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Chris Speaking at Piracy Week Hamburg- April 23-26, 2012 April 17, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, InfoSec & Privacy, Piracy & Maritime Security.
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I am off to Hamburg, Germany next week to speak at the 11th Annual Combating Piracy event sponsored by Hanson Wade.  If you are in Germany, come by.  Hanson Wade puts on some great events.  I am speaking for Guardian Maritime Security on the topic of CyberSecurity in the Maritime Industry.  Last year I spoke on deterrence theory and the Value of armed guards in the protection of vessels.   Protection Vessels International (PVI) will be giving an update on the Evolving and Complex Tactics of Pirates.

As usual, some company will speak on “selecting a security vendor” in an attempt to win business.  I would think for 4K Euros people would expect to hear more than a sales pitch from a struggling company…but…I digress.

I am actually excited about attending to catch up with some friends, talk to new clients and most importantly…eat at Subway. That’s right..there is a Subway sandwich store in Hamburg, Germany!  Many people are unaware that Marine Corps Snipers and Subway have a long history together.

I may be taking a short hiatus while in Germany but will get back to writing as soon as I return.

Published Articles: – “Geopolitical Context of Piracy” February 24, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, Uncategorized.
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UPDATE:  The company that published the articles contacted Heather and has agreed to pull the articles off their website.  This is good news and shows that the copany is interested in ensuring their readers get original work from the original author.   In an interesting twist, the company representative stated that, when asked, the party who submitted the articles stated “unequivocally” that it was their work.  Considering that the company pulled the articles, Heather has a PhD and background in defense, and political economy, and has published over 100 articles, scores of whitepapers, research briefs and other material as well as possessing the original whitepaper from which it was taken, I think the readers are savvy enough to know the actual author of the work.  It certainly seems unlikely that a person who has never published a single article or other document would embark on something as complex as: “the Geopolitical Context of Piracy” for their first foray into writing.

Two years ago my wife, Dr. Heather Mark wrote a whitepaper on the Geopolitical Context of Piracy that has since been broken into its component sections and published verbatim as 4 different articles without any form of attribution to her.  She was contacted by the organization that published the articles today to ask about her work and attribution.  To assuage any concerns that it is indeed her sole work and not anybody else’s work here is a copy of the whitepaper. “Understanding Modern Piracy; Geopolitical and Regulatory Considerations”….the first section is titled: “Geopolitical Considerations”, the next section is titled: “Current Anti-Piracy Efforts”.  Heather is a brilliant person and a tremendous righter writer (thanks to Heather’ brother Bill for pointing this out;).  There are times that I certainly would like to “borrow” her work and claim it as my own.  I would certainly appear smarter and more informed than I actually am.  As professional writers (yup, we actually get paid to write;) it is disturbing when someone uses your work without attribution.

Kudos to the company for maintaining the integrity of its service and evaluating the content and writers.

Egypt States Position on Armed Guards and Weapons February 22, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, weapons and tactics.
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UK P&I Club released a bulletin that outlines Egypt’s position on armed guards and weapons within Egypt and its waters.  Below are the salient points of the letter received from the Egyptian Government:

“1) The Egyptian Government forbids the presence of any Weapons / Armed Guards on
board of commercial vessels as per the rules and regulations of the International Maritime Organization. (more…)

Security 101: “You don’t have to out run a bear…just your friends” February 22, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in InfoSec & Privacy, Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management, weapons and tactics.
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Yesterday MSNBC had a story that discussed the “arms race” between Somali pirates and shipping companies.  The article discussed the increasing violence of the pirates.  While this should come as no surprise to anyone, it is a single statement that caught my attention. “Greater use of private armed security guards on ships and a much tougher approach by international navies is beginning to work, some… say. (more…)

“Lipstick on a Pig”- Vetting Armed Security Part 3 February 21, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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The recent event where Italian military personnel killed “suspected pirates” off the coast of India should provide an exclamation point to shipping companies on the need to carefully evaluate the armed security protecting their vessels.  While military personnel were involved in this particular incident, it is simply a matter of time before private military contractors make the same mistake.  This post is part 3 of a series of posts on vetting companies.  You can read the previous posts here and here.

One of the tactics being employed by many companies within the maritime security arena, and especially those with little experience, is to promote the fact that they are “ICOC signatories” as evidence of their professionalism and expertise.  While there is little debate that the ICOC is a step in the right direction toward gaining some form of control over a growing industry, the ICOC is NOT and should NOT be viewed as anything more than what it is. Using the ICOC as any basis of evaluation of a security company is both dangerous and short sighted.  All companies should be signatories of the ICOC.  That being said, the ICOC is not intended to be a governance document or standard.  The purpose of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies (ICOC PSC) is to: (more…)

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