Sunday, 26 December 2010

Bashing Bankers with Crypto...?

I don't go with all the recent 'banker bashing' that has been going on in the last year (it's intellectually lazy), however the industry does sometimes do things that make me despair.

I've just picked up that Prof. Ross Anderson has produced a robust reply to a request from the bankers trade association to take down a thesis that covers an exploit that is old news (disclosed in 2009).

Needless to say, I think Prof. Anderson's heart is definitely in the right place. If universities can't speak truth to power within the law then a very large part of what we are disappears. Without a moral function in civil society I'd say we would become little more than a teaching factory co-located with a research factory: hardly 'humane' places in which to work.

I'll close with the suggestion that this is more than academic freedom and that the role of professions in civil society should embrace a similar role in free debate. How we develop the IT profession to better take this role on is a challenge we need to consider and act on.

UPDATE: In response to Richard Veryard's amplify posting - the IT 'profession' is immature but it does show signs of early-stage development (I'll blog on this in future - but I deliberately used word 'develop' in the post). If we are to bring this along we need to start as a community modelling the behaviours we desire of a mature profession - that's the point I'm trying to make.

No comments: