Mind the Credibility Gap

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2021
In: Editorial
Written by: The Editor

So, yet more personal data has been released by those with an ‘anti hunt’ mindset in a further attempt to continue to embarrass those any level who ‘dare’ to support a legal activity.
The process of how they actually obtained the information is not relevant here but what is disappointing is that whoever was responsible for its safe keeping – regardless of why it was being collected and kept together, failed to do just that. That is a stain on the credibility of those in ultimate control that cannot be brushed under a carpet or washed out with the passage of a few weeks. Any leak was, despite numerous rumours, in that ‘school playground’ known as social media, highly unlikely to be deliberate. No ‘Hollywood style’ cat burglar was involved just plain human error compounded by an evident lack of understanding process or training in data security- something that as IT security professionals here at Bailys is as natural to us as breathing.
Keeping data safe but usable by the proper persons is not difficult. It has long been realized that the risk of data getting into the ‘wrong hands’ is not an internet or technical problem but most likely to be a people and process issue. It is not fair or reasonable to rely on someone to understand the risks of certain types of action or omission unless they have been professionally trained, understand the processes that must be followed and have the technical and system support to carry out that function. However even with that training there MUST be an acceptance by senior management that should the system fail, then the failure and the ultimate responsibility for any consequences must be born and addressed by action at senior level and not quietly and discreetly ‘forgotten’ however much such a solution is desired.

“You can fool part of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time,” is actually a quote from Frenchman Jaques Abadie writing in the 17th century and NOT Abraham Lincoln but no matter who said it, it seems that the intriguing titled “Innocent Badger” has forgotten it. ‘Innocent Badger’ is the ‘anonymous’ noise behind the new Icelandic based hunting expose website called itself ‘hunting leaks’ presumably in some desperate attempt to align itself with the public awareness and notoriety of Julian Assange’s ‘WikiLeaks’. But there the difference ends. Both Assange and Snowdon were prepared to step out of the shadows to publicise their belief in stolen data. Whereas those behind Innocent Badger are more ‘bladder leak’ than Wikileaks, lurking as they do in the shadows of the dark web, with a hunting related website in Iceland, data based in Belize and hiding contact details behind an anonymous email platform based in Germany. All of this comes at a financial cost paid for by spurious ‘please fund us appeals’ so perhaps a better quote might be ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive,‘ (Sir Walter Scott).
In addition, neither Snowdon or Assange took the amusing approach to the data they stole and attempted to claim copyright over it! Or is this legally odd action by Innocent Badger an indication that the private spats between the various groups in the increasingly acrimonious Animal Rights space now becoming less like the various factions trying to incite an uprising in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, and more like increasingly aggressive playground bullies?
The truth is that our native hedgehog devouring omnivore, despite constant attempts to give its natural characteristics a socially acceptable makeover and turn it into a victim, is much like those behind this website, and not so innocent after all.

Scott’s quote above would characterise the increasingly brazen approach of some ‘environmental’ journalists who appear to publish thinly disguised Animal Rights (AR) press releases as fact. We know that this is a strategy that has had some success in the past and which has led to obvious falsehoods gaining traction. One can only hope that someone somewhere is responsible for devising a strategy to counter this approach. The strategy must be in a form that can be adopted by all who follow hounds, not just a select few, and that any strategy and accompanying process will be rolled out soon….very soon.