an initial idea is outlined and then “drip fed” funding so as to enable public servants to progress the project through development and evaluation, which might include testing a prototype.  When questioned by senators about how bureaucrats could ensure accountability under such a process, Mr Shetler emphasised that he was referring to digital initiatives where the optimum way to achieve the project’s objective was unclear and therefore required agility during development. “It depends on nature of the problem. When there’s a lot of uncertainty about the best way to get to the goal then you need to be agile,” he told the Finance and Public Administration References Committee’s hearing in Sydney.

Lack of capability, poor culture

Along with using an outdated approach to building digital products, a lack of capability within the public service and poor culture are other barriers to creating excellent digital government services, Mr Shetler said. While facing a shortage of the necessary skills within its ranks, the public service has too often outsourced significant projects to international IT vendors and consultants, rather than providing training to its people, Mr Shetler said. “Outsourcing makes government seem smaller but it’s expensive and contributes to the deskilling of the public service,” he said, adding he supported calls to cap consultant spending with savings diverted to staff training. Mr Shetler cited the DTO’s previous proposal for a new digital academy, similar to that which operates in the UK, to provide public servants with formal training and accreditation. Discussing a culture in the public service that hinders innovation, Mr Shetler said that agencies needed to build digital services that helped users achieve their goals rather than merely aligned with departmental structures or requirements. “Amazon would never ask you to deal with their packing website and then head over to their shipping website. But Australian entrepreneurs have to work through multiple different websites to get licenses, tax numbers and the other things required to start a business, rather than be led through a single process,” he said.

54 websites down over a weekend 

The lack of digital competence among bureaucrats was also raised by Ian Brightwell, former long-serving CIO of the NSW Electoral Commission. [caption id="attachment_29528" align="alignright" width="149"] Ian Brightwell[/caption] He told the committee that in May last year, 54 Commonwealth websites were taken down for maintenance over the course of a weekend. “Normal practice is to have a replicate online, but it appears agencies didn’t take such precautions, [they] took the ABN look up and 53 other sites offline for two days.” Mr Brightwell said it was common for major IT delivery projects to be assigned to senior middle managers with “reasonable track records” but no skills or capacity in the area. “Often they’re overwhelmed; they take advice from a variety sources, and they find themselves on the thin edge of making decisions about things they’ve absolutely no idea about, and they guess,” he told the committee. Elsewhere, he argued that the CIO should always report directly to the CEO rather than being two or more levels down the executive chain, as was the case in some agencies. “They’re responsible for making these decisions but they’re not at the executive table where those decisions are approved,” he said. The committee’s hearings continue. It is due to report by 14 May.
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[post_title] => Digital innovation requires new commissioning approach: Shetler [post_excerpt] => Government tries to build digital products the same way it builds bridges, says the former CEO of Digital Transformation Office. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => digital-innovation-requires-new-commissioning-approach-shetler [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-16 11:24:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-16 00:24:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29524 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29280 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-03-05 13:42:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-05 02:42:54 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29287" align="aligncenter" width="551"] NSW needs a whole-of-government approach to cyber security, says AG.[/caption] The NSW Auditor-General has called on the State Government to ramp up cyber security after she found most agencies had untested response procedures, poor reporting of incidents and questionable staff training. While cyber security incidents can harm government service delivery, involve the theft of personal information or even the hijacking of systems for ransom, the state's auditor-general Margaret Crawford found “there is no whole-of-government capability to detect and respond effectively to cyber security incidents.” Given the weaknesses identified, the NSW public sector’s ability to detect and respond to incidents needs to improve “significantly and quickly,” Ms Crawford concluded in her report released on Friday. Her audit, which focused on the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) that oversees reporting protocol and security policy as well as 10 agencies that handle various personal and finance data, found two agencies had good detection and response processes, four had low capability to detect and respond to incidents while four had medium capability.

Agencies without procedures

While most agencies had incident response procedures, some lacked guidance on who to notify and when, she found. Some agencies did not have response procedures at all, which would limit their ability to minimise business damage caused by a cyber security incident. Eight agencies had not tested their procedures, presenting a risk they may not work well during a real cyber incident. Only two of the 10 agencies reported having contractual arrangements with their IT service providers that obliged the third parties to report incidents in a timely manner. “Agencies without such arrangements have little assurance that they are advised of all significant incidents in a timely way. Where agencies are not informed of an incident, they cannot act to contain the incident and limit damage to themselves and their stakeholders,” Ms Crawford said.

Gaps in staff training

Given cyber security incidents can start as simply as an individual opening a fraudulent website, staff awareness and training were key to reducing risk. Yet few of the agencies undertook regular training or kept their staff informed on types of cyber security attack, she found. The agencies surveyed could provide limited evidence of what cyber security training had been provided to their staff. Most agencies indicated that key staff had been trained in incident procedures but only one was able to provide any training records to support these claims, Ms Crawford said.

Reporting woes

While the agencies are required to report incidents to the DFSI, Ms Crawford found just two agencies did so.
“Three other agencies that are required to report advised they had no incidents but would not report even if they did. None of the agencies' procedures included a requirement to report incidents to DFSI.”
She said that most of the agencies saw little benefit in reporting incidents to DFSI, which limited the department’s ability to coordinate a whole-of-government response and support agencies to properly manage cyber security incidents.

Department lacks mandate, resources

More broadly, Ms Crawford found that the DFSI does not have “a clear mandate or capability” to ensure effective detection and response of cyber security incidents across the NSW public sector. While the current policy sets out a range of requirements for public service agencies regarding detection and response, there is a lack of adherence by agencies to the policy, while DFSI does not have a clear mandate to enforce it. “DFSI has not allocated resources to gather or process incoming threat intelligence and communicate it across government.”

