Feeds

Info office to monitor blogs

Will brief UK.gov on major online debates

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The Central Office of Information is developing a media briefings service to inform government about major online debates.

The COI's Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) is working on an online monitoring product to track public debates from blogs.

It aims to highlight those that generate significant debate on government policy and send them out in the form of an MMU online campaigns briefing to government departments.

The move reflects concerns within departments that government is largely ignorant of much of the debate taking place online.

MMU director Clarence Mitchell said: "Clients have told us that campaigning and debating are taking place online to such a degree that there's a whole new medium out there. They don't want to be blindsided by material appearing from the web out of the blue in the external media, so the online monitoring product we've been working on over the last year is really going to help."

It has been working with internet intelligence company 23 Ltd, which uses software to trawl the web electronically searching for blogs that are generating significant public debate. Blogs that generate a significant number of threads and posts register on the system. Human analysis then takes place to consider issues such as how many positive and negative comments have been posted.

Mitchell told GC News: "What we're trying to do is provide a service on a more organised and widespread basis.

"If we get five or six departments to contribute via their regular subscriptions to the MMU service, then we'll be able to launch it."

About 100 blogs could be monitored in the first phase, and these will largely be specified by individual departments. Mitchell said he hoped the briefings would eventually become a daily alerts service.

Several trials have already taken place, including one directed at the "silver surfer" community, and another at debate generated from counter terrorism measures.

"We looked at an online debate among pensioners in a recent budget. The debate looked at how the budget impinged on pensioners, their council tax payments, winter fuel allowances, and so on," said Mitchell.

The MMU is also digitising its equipment to capture incoming media. This will allow it to replace a lot of VHS and DVD recording and enable faster searching and distribution of media to government officials.

It is also at an early stage in developing an electronic cuttings service to complement its regional newspaper monitoring service. This, however, has some way to go, said Mitchell, as the COI's Government News Network regional managers are concerned that such a service could jeopardise the income they gain from print cuttings.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.