Archive | September 17, 2015

The effect of WikiLeaks

In 2006 WikiLeaks started out as a small, relatively unknown platform for whistleblowers to post their materials. Now it is the most famous platform that posts both secret information as classified media from anonymous authors. The founder behind this infamous website is the former Australian hacker, Julian Assange. To set an example why leaking material would be necessary for a good government, Julian Assange compares his actions to Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon case. On the website, WikiLeaks states Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basis their work by defining the human rights of expression and receipt of information regardless of frontiers as civil rights. The website of WikiLeaks also states that they pursue  “principled leaking,” to fight government, individual and corporate corruption.

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In 2010 WikiLeaks leaked content that caused dramatically more reactions than any other previous post. Their first post was in July 2010, when they released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan. Then, on 28th of November 2010, WikiLeaks started to release the US State Department diplomatic cables.

From then on, WikiLeaks became a target of several groups and was under criminal investigation by the US attorney. Later, Julian Assange was arrested due sexual assaults in Sweden, but he was released later on. After the website published the information, several government organisations blocked WikiLeaks. At the universities in the US it was even illegal to read, print, comment on or make links to WikiLeaks.

Several organisations weren’t able to make clear statements. Their is a discussion about both pros and cons in the activities of WikiLeaks. Even activists who stand for more transparency in the media are not behind all the activities WikiLeaks perform. Not all WikiLeaks’ posts where of value, which decreased the credibility of the information. Because of the large amount of data of the diplomatic cables, it was to form an opinion about the posts.

But what is the real impact of WikiLeaks? Will the governments strengthen their security regarding their secret information and will it lead to an increase of different forms of internet censorship? Or will it go the other way around; will the space of free speech increase and will there be a positive development in transparency of public documents?


356802pb Pauline de Bruijn


Are you using an ad blocker?

Of course you are, and so am I. Online ads are on the rise and can be very annoying. Thankfully, ad blockers easily allow you to block advertisements and increase the speed of browsing. But did you ever wonder what the consequences of using ad blockers are? And what about the latest developments in this industry? This 3-minute read will get you up-to-date.

The online advertising industry

Online advertising is one of the few industries that can bend on growth rates between 15-20% each year. In the past 10 years, internet advertising has seen a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17%. Mobile internet advertising even shows a CAGR of 110% over the past 5 years.

press-release-6-11-152Graph 1: Revenues of online advertising for Q1 from 1996-2015.

The rise of ad blockers

With the rise of online advertisements, there has been a rise in the adaptation of ad blockers as well, especially in the last few years. A recent report from Adobe shows that globally around 200 million people are currently making use of ad blockers, a growth of 41% in comparison to 2014.

adblock graph

Graph 2: Global monthly active users that have an ad blocker

As we speak, ad blockers are mostly used on non-mobile devices. However, Apple’s newest iOS 9, which runs on iPad and iPhone, might change this trend. The new software update of Apple makes it possible to use ad blockers on both iPhones and iPads. Mobile ads seemed to be the future of advertising, but might stagnate due to this development.

Companies are missing money – a LOT of money

There are a lot of companies and content creators who are dependant of online ad revenues. Ad blockers are bad news for them. Some websites, among which, kindly request you to whitelist their page, in order to keep their websites running. But how big is this ad-blocking problem for these companies? According to the report of Abobe and PageFair, $22 billion(!) of ad revenue is lost due to ad blockers this year. If the increasing adaptation rate of ad blockers continues as it did in the past few years, the results for content creators and companies can be devastating – and might affect the average internet user as well.

What will the future bring us?

A decrease in ad revenues might result in less content on the web, as ad revenues won’t always enable people and companies to cover their expenses. The entry barrier to create and share quality content might rise, as revenues derived from this content will get more uncertain. A second consequence might be that there will be more places where you will need to pay to access content. Personally I can see the upside of this second consequence, as it makes us, as internet users, more picky in what and how much content we consume.

Seen from a business perspective, the increase in the usage of ad blockers might lead to a change of business model for a lot of companies; they cannot just simply rely on ad revenues anymore. In the future we might see websites with a Spotify-type of business model: view content for free if you are willing to accept ads (whitelist a website if you are using an ad blocker), or pay a subscription fee if you want ad free content.

Studies and examples such as Spotify Premium have shown that users are willing to pay for an ad-free web-environment. Would you be willing to pay, or would you rather see ads in return for free content?


My hospital is working with ‘braille’ identifying cards

Recently I went to the hospital because I had to make a x-ray of my leg. Once I arrived in the hospital I first had to make an identifying card. My first thought back then was, why should I make a identifying card? Why doesn’t every department in the hospital already have my personal information and my medical background available? While I was thinking, an old lady entered my personal information from my passport into the computer. After she was done, a very old machine started printing my identifying card.


After I got my card I walked to the x-ray department. I gave the employee my identifying card and he made a copy of it on paper with a machine. But why could my personal information that was just inserted in the system a few moments ago not be seen by this department? From an IT perspective you can say that my hospital was working very inefficient. How can a hospital where information plays such a big role, still work with this outdated system that is very susceptible to fraud?

