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ChiefOfficers.Net

One can say many things about the EU but here are two: one it really, really does not understand the internet and how companies operate within it and two it really, really likes simplistic and brutal solutions to complex problems. Perhaps the two things are the same. Article 11 of the Copyright Directive, which a European Committee (the usual handful of grey men in grey suits that were so much a reason for Brexit) has just passed is a perfect example of both. The grey men in grey suits are different depending on the topic. The result is the same: they set law which is rarely subjected to effective review later in the legislative process. But protestors have missed the bus: it left in a 2001 Directive that hardly anyone pays attention to.

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E-mail inboxes have long been plagued with dubious offers to renew domain names or to buy similar names to prevent cybersquatters taking control of them or even for entries into some kind of directory. It's a nuisance but, so far, the perpetrators of the actions have avoided prosecution by a range of sneaky tactics. Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has obtained orders (not convictions) against two companies and a disqualification order against their principle officer.

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In the wider world of financial services, there's a tendency to forget that there are regulators for other areas of commerce, too. In the UK, in accounting, the last stop for action relating to accounting and audit misconduct is the Financial Reporting Council. It's one of those bodies that replaces gravitas with slogans on its website (which is "flashy" but doesn't work properly) but when it gets its teeth into a case, it acts as a proper regulator. It levies only small fines but it's paying more and more attention to the big boys.

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Sending server: webmail.123-reg.co.uk
Request for External Wire transfer

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It's incredible how many spammers (not, scammers) don't think that their standard of English reflects on the quality of work they might offer.

Below is an example of the many spam e-mails that find their way into our electronic shredder because we don't want to read them but, sometimes, it's worth looking to see how advertising is presented. This example is never, ever, going to get business from any business that requires professional standards of itself and its suppliers.

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If the current state of affairs in Italian politics were to be in any other country, it would be a national, even regional and, perhaps even, global crisis. But it's not. In Italy politics is so bizarre that even a Gallic shrug, a Malaysian "it's Malaysia" or a Japanese polite turning away would be over-reactions.

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It hasn't taken long. The General Data Protection Regulation came into force across the EU only on Friday. By Sunday evening, "Dejan Marinkovic" of "The Resort Group Global" had, apparently, decided that the way around it is simple: just put the name of the company in the body of the e-mail and, thereby, establishing that, as business correspondence, the mail fell outside the GDPR. His premise? That, if the addressee (who, incidentally, is personally identifiable from the e-mail address) clicks on a link, there will be benefits. But then it becomes even more strange.

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In general, newspapers have taken the view that if people sit in the pub, read headlines and/or articles and then discuss them that the content of that discussion is entirely outside the responsibility of the newspaper. That has been tempered with laws, rules and regulations that cover inflammatory content of one kind or another but so long as the original article stays within the lines of the permissible (no matter how close it comes), the view has held pretty much intact for generations. But if the article is on the internet and the discussion is not within a handful of people muttering into their beer but is available to the entire connected world, and the means of making that discussion available is owned and operated and controlled by the newspaper, is that a material difference? An English court decision is opening the door for it to be so and the ultimate consequence could be full responsibility for all on-line...

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There's a basic truth about terrorism: terrorists need to keep themselves in the news. From stabbing attacks on "soft" targets to mass-beheading on the side of a road, Da'eas (ISIS / ISIL ) and their loose network are past masters at getting the kind of attention that ramps up shock with periodic changes in strategy. Attacks in Indonesia combined several reasons for anger and some for shock. ChiefOfficers.Net analyses why it was so successful and the fact that they have brought horror and terror, in equal measure, from an "it happens" state of mind to "it could happen to me, anytime, anywhere" and, therefore achieves the primary objective of terrorism, i.e. terror amongst the general population.

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There are few things about Malaysia's Najib government that have caused as much anger amongst the populace as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax ("GST") which is, in fact, a form of Value Added Tax. It was an election promise that Mahathir's coalition would repeal it and reinstate the old Sales Tax. Even during a press conference yesterday, before he was sworn in, Mahathir was asked to confirm that the promise would be kept and he did. Popular though such a policy would be, it is a horribly retrograde step that will cost the country, and businesses, dear. He should revise GST, which was not, in some detail, properly thought through, but he should not reverse its imposition.

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