If Senate won’t defeat #DataRetention bill terrorists and criminals will: @sortius comments

With the federal government’s metadata retention bill having passed the lower house, and all but assured to pass the senate, the technical implications are still sketchy at best. Costing an estimated $400 million a year (a figure that will no doubt be revised up substantially), the legislation isn’t a cheap exercise in flag waving like the government’s almost daily announcements. The implications for internet users will be extensive, affecting every aspect of their daily use of data services. From Facebook and Twitter updates, to downloading the latest episode of your favourite show (legitimately or not), to playing your favourite online game, everything will be monitored, providing you don’t use services […]

Civil liberties councils bring #Citizenfour to Canberra. @jeevens reports.

There’s a nagging sensation in your gut when you watch Citizenfour. The BAFTA award-winning documentary by Laura Poitras is an exploration of the modern surveillance state, the Five Eyes Alliance (of which Australia is a part), and the Edward Snowden revelations, and the concerns it raises – particularly for those who haven’t been following the NSA leaks – will leave you reeling, significantly numb, and likely terrified. Citizenfour primarily follows journalist Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald), documentary producer/director Poitras, and Edward Snowden himself from the moment Snowden first makes contact. Told through excerpts of encrypted e-mails, voiceovers, and footage of their discussions in Snowden’s hotel room in Hong Kong, we’re given an […]

Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession by Paul Barry

By Margaret O’Connor 1 November 2013 If you want a quick and telling glimpse of the psychopathology that infested Rupert Murdoch’s power house tabloid News of the World (NoTW), turn to the Leveson Inquiry Hearings for Wednesday, 29 November, 2011. On that day, Paul McMullan, ex-NoTW reporter, reluctantly gave testimony about his work practices there – and, in defence of his and his colleagues’ calculated violations of others’ rights to personal space and boundaries, became globally famous for his take on the concept of privacy, proclaiming ‘privacy is for paedos….privacy is evil…..it allows (people) to do bad things.’ Then in response to this, Counsel to the Inquiry, Robert jay QC,  asks […]

The basics on blogging and tweeting without getting sued

Margo: This is the third post in our series exploring the meaning of journalism. Professor Mark Pearson, an expert in media law, outlines the basic legal issues journos must keep in mind. by Mark Pearson May 29, 2013 Countless laws might apply to the serious blogger and citizen journalist because Web 2.0 communications transcend borders into places where expression is far from free.   Even in Australia there are nine jurisdictions with a complex array of laws affecting writers and online publishers, including defamation, contempt, confidentiality, discrimination, privacy, intellectual property and national security. If you plan on taking the ‘publish and be damned’ approach coined by the Duke of Wellington in […]