29/04/2013 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Is Britain truly alert to the threat posed by cyber attacks? With Jeremy Paxman.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/04/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



We have been warned and warned again, but why isn't the Government


faking the actions it says are necessary to protect us from cyber


attack. We discover that much of the money supposedly earmarked for


cyberdefence has actually been used for cyber attack, and the rest?


is this underspend? Some people have come back and said we are


saving money for rainy day. To which my response is but we already


have a rainy day. The former Home Secretary John Reid fears we are


not fully in control of the threat. Also tonight, they are fitting bees


with rural broadband, can these tiny radio aerials tell us whether


pesticides are really responsible for decimating bee numbers.


Here in Oxfordshire people don't doubt that bees are under attack,


they are not all convinced that ban on pesticides will help.


The geeks shall inherit the earth, we will talk to the man who led


Barack Obama's mammoth internet campaign to get elected, how did he


do it? The French Government listed its


priorities for national defence today, like the Government here it


is wrestling with how to get a cork out of a pintpot. It is similar too


in its belief that a threat that simply didn't exist a generation


ago is now right near the top. Cybersecurity protecting the


communications systems and computers that make modern life


liveable was identified three years ago in this country as a key worry.


An enemy power or bunch of terrorist bombs could achieve more


with a key strokestroke than an air strike. However -- keystroke than


an air strike. However we have learned that our Government is slow


to protect the network. The information society has grown


so fast it is full of vunerabilities, cyber-crime is


estimated to have cost �27 billion last year for Britain. The number


of attacks on computer networks, over 50 billion a year, is growing


so fast that security experts are losing count. The one thing that is


absolutely sure that the threat is becoming bigger and stronger.


threat landscape has changed. We are in state of compromise. The


adversaries are here in our networks. The coalition Government


identified this threat as an urgent national priority and has tasked


spy agencies like GCHQ to respond. The In 2010 the Government promised


to put cyber-security at the centre of national defence, and to spend


�650 million doing that. Yet we have heard persistent reports that


very little has actually been achieved yet.


So is Britain any safer from cyber attack today than it was three


years ago? Some aspects of the economy and Government, critical


national infrastructure, are so important that the computers that


run them can be intensely vulnerable. Estonian cash machines,


Saudi oil terminals and a Syrian radar network have all been


disrupted by cyber attack. This is the London data centre at Telstra


Global, we house some of the world's critical logistic


infrastructure. We have infrastructure, financial services


and broad kags. One of our customers conducts about $ 7


trillion from this facility every day. For years hackers have been


stealing secrets, now there are deeper concerns. Two months ago the


Department of Homeland Security said it had tracked 23 takes on the


American gas pipeline grid. The intruders had been targeting the


type of information that would have allowed them to blow up pumping


stations and cause power cuts. threat landscape in three years has


changed a lot, now what we see is advanced threat. It is a completely


different ball game. These attacks are highly targeted, they are


highly funded, they know what they want. So they will specifically


target an organisation to do it. So typically they will be after


intellectual property, it could be to gain competitive advantage,


national security, it would be defence information or a whole


bunch of different things. So what happened to the pledge of �650


million for cyber-security. For months the answer seems to have


been very little according to one of the architects of Government


policy. You have this initial explosion of


interest, and a very high-profile for cyber, then nothing. It slowly


picked up since. But I think if I were being critical of Government


it is the leadership issue which is so important. Being clear about


what your absolute priorities are with that new money. How to spend


it. I think we are still lacking in those two areas. The Cabinet Office


in Whitehall is meant to be exercising that leadership. But


some argue they have failed to act effectively and that much of the


money pledged by the Government has A number of us have asked why is


this underspend here. Some have come back and said we are saving


money for rainy day, to which my response is we already have a rainy


day every day with cyber. Ask where leed real leadership lies


and many exports -- where real leadership lies, many say it is


here at the headquarters here at Cheltenham. The wider security


business feels the intelligence people make poor information


sharers. I'm going to talk you through a real example of an take


we saw. You can see here that I have got a high number of failed


log ins, coming from Belarus, to me that is suspicious activity.


