Posts Tagged ‘linkedin’

It’s been only 48 hours since I wrote my blogpost on how to track a “troll” online. The blogpost itself was inspired by Leo Traynors story how online trolling and harrasment crossed over into real life and how he managed to find his tormentor. Since then I’ve had several thousand hits on that particular blog-post and have received phonecalls and emails from different media-outlets with questions on this topic. It’s obviously a hot issue…

My blogpost was not meant to serve as a manual on how to track someone online but was more as an insight that, yes indeed, you can legally track someone online and find out their identity and/or location. It was however also meant to serve as a warning of sorts on how much private information people put online using various social networks. This second issue needs elaborating on in my opinion as it’s an often ignored issue or at least one that elicits a lot of ignorant commenting.

First rule of online privacy: DON’T PUT ANYTHING ONLINE THAT YOU WOULDN’T SAY TO A COMPLETE STRANGER!

The above is the simplest but most effective rule; don’t make any comments about someone online that you wouldn’t say to their face and don’t put any images online which you want to keep private.  Adhering to that rule will save you a lot of trouble. Also remember that anything online, once it is indexed by Google, will stay accessible online forever. That’s right, Google caches every website that it indexes. That means that there will be a publicly accessible copy of that content on a Google server. Google will in certain instances remove content from its servers but rarely because the content is offensive or untrue and this is even less likely if you are not the owner of the website. So getting content which you put on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and have since removed to be also removed from Googles cache is as good as impossible. The point is to *not* put said content online in the first place.

Second rule of online privacy: USE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS!

Most social networks have privacy settings. USE THEM. Even Twitter let’s you protect your tweets by setting your account as private or just straightforward block people. Note: Not a lot of people realize that if they block someone on Twitter that the blocked person can still read their tweets when they run a search for them. The only way to really prevent someone from seeing your tweets is to protect them.

On Facebook you have a lot more flexibility in regards to your privacy settings. You can have one setting for who can see your details, another for who can see the images you upload and so on. It gives you multiple levels of control. USE THEM!  There is no reason why something that you put on Facebook should be seen by someone who you do not want to see it.

Third rule of online privacy: WHAT HAPPENS ON THE INTERNET STAYS ON THE INTERNET!

Yes that’s right; anything that is put up on the internet (websites, blogs, social media and *everything else*) stays on the Internet. Forever. The reason for this is Google. In order to be able to serve you with these fantastic search results Google uses software (so-called spiders) to index everything on the internet. Once they have indexed the content of a page Google stores a copy on their own servers. This process is called caching. So if you have put something online, once it’s indexed by Google (and this is done very quickly) it is there for all eternity. You can remove the content, delete the page and even format the server that it was one but it will still show up in Googles search results and these search results will link to a copy of the content in Googles “cache”.  Of course you can attempt to get Google to remove the content from its cache but this will eventually result in the need for legal action with a limit success rate. Not a lot of people have the energy or more likely the funds to go down this route.

So, should you put nothing at all online? While this is obviously the most foolproof route to protect yourself from embarrassment it is not necessary. You can still be a prolific social media user without exposing everything about yourself. Take my own case, I blog, have 200,000 tweets to my name, check in on Foursquare regularly and much, much more. However not *everything* I do finds its way online. If I go somewhere, or do something that is private I just refrain from tweeting about it and certainly don’t check-in while doing so.  By being such a prolific social media whore while leaving private matters out it also creates a case where one can’t see the forest for the trees.

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Tax is evil; there I said it. The organised extortion of money by the state sanctioned by a threat of violence or incarceration is something I principally object to. However I am realistic enough to understand that “we the citizens” need to make a small contribution towards the running of the state apparatus. A flat tax would be the most equitable way to do so and would allow for the abolition of all tax loopholes as well as so-called stealth taxes, sales tax, duties, excise and what more.

However I am digressing from the topic of this blogpost….

Irish corporate tax and specifically the low rate is a hot topic of conversation both in Ireland and across the EU. The debate mostly centers around whether Ireland should be allowed to hold on to this low rate which on the face of it has attracted such giants such as Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Dell, Microsoft, Apple and a whole raft of other big players to the country. Other EU countries rightfully seem to think that this low corporate tax rate (12.5% compared to for instance 28% in the UK) gives Ireland an unfair advantage. It turns out that they might be wrong…

During an exchange on Twitter with the fabulous @dhkirk yesterday it expired that even though the corporate tax rate is substantially lower than most other EU countries most of these multinationals only pay that tax rate on a small percentage of their revenue. See, @dhkirk was researching this to ascertain the validity of InvestNI’s statement that a lowering of the corporation tax in Northern Ireland would result in it being just as attractive to large corporates as the Irish Republic. You can read his blogpost here.