Call for procedures, support

Ms Crawford recommended “as a matter of priority” that the DFSI should develop whole‑of‑government procedures, protocol and support systems to share reported threats and respond to incidents, including those impacting multiple agencies. This would include post-incident reviews and communicating the lessons learnt. DFSI should assist agencies to improve their detection and response by providing guidelines for incident detection, response and reporting; training and awareness programs; clarifying role requirements and responsibilities for cyber security across government; and providing support for agencies that have limited capability. The department should also revise its security policy and reporting protocol by clarifying what security incidents must be reported and when, extending mandatory reporting requirements to agencies not currently covered, and developing an online portal or other means for agencies to report incidents effectively.
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[post_title] => NSW lacks coherent plan on cyber security: audit [post_excerpt] => The NSW Auditor-General has called on the State Government to ramp up cyber security after she found most agencies had untested response procedures, poor reporting of incidents and questionable staff training. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-lacks-coherent-plan-cyber-security-audit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-06 09:37:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-05 22:37:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29273 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-03-02 09:00:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-01 22:00:15 [post_content] =>

Governments at all levels are much less prepared for cyber attacks than organisations in the commercial sector. Security software vendor CyberArk has released its ‘Global Advanced Threat Landscape Report 2018’. Its 11th annual study of cyber security and organisation’s response to it. Responses are broken down by industry sector, giving a clear view of how the public sector is reacting to cyber threats compared to other types of organisation. The report found that only 29 percent of public sector organisations, and 31 percent of those in healthcare, respondents have implemented new cyber security measures such as privileged user accounts. Technology firms are taking the lead, with almost all (95 percent), saying that secured privileged accounts are critical to security. Many respondents report that administrative credentials are stored in Word or Excel documents on PCs (36 percent), shared servers or USB drives (34 percent) or as printed documents in physical filing cabinets (19 percent). Compared to last year’s survey, the number of security professionals reporting that they are planning to implement measures to manage privileged accounts is increasing, from 35 percent to 44 percent. The public sector does better here, with just over half (51 percent) of agencies planning to implement measures for managing privileged accounts. Public sector organisations are also the least likely to reward employees who report security breaches (32 percent). The report found that for Australian organisations as a whole, more than half (52 percent) rarely or never change their security strategy, even after a cyber-attack. Nearly as many (45 percent) say their organisation can't prevent attackers from breaking into internal networks each time it is attempted, and 58 percent of Australia respondents admit that their customers' privacy or personally identifiable information could be at risk because their data is not secured beyond the legally-required basics “A change in security culture is needed,” said Matthew Brazier, CyberArk’s Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand. “There is a lot of inertia, particularly in the public sector, which could lead to an inability to repel or contain cyber threats and data being compromised.” An overwhelming number of IT security professionals believe securing an environment starts with protecting privileged accounts – 89 percent stated that IT infrastructure and critical data are not fully protected unless privileged accounts, credentials and secrets are secured. Respondents named the greatest cyber security threats they currently face, including:
  • Targeted phishing attacks (56 percent)
  • Insider threats (51 percent)
  • Ransomware or malware (48 percent)
  • Unsecured privileged accounts (42 percent)
  • Unsecured data stored in the cloud (41 percent)
Respondents also indicated that the proportion of users who have local administrative privileges on their endpoint devices increased from 62 percent in the last survey to 87 percent in 2018. This is a 25 percent jump and is perhaps indicative of employee demands for flexibility trumping security best practices. “The automated processes inherent in cloud and DevOps mean privileged accounts, credentials and secrets are being created at a prolific rate,” said Mr Brazier. “If compromised, these can give attackers a crucial jumping-off point to achieve lateral access to sensitive data across networks, data and applications or to use cloud infrastructure for illicit crypto mining activities. Organisations increasingly recognise this security risk, but still have a relaxed approach toward cloud security. “Overcoming cyber security inertia necessitates it becoming central to organisational strategy and behaviour, not something that is dictated by competing commercial needs.” The CyberArk Advanced Threat Landscape 2018 annual report is the 11th in the series. The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne among 1,300 IT security decision makers, DevOps and App Developer professionals and line of business owners, across seven countries worldwide. The report is available here.   [post_title] => Public sector least prepared for cyber attacks [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => public-sector-least-prepared-cyber-attacks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-02 09:30:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-01 22:30:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29213 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-22 10:11:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-21 23:11:34 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29214" align="alignnone" width="289"] Timothy Pilgrim, retired public servant[/caption] The world is very different now, but many of us don’t know it. From 22 February 2018 Australia has a new Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) regimen. Under the laws, passed in 2017 as the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act, companies and government agencies have to tell people  if lost or stolen data “is likely to result in serious harm to any individuals whose personal information is involved in the breach.” They must make this notification “as soon as practicable.” Previously there was no obligation to do so at all, and many serious breaches were only reported years after they occurred. The laws were years in the making, after first being proposed by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2008. But despite nearly a decade of public debate, recent research shows that most Australian businesses believe they are not prepared for the new scheme (HP Australia IT Security Study, February 2018). The legislation has been widely criticised as being too vague (‘as soon as practicable’, ‘serious harm’), and for excluding organisations with an annual turnover of less then $3 million. They will be overseen by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). But Commissioner Tim Pilgrim will not be around to do that overseeing. He has resigned, just two days before the new rules came into effect. He will stay on for another month, but it will be his successor who will have to deal with the potentially massive consequences of the new data retention regime. Mr Pilgrim’s resignation comes as no surprise. He hasn’t said a lot about why is leaving, but a reasonable reading of the situation would be that he’s had enough. He has been Privacy Commissioner since 2010, during which time his office has been continually downgraded. A career public servant, he is now in his late 50s and eligible for a comfortable retirement. The introduction of the new law is as good a time to go as any. Pilgrim’s progress has been steady, if unspectacular. He was appointed Privacy Commissioner in July 2010, after being Deputy Commissioner since 1998. Before that we worked in a number of agencies, including the ATO. He was also appointed Australian Information Commissioner in October 2016, after acting in the role since the Privacy Commission was made part of the OAIC in 2010. It has been a struggle since then. The ill-fated Abbott budget of 2014 attempted to abolish the OAIC altogether. That move was blocked in the Senate, but the Government responded by starving it of funds to the extent that it was increasingly difficult for Mr Pilgrim to do his work. That did not stop new Attorney-General Christian Porter for heaping praise on Mr Pilgrim, saying he had done an outstanding job. “Mr Pilgrim built a strong reputation, both within government and the wider community, with his thoughtful and considered approach to privacy and information regulation. He has worked tirelessly to help Australia deal with global privacy challenges, particularly through building closer relationships with other privacy regulators domestically and internationally. “Mr Pilgrim oversaw the implementation of the amendments to Australia's Privacy Act in 2014, the most significant reforms since the Privacy Act 1988 was extended to the private sector in 2000. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2015 in recognition of his outstanding work overseeing these reforms.” One wonders just how much more of an outstanding job Mr Pilgrim would have been able to do if the government had not hobbled him. Mr Porter said a “merit-based selection process” was now underway to find Mr Pilgrim's replacement. It will be interesting to see how long it takes – this Government has a habit of taking a long time to appoint people to positions it has tried to abolish.     [post_title] => Data notification law starts today – as Privacy Commissioner says goodbye [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => data-retention-law-starts-today-privacy-commissioner-says-goodbye [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-22 11:07:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-22 00:07:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29213 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29134 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-13 09:50:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-12 22:50:47 [post_content] =>