Because we don't have locations in Belarus. At RSA they have developed


numerous computer security product. They have also come under attack


from hackers, and have chosen to share the details with others.


looks like they are trying to steal some information, perhaps that is


on a finance department server. And you can see that a lot of data is


already being moved out. It is actually going to Uzbekistan. Which


is not unusual. Typically a lot of these type of activities we see is


hosted from a third party country. Their view is that openness can


trump commercial advantage. But the sector is plaged by Government


agencies and companies that want to conceal their weaknesses.


threats that I face as a business are different to the threats that


you face as a business. Until we start collaborating and sharing


that information I won't be able to learn your perspective and neither


will you be able to learn mine. That is a critical edge that


actually doesn't cost a lot of money. We don't really need to


increase budgets a lot more to collaberate a lot more in those


specific areas. I think education around the benefits to sharing this


information and how to share it collaberatively without sharing


your competitive edge is something to focus on.


Whilst America has passed legislation saying companies must


reveal when they have been hacked, Britain hasn't followed suit.


GCHQ's central role doesn't help in the information-sharing issue


either. They are not used to GCHQ has many areas of expertise


and it is a thought leader. How it will look in five or ten years time,


I don't know, but you will see GCHQ ever more central in the process.


Perhaps beginning to own some of the policy making and some of the


strategy making. That will be a challenge for the organisation.


There is another thing about GCHQ, they, MI6 and MI5 have so far been


allocated 59% of the planned Government spending, and the


agency's primary business is $:/STARTFEED.. Many people have


told us much of the new money is being spent targeting other


country's secrets, you can argue knowledge gained doing that will


improve Britain's defences. Inevitably GCHQ will approach


cybersecurity through a certain prism, given it is an intelligence


agency. The rationale is to collect intelligence, and to be involved in


operations. So you are probably finding that quite a chunk of the


new money they were given has gone on sustaining existing capablities


for computer network exploitation or attack. They are not really


investing as much in the computer network defence element.


agencies and particularly GCHQ were developing programmes to enhance


their abilities and to get a really strong grip on global situational


awareness, and those programmes benefited very significantly from


the new funding that was made available. That's offensive?


