Errata: 'Experts' challenge mi2g Chairman's Oxford speech

open letter

London, UK - 11 February 2005, 16:15 GMT -

For the Attention of:

Matt Loney
Editor, ZD Net UK

Michael Parsons
News Editor, ZD Net UK

Tony Hallett
Editor, Silicon.com

Dear Sirs

This is an Open Letter published on our websites with immediate effect (www.mi2g.net and www.mi2g.com).

We write to you from mi2g in London and would be grateful if you can investigate the situation we are facing as a result of your groups' recent publications. Hundreds of your readers have repeatedly brought the following to our attention and we are concerned to read the articles, which have been authored by your colleagues Dan Ilett and Will Sturgeon, because they are factually incorrect and therefore present the wrong picture:

1. Clarke joins latest cyberterror debate

2. Cyberterror threats dismissed (Originally published by Silicon.com)

These articles, appear to be responding to the speech made by our Chairman yesterday at the OII, University of Oxford.

With respect, we are concerned that we have not been asked to make a comment at all in regard to the originally published articles, which amounts to firing a gun, that discredits us and challenges our reputation, on the shoulder of 'eminent' personalities. Those 'expert' personalities, such as Richard Clarke, also appear not to have read DK Matai's speech and have made factually incorrect statements as a result. We feel that in the absence of a balanced analysis of the speech, rampant errors and omissions in your analyses, your articles may be mis-informing your readers in a serious way.

For the record, the following facts in regard to our Chairman's speech are worth noting and should be brought to the attention of your readers immediately:

1. May we respectfully point out that the World Security Organisation (WSO) being proposed is an international body dealing with organised crime and terrorism in all five dimensions - cyberspace, outer space, sky, sea and land. It seems that your colleagues have not presented a balanced point of view by simply focussing on cyber terror and then identifying rival experts to seek their mis-informed opinions. With respect, those experts appear not to have read the speech by DK Matai otherwise they would note that the thrust of the speech even in the cyber dimension is in regard to organised crime.

2. The words "cyber terrorism" are mentioned only once in the speech and not in the skewed context of your articles. The title of the speech refers to the way in which the Internet provides the glue for trans-national organised crime, terrorism and affects domestic as well as international security issues. We are concerned to note that your colleagues do not appear to understand the holistic views on security which are being presented. We would urge your readers to make up their own mind after reading DK Matai's speech which can be obtained free of charge from the mi2g web site here.

3. The speech was reviewed by over 117 senior professionals in the banking, insurance, reinsurance, government, intelligence, defence, diplomatic, legal and academic arena for which we are grateful. Thought provoking and diverse views have been received from professionals based in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and USA. Many have chosen to remain anonymous and 26 reviewers have their names listed on the last page.

4. In regard to mi2g's cyber terror views: Far from engaging in hyperbole, we feel that our point of view is balanced and realistic based on the evidence we have garnered. Your readers can make up their own mind by reading: "How real is the threat of cyber terrorism?" This is a free article and it can be accessed from here.

5. If you were to circulate copies of the speech to all your quoted 'experts' and then seek their opinions without prejudice, you may be surprised to note that they might agree with many aspects of the speech's contents and final conclusions. We are of course delighted to have critical dialogue that delves deeper into dealing with the complex threats we are all facing.

6. We seek your kind redressal to ensure that a balanced perspective is put forward to your readers. For example, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, of Saudi Arabia, has called for a global counter-terrorism centre similar to the World Security Organisation over the weekend.

We would urge you to publish this feedback in its entirety on your website and also on all the syndicated websites that have published your article, because this is a very serious matter and we are not prepared to accept blindly directed misfired criticism which damages our reputation.

Best wishes and we remain, Sirs

Yours sincerely

The mi2g Intelligence Unit


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