A UK computer consultant has discovered that thousands of websites around the world have been hacked by ‘miscreants unknown’ and put to work mining the Monero cryptocurrency. Those infected include many government sites in Australia. UK security researcher Scott Helme discovered the hack and went to UK computer publication The Register, which broadcast the incident and published a list of over 4,000 infected sites. Australian sites infected include qcat.qld.gov.au, casey.vic.gov.au, bayswater.wa.gov.au, parliament.vic.gov.au, and legislation.qld.gov.au. Major sites affected internationally include the UK’s National Heath Service and the US court information system. The sites were affected through their use of Browsealoud, a utility which translates text to sound for the vision impaired. Sites in the UK Government, a big user of Browsealoud, were particularly affected. The hacker did not have to break into every site, only Browsealoud, which then infected any site it was associated with. Many websites use ‘plug-ins’ like Browsealound – third party apps which perform a specific task and save the trouble of writing code from scratch. The software hack altered Browsealoud’s source code to include software from a company called Coin Hive, which has developed an app to ‘mine’ – search websites for – the Monero cryptocurrency. Coin Hive was conceived as a way to help users gain a little extra income – ‘mining’ uses computer power to validate cryptocurrency transactions, for which the miner is given a small amount of the currency. Mining takes a lot of computer power for a very small return, so successful miners often use other computers’ processing power. That is what this latest hack attempted. “Third parties like this are absolutely a prime target and have been for some time,” Helme told The Register. “There's a technology called SRI (Sub-Resource Integrity) designed to fix exactly this problem, and unfortunately it seems that none of the affected sites were using it. “If you want to load a crypto miner on a thousand websites you don't attack them all, you attack the one website they all load content from.” Coin Hive has been blocked by many malware detection companies, such as Malwarebytes. The hack exposed the increasingly nefarious nature of the cryptocurrency world. Bitcoin is the best known, but there are dozens more, and the methods used to propagate them are often shady. Leading Browsealoud reseller Texthelp said the hack was a criminal act. “In light of other recent cyber attacks all over the world, we have been preparing for such an incident for the last year,” said Chief Technical Officer Martin McKay. “Our data security action plan was actioned straight away and was effective, the risk was mitigated for all customers within a period of four hours. “Texthelp has in place continuous automated security tests for Browsealoud. These tests detected the modified file and as a result the product was taken offline. This removed Browsealoud from all our customer sites immediately, addressing the security risk without our customers having to take any action.” “The attacker did not attempt to extort or ransom money from our customers. The company has examined the affected file thoroughly and can confirm that no customer data has been accessed or lost. The file used the computer’s CPUs only to attempt to generate cryptocurrency.” [post_title] => Thousands of government websites hacked [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => thousands-government-websites-hacked [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-16 08:04:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-15 21:04:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29134 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29035 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-01 14:29:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-01 03:29:13 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29037" align="alignnone" width="249"] Gartner's Rick Howard[/caption] Leading IT analyst group Gartner predicts that cloud computing, cybersecurity and data analytics will be the top technology spending priorities in the public sector CIOs in 2018. And data centre infrastructure will be the most commonly targeted technology for cost savings. A global Gartner survey of government CIOs found that 16 percent of respondents said they plan to increase spending on business intelligence (BI) and analytics, and 6 percent planned to increase spending on data management in 2018. Gartner's 2018 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries and across major industries, including 461 government CIOs. Digital transformation was the top-ranked business priority among government CIOs overall, followed by security and governance. “Digital transformation revolves around data,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner, who specialises in government IT implementation. “To be successful, public sector CIOs need to focus on expanding their data and analytics capabilities and creating a data-centric culture, by increasing the availability of open data and APIs for internal use and public consumption. “Building out data analytics infrastructure is fundamental to improving government program outcomes and services to citizens.” The survey found that digital business and digital transformation is more important for government (first priority for 18 percent of respondents) than for all industries (17 percent). Private sector companies ranked it second, after growth and market share. The next three business priorities for government are security, safety and risk (13 percent,; governance, compliance and regulations (12 percent); and technology initiatives and improvements (11 percent). “Government CIOs have conflicting priorities. They need to bring transformative change to their organisations, while pursuing compliance-oriented priorities," said Mr Howard. "They will need to work constructively with other business leaders to agree how to balance risk and innovation to support digital transformation.” In response to the question "Which technology investment is most crucial to achieving your organization’s mission?” cloud and BI/analytics were mentioned by 19 percent and 18 percent of government CIOs respectively, followed by infrastructure/data centre at 11 percent. National and federal CIOs are the exception, placing CRM (customer relationship management) as a distant third.  
Rank Government Priorities % Respondents
1 Cloud services/solutions 19%
2 BI/analytics 18%
3 Infrastructure/data centre 11%
4 Digitalization/digital marketing 6%
5 Customer relationship management 5%
6 Security and risk 5%
7 Networking, voice and data communications 4%
8 Legacy modernization 4%
9 Enterprise resource planning 4%
10 Mobility/mobile applications 3%
Four categories that differ from other sectors:
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) ranks among the top ten technology area for the overall sample, but is not present for government (ranked 19th). The exception is defence and intelligence, where a greater percentage of CIOs mentioned AI (7 percent) over CIOs in other industries (6 percent).
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) are considered important by a greater percentage of federal or national CIOs (4 percent) than other tiers of government or the private sector, which did not position APIs among the top ten technologies.
  • Cloud services/solutions and infrastructure/data centre combined was ranked in the top ten by 30 percent of government CIOs, compared with only 12 percent in all other industries. In contrast, digitalisation/digital marketing in the private sector sits at 16 percent, more than twice the rate in government (6 percent).
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is a top ten item for all industries, but is not present for government (ranked 12th). The two exceptions are local government (due to smart city projects), and defence and intelligence, which relies on data flowing from sensors that monitor a wide range of activity.
“Many government CIOs are rebalancing capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) spending patterns to reduce technical debt, while making the strategic shift to cloud," said Mr Howard. “They should consider cloud as the means to accelerate the digitalization of their organizations and enable the business optimisation that results.” Rick Howard and other Gartner a will discuss the role of data in digital government at Gartner’s Data and Analytics Summit, 26-27 February in Sydney. Details here. [post_title] => Governments to increase spending on cloud, cybersecurity and analytics [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => government-increase-spending-cloud-cybersecurity-analytics [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-06 05:04:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-05 18:04:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29035 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28853 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-01-09 07:23:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-08 20:23:54 [post_content] =>