that is not offensive that is on- going programmes. But if you are


goinging to defend effectively you have to understand the attacks that


will come in against you. So if the cybersecurity spend has


given a useful boost to the intelligence agencies, how far have


defences been improved at all? The MoD has made progress in securing


its systems, but many experts think critical infrastructure is still


wide open. There are certain industries within that critical


infrastructure who have started to grab the bull by both horns, so to


speak, and try to tackle the problem head on. Unfortunately we


are seeing other critical infrastructure organisations still


burying their heads in the sand. Maybe they see that the problem is


too big, they are never going to fix it. If you don't start


somewhere we are never going to progress. Even today, much of the


Government's cybersecurity spendinging remains uncommitted. A


good proportion of what they have spent has gone on offensive


capablities. While they stress to us that one survey put Britain top


of the G20 in cybersecurity, many feel not enough has been done yet


to defend Britain's networks. all our coverage is not as


extensive as I would hope it should be. Given the push they made on


cyber, I think the relative lack of offensive in defences is cause for


concern. Francis Maude, the cyberSecurity Minister told us


tonight: As for leaving a significant


proportion of the �650 million unat Three years ago the Government


declared cyberdefence to be a vital national priority. Yet you would


hardly think so from the scale of investment so far in protecting


this country's computer networks. With us now is the former Labour


Defence Secretary and Home Secretary Lord Reid who now chairs


the Institute for Security and resilience studies, which is a


filliated with the University College London. And also --


affiliated with the University College London, and also the author


of Cyber War Will Not Take Place. How real is the threat? It is very


real. Let's accept that the digital world, cyber, offers us


unparalleled opportunities. Everyone benefits. It is the


biggest step for mankind in terms of learning and exchange. But


because there is an interdependence, because we are all networked


together now we are all very, very vulnerable. That starts withen


vaigss of privacy, -- invasions of prif vi, then on-line fraud,


massive crime, industrial espionage, and now the possibility that people


could really undermine the operating system that is run our


critical infrastructure. national security level who is the


enemy? The enemy in a sense is our own complacency. It is potentially


anyone who wishes to either steal industrial secrets or undermine.


Are we talking about China? state-sponsored terrorism, in


state-sponsored cyberespionage there is evidence that China is


involved. Russia. Also because the cyber-world empowers three billion


people now, it is possible for individuals to do a great deal of


damage as well. Not just state- sponsored. They can get through


some of our vulnerable but critical operating systems. Do you think the


threat is real? Let's make a difference between espionage and


steal be and political activism on- line and sabotage. Sabotage we know


five or six cases on a public record, globally speaking. Great


Britain has never experienced that, espionage is different, in many


cases it is happening on a daily basis, that is where the main


threat S all of that doesn't take into account crime which is an all


together different kettle of fish. You are advocating an international


approach to this problem? I think you need a national and


international. Look, this isn't like any other problem because the


cyber-space, the Internet and digital communications are


transnational, they cover 192 countries, each with their own


types of juris prudence, some of them four or five types, all the


treaties are more or less redundant. I have been suggesting the first


thing to do is to develop what we call "doctrine", that is a series


of principle that is we set out publicly, not secretly, with other


countries in the world. Don't necessarily negotiate a treaty, but


let people know where we stand on various issues. That is starting


point. We also need to do things nationally the problem nationally


is that cyberspace is fragmented in Government. It is not just Francis


Maude, it is defence, it is Vince Cable at business and so on


involved in it. It needs an overall approach, you need a Cyber Minister


responsible to the Security Council. That is a controversial suggestion


because it is a decentralisinged problem the Government is facing.


That raises the question whether putting one person in charge of the


entire problem is actually making it more difficult to have a proper


overview because it is so decentralised, rather than


different responsibilities across the board. Let's talk about


defensive issues, we we heard the argument that GCHQ is spending a


lont the defensive side. That is speculation, we don't know how much


they are spending it. I think it is well sourced? I'm close to the


sourced and it is not on the public domain information. To be precise


there is political pressure towards GCHQ to do more on the offensive.


That is what parliament essentially said in its last committee report.


That is an interesting development. Because GCHQ, I think we have to


understand the nature of cyber- weapons, if I may. Cyber-weapons


are different from conventional weapons, if you develop a weapon


like a virus it is a one-shot weapon against a specific target.


You fire it once and you can't repeat it. GCHQ understands that.


Does this idea of resilience in an international organisation doesn't


a imply some sort of defensive capacity? Be careful with the word


"defensive" the way it was used in the report there meant that GCHQ


were trying to enhance their active intelligence, which is a different


thing. It doesn't imply that they were about to launch a cyber-attack


on anyone, it did mean they were trying to use some of the money


given to them for cyber-defence to do what they have traditionally


done which is to pick up intelligence, patterns of terrorist


contact and so on. That is one of the problems I think in getting a


comprehensive report from Government. I still think that


because it is so comprehensive, unless you get a lead minister and


I accept this is arguable, unless you get a lead minister it won't


work. Thirdly you have to put in enough money. �650 million for our


country over three years. Over three years, it is not peran number,


isn't a lot of money when split between GCHQ, Home Office and


defence. There is a big, big problem here. The Government have


done some things on it, I think we ought to be fair to GCHQ that is


trying to both do what it traditionally has done, and to


develop new methods of defending on cyber. Is there a skills shortage


here? Yes. Absolutely. In all countries, not just this country.


