Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Posts Tagged ‘Cisco

China battles Internet porn, social networking and the military, a new U.S. CTO?

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Seen around the Net on a cold Saturday morning:

1.  Tech.Blorge calls attention to a Chinese crackdown on online pornography and notes the connection to government fear of social unrest in a slowing economy – especially in a year which will mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. There’s probably something to that. There was a line of thought in the late ’90’s that pornography was major factor in driving advances in ICT, user adoption, and the democratization of content production…all challenges to regulation, even with thousands of censors.

2.  Wired’s Danger Room has a piece on the U.S. Strategic Command’s use of social networking to gather expertise in support of the shootdown of a dying spy satellite last year. There’s a sentence about “…how social networks helped planners navigate around the national security bureaucracy…” … which leads to …

3.  GigaOm is citing a BusinessWeek report that Cisco Systems’ Chief Technology Officer, Padmasree Warrior, is on the “short list” for a new “U.S. CTO” position. It’s still unclear exactly what role this position would entail. Is the intent to define a “technology policy,” akin to an industrial strategy? If that’s the case, where would the line be respective to, say, the Department of Energy, the Defense Science Board, FCC, DARPA / HSARPA, and the White House’s own Office of Science and Technology Policy, to name a few? Or will the position be designed to corral the CTOs in place across various Federal departments and agencies to implement change in anachronistic bureaucracies – a sort of follow-on to Vice-President Al Gore’s efforts in the ’90’s, with the citizen-access features that figured so prominently in the Obama campaign? The latter seems more likely, and it’s probably the reason the District of Columbia’s CTO, Vivek Kundra, has also made the short list. Update, post-Inauguration:  I was reminded to check change.gov whitehouse.gov, which describes the CTO’s responsibilities as:  “…to ensure the safety of our networks and lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.” The first part – ensuring “safety” remains confusing, despite strong recommendations for it. Would this replace the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications?  And would the NSA continue to be involved as proposed under the Bush Administration?

Written by Mark

January 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Arabian Bytes

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BusinessWeek has a short but intriguing brief on Cisco’s foray into Saudi Arabia. As a consultant quoted in the piece states, technology companies can be thought leaders in weaving ICT into the development plans of countries like Saudi Arabia. At the same time, the article comments on the competition Cisco faces from the likes of Ericsson and Huawei. Unanswered:  how would “thought leadership” differ from Cisco to Huawei to Ericsson, and what would that mean for Saudi Arabia’s positioning in the Internet age?

Written by Mark

November 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm