Archive for January, 2009

Semantic Web and Policy

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Elsevier has made the January 2009 Journal of Web Semantics special issue on the Semantic Web and Policy our new sample issue, which means that its paper are freely available online until a new sample issue is selected. The special issue editors, Lalana Kagal, Tim Berners-Lee and James Hendler wrote in the introduction:

“As Semantic Web technologies mature and become more accepted by researchers and developers alike, the widespread growth of the Semantic Web seems inevitable. However, this growth is currently hampered by the lack of well-defined security protocols and specifications. Though the Web does include fairly robust security mechanisms, they do not translate appropriately to the Semantic Web as they do not support autonomous machine access to data and resources and usually require some kind of human input. Also, the ease of retrieval and aggregation of distributed information made possible by the Semantic Web raises privacy questions as it is not always possible to prevent misuse of sensitive information. In order to realize it’s full potential as a powerful distributed model for publishing, utilizing, and extending information, it is important to develop security and privacy mechanisms for the Semantic Web. Policy frameworks built around machine-understandable policy languages, with their promise of flexibility, expressivity and automatable enforcement appear to be the obvious choice.

It is clear that these two technologies – Semantic Web and Policy – complement each other and together will give rise to security infrastructures that provide more flexible management, are able to accommodate heterogeneous information, have improved communication, and are able to dynamically adapt to variations in the environment. These infrastructures could be used for a wide spectrum of applications ranging from network management, quality of information, to security, privacy and trust. This special issue of the Journal of Web Semantics is focused on the impact of Semantic Web technologies on policy management, and the specification, analysis and application of these Semantic Web-based policy frameworks.”

In addition to the editors’ Introduction, the special issue includes five papers:

DHS to mine social media for terrorism relatated data

Monday, January 5th, 2009

USA Today reports (Feds may mine blogs for terrorism clues) that the US Department of Homeland Security wants to use data-mining technology to search blogs and Internet message boards to find those used by terrorists to plan attacks.

“Blogging and message boards have played a substantial role in allowing communication among those who would do the United States harm,” DHS said in a recent notice.

Julian Sanchez notes on Ars Technica that the story is not new.

“The story is actually pegged to a Sources Sought Notice posted by the Department of Homeland Security back in October. Our colleagues at Wired reported on it at the time.”

Ravi Sandhu elected AAAS fellow

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Ravi Sandhu (University of Texas at San Antonio was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sandhu, professor and Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair in Cyber Security, serves as the executive director for UTSA’s Institute for Cyber Security. Ravi’s election cites him for “distinguished contributions to cyber security, including seminal role-based access control and usage control models, and for professional leadership in research journals and conferences.” The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science.