Sow what do you do, do you hire hackers or what? Yeah. You need a


new culture. You need a new structure. For instance the way you


recruit to the Civil Service. We have looked at people who play


within the box, who like Tom and I wear a collar and tie, wear short


hair, are good soldiers and don't question, exactly the wrong thing


for cyber. Let's look for the people who question and rebel. The


people prepared to question authority all the time. And to turn


a lot of young people who are very good at this away from the


possibility of them becoming what is called "black hat" cyber-thak


hackers. Would you let people out of prison to do it? You don't need


to do that. You need to make sure your culture and process selection


is as such that you don't demand the requirements for the past


several hundred years, but those that will equip people for the


cyber-world. Let's talk about an issue talked about in the report,


openness. After Boston and the terrorist attacks, the police and


the FBI informed the public. In the military confrontation like in


Afghanistan the British Army is informing the public. In a cyber-


security context there is no established expectation how the


Government should inform the public about what's going on. The result


of that is, that we as the public are relying on companies to report


the facts. Companies to report the statistics, these companies have an


interest in a particular version of the story. So one of the very


important things to understand is that openness, meaning the


Government, which is afterall and GCHQ which is tax-pair-funded has a


responsibility towards -- taxpayer funded has a responsibility towards


us the citizens. They have a way to go on that but more opening up to


come. The critical thing for the national infrastructure is the


private sector who have to understand how critical they are,


and share information despite competitive urges.


In a moment, they may look plentiful but bee numbers are


tumbling. Are pesticides to blame. Whose job is it to work that out.


The onus should be on those who manufacture the chemicals to show


they are safe, rather than the beekeepers trying to improve they


are unsafe. Now, it is the least favourite time


of year in most of the departments of Government. The time when nasty


People in the Treasury expect a letter setting out your plans to


make George Osborne's day by not spending so much money. There are a


few public services which have been promised protection, but every


bunch of people spending public money, even the Government catering


officials thinks their work is vital. Unfortunate low we are broke.


Who is to get what in two years time, the start of the next


administration, has set off some serious scrappinging in Whitehall.


Our political editor is here. This isn't supposed to be decided for


weeks yet, is it? I know, they have to find �11.5 billion. This has


been shadow boxing for six months or more. The last seven weeks does


feel like the deadline is approaching. In 2015 there is the


election, these cuts will loom over the election. They are intensely


political and won't be decided in a Jiffy. For that reason they are the


subject of fierce negotiations. Remind us who is ring-fenced here?


The NHS, aid and schools, not the Department for Education, but


schools as a bit within it are protected. NHS and aid it is for


both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives it is important to


them. Particularly for the Tories it is about rebranding themselves.


Schools is about a time they are cutting elsewhere they are


reinvesting in young people. The problem is, in my opinion, watching


this closely over the last six months what we have had emerge are


these inprompt tu ring-fences around welfare. The Lib Dems are


saying you can't touch that, not on your Nelly. The Tories saying you


can't touch defence. When you have these two massive monoliths emerge,


people start to reevaluate and say what do we go back, to schools


which is what I'm told is on the table. The FT is saying there is a


massive, four cabinet ministers saying to the Treasury you can


touch the NHS afterall. There is a respectful case to be made for


cutting schools. I have talked to lots of Labour sources, not lots


but serious ones who say that they would do that going into Government.


It is not actually as baermy as it sounds. But today the -- barmy as


it sounds, today the Prime Minister said he won't touch the NHS or


pensioner benefits but I didn't mention schools.