The common perception is that the large corporates sluice all their European revenues into their Irish corporate entity through the use of licensing agreements allowing them to only pay Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate on not just the Irish revenues but almost *all* revenues across Europe. It now turns out that this is only part of the chain. Apparently because of a quirk in Irish law, if the Irish subsidiary is controlled by managers elsewhere, like the Caribbean, then the profits can skip across the world tax-free. This (legal) construction is known as a “Double Irish Sandwich”.  Let’s try an example; ACME Inc has offices all over the world. It now register a corporate entity in Ireland. Let’s say it’s Called ACME Eire Ltd. Management of all patents and intellectual property regarding ACME Inc’s products is transferred to ACME Eire Ltd. At the same time ACME Inc. sets up a corporate entity in a tax haven (such as the Bermudas, Cayman Islands etc.) It then assigns the *ownership* of all patents and intellectual property regarding ACME Inc’s products to the corporate entity based in this tax haven. This construction than results in all ACME Inc. global companies globally are billed for us of these patents and intellectual property by ACME Eire Ltd. These fees paid to ACME Eire Ltd. can be as high as most of their revenue. ACME Eire Ltd. in return pays an “administrative fee” to the entity registered in a tax haven. ACME Eire Ltd. only pays the low Irish corporate tax rate over a fraction of its revenue. In the case of Google it reduced the companies taxable revenue in Ireland reduces its gross profit from €5.5bn to just €45m.

It appears that it means that it’s not Irelands low corporate tax rate which makes it an attractive location for multinational but rather their specific tax legislation allowing this construction. The NY Times has produced an excellent illustration of how this works. Click on the image for a detailed explanation.

Based on this it would appear that all the campaigning for Ireland to hold on to its low corporate tax rate as a change might scare away these large multi-nationals might not have been fully informed. Full disclosure requires that I admit that I have used this argument also. However I have always followed it by stating that Ireland should develop other means of being competitive than just being the cheapest tax country. Based on the information outlined above I would suggest that an increase in the corporate tax rate might not have such detrimental effects. But please remember that I am *not* a tax expert.

Following are some sources of supporting information:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0514/1224316065838.html

http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=2941771

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-ocarroll/2011/mar/24/google-ireland-tax-reasons-bermuda

BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS SEMINAR ANNOUNCED BY GREENHOUSE LIMERICK

Absolute Hotel Limerick, June 13th 2009

Are you wondering what social media is all about? Perhaps you don’t know a Tweet about Linkedin? Do you think that a blog is a character from Star Trek?
The Greenhouse Limerick start-up incubator has organised an event to help businesses benefit from the current popularity of social media. The event is targeted at start-ups and Small & Medium businesses who can benefit from learning more about using free tools such as Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, IgoPeople and Blogging.

The event was put together with the aim of answering a number of questions for attendees such as “Wondering how your business can benefit from using social media?”,” Want to improve interaction and communication with your customers and increase your revenue?”.

The Greenhouse incubator has planned a full day Blogging & Social Media for Business seminar on June 13th in the Absolute Hotel in Limerick.

At the event attendees will be able to listen and talk to Irelands’ leading experts in social media & online networking. Included in the list of luminaries as:

Bernard Goldbach:  Senior Creative Multimedia Lecturer, University External Examiner, Writer & Podcaster.

Krishna De: Brand Engagement and Word of Mouth Marketing Commentator.

Fred Caballero: Web project manager at Channelship Web Agency, Video blogger.

Peter Donegan: Landscape designer, celebrity blogger.

Campbell Scott: CEO IGOpeople, former director of Consumer Solutions at Eircom.

The event is organised by Evert Bopp, Internet Entrepreneur and the driving force behind Greenhouse Limerick Start-Up Incubator. “This is an area of great interest for new businesses as well as for those who have developed offline but now need to move with the times and get into online presence. The Greenhouse Limerick Start-up incubator is all about helping start-ups to develop, grow and use the tools available to them better. We are proud to organise this event and to welcome the guest speakers to Limerick,” said Bopp at the launch of the event in the Absolute Hotel.

Attendance Costs: €150 including lunch…all proceeds will go to fund the Greenhouse Incubator.

Full details & registration on the events website: http://url.ie/1l87

For details: Contact. contactevert@gmail.com, 0868645099