This list covers strangulation laws in each Australian jurisdiction and how they could be changed to help victims of domestic and family violence, it was compiled by the good folk at Destroy The Joint, a page dedicated to cataloging violence against women in Australia.
Trying to clean up some of the bloat on this WordPress, I decided to publish this–I probably chose not to post at the time of writing, for various reasons, but none I can remember, so here, have an out-of-date rant:
The 2010 Commonwealth election had a number of interesting outcomes–a hung parliament being the most obvious, but after the 2013 result I think it’s imperative to look at our system and how we can improve it for the future of all Australians. As many of you would be aware there has been much discontent on both sides of the political spectrum on the current state of Australian politics, and for us all to have a better say I have come up with four areas we should address.
Education of The Preferential Voting System
Most Australians have a very abstract knowledge of our political system, and one of those areas that seems ambiguous to many voters is the preferential voting system. If you ask the average voter who they voted for the response would more likely be the head of the respective party, that the party which the candidate they voted for belongs to. This misnomer is what keeps local issues from the Commonwealth agenda, as they won’t engage in dialogue with a candidate that is invisible to them.
This education of Preferential voting does not necessarily have to be part of a school curriculum, it can occur from the candidates themselves; By getting out into the community and engaging with their constituents. But for this to be truly effective, addressing politics and the Australian political system in a curriculum aimed at school aged children will be a benefit for our future democracy.
Education on Bicameral representation
As with the above this can be achieved with community engagement. Most people would have a hard time naming more than one senator from their State, and usually its one who has had some media exposure (for better or worse, most often the latter). If Senators became more media visible, and put themselves amongst the community then the Upper House would be more effectively representational.
Additionally, tho not directly related to Commonwealth democracy: Queensland must at some point in the near future install an Upper House as its mono-cameral system has lead to a number of fringe parties entering the political arena without any political background.
Incentives to enrol and muster
There are nations that disenfranchise, or impose penalties on voters if they do not participate in the electoral process if required:
Belgian voters who repeatedly fail to vote in elections may be subject to disenfranchisement. Singapore voters who fail to vote in an general election or presidential election will be subjected to disenfranchisement until a valid reason is given or a fine is paid. Goods and services provided by public offices may be denied to those failing to vote in Peru and Greece. In Brazil, people who fail to vote in an election are barred from obtaining a passport and subject to other restrictions until settling their situation before an electoral court or after they have voted in the two most recent elections. If a Bolivian voter fails to participate in an election, the person may be denied withdrawal of the salary from the bank for three months.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting
Personally, I don’t think these measure would be effective on the average Australian non-voter; The carrot, not the stick is the best approach. My immediate suggestion is a voting rebate, where after voting you are given a receipt which will allow you to be re-enumerated for the time taken out of your day to muster. (A possible side effect: By allowing rural voters larger re-enumeration due to distance travelled, it might soften the blow of adjusting rural malapportionment?)
This is an important factor; In the 2010 election there was 14,086,869 enrolled voters and only 13,131,667 (93%) showed up to muster; Of them 729,304 voted informally (5.55%). In 2010 more people voted informally that voted for the National Party, nearly twice as many. And when our seats are decided by just a couple of thousand votes, it painful to see that the result could have been different if they actually made their vote count1.
This is the big one. The media have taken issues away from politics and replaced them with the talking head. Today’s politicians are praised more for their media-savvy of being able to dodge unsolicited questions, rather than for their ability to address them with intelligence and substance.
There is no magic bullet solution to the media, regulations become ineffective once a new technology penetrates the main stream. The internet for example is exempt from a media black-out prior to polling, in an age where more and more people are relying on new media for their information is this short-sighted?; I think so.
I don’t know; Just some thoughts about today’s… what my cousin called “democracide”
This is a work in progress which I aim to add information from a number of sources for a number of years. Primarily I am taking my info from data.un.org, but I will reference data sources as they are added. Currently only shows homicide figures for 2009-2010.
I may make this a page at some point, but for now its just a post; links to Criminal Law Journals:
British Journal of Criminology — Oxford Press.
Buffalo Criminal Law Review — State University of New York
Georgetown University American Criminal Law Review — Georgetown’s often cited criminal law review.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology — Northwestern University.
New England Journal on Civil and Criminal Confinement — New England School of Law. Abstracts.
The Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law — University of California Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall.
University of Texas American Journal of Criminal Law — University of Texas publication on criminal law.
Washington College of Law Criminal Law Brief
Western Criminology Review — Western Society of Criminology. Full Text.