We are joined to discuss this by Matthew tailor chief executive of


the RSA, he was chief policy adviser during the Government. And


Rick From the polling company. think this is an example of good


politics made bad policy. I can see why politicians felt the need to


make these policies. But in a situation like this you need to


make choices based on the merits of the case rather than the basis of a


commitment you made two or three years ago. The consequence of too


much ring-fencing is certain small items are cut to the point where


they will stop existing, Legal Aid and youth services are examples of


that. The other consequence is in the end people blai games. Little


bits of social care spending are funded out of health. What happens


is valuable time in Whitehall ought to be used spending policies and


supporting stupid promises politicians have made. The promises


are made when politicians are asking for our votes f politicians


start breaking an agreement or an undertaking, not to take money from


schools, or from international development or whatever it was, you


can understand that? They also tend to be made by politicians in


opposition. The two headlines for the stories were ring-fencing the


NHS budget, ring-fencing international development as part


of a reassurance exer size in the run up to the 2010 general election.


Nobody would find now if international development was cut


now? International development on the one hand is very, very popular


as a candidate for cutting, if you have to cut anything with the


public. About four out of five people are in favour of ring-


fencing the health service, only four in 100 are in favour ring-


fencing the aid budget. If the stories got rid of it, everyone


would scream that it was the death of compassionate Conservatism and


David Cameron modernising the Conservative Party. If you look at


the other pledges being made it might get us away from the idea


that the way politicians rebuild trust is tie their hands in the


future. If you saw someone with a padlock on their wallet you


wouldn't say they were wise with money but they had a problem. This


is going on for years, Labour's golden rules and the Office of


Budget Responsibility is another people. All a way for the


politicians saying to the public you don't trust us so we will tie


ourselves up, I don't think it works. It gives you little room for


manoeuvre, if you come into Government and most of the budget


is already supposedly ring-fenced? This is not a new problem. Margaret


Thatcher, one the first thing she did during the 197 9jx campaign was


to say she would impli -- 1979 campaign was to implement the


policies just before the recession. There is difference between policy


and swathes of Government. Blair or Brown said they wouldn't


increase the top rate of income tax, a pledge they stuck to for more


than a decade. And introduced lots of other taxes because of that.


point is, I think, if you have a political problem the temptation is


to come up with a headline policy you think will cut through and


communicate with the public and say you can trust us with the health


service, or other a different kind of heart. When the rubber hits the


road your options are -- party of. When the rubber hits the road your


options are there. How can you be as convincing as possible with the


voters, while at the same time tying your hands to the minimum


agreement. What we did have was economic policy and fiscal policy


is policy made on current circumstances. We are talking about


decisions to be implemented after the next election. That means that


the ground in that election, because more commitments have been


made between now and then, the ground to be fought over in that


election will be very, very narrow, won't it? It will, and the danger


is, we had it at the last election but it is even more pressure on the


politicians in their debate to rule almost everything out. You get to


the point when you say what is the point to choose which party to


elect. They have ruled out any possibility of action. I wonder


whether the electorate is get to go the stage where if a politician


would say the outcomes you want is a well-run and better public


services, these are my immediate policies, but I'm not going to say


where we will be in two or three years time, nobody knows. I think


you would be a very, very brave political leader to do that. If you


were the Conservative Party you would want Ed Balls and Ed Miliband


to say, just trust us, we are not binding ourselves to anything going


into the next election. Thank you very much. Saint Alan


Titchmarsh came among his disciples this evening, wailing loudly that


gardening might not have a future. He seems to think it is because


young people are more interested in computers than composting. The


European Union believes there may be a bigger menace, not just


gardening and agriculture but all of you us. They are introducing a


moratorium on the use of some pesticides because of a


catastrophic drop in the bee population, which without these


nothing pollenates. After a long, cold winter, out in our countryside


the bees are finally waking up. For beekeepers, it is their first


opportunity to stock up with newbies. And they came from across


England to this supplier in Oxfordshire today ego Tory chat


about the future of our bees and to make sure they got the pick of this


year's specimens. She is a lifrpb colour and longer. Bees and other


insects are global to food protection, they pollenate about


three-quarters of our crops. Falling numbers have been blamed on


disease and loss of habitat. As well as a group of insecticides


called neonicotinoid. This man is Ukrainian by birth, beekeeping is


in his blood. He has been selling bees in Banbury for four years, he


has managed to keep livestock losses to 10%. There is an


indication of some syndrome somewhere. Maybe not pesticides,


maybe husbandry, maybe not proper management, maybe something else. I


believe we need to do more research into it, to actually find what is


causing the big losses. Those who support a ban on neonicotinoids,


point to a growing evidence that they can affect bee behaviour.