Who’s reading your health information now? There can be benefits from sharing health and other personal information among health care professionals and researchers. But any such sharing must be based on an understanding of potential risks. It must occur only within an effective legal framework, with controls appropriate for those risks. A ‘Trust me, I’m from the government’ approach is a recipe for disaster. So is the sharing of sensitive data with government without full openness, transparency and a legal framework that prevents it from being misused out of the public eye. Australia’s current health data privacy framework is utterly inadequate. There is inadequate risk assessment, inadequate law, and inadequate enforcement. This was demonstrated recently by a major independent study from Chris Culnane, Benjamin Rubinstein and Vanessa Teague at Melbourne University, released in the last days of 2017. Their report is here. In 2016 the Australian government released a large-scale data set relating to the health of many Australians, under the fashionable rubric of ‘open data’. This 10 percent sample included all publicly reimbursed medical and pharmaceutical bills for selected patients, spanning the thirty years from 1984 to 2014. The data as released was meant to be ‘de-identified’, meaning that it supposedly could not be linked to a particular individual. That was meant to mean that there would be no privacy issues, and the data could be released ‘into the wild’ without controls. Unfortunately, the government got it wrong. This weak protection was able to be breached. IT security researchers demonstrated that this sensitive health data could be ‘re-identified’. With minimal effort it was possible to get a picture of the health of prominent Australians, or of you and your neighbours. The research follows similar studies in the US and Europe which have demonstrated the unreliability of existing de-identification techniques in the face of rapidly-evolving artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data tools. It must be taken seriously. In response to that earlier study, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), the national privacy watchdog formerly known as the Privacy Commissioner, announced that it is “investigating the publication of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) datasets.” OAIC has been investigating since September 2016, after the same researchers initially revealed problems with the data by demonstrating it was possible to re-identify practitioner records. More than a year later, in early 2018, the OAIC is still investigating. Meanwhile:
  • There has been no public report, nor any warning about the bug in open data – the ability to re-identify it.
  • There is no indication of when the report will be released.
  • There has been no indication of whether the report will be released in full rather than in the usual redacted version.
  • There has been no requirement to reconsider the misplaced trust in the de-identified open data in the face of evidence of its unreliability.
We should be able to trust governments to care for sensitive personal data about ourselves and our families. Clearly some of those who are handling this data either lack expertise, or are careless: Open data protections can be breached. The Health Department and its Minister should be held to account. Overseas governments have responded effectively to similar problems: for example, the major Caldicott reports in the UK saw the end of the Care.Data plan to sell the health records of most people in Britain. (The architect of that plan is now the CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency.) The OAIC needs to be held to account. The delay of more than a year is unacceptable. So is the fact there is no end in sight, and the fundamental, controversial flaw in the rhetoric about the claimed safety of open data remains unrecognised. It may be that the OAIC lacks expertise and other resources. That is no excuse. Extensive research work done by NICTA, and by independent university researchers like those at Melbourne and other institutions internationally, has identified the growing risks to de-identification as a safe basis for the release of data derived from personal information into a hostile global environment. Efforts by proponents of open data to promote the safety of de-identification must be met with a more skeptical view. New Attorney General Christian Porter should provide adequate resources for the national privacy watchdog, so Australians can expect them to investigate the fundamental risks in open data properly, independently, and promptly. The OAIC should act like a watchdog, not like a timid snail. Bernard Robertson-Dunn is Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) health committee chair. David Vaile is APF chair. Kat Lane is APF vice chair.   [post_title] => Open data – too much sharing, too little care [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => open-data-much-sharing-little-care [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-12 09:39:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-11 22:39:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28853 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28793 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-12-14 10:09:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-13 23:09:00 [post_content] => Australian cities will be a test bed for ‘next generation security’ systems that will combine live video with advanced real-time analytics for a level of surveillance impossible with current technology. ICT vendor NEC Australia, a major supplier of biometric software to government, has partnered with Silicon Valley vision analytics startup CrowdOptic to develop the technology. It will be trialled first in Australia, says NEC. NEC describes it as a “ground-breaking intelligent live video streaming security system enabled by real-time analysis of footage captured from fixed cameras and mobile camera sensors in body cams, smartphones, and drones.” The company says this is a significant improvement on current video surveillance and facial recognition system, which rely predominantly on footage captured from fixed cameras. “Live, intelligent video footage combined with efficient transmission of data from mobile camera sensors enhances the impact of NEC’s facial recognition technology, NeoFace.” The technology uses Internet-connected mobile cameras and NEC’s biometrics. “This is the future of public safety,” said NEC Australia in a statement. “Smart cities can now use mobile camera technologies to improve the safety of public spaces and the capabilities of first responders.” NEC gives an example of how the technology might be employed in public safety. “The real-time identification enabled by NEC biometric technology is enhanced by mobile camera sensors that give first responders, police and ambulance staff a clearer, real-time picture of the environment they’re operating in. “Mobility is where CrowdOptic’s technology offers new capabilities to NEC’s NeoFace. CrowdOptic’s technology uses triangulation to detect when two or more cameras are aimed at the same person. “Integration with NEC’s facial-recognition software means that fixed cameras can interact with body cams and smart glasses to enhance identification. This provides the ability to feed multiple perspectives of an individual to the facial recognotion database, speeding and enhancing the accuracy of the facial-recognition process.” NEC says this will enable first responders to aim smartphones, wearables, or cameras at a shared point of interest in order to triangulate its position. A command centre can then direct a drone to the shared point of interest without knowing its exact location. Fire rangers in the field could point to a plume of smoke and direct the drone to it, without the drone’s operator needing to directly see or know the location. The partnership with CrowdOptic was initiated by NEC Australia, not the company’s Japanese parent. “It which offers both companies an Australian testbed for expanding the integration with NEC’s facial recognition platform on a global basis,” said NEC Australia’s statement. “NEC’s facial recognition technology, when combined with CrowdOptic’s Intelligent Livestreaming and Engagement Geometry, ushers in a new era of public safety. Customers can configure systems to use cameras with CrowdOptic software that capture video streamed to servers running NEC’s facial recognition software.”   [post_title] => Australia to trial world first city surveillance system [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australia-trial-world-first-city-surveillance-system [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-15 08:56:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-14 21:56:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28793 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28772 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-12-12 07:45:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-11 20:45:41 [post_content] =>

