UK Government shows some teeth on cyber security defences

The UK Government has finally had enough of the data breaches which have been popping up over the last 18 months, threatening businesses with a fine up to £17 million if defensive standards are not met.

New sector-specific regulators will be set up to assess the individual needs of those sectors which are deemed critical to the UK, such as energy, transport or healthcare. The National Cyber Security Centre will publish new guidelines today (January 30) which will roughly outline the rules and expectations, though businesses will be encouraged to actively engage with the newly-formed regulator.

“Today we are setting out new and robust cyber security measures to help ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to live and be online,” said Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries.

“We want our essential services and infrastructure to be primed and ready to tackle cyber-attacks and be resilient against major disruption to services. I encourage all public and private operators in these essential sectors to take action now and consult NCSC’s advice on how they can improve their cyber security.”

While the majority of data breaches do occur in the US, there are of course examples everywhere else as well, with the UK hosting its fair share. In November, shipbrokers Clarkson warned shareholders of an upcoming breach as it refused to pay a ransom to the hacker, Deloitte suffered a breach as it was believed the firm did not have two-step verification set up and BUPA suffered a leak affecting 500,000 customers on its international health insurance plan.

Moving forward, incidents would have to be reported to the regulator who would assess whether appropriate security measures were in place. These regulators will also have the power to issue legally-binding instructions to improve security, and hand out fines. A £17 million fine is certainly a deterrent, though it won’t be handed out willy-nilly. Companies which have assessed the risks adequately, taken appropriate security measures and engaged with regulators but still suffered an attack, will not face a fine.

Interestingly enough, that irritating ‘up to’ qualifier has appeared again. £17 million is the maximum fine which can be placed on an organization, but there has not been any guidance about how the amount will be assessed. The guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre will possibly offer more detail, but for the moment we’ll have to wait for the formation of the new regulators. These watchdogs might well be feisty, or they might be just another bloated government body.

Cute pug dog sleep rest in the bed, wrap with blanket and tongue sticking out in the lazy time

The digital economy is dangerous, we just haven’t figured out how

We’re all about the digital economy and if you listen to the industry leaders, you can’t go wrong. But the digital economy is incredibly dangerous, it’s just the nefarious characters haven’t figured out how to hurt you yet.

This might sound very doom and gloom, and we are by no means trying to stop people using the internet, but just because the risks are unknown does not mean they are not there. Companies like Facebook or Amazon will tell you it is completely safe, and they are sort of correct. Right now it is safe, but that is only because those clever hackers haven’t figured it out.

Back in November, Strava, a popular exercise which tracks your runs/cycles, released a heat map which revealed where people were exercising. The result is quite an interesting map, which you can have a look at here. Is this a bad thing? No, of course not. Except when dodgy characters realise that military personnel like to do exercise.

According to the Guardian, military analysts noticed the map was detailed enough to give away sensitive information on where military bases where and what the layout was. For most bases this is not the end of the world, but for overseas bases this could be an issue. In countries like Iraq or Afghanistan, where Strava users are most likely to be military personnel, the jogging routes are a bright speck in a sea of darkness.

Of course, Strava should not be blamed for this, it is an innocent accident. But there are quite a few examples of technology coming back to bite the user. How about families who post holiday pictures on Facebook only to come home and find their house has been robbed. Or that Tweet a decade ago which just cost you your dream job. Just because the internet seems safe now, doesn’t mean the euphoria of information won’t be exploited in the future.

This is part of the problem with data leaks. Right now, no-one really cares as there are no immediate financial or emotional implications. There are few examples where a human face can be put on the consequence of a data breach.

But there might be problems already. With all this information out in the public domain, there could be a fake virtual you out there. This is not causing you any problems, but how about clever hackers who have created dozens of online gambling accounts and is collecting the referral rewards or promotional bets. This is doesn’t affect you, but it is fraud.

Facebook and other social media accounts are being used to authenticate users in a variety of different ways, and all the information which is out there is making these profiles seem more genuine. The gambling example above doesn’t hurt any individual, but what about dating apps.

