Updated Daniel Morgan Network

I have processed more of the Daniel Morgan data, and thus have an updated network of the data. Below is a visualisation of the data produced by extracting the network structure from Neo4J using R and iGraph, then saving the network as a gexf file and importing into Gephi. The network is more complete but also has edge labels.

Daniel Morgan murder data

Updated version of the Daniel Morgan data.

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What do you do with the Panama Data?

The released Panama data comes in the form of a Neo4J database, or the files that you can make one with, seems to me a little tricky to do much with. There is no detail beyond attributes of the different entities, so that limits us to looking at the relationships alone and it is hard to judge the significance of the relationships without the context… that said its a fun data set to play with.

I decided to draw out some graphs of how things are connected via other things. Below is one from Officers connected to other Officers via *something* else, generated via R using iGraph from the Neo4J data set. This produces a few clusters containing a relatively small number of nodes connected to others. The query that produces the graph is, “MATCH (n:Officers)-[:`officer of`]->(o)<-[:`officer of`]-(m:Officers) WHERE NOT id(n)=id(m) AND id(n)<id(m) RETURN n.name AS Officer1, m.name AS Officer2, count(o) AS Weight”

Panama Data - Officers Rels

Officers connected to other Officers via anything else.

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Daniel Morgan Murder

After listening to the Daniel Morgan podcast, Untold, I became really interested in the murder investigation. To help me follow it I started building a network of all the key people, organisations, and events in the case. The networks this produces can be seen here,and you can keep up-to-date with the progress on the network here.

There is an updated network image here.

The Case

The story is a compelling one, I suggest you either listen to the podcast or read the book. Very briefly it looks into the murder of Daniel Morgan, and the subsequent investigations into the murder and the police handling of the murder. The book builds a compelling story of decades of struggle by the Morgan family to get justice, and the difficultly they have had in discovering the truth.

The network is not complete, at the time of writing I have only put in the ‘easy’ bits. The network stores objects as the nodes, so people, companies, organisations. The lines, or edges, store the relationship between the objects, e.g. Alistair Morgan is ‘brother_of’ Daniel Morgan. The visualisation is produced using Alchemy, and the data is stored in Neo4J. I intend to continue to develop the network further, and the visualisation which needs things like edge labels. Once the network is more complete it would be interesting to see if there is any useful analysis that can be done on the network. It would also be interesting to expand the data to include other related and interesting cases. Such as the Stephen Lawrence murder, and the Leveson Inquiry will likely form a part of Algorithmic Indexing in the future.

Here is a picture of the network in Neo4J:

Daniel Morgan Murder Network

Part of the network of actors in the Neo4J database.

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Crypto Wars 2.0

I was invited to give a talk at Oxford University on Crypto Wars 2.0 for the Cyber Security DTC that is jointly ran by Oxford and Royal Holloway. I have given a talk on the Crypto Wars at Durham in the past but this talk was a combination of a revisiting the the Crypto Wars today, but also a look to the future. I have produced a podcast of the talk and the slides are available here.

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Business History – Banks, births, and tipping points

We have a new piece published in Business History, Complexity in History: modelling the organisational demography of the British banking sector. Continuing our work modelling the British banking sector we have responded to the very interesting comment by J Bissell, “The decline in the British bank population since 1810 obeys a law of negative compound interest“, on our original paper. This gave us the opportunity further discuss the role of modelling in understanding historical processes and present some more recent insights into the development of the banking sector. We where also able to revisit the Tipping Point in the sector and question whether it is indeed a tipping point at all.

Garnett, Philip, Simon Mollan, and R. Alexander Bentley. n.d. “Banks, Births, and Tipping Points in the Historical Demography of British Banking: A Response to J.J. Bissell.” Business History 0 (0): 1–7.

J. J. Bissell, “The decline in the British bank population since 1810 obeys a law of negative compound interest”. Business History Vol. 59 , Iss. 5,2017

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33C3 – Proposed EU Copyright Law – Not Fit for Anything

Another highlight from 33C3 was Julia Reda’s talk about the proposed EU copyright law, Copywrongs 2.0. I say highlight, only because it was an interesting and compelling talk, the law itself is an absolute lowlight. To say that the proposed law is not fit for purpose is an understatement, and there is a question as to whether it is designed for purpose has less to do with protecting creators and more to do with protecting an industry struggling with an outdated business model.

The reform is a final parting shot by the outgoing EU commissioner Günther Oettinger. His proposed reform to EU copyright threatens freedom of expression by making simple things like linking to content (a central tenet of the the internet) a breach of copyright. This is obviously madness.

The proposals seems to be the product of some intensive lobbying by what are often referred to as ‘old media’. Some news publishers, mostly those who are struggling to adapt their business models to the 21st century, want to charge search engines and social networks for the links displayed in searches or embed in users posts. Essentially charging for the traffic sent their way. The other culprit is the music industry, struggling in the world of YouTube. Personally, I particularly don’t want to see the newspaper industrial disappear, especially in the world we live in today, but this isn’t the answer.

So what does the proposed law prohibit? As written sharing small sections of news articles e.g. on a blog or a personal website (such as this one) without a license from the publisher will be an infringement, for as long as 20 years after the article was originally published. This is crazy, the point of doing that is to drive traffic to the original story, the newspaper industry seems to be shooting itself in its foot.

As its stands the EU Commission has not proposed any exceptions based on the size of the snippet, or for individuals, or for non-commercial purposes, and providing a link to the source isn’t enough. This essentially means you have to have a license to reference or attribute a quote. What this means for newspapers quoting each other I don’t know, or for academic work.

Not only can you not link on social media, it would also seem that indexing the web in general would be impossible without licensing, and thus essentially impossible. In fact, any and every site in existence would have to ways of filtering out copyright infringements.

What about collaboration? The affect such a law would have on site that foster collaboration is also not clear, but likely to be bad. For example GitHub would have to put in place the filtering technology to search for source code that someone wants to keep of the site. Even if that code was written under some open source licenses. Also in trouble would be Wikipedia, and anyone using data from the web for training of AI or similar.

So what is Günther Oettinger trying to do? Does he just have no understanding of the internet, and it would seem copyright? He is known to be in favour of big business, and seems to be close to the publishing industry. At best its a misguided attempt at protecting an outmoded business model. What happens now is down to people doing a bit of lobby of our own. Is there any point in Brits getting involved? Yes, for one there is a chance that the UK will mirror some EU laws, at least initially and we don’t want this one. Also we can do our bit to help out our EU neighbours.

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