The Australian urban streetscape has long featured video surveillance via high definition cameras. But there is more to security than high quality hardware – you need the right systems and techniques behind it. Many countries are now stepping up their security in terms of technology, budget and the number and skills of people involved in the process. Increased concerns about terrorism and other aspects of security underscore the need for more sophisticated surveillance systems. Theses systems need to do more than simply record content and play it back when required. They should also provide progressive functionality to include analytics for insights, data compression for efficient storage, and protection against cyber attacks. IP surveillance systems (which use the Internet as a platform) offer more flexibility and higher scalability than traditional surveillance systems. IP technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are major growth drivers for new security applications. IP camera systems are commonly used to monitor the physical environment and human activities. Innovative governments are coupling this with citizen and government-produced data to gain new insights to inform policy making and predict trends affecting communities. But the proliferation of IP-connected security systems also means it is more important to protect the cameras and the underlying network, as knowledge about how to attack those systems is becoming easier to obtain, particularly over the Internet. Increasingly, governments are faced with slow access and transfer of my volumes of video data across diverse networks. Many are suffering from ‘infotoxification’ as the volume of data collected continues to grow exponentially. This results in issues with filtering, understanding and acting upon data. So how can government agencies better protect and utilise data intelligence from security systems? There are three key aspects for security through enhanced surveillance that government should consider in 2018:  
  1. Securing surveillance systems against cyber attacks
Cyber attacks on IoT devices have risen in recent years. IP video surveillance systems are by definition run over the Internet, driven by the desire for remote access, better control, integration, and drastically reduced cloud storage costs. With the Federal Government committing to spending $630 million to boost national security against cybercrime, the seriousness of breaches and the ease in which they often occur is starting to hit home. Resistance to cyber attacks should be a key factor when selecting surveillance systems. Cybercrime exploits weaknesses around storing data in multiple locations as more and more devices become connected to the Internet. Anonymous snooping, evidence tampering and malicious disabling are very real threats facilitated by weaknesses in security systems. Some surveillance cameras can prompt to change default passwords to ensure the platform is secure before the system can be enabled. They can encrypt communications, detect alteration, and prevent spoofing and snooping as soon as they are set up. Users can check for the preinstalled digital certificate that these cameras have. By equipping systems with embedded data encryption functions, a highly secure and robust protection layer is ensured, and countermeasures against data leakage can be performed end-to-end.  
  1. Advanced analytics for deep insights and safety
It is crucial that, once captured, data is used appropriately and capable of being analysed easily. Security analytics is now incredibly advanced – from heat mapping, people counting, vehicle detection, licence plate recognition right through to face recognition for gender and age analysis. Data can be utilised and analysed in a multitude of ways. These advanced insights can then enable safer and smarter cities. The speed at which this can be turned around means much more effective and efficient access. Sophisticated security analytics is popular in many countries and across a variety of industries. For government organisations they are crucial, as they allow security staff to easily pinpoint important footage while bypassing hours of inconsequential video. For example, they can spot unusual behaviour which may not initially register as criminal, such as entering via an exit, or they can be used to quickly identify people who have been previously banned from the premises.  
  1. Data compression to reduce storage cost and save footage for future use
Surveillance cameras and security systems naturally capture huge amounts of data, most of which is never utilised again. Currently, 34 percent of organisations delete their surveillance footage after 60 days or less, with a good proportion of these citing a lack of storage space as the reason. More sophisticated surveillance systems possess a compression feature, which can significantly reduce storage needs. It is often necessary for organisations to house data to comply with regulations, and it is essential that this be managed effectively. Smart compression techniques in security systems enable governments to save money and bandwidth by automatically distinguishing which data is important to keep and store – such as moving objects and people’s faces – and compressing what is not important, such as static backgrounds. This is achieved without compromising high definition video formats and decoding functionalities.   Government agencies which possess sensitive and important data simply cannot afford to be half-hearted when it comes to security. Sophisticated and affordable systems are now available, so there really is no excuse for these organisations not to be fully-equipped to face potential security attacks in the future. The move towards highly-functional IP systems has already begun and it is important for government agencies not to be left behind. If you are considering installing a new digital surveillance system or upgrading an existing product, seek guidance from an industry expert on how to best integrate and leverage these ecosystems, and save on operational costs.   Ranjit Sohoni is Product Marketing Manager, Security for Panasonic Australia. He has over 20 years of data storage and imaging experience. Panasonic provides security solutions including network cameras, video recorders, interfaces, and controllers. [post_title] => Effective security means better systems [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => effective-security-means-better-systems [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-14 14:26:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-14 03:26:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28772 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28646 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-27 13:53:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-27 02:53:41 [post_content] => The Federal Government has announced plans to legislate a national ‘Consumer Data Right’ bill, which will allow customers of banks, utilities and telecommunications companies better access to their transactional data. Under the proposed legislation consumers will own the data, not the companies they are dealing with. This will make it much easier for people to change suppliers.

“Australians will be able to compare offers, get access to cheaper products and plans to help them ‘make the switch’ and get greater value for money,“ said Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor, announcing the bill. “It is the biggest reform to consumer law in a generation.”

Mr Taylor said that the Government is pursuing the “very simple” idea that customers should own their own data. “It is a powerful idea and a very important one,” he said. “Australians have been missing out because it has been too hard to switch to something better. You may be able to access your recent banking transactions, or compare this quarter’s energy bill to the last, but it isn’t quick or easy to work out whether you can get a better deal elsewhere.”