In the last decade the adoption of digital patient records, constant new regulations, working paperless and the increasing need of information between the family doctors, insurances, patients and hospitals has grown a lot. IT spending in healthcare sector trails that of many other industries, typically 3–5% of revenue, far behind industries like financial services where closer to 10% is the norm (Bartels, 2006). There are many reasons why implementing new IT systems in the healthcare is a lot more difficult than in other sectors. Despite the growing stream of research on information security, very limited research has focused on studying information security risks in the healthcare sector. The healthcare sector is very regulated and has a different business model than all other industries (Appari, A., Johnson, E. 2010). From this we can conclude that it is pretty logical that a hospital only implements new IT systems if it is bulletproof. Not only is healthcare information shared within the hospital, but also with many stakeholders such as agencies and insurances that are involved. This makes it extra difficult to implement a new IT system. But there is also good news, the healthcare IT systems have made a lot of progress in the past years. Many hospitals around the world are currently implementing new IT systems, and I expect that my hospital will follow soon.

Is your hospital still working with this old fashioned system? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

384993cc – Oscar Chong


Appari, A., Johnson, E. (2010) ― Information security and privacy in healthcare: current state of research’, Int. J. Internet and Enterprise Management, vol. 6, no.4, pp.279-314

Bartels, A. (2006) ― “US IT Spending Benchmarks for 2006,” Forrester Research Report.

Hillestad , R., Bigelow , J., Bower, A., Girosi, F., Meili, R., Scoville, R. and Taylor, R. (2005) ― ‘Can Electronic Medical Record Systems Transform Health Care? Potential Health Benefits, Savings, and Costs’, Health Affairs, vol.24, no.5, pp.1103-1117

The Threats of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is considered to be “the next big thing”. For the ones who have never heard of it before; the Internet of Things is the network that increases machine-to-machine communication. It is built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors. The Internet of Things makes it possible for electronic objects to be controlled remotely. In simple language: every electronic device that is connected through the internet is part of the Internet of Things. Experts estimate that the Internet of Things will consist of almost 50 billion objects in 2020 (Burrus, 2014).


The Internet of Things makes life easier. For example: the navigation system in your car, controlling the temperature in your home with a smartphone-application or tracking your lost keys with a tag. However, many people do not consider the risks that come with the Internet of Things. Many manufacturers of these machines are not taking the necessary security steps that are needed to keep the devices safe. I will illustrate these risks with three examples (Brewster, 2014).

Hacking vehicles

One of the most dangerous risks of the Internet of Things is the possibility to hack vehicles. Some trucking companies use GPS tracking or ‘check-out’ systems to control access to the vehicles when they are in depots. The advantage of this is that the trucks can be retrieved when stolen. However, any wireless technology that is able to receive wireless commands, is a target for hackers. Hackers could, for example, stop the engine of a truck, which is a real threat is this truck is driving on the highway. And this threat is not just for trucks. More and more normal cars also use these technologies, while many car manufacturers do not add enough security measures.

Hacking a home

Similar threats can be found in your home. Many people use smartphone applications to turn electrical devices on and off or to control the temperature. The internet gives hackers access to these devices, which means that they can control all of them, which could cause real-world damage, possibly a fire. Also, TV’s that run the Android operating system are vulnerable to hackers. If a hacker would hack into a smart-TV, he could control the device, but also take photos if the TV has a built-in camera.


Tracking people

A device that more and more people use is a tag on your key ring, to recover your lost keys. This simple devices is connected with the internet since you can locate the keys with your smartphone. Hackers could track people with this device and, since it will send a signal 24/7, know where you are every minute of every day.


Even though the benefits of the Internet of Things are numerous, the threats of the Internet of Things are real as well. As connected devices proliferate, my hope is that they do so more safely. Manufacturers have to take the necessary security steps that are needed to keep the devices safe.

Author: Niels van der Wolf

S.I.D.: 355821


Brewster, T. (2014) There are real and present dangers around the Internet of Things, The Guardian, 20/03/2014,, last visited 17/09/2015.

Burrus, D. (2014) The Internet of Things is far bigger than anyone realizes, Wired Online Magazine, 17/11/2014,, last visited 17/09/2015., last visited 17/09/2015., last visited 17/09/2015.

3 New Ways of Applying for a Job: How the job application is going online and continuing to evolve


How job applications have changed over the last decennia. When is the last time you have applied to a job by sending a copy of your resume to the company by offline mail? We are not that generation. Our generation is the digital, online generation. On the other hand, imagine the older generation, even that generation has to adjust to the new online standard. No longer only your resume counts as representation for your job qualifications, also your social media presence can be taken into account. Is this a good thing? Currently, you can not do much without a slick resume. Some even go as far as creating a creative template, create videos or go viral by posting their resume or motivation at the Facebook page of the company.

Here are some examples of people who have done an outstanding job on marketing themselves and becoming noticed by possible future employees. It should be noted that not all of them have received a job offer. So take a good look and learn, selectively.

This girl publicly applied for a job at the Facebook page of the concerning company.


Or create your own infographic, as 22 year old Katie Briggs did. A work of art created of her own resume. 


Have you already spotted this video (link)? A very cool job done of a job application through a YouTube video. Is this not what the digital era is all about?

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These examples show that the days of good old job applications through merely your paper printed curriculum vitae are over, as well as that you have become your own personal brand. Currently, people have to market themselves in a highly competitive environment.

The digital revolution has come far and created many wonderful things, as connecting people globally by platforms as LinkedIn, Reddit and Facebook. Moreover, this is not the end. By far, this is not the end. This only seems to be the beginning. Perhaps in a few years from now we will apply for jobs not only through hearing and seeing each other, by using Skype for example, but also by touch and smell. Who knows.

What do you think is the future of job applications? Which online media are you already using for your job applications?
Author: Nini Truong (343320)