National Criminal Justice Research Service – US Gov. Resource
First off the report title is not the same as the post title, as I have tried to do throughout this blog; The reason for this is however to pose the question: shouldn’t video game players face the same dilemmas as real soldiers?, which may seem out of place being that the player is removed from the same risks as the solider–A solider risks death, which is certainly a “dilemma” not only for the solider experiencing the death but also his fellow soldiers. With this outcome removed from the players reality outside the game, it would seem unfair to implement the same sorts of penalties. However this superficial appraisal is forgetting to take into account actual in-game penalties. Is it possible that the Playstation generation allow itself to become the war criminals of the present or future, by the moralities of war are being taught by CGI insurgents?
‘Video games and international humanitarian law (IHL)’ is a relatively new and fragmented ﬁeld of enquiry, spanning a range of discourses. There is little in the way of IHL-focused literature on the subject. This article is very much an exploratory piece. Its purpose is to highlight the potential impact of these games on players’ perceptions of the normative framework governing the use of force.
This report, Beyond the Call of Duty: why shouldn’t video game players face the same dilemmas as real soldiers? by the International Red Cross addresses this emerging area.
Freedom House, a human rights group has published their 2013 Report of Internet Freedom, and being some of the major developments this year it is worth reassessing where we think we stand:
1. Blocking and filtering: In 29 of the 60 countries evaluated, the authorities blocked certain types of political and social content over the past year. China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia were the worst offenders, but filtering in democratic countries like South Korea and India has also affected websites of a political nature. Jordan and Russia intensified blocking in the past year.
2. Cyberattacks against regime critics: Opposition figures and activists in at least 31 countries faced politically motivated cyberattacks over the past year. Such attacks are particularly prevalent during politically charged events. For example, in Malaysia and Venezuela the websites of popular independent media were repeatedly subject to DDoS attacks in the run-up to elections.
3. New laws and arrests: In an increasing number of countries, the authorities have passed laws that prohibit certain types of political, religious, or social speech online, or that contain vague restrictions related to national security that are open to abuse. In 28 countries, users were arrested for online content. In addition to political dissidents, a significant number of those detained were ordinary people who posted comments on social media that were critical of the authorities or the dominant religion.
4. Paid progovernment commentators: A total of 22 countries saw paid commentators manipulate online discussions by discrediting government opponents, spreading propaganda, and defending government policies from criticism without acknowledging their affiliation. Spearheaded by China, Bahrain, and Russia, this tactic is increasingly common in countries like Belarus and Malaysia.
5. Physical attacks and murder: At least one person was attacked, beaten, or tortured for online posts in 26 countries, with fatalities in five countries, often in retaliation for the exposure of human rights abuses. Dozens of online journalists were killed in Syria, and several were murdered in Mexico. In Egypt, several Facebook group administrators were abducted and beaten, and security forces targeted citizen journalists during protests.
6. Surveillance: Although some interception of communications may be necessary for fighting crime or combating terrorism, surveillance powers are increasingly abused for political ends. Governments in 35 countries upgraded their technical or legal surveillance powers over the past year.
7. Takedown and deletion requests: Governments or individuals can ask companies to take down illegal content, usually with judicial oversight. But takedown requests that bypass the courts and simply threaten legal action or other reprisals have become an effective censorship tool in numerous countries like Russia and Azerbaijan, where bloggers are threatened with job loss or detention for refusing to delete information.
8. Blocking social media and communications apps: 19 countries completely blocked YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or other ICT apps, either temporarily or permanently, over the past year. Communications services such as Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp were also targeted, either because they are more difficult to monitor or for threatening the revenue of established telecommunications companies.
9. Intermediary liability: In 22 countries, intermediaries—such as internet service providers, hosting services, webmasters, or forum moderators—are held legally liable for content posted by others, giving them a powerful incentive to censor their customers. Companies in China hire whole divisions to monitor and delete tens of millions of messages a year.
10. Throttling or shutting down service: Governments that control the telecommunications infrastructure can cut off or deliberately slow (throttle) internet or mobile access, either regionally or nationwide. Several shutdowns occurred in Syria over the past year, while services in parts of China, India, and Venezuela were temporarily suspended amid political events or social unrest.
As mentioned in my earlier New Media and Democracy posts, the conservative coalition have had no qualms about enlisting the help from their young supporters to muddy the waters of political discourse, well it seems they have stepped up their game and hired a coder to automate their trolling with the use of bots.
Tiphereth Gloria, social media expert with VML Australia, said the bot evidence presented in the Storify post appeared to be accurate and she believes it pointed to a Liberal Party campaign. The fake accounts appeared to be part of a “propaganda war” effort to “increase share of voice of anti-Labor sentiment”.