The proposed Consumer Data Right legislation was one of 41 recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s ‘Data Availability and Use’ inquiry, tabled in parliament in May 2017.

The Government’s formal response to the inquiry will be published in coming weeks.

“It won’t be far down the track when you can simply tap your smartphone to switch from one bank to another, to a cheaper Internet plan, or between energy companies. Government is lifting the lid on competition in consumer services. Technology is the enabler,” Mr Taylor said.

He said the Consumer Data Right will be established sector-by-sector, beginning in the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors.

Utilities will be required to provide standard, comparable, easy-to-read digital information that third parties can readily access. The Government plans to introduce the legislation to give effect to these reforms will be brought forward in 2018.

The banks in particular have been resisting calls for greater data transparency. But the Productivity Commission’s repor recommended a new Data Sharing and Release Act, and the creation of the position of Data Custodian to guide and monitor the Government’s use of and access to data. The Government had asked that the Productivity Commission look at the benefits and costs of making public and private datasets more available, and at ‘how consumers can use and benefit from access to data, particularly data about themselves.’ The report recommended:
  • that the new Act should replace all restrictions to access and use contained in existing Federal and State legislation, and the identification of ‘National Interest Datasets’ that would be resourced by the Federal Government Commonwealth as national assets.
  • a data sharing and release structure that “indicates to all data custodians a strong and clear cultural shift towards better data use that can be dialled up for the sharing or release of higher-risk datasets.”
  • a suite of ‘Accredited Release Authorities’, which it describes as sectoral hubs of expertise to enable the ongoing maintenance of, and streamlined access to, National Interest Datasets and other datasets.
  • a streamlining of ethics committee approval processes, which would “provide more timely access to identifiable data for research and policy development purposes.”
The report generated more than 300-submissions, and involved over a hundred consultations and meetings. Productivity Commission Chairman Peter Harris has become well known for his interest in the more efficient use of data, and in particular data generated from public sources, as a driver for improved productivity. The report stressed the many benefits of open data. “There are incremental costs of more open data access and use, including those associated with better risk management and alterations to business data systems … but they should be substantially outweighed by the opportunities.” The report was strong on ensuring consumer rights are protected. “Governments that ignore potential gains through consumer data rights will make the task of garnering social licence needed for other data reforms more difficult. Decoupling elements of this Framework runs the risk of limiting benefits to, and support from, the wider public.” The Productivity Commission report can be found here. [post_title] => Consumers to own their own data, with new bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => consumers-data-new-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-01 08:49:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-30 21:49:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28646 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28571 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-20 12:13:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-20 01:13:15 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28573" align="alignnone" width="300"] Smile, you're on body worn camera (WA Police)[/caption] The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has published a report on the effectiveness of police body-worn cameras in Australia. The report is based on interviews with 899 people detained by police across Australia. It also examines some of the existing literature on body-worn cameras (BWCs), highlighting many of the issues surrounding their use. The findings of the research suggest that people detained by police in Australia largely support the use of police BWCs, but this depends upon on a number of ‘operational and procedural requirements’. BWCs are a comparatively recent development in Australian policing. They were first trialled in Western Australia in 2007, but the early cameras used were large and relatively expensive, and they were not adopted. Newer and smaller cameras are now being trialled in Perth and Bunbury. In March 2010 the Queensland Police Service began a trial of ten police BWCs in the Townsville and Toowoomba. The AIC reports says that there is anecdotal evidence that the cameras were so popular that some police officers were purchasing their own BWCs to record their activities. Queensland announced in July 2016 that it would roll out 2,200 BWCs to frontline police officers, in addition to the 500 initially trialled by Gold Coast and traffic police. This is the most by any law enforcement agency in Australia, and one of the largest implementations globally. (BWCs are now very popular in the USA, but police forces there are local and much smaller). The South Australian Government has committed $5.9 million to the rollout of BWCs to all frontline police officers by mid-2019. The NSW Police Force announced in May 2015 that it would invest over $4 million in BWC technology to roll out cameras to all frontline police officers. In 2014 the Northern Territory Police began a trial of 48 BWCs allocated to police officers in selected regions. Police in Tasmania have been trialling BWCs in various training scenarios conducted by the Special Operations Group. Victoria Police is currently trialling and evaluating the technology. There are still many doubts about the effectiveness of BWCs. There is a large body of research on the subject, but it is mostly based on the experiences of the police wearing the cameras. The AIC study, by concentrating on the reaction of police detainees to the technology, presents a different perspective. Most of the surveyed detainees (70 percent) were aware that police officers sometimes wore BWCs, but only 12 percent reported that the arresting officer was wearing a camera. More than half (57 percent) did not know and one third (31 percent) said that the police officer involved in their arrest was not wearing a camera. Detainees were asked open ended questions about what they thought of police BWCs. Responses were coded into the four main categories of evidence, protection, accountability and fairness. The vast majority of detainees (80 percent) thought police BWCs were a ‘good idea, usually because they provided improved evidence of events, including the arrest itself (32 percent). “There was recognition that at times it is difficult for an accurate account of events to be captured, particularly if events unfold quickly,” says the report. The next most common reason given (25 percent) was that BWCs provided a measure of protection for police and citizens, particularly against violence or excessive use of force. “These responses indicated that the detainees believed that BWCs could help to assuage tensions and potentially reduce violent encounters between police and members of the public.” A further 23 percent of reasons cited related to accountability, in that police could be held responsible for their actions while on duty, providing an avenue of recourse for citizens if they felt the police acted inappropriately. Reponses in this category typically suggested a perception that police may use excessive force or falsely accuse arrestees of offending behaviours and that BWCs would help to guard against this. Some typical comments:
  • “Police charge people with things they didn’t do.”
  • “At least when you are getting arrested there is a third party video-taping. A lot of officers like to get heavy handed.
  • “The cameras are a good idea because it makes police behave more ethically.”
Some (19 percent) of responses related to ‘fairness’, emphasising the perceived value of BWCs in ensuring that both police and members of the public acted appropriately and in accordance with rules and regulations. “The responses of detainees in the study highlight the need for evidence-based policy on the deployment of BWCs,” says the report. “In particular there needs to be clear guidelines and protocols about how and when they are operated. The failure to support ‘common sense’ claims about the benefits and ethical management of BWC data may risk damage to police legitimacy in some contexts. “Some detainees were worried about how footage of them might be used. Ensuring cameras were used ‘fairly’ was a recurrent theme among arrestees and this underpinned support or opposition to the use of police cameras. “There remain many questions to be answered. How will data be stored? Who will have access to it and under what circumstances? How will it be retrieved and analysed? How accurate can the footage be claimed to be? “It may be that the support for and goodwill towards the introduction of BWCs demonstrated by the respondents, and by the public and police, could quickly fade if these concerns are not adequately addressed. “This research indicated broad support for the use of BWCs but also some reservations. Attending to these concerns is important if the potential of BWCs to contribute positively to law enforcement, rather than exacerbating problems, is to be realised.” The report is available here. [post_title] => Jury still out on police body cameras [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => jury-still-police-body-cameras [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-24 09:45:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-23 22:45:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28571 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28544 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-14 12:42:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-14 01:42:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28545" align="alignnone" width="220"] Darwin to get 'switched on'[/caption] The Australian Government has made its first grants under its Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The grants are to Darwin to ‘switch on’ the city, and to a number of smaller projects in Perth. The program, announced in March 2017 has earmarked $50 million for projects across Australia, with 40 percent of the total to be located in regional areas. Darwin is the big winner from the first round of grants, with $5 million awarded to the City of Darwin and the Northern Territory Government, who will each contribute $2.5 million to the $10 million project. The money will pay for the installation of CCTV cameras at entrances to the city and on Daly Street and Bennett Street in the CBD. Street lighting will be upgraded to LED lighting and on ‘smart’ columns with the capacity to adjust lighting to reduce street crime. In Bicentennial Park along the Darwin foreshore, smart lighting will include sound monitoring to detect people in distress and potentially notify policy and emergency services. No mention was made in the announcement of the fact that the ‘street crime’ and ‘people in distress’ are mostly homeless or indigenous people. The NT Government has recently announced a program to address ‘anti-social itinerant behaviour’ on Darwin’s streets. Homeless (‘itinerant’) Aborigines (‘indigenous people') hanging around the streets, often drunk and engaging in petty street crime, is a major problem in Darwin. In September a video of a shop owner using a hose to move one in the centre of town caused a minor storm. Darwin’s free city Wi-fi network will also be expanded in key tourist and shopping areas. Smart parking sensors will indicate available parking, intended to reduce congestion and emissions. Perth has also been awarded $6 million in technology grants under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. It supplements $9 million from the LGAs in which the projects are located, bringing the total value of the announcements to $15 million:
  • City of Fremantle: renewable energy generation and storage, rainwater storage and distribution, and an electric vehicle shared ownership trial ($8.26 million).
  • City of Perth: communications precinct around the new Perth Stadium (to be called Optus Stadium after a recent ten year $50 million naming rights deal) and an irrigation trial in public parks ($2.63 million).
  • City of Joondalup: monitoring system to better manage the Yellagonga Wetlands ($2.05 million).
  • University of Western Australia and the City of Wanneroo: real-time rail patronage data to improve development of rail station precincts along the Metronet extension ($1 million).
  • City of Gosnells: real-time data on thermal performance of newly built homes, to encourage the uptake of energy efficiency measures for new housing developments ($265,000).
  • RAC WA with the City of South Perth: trial of driverless electric shuttles to reduce congestion ($980,000).
There will be 52 projects around Australia in the $28.5 million allocated under the first round of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, with other projects to be announced soon. The second round of funding will open in the first half of 2018. The Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) welcomed the announcements and said they “indicate a growing realisation in government circles that smart technologies will positively transform our communities. “We look forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure that Australia is a global leader in the deployment of smart technologies,” said newly appointed ASCA CEO Laurie Patton. “While there's already a good deal of energy at local government level we'll need Canberra and the states and territories on board if we are to become world class, so we applaud the Federal Government on this project. “ASCA is committed to fostering informed debate and greater collaboration across all sectors involved in this exciting area of social policy.” Originally established as the Broadband Alliance, ASCA started as a collaborative coalition of local government, Regional Development Associations and Regional Organisations of Councils. It describes itself as the ‘peak industry association in Australia supporting the rapidly developing digital, sharing and interconnected communities’.   [post_title] => First Smart Cities funding announced [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => first-smart-cities-funding-announced [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-21 03:52:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 16:52:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28544 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28431 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-02 14:15:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-02 03:15:44 [post_content] =>