Someone those on the dating app might validate the authenticity of the person they are speaking to by checking out their social media profile. If this fake profile looks genuine, this could lead an individual meeting another person who might have some pretty suspect intentions. This does sound very doom and gloom, and we should not these are the extreme exceptions not the rule, but it is worth a reality check every now and then.

As a society we are quick to find the shiny new ball and start throwing it around before we figure out how high it will bounce. This is where we are right now. The digital economy is so cut-throat we are desperate to throw new ideas out into the public before it is properly stress tested. Strava had a good idea, but more thought into the possible consequences might have resulted in excluding the data from potential military zones, or removing data from active military personnel.

Some people might look at the data which has been leaked from various online platforms and services without being too bothered. And it might not hurt you right now, but that is not to say it won’t hurt you at some point in the future; the technology and the various companies are still maturing after all.

The digital society is still young which is the source of the challenge. Amazon is one of the oldest at 23, Facebook is 13, Twitter is 11, Uber is 8. These are all maturing companies, who are venturing into unexplored areas of the map; the challenges they are facing are sometimes genuinely unique and the first time they have ever been experienced. Knowing all the possible outcomes is impossible, so there will be a few scenarios which surprise even the technology geniuses.

The internet is the way forward, but like adopting a new puppy, there is always the chance it will bite you until it is fully grown. The internet companies are only talking about throwing services out the market quicker, which could increase the variety and velocity of the risks.

The most sensible answer to this would be to slow down the development cycle and apply more stress tests to any new product, but slowing down the internet is like trying to keep to stop a Welshman from getting to choir practise.

Beijing slams U.S. plan to counter Chinese ‘threat’ by nationalising 5G

Beijing has issued a response to documents revealing a plan from Trump’s administration to counter the Chinese “threat” by nationalising 5G.

The documents, obtained by news outlet Axios, argued the U.S. government should take over the deployment of a nationwide 5G network. One reason provided by the alleged Nation Security Council official is the fear of China’s advancements.

“Data is the oil of the 21’s century and China has built the world’s largest reserve,” the memo reads. “Building a nationwide secure 5G network sets the condition for future success in the information domain. Not building the network puts us at a permanent disadvantage to China in the information domain.”

5G networks will enable a range of upcoming technologies including self-driving cars, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Whoever owns the infrastructure behind 5G will have a tremendous amount of power.

The document claims Beijing is "the dominant malicious actor in the information domain," and argues the nationalisation of 5G networks would contribute to protecting US economic and cyber security from China’s threats.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said:

“Any form of cyber-attacks is forbidden in China and the Chinese authorities are tackling all forms of hacking. As we can see, the militarisation of the Internet threatens international security. We think that all members of the international community should respect each other, strengthen cooperation and dialogue, to mutually fight against cyber threats."

Earlier this month, Telecoms reported U.S. lawmakers approached AT&T and called on the operator to cut ties with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Lawmakers are said to be advising American companies that any ties to companies such as Huawei or China Mobile could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government.

What are your thoughts on the situation? Let us know in the comments.

The road to 5G – Where are we headed and when will we get there? periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, takes a big-picture look at the dawn of 5G and how it might play out.

From smartphones and tablets, to connected cars and even smart kettles, the world we are living in is becoming increasingly connected. In fact according to Gartner, by 2020, there will be almost 21 billion connected ‘things’ in use around the world. 5G is promising to be the framework for the connected world, with things, data applications, transport systems and cities seamlessly talking to one another and sharing information to improve our quality of life.

But with 5G only a few years away (and with some operators even citing 5G implementations by 2018), what will a 5G world look like? How will licensed and unlicensed technologies work together to deliver new services? How will Wi-Fi and mobile networks evolve to cope with 5G? And how will the gap in interfaces be addressed to connect different devices and across vertical industries? We’ve asked the more than 65 operators, vendors and hubs from six different continents to share exactly what it is they think will need to happen to kick-start the road to 5G, and found out from industry leaders what they think the 5G world will really look like.

What is 5G?

There has been much debate in the industry as to what 5G will actually look like, with almost every company having their own definition of 5G. While we know it will be the glue that connects everything to everyone, how do the companies that are helping to make 5G a reality see it?