Separately, other spam bot accounts are more blatant. One suspected anti-Labor bot Twitter profile with over 88,000 tweets is @LaborDirt, which pumps out a constant stream of anti-Labor content. Anti-Gillard account @GI-Gillard has reportedly been retweeted by the same bots that retweeted Mr Hunt’s tweet.
A Storify user calling themself The Geek has followed this a little closer than I have:
Update 1: Since publishing this story earlier, I have put together a growing list of LNP Bots here:
Also at last count 19 January 2013, there were about 40 genuine retweets out of 175 in total for this tweet. The Bots are tweeting via an app or platform called “The People’s Voice”. Has anyone heard of this? Contact me @geeksrulz on Twitter.
Update 2: I tweeted a link last night to my storify feature is.gd/3r9Xj1 to @GregHuntMP for comment. No response so far.
Update 3: Since shining a light on this single tweet by Greg Hunt, the retweets have jumped to 192. They are by real LNP supporters who are possibly coming to Greg Hunt’s rescue to even up the ratio between spambots and real people.
Update 4: It appears that Twitter has finally acted and they have suspended the spambots that were identified. With friends like these, who needs enemies.
Update 5: Henk Luf is threatening to sue me for using his name in this feature. (Oops just did it again.) I have threatened to sue him back if he keeps using my name in his political tweets. Please go to the special Henk Luf section below if you can be bothered. See, spambots are missing out on all the fun that real people have 🙂
Update 6: Finally a response from Greg Hunt via @bennpackham. Greg Hunt says he hasn’t got the technical skills to pull off such a ruse. Fair point. I wonder how he managed to get his website up and running.
He goes on to point out further details of this troll, and even gives an example of another Conservative MP doing the same…
Can we make legaslative provisions to prevent this type of trolling? or will we just be making an over-regulated online media? I dont have a solution to this other that teach ethics in Computer Science 101.
An old proverb: You don’t defeat nations with armies, you defeat them with ideas; Its a sad state of the internet when one nation spends more money on defence than all nations on earth combined, and consider the digital realm to be their battleground.
As a term, information warfare, or IW, remains in use worldwide, in the militaries of other countries as well as in some of the U.S. military services. The Navy now has an IW officer position, which it advertises as involving “attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment” (U.S. Navy, undated)…
…Social networks, as part of the information environment, are also a part of such conflicts or struggles. As noted by LTG Michael Vane, “Army forces operate in and among human populations, facing hybrid threats that are innovative, networked, and technologically-savvy” (TRADOC, 2010a, p. i). Internet-assisted social networking is now a part of the operational environment, as events in Egypt, Moldova, Iran, and even Pittsburgh have made clear. Social networks are a growing and increasingly relevant element of the information environment…
…Harkening back to the birth of the information operations concept out of command and control warfare in the late 1990s, this doctrine aggregates the areas of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC) as core capabilities, despite the fact that some of these concepts are quite dissimilar.
As net citizens, as world citizens; we need to fight this war on ideas with bigger and better ideas. The IP is mightyer than the sword.
On January 25, to support the Aaron Swartz Memorial blackout, this site will only display this post.
Being peroccupied with social commitments meant I only found about this today, but over the weekend one of the technocrati, Aaron Swzrtz had passed away–alledgedly a suicide.
Aaron Swartz co-developed the RSS standard that all us bloggers love, was a co-founder of reddit and an advocate of open information;
Somewhere in there, Aaron’s recklessness put him right in harm’s way. Aaron snuck into MIT and planted a laptop in a utility closet, used it to download a lot of journal articles (many in the public domain), and then snuck in and retrieved it. This sort of thing is pretty par for the course around MIT, and though Aaron wasn’t an MIT student, he was a fixture in the Cambridge hacker scene, and associated with Harvard, and generally part of that gang, and Aaron hadn’t done anything with the articles (yet), so it seemed likely that it would just fizzle out.
Instead, they threw the book at him. Even though MIT and JSTOR (the journal publisher) backed down, the prosecution kept on. I heard lots of theories: the feds who’d tried unsuccessfully to nail him for the PACER/RECAP stunt had a serious hate-on for him; the feds were chasing down all the Cambridge hackers who had any connection to Bradley Manning in the hopes of turning one of them, and other, less credible theories. A couple of lawyers close to the case told me that they thought Aaron would go to jail.
as Lessig states:
Aaron had literally done nothing in his life “to make money.” He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.