Modern technology means it has never been easier or more cost-effective to store and access information. So it is surprising then that many government departments, from LGAs to federal agencies, are still relying on audio and video tapes to store their crucial records. While legislation mandates the retention of some of this content, such as parliamentary sittings and defence information, some content is important simply because it holds cultural significance and is highly valued by the community. Regardless of the reasons for retention, much of this important data is on the verge of extinction. Time is running out It is a race against time, because of degradation of the storage media, which threatens the quality and the very existence of the data they contain. Magnetic tape is very fragile and degrades over time. Destructive forces, such as mould, can cause permanent damage to audiovisual records and result in content being lost forever. The inconvenience of lost information and sentimental content is one thing, but consider the financial impact the loss of many of these physical records may have. The cost of storage, preservation, maintenance and administration of a physical archive is also an unnecessary expenditure. Even if the physical records are successfully protected from magnetic media degradation, ongoing access to these records will soon be impossible, due to technology obsolescence. The video and audio playback equipment required to play these media are often no longer manufactured or supported. Niche hardware collectors will be of little help, as the supply of spare parts is also vanishing at an alarming rate. The scarcity of this technology and the skill required to operate it will soon become prohibitively expensive. That means much important government content will be inaccessible. Digitisation of AV media will be near impossible by 2025, according to The National Film and Sound Archive’s ‘Deadline 2025’ paper, for this very reason. This means governments have only seven years to save vital content currently stored in physical media archives. To give context to how short this timeframe really is, a recent statement from six of Australia’s national collecting institutions indicate that they alone hold close to 850,000 hours of content. With this volume of hours representing only a part of the tape-based media archives that exist in Australia, there is a very real prospect that content will be lost if action is not taken now. What is the solution? Digitising this content is the only viable method of preserving and accessing these records. But it still requires scarce playback technology and the knowledge needed to facilitate the transformation process. Getting started on the media digitisation journey begins with making sure everyone in your organisation is on board. Then a stocktake of what your agency has in its existing physical collection will be required. Identify all the articles that are appropriate for digitisation before engaging an internal or external service to start an audiovisual digitisation program. And make sure you assign ownership responsibilities to various parts of the process; such as quality checking the digitised product. Are many government bodies taking action? The change to a digital format is inevitable. The longer this change is postponed, the higher the cost of the exercise and greater the risk of content loss. According to the FY14 Preservation Statistics Report commissioned by the American Library Association, there are very few signs that American custodians are preparing their archives against the inevitable loss of content. Fortunately many Australian organisations are more proactive and are beginning to digitise their collections. Australian Parliamentary Services, for example, has already digitised more than 55,000 hours of content. Many local governments are taking steps to preserve their audiovisual heritage. Government bodies that are undertaking the digitisation process can see benefits such as:
  • Content loss risk mitigation.
  • Content is incorporated into digital preservation programs to ensure its long-term availability.
  • Cost savings through simpler access to and storage of media.
  • Budget savings from early adoption and avoiding the rising cost of digitisation due to resource scarcity.
  • Community engagement - providing easy access to those that desire it.
For those who have not started to digitise their videotape and audiotape records, the time to act is now. For an in-depth look at what technology obsolescence means for video and audio tape records in your collection, as well as ways to get started on your digitisation journey, download The Time to Digitise is Now white paper today. Adam Hodgkinson is Business Manager at DAMsmart. www.damsmart.com.au [post_title] => Government records on a seven year burn down [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => government-records-seven-year-burn [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-03 07:54:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-02 20:54:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28431 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30193 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-05-08 10:54:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-08 00:54:30 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30206" align="aligncenter" width="606"] Police need to be trained and equipped to provide trauma care at disaster scenes, commander says.[/caption] Few police or emergency services are adequately preparing their staff to respond to major terrorist incidents, an Australian Federal Police commander has warned. Agencies need to invest in training that simulates highly complex scenarios to develop first responders’ decision making and problem solving under pressure, according to AFP Commander Christopher Sheehan, state manager NSW. Recent terrorist incidents overseas have demonstrated that police also need to be able to provide trauma care on the scene, and law enforcement agencies should be equipping their staff with personal tactical emergency kits, he says. Commander Sheehan said a review of the 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which killed 49 people and wounded 53, identified that the mindset and preparedness of first responders was critical. “The review found first responders need to train and practice decision making and tactics in environments that simulate as closely as possible the realities of uncertain, devastating and overwhelming operating environments,” he told the Emergency Management Leaders Forum in Sydney last week. “I’m looking around the room here today, we have federal and state law enforcement and emergency services, how many of us actually train our people to operate and expose them to that sort of training before the bad day happens? I’d suggest not many of us do.” The need to train first responders, and police in particular, to provide emergency trauma care at the scene of major incidents was also identified by the review into the response to the Pulse nightclub attack, Commander Sheehan said. The Orlando police department provides its police with emergency medical kits, which was found to have had a marked impact on the outcome of the attack. Hospital staff reported that the 58 survivors were likely saved because they had been treated appropriately at the scene and their bleeding was stopped, he said.

