Talk:Listening to you at last: EU plans to tap cell phones

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Original reporting[edit]

Original reporting notes have been retained in userspace. See User talk:Brian McNeil/Project INDECT. Virtually all emails have been copied to, for access to any in carrying out a review, please contact me immediately. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:01, 19 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Review of revision 899387 [Passed][edit]



I'm not sure about how neutral any of your stories on Indect are Brian. It is very obvious what you think, and whether that's the right thing is a different matter, but I'm still unsure. Anyway, just my 0.02, would be interested if anyone else agrees or disagrees?   Tris   07:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This - to date - is the only Wikinews story on INDECT. I have put a lot of work into trying to keep within project grounds, so rather than trying to whistle up an angry mob, please clarify where you see specific WN:NPOV violations. No rush - I need a coulple hours more sleep. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:54, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not trying to "whistle up an angry mob", don't know where that came from? When I said about your stories, I was referring to the other stories in preparation as well. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of these encroachments, but I had to stay something wrt the story. In terms of specifics-the title in my view isn't neutral and the overall feel of the article is not neutral. I know the second point is vague, but that's because the feeling I have is relatively vague. Brian, please don't think that this is a personal attack or I have other motives, I just wanted to say something. There is no attempt to get an angry mob behind me.   Tris   11:18, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't got long now, but here's a quick example of something that I'm not too happy with-A full list of the Ethics board members is unavailable, making their suitability unassessable and distancing them from public accountability.   Tris   11:24, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I found one, Professor Petrie, and purely through someone copying her on an email response and saying her position. This information is not available online at all. Don't know who they are? Then their suitability is unassessable. Who they are is not readily available to the public? No opportunity to question their criteria or challenge their decisions? Then they are unaccountable. Those are factual findings, not POV, not judgemental on the individuals - perhaps - at a big stretch - on the way the EU is handling this. Had I put, "...looking up Professor Petries' page on York Uni. I found she specialises in use of technology for the disabled, and is thus unqualified to carry out ethical oversight on a project of this nature.". I didn't say that. That - unarguably - would be POV. If you read the same between-the-lines that's you, your interpretation. NPOV is very, very difficult in a news reporting setting. The appearance of NPOV is something sources like VOA are good at, but the writing is frequently bland.
And I know you're not looking for a posse ;-) That's part of my quick-fire response style, it was mainly in jest. The title? Not actually my idea, but it's a play on words that gives an idea of the article content without lying about it. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:10, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I accept that your description is factually correct-it's just the feeling that it gives and the underlying POV(in my eyes), which although the wording is gramatically and factually correct, gives the sense of POV. I agree NPOV is very difficult and that it often leads to dull articles, hence why most news sources aren't!, but it's not what we do. Anyway, I'm not overly bothered to make a massive deal out of it, I just thought I'd let you know my thoughts on your Indect articles. It is an excellent article in other respects I think!   Tris   17:28, 20 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have a number of concerns about this article:

  • Mainly, I'm not sure of the assertion that the EU plans to tap cell phones. I can't find it in the sources, although obviously there is a lot of material and I may have missed it. If it is there, maybe it should be signposted more clearly. The leaked report seems to be about technology for mining data sources, particularly public ones. It doesn't mention acquisition at all.
  • Besides the above, the headline seems POV. I read "Listening to you at last" as a dig at the EU's unresponsive bureaucracy. It may have a reputation for that, and that reputation may even be well deserved (I certainly think it is), but it's not directly relevant to or supported by this article.
  • 2nd para: "Extraction of Information for Crime Prevention by Combining Web Derived Knowledge and Unstructured Data" - what does this refer to? It isn't clear from the article.
    • This is, from the INDECT website, the full name for the project. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Ah, found it, it's the name of the "work package" this report was under. the wub "?!" 15:20, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 2nd section, 2nd para: "as a "threat", it would be the INDECT system's job to predict it" - this seems like unwarranted speculation
    • The system is designed to identify and predict threats, this is - to me - quite clear in the now-public documents the word threat is used, justifying putting it in quotes. Work Packet 4 involves the researchers at York taking a limited set of data, tagging and cataloguing it, and putting it in a database with a number of software tools for law enforcement use. This is done; the deliverable has been passed to Polish police. They have to see if it works, can it help them anticipate football-related violence and other crime? --Brian McNeil / talk 14:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 3rd section, 3rd para: "making their suitability unassessable and distancing them from public accountability" - I share Tris's concern about this, it's needless editorialising.
    • Well, to me, this is very important - and factually accurate. I now have evidence it's worse than that, but that's for later. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 3rd section, 4th para: "just the scenario the Project INDECT video could be portraying." - really? Does your investigative journalism often involve breaking into offices and stealing files? Perhaps a better link would be to the watermarking of digital files mentioned earlier.
    • Look again at the video. The person who takes the document is in the building in an authorised way - perhaps an employee who works there. You are calling them a thief, it is equally possible they are a whistleblower. That is often how investigative journalism works. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the whole, I do think it's a well written article, and clearly a lot of work has gone into it. And I agree, people should be concerned about these things. But, because they are such important and emotive issues, reporting them needs great care. the wub "?!" 13:29, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I took a great deal of care with this, and there are a lot of emails and other documents shared privately with the reviewer and other accredited reporters. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

german version[edit]

Please would someone be so kind and edit this article and insert an interlanguage link to the German version: (EU will Internet und Mobiltelefone anzapfen), thanks. --Wolf-Dieter (talk) 13:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done Tempodivalse [talk] 13:11, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]