UPDATE 15.1.12: The first thing in Google Reader this morning (well after I read yesturdays XKCD) was an Ars article about how charges against Mr Swartz have been dropped. A petition has been set up on the Whitehouse website calling for the removal of the prosecutor who was handeling the Swartz case.
Anon have voiced their condolences on a couple of MIT websites, showing just how much this man was respected in the web community
After MIT President L. Rafael Reif issued a statement this afternoon promising a “thorough analysis of MIT’s involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present,” Anonymous targeted at least two MIT Web sites. Lacking the loose-knit group’s usual feisty language, the message posted on the Web site was a call for reform in the memory of the late Internet activist.
After calling the prosecution of Swartz “a grotesque miscarriage of justice” and “a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for,” Anonymous outlined its list of goals under a section labeled “Our wishes:”
- We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of computer crime laws, and the overzealous prosecutors who use them.
- We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of copyright and intellectual property law, returning it to the proper principles of common good to the many, rather than private gain to the few.
- We call for this tragedy to be a basis for greater recognition of the oppression and injustices heaped daily by certain persons and institutions of authority upon anyone who dares to stand up and be counted for their beliefs, and for greater solidarity and mutual aid in response.
- We call for this tragedy to be a basis for a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered internet, spared from censorship with equality of access and franchise for all.
CNET has contacted MIT for comment on the apparent hacking and will update this report when we learn more.
Academics are showing their respects too–by posting copy-protected joyurnal articles on twitter, which has gained momentum in the past few days; some only hearing of Swartz after his passing but still greatly supportive of his open-information initative.
The PDF campaign was born out of a desire to honor Swartz’s memory and his battle for open access to documents on the Internet, said Micah Allen, a researcher in the fields of brain plasticity, cognitive neuroscience, and cognitive science.
“A fitting tribute to Aaron might be a mass protest uploading of copyright-protected research articles,” Allen wrote yesterday on Reddit. “Dump them on Gdocs, tweet the link. Think of the great blu-ray encoding protest but on a bigger scale for research articles.”
As of Sunday morning, it appeared that hundreds were participating in the protest/tribute, posting links to thousands of documents on Twitter using the hashtag #pdftribute, the creation of which Allen attributed to Eva Vivalt and Jessica Richman.
“It gives us some action to take in response to our sorrow and frustration about Aaron’s death,” Richman told CNET. “I had met him several times and have friends that knew him well. It’s a tragic loss.”
No doubt this will continue to be the talk of the web for some time still.
RAND released this report Crisis and Escalation in Cyberspace, which focuses on state sponsored cyberoperations…
In the past 20 years, there have been plenty of instances of cybercrime and cyberespionage. But there have been only three and a half cyberattacks that could even conceivably rise to the level of a cyberwar: the DDOS attacks against Estonia in 2007, a similar attack on Georgia in 2008, the Stuxnet worm (2009–2010), and perhaps a cyberattack on Syria radar prefatory to an Israeli air strike on a supposed nuclear reactor in 2007. 20 Of these, all but one (Stuxnet) was unaccompanied by violence, which tends to create its own tensions. In part for this reason, none of these engendered a cybercrisis of the sort discussed here. As for generalizations about computer intrusion, they are based on reported cases; they exclude unreported proprietary or classified material.http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2012/RAND_MG1215.pdf
I feel that they are ignoring a few other incidents, but it is RAND so they would be unlikley to bring up Fukishima.
The first instinct of the policymakers was to get ahead of the crisis by taking ownership of it; this they did by constantly pressing for new powers. Extraordinary powers, of course, require extraordinary circumstances to justify…
False flag much??
I missed work yesturday so I had a lot of catching up to do today, this piked my interest because it references Lessig in the first sentence (and we all love Law professors who can internet like a pro). I will give it a more indepth read tonight when I have a bit more time…
The Google Books settlement has been hailed as an audacious and brilliant move by proponents and critics alike (Lessig, 2010; Samuelson, 2009a). Google’s goal of digitizing up to 20 million books drawn from participating libraries has been recast to cut authors and publishers in on the deal. With one comprehensive and complex legal document, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have crafted a deal that could transform the digital marketplace for books and could give Google a legal—and exclusive—method to clear rights for some copyrighted works neither it nor anyone else could acquire any other way, excepting changes to U.S. copyright legislation. The following discussion considers the circumstances that led to this settlement and explores its primary components, focusing on the amended class action settlement agreement of November 13, 2009, which in many respects remains similar to the original agreement of October 28, 2008. The settlement makes positive steps in the tricky areas of public access and digital rights, but it remains open to serious legal, economic, and cultural criticisms.