For KT, 5G is about providing massive seamless connectivity for all devices, in hyper-real time speed and with low latency. This will support countless devices hitting the network and trying to gain access at the same time, as well as support various types of traffic – from Kbps to massive 3D content and holograms going through the future network.

For Cisco, “5G is far bigger than radio and transcends mobility to provide networking as a platform… Think of the enormous potential for countries, cities, venues, industries, transportation, people and all of the infinite interplay between things, people and services/applications. If we play it right 5G can live up to the hype and expectations to support and deliver new services that have not yet been invented.”

While the 5G umbrella network encompasses a virtually limitless number of verticals, when will 5G really come in to fruition?

Expectation vs reality

While most of the industry is already looking into 5G related topics, and with many believing 5G will be standardized by 2020, only a third of the industry expects to have deployments in place by this time. Operators are even less optimistic, with two thirds expecting to have 5G deployments in place by 2025.

For 5G to be successful, the industry agrees that convergence of services and technologies, virtualization and regulation of shared spectrum models are critical. For operators, virtualization is an absolute must for 5G to become a reality. Standardization is a major industry gap that needs to be addressed, along with coexistence of technologies and certification.

For Orange, 5G will not only extend and open new opportunities in vertical markets – from factories to utilities, healthcare to automotive, agriculture and cities – it will offer a consistent user experience. However, like any new generation, 5G will require significant investment from operators – and with revenues decreasing, a major challenge the industry faces is having a regulatory environment that encourages investment in connectivity.

Convergence and coexistence

More than half of the industry believes that 5G will be a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies, with an agreement that unlicensed, in some way, shape or form, will be relevant for 5G. We are predicting that Wi-Fi will be the unlicensed spectrum technology that is a significant driving force for 5G.

For Cisco, “there has never been a better time to start building the next generation 5G ready network. The market knows it, [and] our service provider customers know it as well… 5G will be as strong as its weakest link across domains: HetNet, Cloud-RAN, IP transport, mobile core, edge and orchestration, analytics, and security”.

ZTE believes that unlicensed technologies, coupled with core networks, can increase the access network capacity and benefit users’ wireless experience. Intel is very much in agreement when it comes to the convergence and coexistence of licensed and unlicensed technology – a world where everything is connected, it believes the industry needs all the spectrum it can get.

The perks of unlicensed

The industry believes that the services that are set to be improved by the use of unlicensed technologies as part of 5G are smart cities, IoT sensor networks, safety and surveillance, smart home and healthcare.

Why unlicensed? The main benefits of unlicensed technologies focus on enhanced throughput, and better cost and coverage.

Orange believes that “Network operators will need to access various spectrum resources to deliver ubiquitous services… LAA and LWA are seen as complementing licensed technologies to provide increased capacity for small cells in a variety of locations such as indoor for enterprises and public venues, and outdoor hotspots and events.”

Cisco is of a similar view, and believes that 5G is about leveraging the best access technologies in a seamless manner to stay plugged in the connective tissue of internet, with ‘seamless interoperability’ as 5G’s mantra.

Key 5G takeaways

5G is on the horizon, and the industry believes it will be a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies. Convergence of services and technologies is currently the industry hot topic, with coexistence enabling the efficiency levels seen in Wi-Fi networks. With smart cities, IoT sensor networks, safety and surveillance being the industry verticals driven by 5G, more needs to be done in terms of spectrum allocation, cost and regulation, in order arrive to make a 5G a reality.


ShrikantProfileShrikant Shenwai is the CEO and one of the founders of Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). Under his leadership, the WBA has transformed into a global industry organization with 130+ members, including leading wireless & broadband operators and technology companies who are driving the vision of a frictionless wireless service experience for Citizens, Businesses, Cities and Things. The WBA membership is strategically focussed on enabling services with next generation Wi-Fi and significant adjacent technologies to address business issues and opportunities for service providers, enterprises and cities. To drive the development of connected communities and cities, the WBA has launched specific global initiatives such as World Wi-Fi Day and the Connected City Advisory Board. An Electronics & Communication engineer by training, Shrikant Shenwai has lived and worked in Asia for many years and currently lives in Canada with his family.

