data protectionThe Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) recently doubled its budget, and is busy hiring and building capability.  It’s an encouraging sign, the function had been significantly under-resourced in recent times; but one wonders whether there needs to be more done.  The DPC is responsible for three areas right now – privacy in relation to Internet Services companies like Facebook and Google; privacy in relation to state organisations like the Gardaí; and privacy in relation to private national companies who possess data.  That all three domains are vested in this single organisation says something for the breadth of work that these guys have to take on. But nowhere in their mandate does it suggest that they may have a role in commercial or security issues, for which there is no competent authority in the state, and certainly no strategy to address them.

Cuban hero Teofilo Stevenson boxing at the 1976 Olympics

State Legitimacy is a big topic.  Yesterday, the good people at the University acceded to my request for external reader status, giving me access to the University subscriptions to online journals.  I didn’t have a ready made list of journals to download (remote access is unfortunately not available to “external readers”) so I sat down and began searching on some of the keywords.  “State Legitimacy” was first; then “Nation State”.  Lots of results, lots of articles, including one particularly interesting piece on Cuba’s efforts to bolster State Legitimacy based on sports.  As the abstract explains,

A crucial element of the legitimating discourse of the Cuban state, domestically and internationally, has been the relative success of its sports teams in international competition. As symbols of the strength of the state and one of the few remaining “successes” of the Revolution, Cuban sports performances remain vital symbolic capital for current and future administrations.