Panopticon Australia


I have to start with an admission. I have consistently underestimated Suelette Dreyfus. All that time spent discussing theoretical information economics [1], Suelette must have simultaneously been providing a necessary dimension of mature social insight to a revolutionary publishing cabal. Six young computer geeks on their own lack the necessary breadth of life experience to pull that kind of thing off.

It was the typical sexism and ageism that is such a problem in the I.T. field. I have no excuse.

So anyway, Australia's police seem to have acquired a nasty little habit of spying on a lot of people's telecommunications metadata. Telecommunicatins metadata means not the actual phone conversation, but when and who you called, and for how long. Also information about your internet access, such as IP address. Joseph McCarthy would have loved it. They did it because they could, because it was allowed, and they lacked the discipline and principles not to. A quarter of a million times. That's not finding criminals any more, that's indiscriminate spying on your own countryfolk. It's pretty disgusting.

War on the Internet event #2 - Suelette Dreyfus from Electronic Frontiers Australia. The rest of the videos from this event are well worth watching. Greens senator Scott Ludlam's talk is also particularly good. It's thrilling to see an elected politician with principles and intelligence.

This is the report Suelette was referring to. See page 63.

[1] I think I recognize the young gnu Peter Eckersley's ideas in the "indienet" of Little Brother.