Telenor considers offloading Central and Eastern Europe operations

Telenor has said it has received unsolicited interest from an unnamed organization which is interested in acquiring its Central and Eastern Europe operations.

Details are very thin on the ground right now, but considering Telenor has not been setting the world alight in recent quarterly calls, such a cash injection and an opportunity to focus more acutely on the core business might be welcomed by investors.

“With a view of creating shareholder value, Telenor has engaged in a process to evaluate the interest received. Telenor expects to conduct these assessments in the first quarter of 2018, “ the company said in a statement. “The assessment will not impact Telenor’s operations, customers or employees.”

Central and Eastern European operations have been performing relatively well in recent years, contributing 9% to total revenues. Looking at the year-on-year comparisons for the last quarter, Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia all demonstrated increases in both revenue and operating profit. As you would expect, these are markets which are notably smaller than Telenor’s Nordic playground, though any win is a good result in the present telco climate.

The approach is under consideration for the moment, and Telenor has said it will not release any additional information prior to the completion of this review.

Huawei and UnionPay tie up for global road trip

Huawei has signed a cooperation agreement with UnionPay International to add fuel to the worldwide rollout of Huawei Pay.

The partnership itself will focus on improving the experience for users, but also adapting the platform for international markets. Right now the platform is focused on the Chinese markets, but Huawei has never kept such streamlined ambitions for long with its other products, why should this be any different?

“Open sharing is an important direction for the future of the digital economy and intellectual interconnection, which is why Huawei’s end-user cloud services built an open and globalized smart mobile ecosystem for the end-user experience,” said Alex Zhang, President of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service.

“Huawei hopes to work with partners such as UnionPay International to provide more secure and convenient mobile payment services for every user of Huawei smart devices around the world.”

Huawei Pay is currently only available in China, supported by 66 banks and is compatible with 20 mobile devices, including various mobile phones and smart watches. This number is likely to increase, as are the number of users, owing to the success of Huawei in cracking new international markets. Huawei has successfully negotiated the stereotype of Chinese products being inferior, with its lofty position in the global smartphone market share ranking offering an excellent springboard for additional services.

“UnionPay International carries out extensive cooperation with various players in the payment industry to integrate the advantages of each party,” said Larry Wang, Vice President of UnionPay International. “This cooperation with Huawei is of great significance.

“Firstly, with this agreement, the two sides realize cooperation on a global scale, and issuers outside mainland China can now launch Huawei Pay Pay-as-you-go once connected to the UnionPay Mobile Service Platform, which greatly saves time and costs. Secondly, UnionPay’s innovative products are an important propeller for the business localization of the two parties, and it supports payment upgrades in more countries and regions. Thirdly, cooperation between the two giants will jointly enhance the global influence of China’s independent mobile payment apps.”

Russia will be first on Huawei Pay’s global tour, with UnionPay offering an excellent foot into the market. Currently, UnionPay bank cards are accepted at 85% of POS terminals and ATMs in Russia, while 10 Russian banks have issued about 1.3 million UnionPay bank cards to date. After Russia, the pair will continue the road through Eastern Europe.

Nokia uses it silicon secret sauce to make new ReefShark chipsets

Uniquely among major networking vendors Nokia is keen to talk-up its chip design credentials, with the latest lot designed to help base stations get with the 5G programme.

The chipset family is called ReefShark, for some reason. We guess Nokia’s marketing department thought it was time its products got sexier, tougher-sounding names. That seemed to work well for Qualcomm with Snapdragon which, despite being named after a flower, went big on the sinister giant lizard imagery in its marketing.

ReefShark actually consists of three distinct chipsets, so it’s technically a school of ReefSharks (or whatever the collective noun for sharks is – apparently a shiver of sharks is a thing, who knew?) Wikipedia says there are four main varieties of Reef Shark, so there are naming opportunities there too.

One addresses the digital front end for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO, one is a RFIC (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit) front-end module and transceiver designed to be a massive MIMO adaptive antenna solution. And the last one is a baseband processor with a compute-heavy design, aimed at supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G.

