My indulgences

Reading The Daily Mail is probably my least healthy indulgence. I know it's bad for me, but just can't help it. Like browsing at a cream bun buffet, the sugar rush of some of the stories (e.g. perjuring student immigrant goes to jail but can't be deported!) is near-irresistable, and feels shamefully good while you're doing it, but it soon turns into a sickly stickiness and you just know there's a sugar crash coming further down the line.

Contrast that to Comment is Free in the Guardian, and in particular the musings of one of my favourite columnists Polly (wanna cracker) which has the opposite problem; you read it because you feel it's good for you to do so, like a slice of Ryvita, but it leaves a scratchy dry feeling in the back of one's throat and feels deeply unsatisfying.

Chief CiF irritant today is Pete Sommer, an academic at the LSE who believes that the UN-backed Internet Governance Forum is going to be the go-to place for tackling cybercrime. I hate to break it to you, Pete, you're well-meaning but the unfortunate reality is that the government-backed Chinese hackers and hardcore Russian spam artists who are currently leading the cybercrime wave really don't give a monkey's left testicle for the IGF.

In particular, I liked his points about the London Conference on Cyberspace:

It could have aimed for something more immediately achievable – perhaps an agreement on identifying medical and humanitarian resources on the internet and protecting them. Or that the essential fabric of the internet, its cables, exchanges and technical protocols, should never be attacked.
when it's painfully obvious that if the Chinese military saw a tactical or strategic advantage in e.g. cutting the undersea fibre into Taiwan, they'd have minisubs and boltcutters down on the seabed in the blink of an eye; the UN be damned. I'm also curious what he expects the UN to do about the Iranian-backed Diginotar hack that compromised the SSL connections to major sites like Gmail for Iranian citizens. You'll note that the only effective action here in reality was taken by the major browser vendors, removing Diginotar's CA cert from the browser. I don't see the UN requesting that traffic engineer Ahmadinejad account for his government's actions here.

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