UK Intelligence Gathering

Around the Web – The Reform Of GCHQ And UK Intelligence Gathering

Linkilaw Business News

It’s been an interesting (and busy) week across the web. Read on, as we delve into communications surveillance reform, social impact investing, the new July 2015’s budget cuts and business incentives from the Office for Budget Responsibility, along with a story from another successful UK small business entrepreneur.

Mass Surveillance: My Part In The Reform Of GCHQ And UK Intelligence Gathering

Journalist Heather Brooke recounts her sit-down with Internet executives, former security chiefs and an ex-minister, a moral philosopher, and a government historian – to name a few. The intention of the panel was to create a set of recommendations for reforming UK communications surveillance.

The independent review was undertaken by RUSI (the Royal United Services Institute) at the request of the Deputy Prime Minister as a response to disclosures made by Edward Snowden in 2013.

Brooke’s summation is telling: “It is unrealistic for the intelligence agencies and some specialist parts of the police service to operate in very transparent ways. They could not be effective if they did. They should, however, be rigorously and independently held accountable, and the oversight mechanisms must themselves be highly transparent to the public.”

You might want to have a look at this week’s post on email disclaimers as well, discussing another aspect of Internet security important to business owners.

Entrepreneurs: Fledgling Stock Market Aims To Have A Positive Impact On The Investing Public

Author Russell Lynch interviews Tomas Carruthers, chief executive for his latest venture, the Social Stock Exchange (SSX). And, he is on a mission to bring ‘businesses with positive social and environmental impact, to an investing public.’ The 47 year old entrepreneur has made 3 fortunes, so far. Not a bad track record. And now, he ‘wants to see social investing go mainstream, so normal people can play.’

Impact investing means (to Carruthers) that you care as much about society and the planet as you do about making a financial return on the capital you invest. He wants a stock exchange with a social conscious, in which investments can change hands “among the likes of you and me.” To wit, those who want to issue stock on the SSX must evidence a purpose of making those types of impact.

July Budget 2015: George Osborne Cuts Corporation Tax And Bank Levy As He Tells Firms “Britain Is Open For business”

Chancellor George Osborne has ‘made his case for keeping large corporations in the UK.’ Author Emma Haslett explains that Osborne has reduced corporation tax to 18%, while promising to reduce the bank levy over the next six years. He’s also hiked the minimum wage, projected to reach £9 by 2020 saying that, “Britain deserves a payrise.” Other highlights of the new budget include reductions in National Insurance contributions for smaller firms, and confirms plans to budget £750m for the HMRC’s pursuit of tax evaders.

Another commentary, by Matthew Hancock (Minister of the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General) relates that overall, the budget seems intent on vigorously supporting job creation, while making sure the 1000 new jobs created each day also pay well. “All of this has a purpose. To switch Britain from a high tax, high welfare, low wage economy, to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society. And in so doing to spread recovery to all parts of society, and help Britain become the most prosperous major nation on earth within a generation. That is a realistic goal and a noble cause.”

Meet James Layfield, CEO of Central Working!

As part of the study by Zipcar, known as The Smarter Business Blueprint, this video describes the success of one entrepreneur making a difference in the way post-recession freelancers work. Layfield saw a demand, and banked everything he could scrape together to build an inviting club where entrepreneurs can work, interact and evolve their businesses.

His secret to success: “We spotted and harnessed a tipping point. Millions of people are becoming entrepreneurial, through choice or necessity, and they are discovering that they need somewhere to work where they can get a lot of love and support.”

For more on this subject, check out our new post exploring why sharing business resources makes sense!

In Closing…

As you know, laws are continually revised to meet society’s needs. It’s not a bad thing, any more than it is to revisit and adjust your company’s future outlook occasionally. To succeed, in life as well as business, we must be able to adapt to our circumstances. At times we might be the precursor of that transition, and other times we must follow. Either way, it’s certain that change is a never-ending constant in all of our lives.

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