Why do we need special super-duper silicon for all this stuff? 5G of course. The digital front end is the interface between the antenna and transceiver and once 5G turns up will need to do a lot more processing to optimise the signal. The RFIC chip integrates a lot of previously discrete components, much like the SoC in a smartphone, thus generating efficiencies. Ultimately the three chipsets are collectively designed to boost both the performance and efficiency of base stations to support the massively increased scale of 5G.

Henri Tervonen, CTO of Nokia Mobile, was predictably pleased with the new chipset family. “With ReefShark, Nokia has created a clear competitive advantage. Its combination of power, intelligence and efficiency make it ideally suited to be at the heart of fast arriving 5G networks.”

The last big Nokia silicon announcement clearly happened before the shark memo was circulated, resulting in the much more prosaically-named FP4 chipset. But Nokia is doing a good job of differentiating itself from its competitors with all of this silicon talk, and we would imagine that having your own, bespoke chipset is quite a handy USP for its sales team to have at its disposal.

In a separate announcement Nokia talked up its Future X architecture for 5G, which includes all the ReefShark cleverness previously described. It looks like Future X is the broader 5G network brand for Nokia, also encompassing the Full Monty of 5G products and services. In fact here they are:

  • Nokia 5G New Radio
  • Nokia AirScale Radio Access
  • Nokia’s 5G AirScale active antennas
  • Nokia’s 5G Small Cells
  • Nokia 5G Anyhaul
  • Nokia 5G Core
  • Nokia Massive Scale Access
  • 5G Acceleration Services

“With our 5G Future X portfolio we are opening up network data and network intelligence to our customers to jointly program and tailor machine learning and automation that runs on our new silicon,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

“The Future X architecture invented by our Nokia Bell Labs research has made it possible to mix the knowledge across Nokia, between IP, Optics, RF, software and innovative in-house silicon. We now expect to be able to deliver unprecedented capabilities and efficiencies that will allow our customers to transform their service offering for 5G.”

As you can see from that bullet-list, it takes a lot of parts to make an ‘end-to-end 5G solution’ and Nokia seems to be trying to rationalise that messaging process, which is no laughing matter. We’ll leave you with a video about the new chipsets and a documentary on black tip reef sharks going about their apex predator business.


UK hits 95% broadband coverage – someone give Hancock a drink

The UK Government has announced 95% of premises within the country now have access to superfast broadband. Woohoo!

In between trips to museums, heritage sites and parties with celebrities, the UK Minister for Fun Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock has announced the milestone. Praise from the government has been heaped onto the government in particular, pointing towards initiatives to encourage superfast broadband rollouts in areas deemed less commercially attractive by operators.

“Over the last 5 years, the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has made superfast speeds a reality for more than 4.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out,” said Hancock, seemingly able to find a little bit of time between sips of martini and photo ops with Rita Ora.

“We’ve delivered on our commitment to reach 95% of homes and businesses in the UK, but there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future. We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week, and the next commitment is to making affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020.”

The Government categorises superfast broadband as a connection which is able to deliver speeds of 24 Mbps or faster. In the rural communities and those less attractive to profit-hungry telcos, these government initiatives are claimed to have 50,000 new local jobs and generating an additional £8.9 billion in turnover. No wonder Hancock spends so much time at parties, he has quite a lot to celebrate if you listen carefully.

While champagne corks and party poppers are being let off inside the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, there are a few concerned voices in the community.

“The big challenge now is to give more consumers the confidence to upgrade by making sure the pricing is competitive and to ensure customers know what services are available to their home,” said Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at

“Our research from last year found that only 57% of users believed they could access superfast services in their area and as it stands, customers currently have no meaningful way to compare side-by-side the speed of service they are getting today with what they might expect from an upgrade.”

“Although rural areas make up a large portion of the five per cent, there are many areas within major cities also struggling with broadband speeds,” said Andrew Ferguson, Editor of “Ironically, Westminster is one of those areas which finds itself behind the curve, alongside areas of Manchester, Liverpool, Bangor, Glasgow and Belfast. Clearly more needs to be done to ensure no premises are left behind as we continue on the road to a superfast Britain.”

“The digital divide goes beyond access to the internet,” Rachel Neaman, CEO, Corsham Institute. “We have known for a long time that many people still lack the basic digital skills and support networks to make the most of online opportunities.