Evidence has shown that the colonies are growing more slowly


and have trouble bringing food back. This impacts the numbers of Queens


produced and colony survival. The individual brain, bee and colony


level there is clear evidence of the impact on the neonicotinoids,


this doesn't prove they are the cause bee decline or pollination


decline generally, but it is a clear negative impact and one we


should try to live out. In Britain today they voted against a ban, but


E United States were split. They imposed a temporary restriction on


insecticides for two years beginning September. The ban covers


two types of neonicotinoids, covering two chemical companies.


is a sad day for UK agriculture, we will see farmers being more and


more restrict today what they can use to grow the safe, high-quality


affordable food we expect in the UK. We are seeing more and more this


shift towards what I consider to be a museum agriculture approach in


Europe. And all, unfortunately, without any discernable improvement


to bee health. For zombie keepers this puts the burp in the right


place, -- burden of proof in the right place? They are looking


through the wrong end of the telescope, it should be up to those


who manufacture the chemicals to prove they are safe, rather than


the beekeepers proving they aren't safe. People here don't doubt our


bees are under attack, they are not convince add ban on pesticides will


help. It comes down to how big a risk we are prepared to take this


she is vaital crop pollenators. Every year the beekeepers


association collects information about the percentage of losses in


bee colonies. Following a huge loss over the winter of 2007-08 of 31%.


Subsequent years saw improvements, in 2008/09 it was 19%, and 18% over


the winter of 2009-10, then another improvement with colony losses of


close to 14% in 2010-11, a slight increase in losses to just over 16%


in 2011-12. Figures for our latest protracted winter are not yesterday


available. There seems a -- yesterday veilable. Kept bees are


only part of the picture, wild bee numbers are less clear. Here at the


agricultural research centre skiens plan to tag bees with tiny --


scientists plan to tag bees with tiny radio aerials to track their


movements by radar. There are many problems and factors with the bow


problem, there is the mites, and the insects they carry, there are


climate conditions and all sorts of other factors. I worry that people


will now think we have solved it because we have taken out one


factor from what is a very complicated equation. Passionate


protests in London on Friday were trying to shift the Government's


anti-ban stance. They didn't do that. The protestors will be he is


celebrating the decision by Europe as victory if only tempry It is not


what it is best for the bees, and the bees are most important. With


us now is George Freeman who advises the Government on life


sciences, and Heidi Hermann of the natural beekeepinging trust. Why do


we care so much about bees? Because we know in our hearts how wonderful


they are. How important they are, and how we can ill-afford to lose


them. Most people know that. there is a problem, isn't there?


There is a problem, as your film made very clear it is a complex


problem. There are hundreds of species of bees, some doing well


and some struggling. Nobody wants to use more chemicals, the farming


industry keen to get off chemical agriculture. We need field trials,


the need for study is how it works out in the feel. We and ten other


countries in Europe today were calling for field trials across the


country. There were 15 other countries who thought there should


be a an immediate ban? Jo it was a split vote, it wasn't Britain


against the rest of the countries? I didn't suggest it is, I was


trying to figure out the Government's position on the issue?