Yesterday Cryptome published the firs 7 pages of Julian Assange’s new book Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, which emphasises the need for encryption and the publics complacency in the downfall of internet freedoms.
The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.
I have not read the book in entirety, so I can not make a review, but these sentiments are similar to those many of us in the internet industry hold. I look forward to receiving my copy and I really hope it presents a lot of information not already known to myself, but even in the absence of that I am optimistic that the sale price contributes to the legal fund for Assange’s eventual freedom.
I never really expected that my first day at a new agency would give me some time to look into case law–but going through the induction documents (which are a requirement for all government agencies staff to read and understand) I came accross a number of case citations that I thought worth jotting down on some note paper and then researching further when Im back into study mode.
Im trying to write these from my own notes so expect errors in the citations, at a later date I will amend these to be correct–or close enough to it
- A v K Limited & Z  VCAT
- Dee v Commissioner of Police et al.  NSWADT 168
- Fatialofa V Coles Group  AIR 1127
- Perera v Commissioner CC  NSWADT
- Walsh v St Vincent De Paul (No. 2) QADT 32
- Virgin Blue v Hooper  QSC 075
I will add some abstract on each case, when I get the chance, it seems Im living 3 lives at the moment… and one of those lives just finished his first semester of law and wants to par-tee; even tho I have not had a beer since last Friday’s shinannigans…
Its hard for a person to admit their wrongs, when those wrongs were committed by a collective–in this case Australia, its hard for the collective to accept their wrongs even happened. Yesterday I was in my usual online discourse (read: argument with friend) and in the course of that discussion I came across the following piece of historical legislation that highlights not only the subjugation of Australia’s first inhabitants, but also sheds light on a little bit of the War on Drugs mentality. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of War on Drugs, I suggest you look to Google for some background.
This (legacy) legislation had quite a significant impact on the indigenous population, as the link above states:
This document is the instrument effecting a major law directed at Aboriginal people in Queensland. It was followed in other Colonies and thus probably affected more Aboriginal people than any law until the passage of the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1992.
Founding Docs website
Wikipedia article on the Act goes further, claiming:
The creators of this Act saw it as a solution to a short term problem, but the administrators of the legislation had a different idea, and from the beginning used it as a device for social engineering and control. It became the instrument with which Aboriginal people could be stripped of the most basic human rights. The Act was the first measure of separate legal control over the Aboriginal people and as Reynolds has pointed out it ‘was far more restrictive than any [contemporary] legislation operating in New South Wales or Victoria, and implemented a system of tight controls and closed reserves.’
Administrators were able to gain control of Aboriginal affairs through the extensive use of Regulations which could be made lawful simply through proclamation by the Governor-in-Council. In this manner, decision-making passed from politicians to the public servants. The welfare of Aborigines was, after all, only one small part of a busy member’s portfolio. But not only did public servants have responsibility for a huge amount of delegated legislation, individual protectors had extensive autonomy in administering the Act and Regulations.
Emphasis mine. The explicit implication is that this was a case of enacting Narcotics legislation to control the indigenous peoples and their lands. If we look at this from a modern perspective, where Australia’s first inhabitants are disproportionately represented in our prison systems, it becomes not too much of a stretch of the imagination that this over-representation is by design and not by accident.
The wiki article derives from THE ABORIGINALS IN COLONIAL SOCIETY, 1840-1897 By Professor Henry Reynolds et al. It is some heavy reading, if you can approach the topic of our past injustices to our indigenous brothers then please read some–its a long document and covers nearly 100 years of injustices, but its information should never be collectively forgotten just because it paints us in a less than favorable light.
The Rayney Trial captured the media attention for so may reasons that are out of scope of this blog post, my own interest caused me to follow this case from the beginning and now the first (we do have to expect a long appeals process) decision has been handed down:
The judgment is well over 300 pages and I am still yet to finish it and I fee it could be prejudicial to any appeals forthcoming for me to make any commentary
or even paste excerpts, but the decision can be found on the Supreme Court of Western Australia website.
I have also added WA Supreme Court decisions and sentencing remarks feeds to my Links page for, not just my own, but anyone else who holds interest.
UPDATE: I have decided to include two passaged from the judgment that are critical of how the police handled the case, firstly and explicitly:
“As is apparent from the discussion concerning various aspects of the conduct of police investigators there are instances of conduct ranging from inappropriate to reprehensible.”
“The lack of logic in several areas of this case is obvious.”
Maybe the police should wait until they secure a conviction before they have commemorative ties made?.