“The pace of tech-driven change is now creating a further challenge if we want everyone, no matter where they live, to work and thrive in our digital world throughout their lives. We need to see more teaching, training and support for workers, provided by businesses and policymakers. It’s also time for more of a focus on digital education and social media awareness in schools.”

While this is certainly an encouraging statistic, it is clear the community still holds some reservations. There might be a bit of back-slapping going on at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, but this still a government team which is being closely monitored.

Paranoid, egotistical and naive – US reportedly wants to nationalise 5G network

An internal memo has found its way into the public domain unveiling White House plans to deploy a nationwide 5G network which would be paid for and built by the US government.

The idea here is simple; the government seemingly doesn’t believe the private sector is doing a good enough job in taking the US forward, so it is stepping in. 5G has been recognised as the catalyst for the next economic superpower, therefore the US must get there first.

Like Dwight Eisenhower’s efforts to build interstates or John Kennedy’s leadership in the space programme, President Donald Trump seems to believe the government has to step in. These are two examples where intervention was possibly necessary, but we think the idea of nationalising such communications infrastructure reeks of unnecessary government intervention which will only cause pain.

US companies have shown they can be immensely successful when there are profits to aim for. With the interstates and space programme, there was no obvious commercial gain for private companies so government funding and management was necessary. With 5G, the profits are there to be seen. The telcos will be better at building and monetizing these networks, so why should the cumbersome and lethargic public sector get involved. This could be a disaster.

The memo, which was first made public by Axios, outlines the mood of the government and it is basically as we all expected; China is out to get us. President Trump and his cronies seemingly believe nationalised communications infrastructure is critical in not only securing US’ position as an economic super-power, but also to make sure the sticky fingers of Chinese spies stay out of the US data vaults.

China is the main driver here, not only because it has an immense economy which only seems to be heading one direction, but because of the security threat. From the tone of the memo, the White House seems 100% convinced the Chinese state is spying on the US, while Huawei and ZTE are conscious assistants with nefarious ambitions. Of course the only option to save the American people from the Chinese is to nationalise 5G infrastructure.

The paranoia inside the White House should not come as a surprise, it has become a standard part of the script in recent months, but the inflated ego coming spilling out of the Oval Office even caught us off-guard a little. The memo indicates the belief that a nationwide network can be rolled out in three years. Despite the government not having a labour force, a domestic supply chain or a means to finance the network, 36 months is apparently enough time. The memo also highlights the need to standardize the rules and regulations in each of the states.

How the US government thinks it is will be able to tick all these boxes within three years is beyond us. Private companies would struggle to meet such a deadline for a truly nationwide network, and considering the stereotypical work ethic of the public sector, we are highly sceptical whether Trump can inspire the productivity boost. Surely there will be other areas which will be taking his attention, he has that wall to build on the south side of his garden after all.

Of course, the mentality of being the best and most qualified, despite evidence to the contrary, is a trait common among those who occupy political office, irrelevant of residence. What we find quite surprising is the naivety on display. Some might even say it goes beyond naivety; Absurdity? Ignorance? Stupidity? Why does the American government think it can convince private industry to put aside commercial ambitions in pursuit of the American dream?

Several ideas have been raised on how to finance such a network. One plan would be for the government to fund it exclusively, though another idea is to bind the carriers together in a consortium to build the network. While this sounds attractive, it would require the businesses to put aside their business models and profit ambitions, work with competitors to put the American people first. Sounds glorious, but it will never happen.

The two leading carriers in the US have been promising shareholders 5G will bring untold fortunes, the number four player desperately needs to make some money and the third-ranking player is owned by a German operator. Why does the government think it is able to convince these companies they should forgo profits in the interest of the American people. Naivety House house or outright moronic beliefs? We’ll leave that up to you.

This is of course the first murmurs of such a radical plan, and there will be backlash. Such a disruptive change to the industry will be met with considerable friction from the ecosystem, and there will be numerous commentators questioning whether this is a sensible way for the government to spend billions of the hard earned tax payers dollars.

Governments have shown on numerous occasions they are happy to stubbornly follow an agenda because of paranoia, egos or naivety. We certainly hope this more does not backfire, but we are not that confident.