When I began writing my new book, there was one primary focal point: big companies providing internet services profit from the crimes of others. That profit can be tracked and traced and internet companies can be made culpable in just the same way as banks, etc. who deal with criminals.


One of the great things about having been, albeit briefly, a criminal defence lawyer is that I've heard some pretty stupid defences.


Sometimes we find that we have made superb decisions because, when we have to make similar decisions, it turns out that we assess all the latest data and do the same as before.


According to Sky News Israel had a bad day yesterday. Ten of its soldiers were killed. In uniform, some within Israel's borders.

Sky news did not use such sympathetic terms when reporting what happened in Gaza.


Hello

The monthly newsletter has slipped a bit behind schedule because other things have slipped, too. So this is a long newsletter, covering two months.


I'm English. I don't have a vote in tomorrow's Independence for Scotland vote. If I did, I'd vote that they are thrown out of the Union, that all Scots are sent back across the border, unable to benefit from continued residence in the rest of the UK. I'd revoke the damage including fundamental constitutional change done to England by the Scottish combine of Blair/Brown and Darling.

For sure, I would not be bribing them to stay as the current UK government is trying to do.


Not the best start to Friday to discover that some bastard is promoting illegal copies of my book "Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation" hosted by Cloudflare on a domain released by Public Domain Registry (PDR) - a company we are already looking at because it is heavily featured, along with GoDaddy, in the latest wave of domain registrations for spamming - all with a .eu address. More in the imminent issue of World Money Laundering Report.


This week: a crazy month when it’s supposed to be the silly season, why e-book sales via Amazon.com are beginning to look like a bad idea and how pop culture makes our lives more difficult by spreading rubbish under the guise of knowledge.


It’s taken far longer than expected but as of two minutes ago, “How does that make you feel? Identifying suspicion in money laundering and terrorist financing” with all errata in the body of the book instead of on the more usual scrap of paper is available.


When I started writing “Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation” more than 20 years ago, there was no world wide web.


I was woken in the early hours of this morning by a message from a close friend, who works for an airline and was in Europe getting ready for a flight. “Check out MH17” was all it said.

I checked. MH17, a Boeing 777, had been shot down while overflying territory controlled by Russian backed, Russian armed, Russian funded and Russian encouraged terrorists in the Ukraine.


A few days ago, I started writing a blog called “Taking a punt on ISIS.” The title is a pun (I like headlines that twist language much more than those that scream “Top Ten Ways To…” and then say something utterly banal like “mess up your job application”).


Tired of the security (and personal) implications of Firefox’s default settings that show a “quick dial” image of recent pages when you open a new tab?


It’s been two months since I last sat at my desk in Kuala Lumpur and a long trip to the UK for family reasons has demonstrated to me that there are significant differences in the way that the UK, so long seen as progressive and Malaysia, long seen as behind the curve, function.


I’m in the UK. It’s surprising how quickly one becomes an alien in one’s own land: putting petrol in a car at a Sainsbury’s filling station, I stood trying to work out where to put my card for prepayment.

Then I found the sign: “at pump payment coming soon.”


Sitting at home doing all kinds of things - including researching and writing both "Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation" and "How does that make you feel" as well as other work that kept me locked to my desktop for, in total more than a year, I've just been re-introduced to the delights of long distance travel. I was looking forward to it: I used to spend as much as 200 nights a year away from home, often sleeping on a plane between leaving a meeting at the end of one day and just getting to the next early in the morning.

There was even a plan, just for the hell of it, to present a...


It is often said that there are no coincidences. But unless one believes in some kind of grand-master who manages the minutiae of the lives of all creatures and things on Earth, and beyond, sometimes it is clear coincidences do exist.

Here’s an example.


Shhhh. “How does that make you feel – identifying suspicion in money laundering and terrorist financing”(1) has gone through final editing and pre-press and is now in proofing (which is a bit of a technicality because it’s been proofed in its final print format several times during production). Looking good to pop out of this final stage later today (tomorrow in the USA) Why “shhhhh?” Now it’s all in someone else’s hands and I’m going to sleep for three days.


Much to my shock, the book on suspicion has now grown to the point where it has to be reformatted to take account of its new thickness (that is in the number of pages, not the stupidity of the author).


28 February 2014 – a day I’ll remember – it’s the day my son’s first album was released and immediately (i.e. that day) went to number 3 in the Taiwan music charts.


I’m feeling all loved up this morning and it’s not just because it’s Valentine’s Day.

There is so much to enjoy and celebrate.


I’m always amazed by how supposedly clever people feel the need to prove their assumed superiority by excluding the very people they need to communicate with.


Looking into suspicion for the new book “How does that make you feel?” with the subtitle of “Understanding Suspicion in Financial Crime”, an important source of material is in relation to stop and search. Add in profiling and predictive policing and it all starts to look a bit like the Tom Cruise film “Minority Report.”


1500 words on philosophy and quantum physics and how they apply to the decision making process in financial institutions when trying to identify financial crime.

Not a bad morning’s work.