The Government's position is clear, it should be based on science. The


two scientist here and research that has been done has not shown


that the neonicotinoids are the cause of the collapse in bee


numbers which the film showed is getting less bad. There is a number


of factors, habitats, development and climate change. They are not


good for bees? Nobody wants agriculture dependant on chemicals,


we want to move away from that to a more biological system. Owen


Paterson, the Secretary of State, is very keen on garotteing


squirrels on a precautionary principle. On a precautionary


principle shouldn't he ban this poison? We need policy to be driven


by science. The problem is the commission has bottled it, in the


face of substantial lobbying from the green NGOs it has been banned a


class of chemicals. There is no impact on the environment bucks we


know food prices will go up. It sends a message that Europe is


against agriculture. I admire your attempts to defend Government


policy. It is clear that the policy of the British Government on this


neonicotinoid issue is crass. 1.2 million hectares in this country


under cultivation with neonicotinoids, all of them killing


insect life in all its forms. And to say for definite that we deeply


care about the health of the honey bee, and we will follow science, we


are waiting for the right science, is just not good enough. I think


the population is now catching up with that disparity of that


position. It is a very dangerous precedent today, if you don't base


it on science, you send a message out that anyone who lobbies hard


gets their way. The danger is we base it not on science. You are


claiming the evidence isn't there and we have to wait for the science.


Your own Government had an Environmental Audit Committee and


it made clear recommendations in relation to the precautionary


principle needing to be introduced urgently in order to save the


wildlife of the country. The chief scientist, new in post, has come


out and said he thinks it is a mistake. Are you going to suggest


that because he's new he is better. The scientist who led the research


has pointed out field study is what we need. We need to look at the


effect of the chemicals out in real agriculture in field studies across


Europe. There are scientist who is think it should be banned? This


isn't against scientific advice, the Government is acting on the


basis of the advice available. totally disagree with that.


Wouldn't you like to ban all insecticides? Yes, but that doesn't


mean we don't applaud today's decision. It is a step in the right


direction, it is not the whole solution. You say three cheers for


the undemocratic part of the EU? Absolutely. Takes us back to the


dark ages, food prices rising, Europe in the slow lane. Why are


you saying that? The world needs to double food production in the next


30 years, we need to increase the amount of money we grow without


chopping down rainforests and less inputs. We need science. That will


get us out of it. The anti-science approach will take us back to the


dark ages. Scientific beekeeping has been practised in the last 300


years and appears to have brought the honey bee to its knees.


Traditional beekeeping before science had flourishing bee colony.


When you look at the state of the environment today and say we have


brought the environment to the planet to the brink of collapse,


maybe there is something wrong with that science. Maybe there are other


forms of science and other ways of looking at things. No accept we


have brought the planet to the brink of collapse. Mankind is an


extraordinary journey of development, we have risen


standards of living across the world. We have a huge challenge.


The force of science and human innovation and optimisim and


progress will see us through. That we need policy based on science.


Thank you very much. Time now for the facial hair of the day spot.


He's called Harper Reed and he calls himself with characteristic


underestimate probably one of the coolest guys ever. Actually he has


done something rather interesting, Harper Reed was the head of


technology for President Obama's re-election team. It became famous


for building the most sophisticated voter tracking database ever seen


in a US presidential election. By using information from social


networks, television viewing habits and personal donation histories it


was able to microtarget individual voters, sending them millions of


personalised e-mails and Twitter messages each day. It worked,


obviously. He's with us now. You are not a politician by background?


No, not at all. You certainly don't look like a politician? I in theed


that! What attracted you to it then? There is this aspect of


problem. I think engineers are often looking for the most


important or interesting problem set. When I first was recruited the


problems that were described were very attractive. You don't often as


an engineer get this opportunity to do something that is so big.


you just summarise the problem in words we can understand? I will


make an effort. So the problem that we set out to do we set tout figure


out a way to contact -- out a way to contact all the correct voters


who make sure they voted for the President. That is to simplify it.