Need to undertake reviews

Commander Sheehan said that authorities in the United States were “far, far better” at conducting timely reviews into the responses of emergency services to major incidents. “As a nation we’re terrible at it. There are legal reasons why, there are coronial inquests and a range of other things, but it stops the lessons getting out in a way that still resonates with people in proximity to the event,” he said. A review into the response to the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, which is often cited as a case study in successful preparedness for major incidents, highlighted the importance of partnerships between agencies, he said. “The Arlington County Fire Department had really strong pre-existing relationships with [agencies] in their jurisdiction; they’d just conducted a mass casualty exercise at the Pentagon the week before the incident occurred. “Those relationships meant agencies were familiar with each other; they understood their own disaster plans and their partner agencies’ plans and respective capabilities. They had pre-existing mutual aid agreements covering how they would work with each other when they were stretched beyond capacity, how other agencies could come in behind and help them,” he said. The authorities adhered closely to Arlington’s comprehensive emergency management plan, which was written in 1956 and had evolved over time in response to different threats that agencies believed could occur in their area, Commander Sheehan said. Nonetheless, the review also identified issues that hindered the agencies’ response to the attack. Radio and mobile phone communication brown down while “self-deployment” without request presented a challenge for both police and fire services, he said. “Agencies from as far away as two states were deploying to the scene to help, that caused problems around duplication of resources and access to the incident scene.”

‘Level of concern’

Discussing the terrorist threat locally and internationally, Commander Sheehan said the number of foreign conflicts was having a “galvanising effect” on the ability of extremists to recruit. “At least a couple hundred Australians have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with or on behalf of ISIS. We still have people over there now; some of those people have come home and you can imagine the level of concern that creates for the AFP and our partners around the country,” he said. Commander Sheehan pointed to extremist groups’ exploitation of technology, the emergence of big data and the affordability of international air travel as factors that challenged law enforcement’s counter terrorism efforts. “Groups like IS and Al Qaeda are highly proficient users of multimedia platforms; they’re as good as anything that can be turned out in Hollywood in many respects. They use it for propaganda, to advertise their operational successes and to recruit and radicalise people around the world.” Commander Sheehan also referred to the speed with which groups like ISIS were radicalising young men and convincing them to commit acts of terrorism. “In Australia in recent years we’ve seen cases where from the moment of contact online with someone overseas to radicalisation to initial planning has been days.”  

Plots harder to detect

He warned that agencies could no longer count on the long-term sophisticated planning that is characteristic of Al Qaeda style attacks. “They’re much more likely to be higher casualties and more symbolic targets, but they take a lot more planning, they require logistics, communications and finance. That affords opportunities for law enforcement to detect and then intervene before those plots can come to fruition. “We still have to worry about those types of attacks but we also have to be prepared for the low tech, low sophistication and high impact attacks using everyday weapons like vehicles and knives committed by one or a small number of highly radicalised individuals. “The opportunities for detecting those sorts of plots are very limited,” he said.
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