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Random Thoughts On Piracy Summit (I have to talk about guns a little ;) May 1, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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In reflecting upon the Piracy Europe even in Hamburg that I attended last week, I was struck by a few things that were said and proposed.   The speakers were generally very good although the material is getting a bit old at this point.  With piracy at near 2007 levels, security vendors are scrambling to convince shipping companies that they are still needed.  Selling on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) seems to be the new way of business development.

With regard to the security vendors, there appeared to be two distinct perspectives on how to stop pirates.  Neither seemed appropriate.  One company had a rep get up and show a picture of himself with a Barrett .50 cal SASR (special application scoped rifle) (shown in the pic above with the very skilled, handsome and smart USMC Sniper..yeah its me).  The intimation was that if you have larger guns, you have more ‘firepower’ and thus better security.  This is a very simplistic way of thinking about security and demonstrates one of the challenges of maritime security.  Security is not about technology…it is about people, strategies, and tactics.  Tools (such as weapons) are useful but only if employed correctly.  You can read the whitepaper “weapons and tactics in the prevention of piracy” here. This “goons with guns” approach was not well received and quite frankly, I felt it perpetuated what the attendees think of American security…knuckle-dragging, goons with guns. Blackwater is alive and well in the minds of most of those who attended the event. (more…)

SAMI Accredidation?…Check before you believe… April 30, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Laws and Leglslation, Piracy & Maritime Security.
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I am recently back from speaking an an anti-piracy event in Hamburg, Germany.  Overall, it was a good conference but I was struck by one particular company that was strongly advertising that they were SAMI Accredited.  I thought this claim merited some investigation and it would allow me to understand what, exactly, it means to be SAMI Accredited. First…here is the list of accredited PSMCs through SAMI. The Security Administration for the Maritime Industry or SAMI is a: a global organisation representing companies working in maritime security and related industries. SAMI has introduced a level of compliance and scrutiny to ensure that the maritime industry can easily identify reputable private maritime security companies. SAMI provides reassurance, guidance, and minimum quality and standards in the delivery of maritime security where none has existed before. The SAMI Standard has been established as the international benchmark for standards within the industry. The Association is an international non -governmental organisation (NGO), which exists to facilitate clear dialogue and a common standards framework in the delivery of maritime security products to the shipping community.”  As a membership organization anyone that is a signatory on the ICOC can join SAMI as a ‘member’.  This does not mean you are accredited.  After joining SAMI a company may then volunteer to participate in the 3 step SAMI Accreditation Programme.  According to the SAMI website: (more…)

UPDATE: Copying of GlobalRiskInfo Blog (and others) April 24, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, InfoSec & Privacy, Piracy & Maritime Security.
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2nd UPDATE: lT appears that the company  read my blog and has now (after April 24th) included sources to a few of their posts. Interestingly, the AKE post still does not have AKE’ information included.  I also welcome them to add my own blog to their list of references.  Here is a link to Dr. Heather Mark’s post on her experience with plagiarism.

UPDATE: Curiosity got the best of me so I started checking the other blog posts.  I should be grateful that the company did not simply cut and past my content.  Here are other “borrowed items”.  It is a disgrace when a company cannot do their own work.  At a minimum, writers are required to cite their sources and give attribution.  The absence of even a mention of where the content originated is, in my opinion, intended to cause the reader to assume it is original work.

April 11th, 2012 Post- “Pirates Demand Dh11M to Free Hostages” is a direct cut and paste of The National.ae post of the same name.

April 9th, 2012 Post- “Somali Pirates hijack Vessel with 17 on Board” is a direct cut and paste of an MSNBC.com article of the same name that originally was published on Indiatoday.

The most glaring of these actions can be seen in the post titled: “Somali Pirate Activity Reaches 15 Month High”.  This was originally an article of the same name published by Bloomberg where the information was provided by Intelligence Company AKE who also provides Maritime Security.  The article was copied verbatim with all references to AKE removed.  The intent is clear.

It is pointless to review any further.

 ORIGINAL Few things frustrate a writer more than someone using their work without attribution.  Today a company introduced new blog with numerous posts dated from Jan 2012-April 2012 .  In reviewing the blog, it certainly appears that the company has done little more than “borrow” my own work and not provide attribution to me..the originating author.

Of 15 posts, fully 1/3 appear to be  summaries of my own work.   Maybe I should be flattered?  Maybe the company is simply acknowledging my expertise over their own. Feel free to read the articles and decide…(each of the GlobalRiskInfo posts predate the summarized posts) (more…)

Nexus Security Calls for Investigation into Maritime Pirate Shooting April 20, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security, Uncategorized, weapons and tactics.
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In a recent press release, Nexus Consulting Group’s Founder and President calls for the recently released video of armed security firing on pirates to be investigated.   You can view the video here.  It appears to be an American company firing on a Somali boat.  As stated by Mr. Doherty:  “As president of Nexus Consulting, a leading provider of armed security teams in the defense of mariners against Somali pirates, I would like to personally note that though we are operating quite regularly conducting anti-piracy missions, the team in this video is not a Nexus team,”  Nexus also provides some valuable vetting questions for those considering maritime security. (more…)

Geopolitical Context of Piracy; Dr. Heather Mark April 18, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security.
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Since I am traveling to Hamburg this week for a piracy event (pirates like “ARGHH MATEY!” type)…not software pirates….to provide my readers with some piracy info, I am publishing the whitepaper:  “The Geopolitical Context of Piracy” by the illustrious Dr. Heather Mark.  This paper has an interesting history.  At one point the paper was ‘borrowed’ by a person who proceeded to publish the paper as four articles which he attributed authorship to himself.  Plagiarism is alive in 2012 😉  Fortunately, the organization who published the articles recognized something was amiss and contacted Heather.  Please read the paper….good info…No doubt the person who “borrowed” the paper will try to once again pass it off as his own as the event…

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