How do we take all the data people are giving us through our e-mail


list and fundraising and make sure we are reaching out in the correct


way. You were also playing into that what you could find out from


social media, what television programmes they watched and all the


rest of it? None of the television stuff. We did a bit where we built


technology that looked at what all people were looking at, the


aggregate data. It wasn't so specific, we didn't know what you


Jeremy were watching it. The point being you could precisely target


messages to everybody? That is the idea. It obviously worked? There is


the pd. But the bigger idea is we wanted to make sure we were


efficient in our movements. I'm not familiar with campaigns in the UK,


but in the US it is all about the resores. Its about who has the most


money, volunteers and boots on the ground. We wanted to make sure


these very valuable people doing the hardest work were able to do it


very efficiently. This is a big sea change in the way politics are


conducted. I think that it is not so much a change as much as I would


say, we like to call it as a "force multiplier". What do you mean?


Politics hasn't changed ts knocking on doors, sending mail and


telephone calls. Those are the same organising techniques used for


years in the US. What we did was make all of those things, twice,


three-times, four-times as efficient. The idea was if we had a


volunteer knocking on doors, that volunteer could do the same time


but twice as much work. But making sure the contacts and the people


they are talking to are the right people. Did you find anything at


all creepy or sinister about the fact that you were learning so much


about people? Well, you know the good thing was all of the data,


predominantly all of the data was really given to us by the same


people that we were looking at. So the volunteer, knocking on a door,


having that conversation, and using that conversation to make sure we


weren't wasting people's time. I don't think it was creepy. I think


it was just helping us do our job and making sure we were re-electing


the President. There is a thin line between targeting the message very


precisely and changing the message, formulating policy? There is a


nuance here I would like to insert. That is the goal here was to listen.


The goal here was to use that targeting, reach out there and make


sure we could have that conversation with the person. It


was also, of course, used in some cases, not the targeting but the an


litics and data to make sure we were doing the right work. For the


most part people saying this stuff is creepy, it is very much what


businesses are doing. Doesn't mean it is not creepy? That is why I


wanted to throw that over. There it is more so the idea was how do we


get the conversation closer to the user. Or closer to the voter or


that constituent? Do you get a feeling that guys like you, I don't


mean with your facial hair, but guys with your set of skills and


interests are going to take over politics? I don't know about take


over. I'm a little concerned that the focus on just getting tech for


tech's sake. I do think there is not a business out there, politics,


marketing, commerce, that doesn't require in this day and age a lot


of technology. So I think in the US it just turned out that politics


was no different. Thank you very much Tomorrow morning's front pages


as was mentioned the story of the public sector spending round is on


the front page of the Financial We have been putting up the wrong


pictures, sorry. At least it is today's or tomorrow's. We will


leave you with comfort for all of us who have had to put up with that


perpetual childhood moan, it is not fair. It is evidently hard wired,


as the primatologist, Frans De Waal, showed to a recent conference. And


he has cucumber and grapes to prove it T his monkeys had to hand over a


rock to get a reLuiz Eduardo. gives a rock to us, that is the


task and we give her a piece of cucumber, the other one needs to


give a rock to us, and that's what she does, she gets a grape. She


eats it, the other one sees it and gives the rock to us and gets again


Over the next couple of days a split in the weather further south,


sunshine to the north a bit more cloud. We will see cloud increasing


through on Tuesday. Still one or two showers around, not as many as


we had on Monday, not as intense. One or two scattered around across


parts of Northern Ireland. Temperatures at 12. Still perhaps a


few showers for parts of Scotland where temperatures just getting


into double figures through the central lowlands. Inbetween the


showers many places will be dry, fine and bright. We have got


sunshine in Manchester. 12 the top temperature. One or two showers


scattered across the Midland and into East Anglia. With the sunshine


to the south we are looking at temperatures up to around 14


degrees. Many southern counties of England will stay dry all day long.


With lighter winds across south- west England, it will feel warmer


than it did on Monday. Maybe one or two showers for parts of Wales.


Sunny spells and temperatures in Cardiff at 12 degrees. While a lot


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the headlines. Is Britain truly alert to the threat posed by cyber attacks? With Jeremy Paxman.

Download Subtitles