Category Archives: Politics

From the Drafts Folder… Politcal rant from after 2013 Commonwealth Election
Date Created: December 18, 2015  Date Modified: December 18, 2015

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probably chose not to post at the time of writing, for various reasons, but none I can remember, so here, have an out-of-date rant: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.

Media Accountability

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”

1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-10/federal-election-preview/4801802

[REPORT] should video game players face the same dilemmas as real soldiers?
Date Created: October 4, 2013  Date Modified: October 4, 2013

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.

Source

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.

[REPORT] Freedom of the Internet
Date Created: October 3, 2013  Date Modified: October 6, 2013

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.

Source

[LINKS] Government Information Security Resources
Date Created: May 9, 2013  Date Modified: October 30, 2013

The original content of this post is now on the following page.

New Media and Democracy: From Trolls to Bots
Date Created: January 20, 2013  Date Modified: January 20, 2013

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.
Source: SMH

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:
https://twitter.com/geeksrulz/greg-hunt-bots/members
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.
http://storify.com/geeksrulz/the-desperation-of-a-liberal-mp

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.

[REPORT] Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World
Date Created: January 16, 2013  Date Modified: January 16, 2013

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.
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/MG1100/MG1113/RAND_MG1113.pdf

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.

RIP: Aaron Swartz
Date Created: January 13, 2013  Date Modified: January 20, 2013

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.
http://boingboing.net/2013/01/12/rip-aaron-swartz.html

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.
http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/40347463044/prosecutor-as-bully

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.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57563752-93/anonymous-hacks-mit-after-aaron-swartzs-suicide/

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.”
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57563701-93/researchers-honor-swartzs-memory-with-pdf-protest/

No doubt this will continue to be the talk of the web for some time still.

[REPORT] Crisis and Escalation in Cyberspace
Date Created: January 10, 2013  Date Modified: January 10, 2013

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??

[BOOK] Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet
Date Created: December 1, 2012  Date Modified: December 1, 2012

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.

Whitehouse Ale
Date Created: November 15, 2012  Date Modified: November 15, 2012

I like this, it’s something missing in world leaders these days–I grew up in the Hawke era and this is how I remember what good politicians do. That and play cricket–but I dont know if the American public could handle a leader who so openly embraces such a colonial sport.

And I would have never known about this if it were not for 25,000 disgrunteled Texan’s wishing to succeed.
Whitehouse Beer petition page

This rant was posted in Politics, US politics, Video on by .

Our Shameful Past
Date Created: November 10, 2012  Date Modified: November 10, 2012

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.
Wiki article

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.

I’ll wait for it to come out on eBook in the past
Date Created: October 7, 2012  Date Modified: October 7, 2012

The Idiot BoxSome folk are still end-users of the 20thC technology known as television, I dont hold too much animosity to those users as we cant always be connected to an IP. Anyway, those folk may have seen a program Underground on one of the networks last night, about a young software developer and activist known as Julian Assange.

Not being one to make use of the broadcast protocol, I will wait for the story to come out on eBook in the past.

From the Forward (Pastward?)

By releasing this book for free on the Net, I’m hoping more people
will not only enjoy the story of how the international computer
underground rose to power, but also make the journey into the minds
of hackers involved. When I first began sketching out the book’s
structure, I decided to go with depth. I wanted the reader to
think, ’NOW I understand, because I too was there.’ I hope those
words will enter your thoughts as you read this electronic book.

http://suelette.home.xs4all.nl/underground/Underground.pdf
Copyright © 1997, 2001 Suelette Dreyfus & Julian Assange

I’m intending to spend a good deal of the day researching Australian Defamation laws involving politicians… because I dont have enough experience in that already.

[REORT] Delivered Into Enemy Hands US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya
Date Created: October 7, 2012  Date Modified: October 7, 2012

Human Rights Watch, an international human rights watch-dog released a report this month on the United States involvement in the torture of Libyan nationals, while in US custody. The report exposes some of the inaccuracies reported in the mainstream media by examining evidence of the Tripoli Documents and testimony from individuals released from Libyan prisons after Qaddafi’s overthrow.

From the page #6:

Al-Libi’s case is significant, among other reasons, because the United States relied on statements obtained through his interrogation while in CIA custody to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq: Al-Libi died in a Libyan prison in 2009—a suicide, according to Libyan authorities at the time—so it is difficult to obtain information about him today. But by talking to family members and others detained with him in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya, Human Rights Watch has pieced together some new details about al-Libi’s time in CIA custody and circumstances
surrounding his death. Human Rights Watch also observed photos of al-Libi that Libyan prison officials appear to have taken on the morning of his death which allegedly depict him in the manner he was found in his cell. The photos show bruising on parts of his body.

Im lost for comment, thats why this has been sitting in the drafts for so long. I decided to publish after checking WT…

[PDF] PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY
Date Created: September 26, 2012  Date Modified: October 6, 2012

Yesturday the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security released the Hansard form the Potential reforms of national security legislation hearing. Im still reading thru it but I still feel the need to share as these potential reforms will change our information landscape.

There are many ways to classify things but there are perhaps three ways of classifying here. There is content such as telephone calls, which is at the top level, that requires the most privacy and the highest degree of scrutiny and a warrant before interception occurs. Then there is content such as short message services—text messages—which are short things, which of technological necessity will be retained for a short time and perhaps often will not be as private as spoken phone calls, although that may reflect my age. Then there is the metadata of which you speak, which, if I may draw an analogy, is a bit like a phone bill. I would think that many citizens would want far more privacy protections for the content of what they actually say on the telephone than for the contents of their phone bill. Privacy applies to both, but perhaps there is a need for a graded set of regulations that recognises the difference. I am certainly not arguing that telephone calls—people’s spoken words—and analogous things should be recorded at all. There is room for a short period of retaining some content data like SMSs—that would be the highest and there may be some lower forms of data. Metadata is in a different category altogether, one would think, when trying to strike the balance.

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/commjnt/142792da-77a8-4e0e-b340-5fd973466c32/toc_pdf/Parliamentary%20Joint%20Committee%20on%20Intelligence%20and%20Security_2012_09_26_1410.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

[VIDEO] Assange speech at UN
Date Created: September 26, 2012  Date Modified: September 26, 2012

Just came across this today, I have linked both the Wired article and the RT article if you are intersted in further analysis.

From Wired:

Assange was speaking as part of a panel that was supposed to focus on the legal and ethical issues around diplomatic asylum, but instead veered off for a lengthy discussion about U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech at the U.N. this week, which he called “fine words” that needed to be followed up with “fine deeds.”

“It is time for Obama to do the right thing and join the forces of change, not in fine words, but in fine deeds,” he said.

Watch the speech below: