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Controversial Cybercrime Bill Introduced In Australia

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-enough-for-me-and-you dept.

Australia 103

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government instructed a committee to investigate required changes to cybercrime legislation. Having received the report, the government decide to ignore it and give the federal police almost everything it wants on a plate. From the article: 'The Australian Greens have questioned the decision of the Government and Opposition to pass the Cybercrime Bill unchanged through the House of Representatives despite recommendations by their own members of parliament to fix serious flaws. Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Cyber Safety Committee had tabled a highly critical unanimous report on the bill, proposing a series of amendments and requests for clarification which were not addressed in the House.'"

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103 comments

You know you're screwed when... (3, Funny)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202494)

The only sensible voice in your government is the Greens

Re:You know you're screwed when... (2)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202566)

Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth? Or because they agree with the scientific consensus that global warming exists, man has caused it and we should do something about it?

I'd rather say that you're screwed if you're living in a state with a two party system and it's considered naive to vote on any other party.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202602)

>>Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth?

More because they've caused as many environmental problems as they've solved. Australia has around a quarter of all the uranium deposits in the world, but has no nuclear power plants. Opposition is greatest from Greens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Australia#Opinion_polls), and this in a country where only 7% of energy production comes from green sources.

Fighting for the status quo is a horrible idea when the status quo sucks.

That's not what happened (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202730)

Australia doesn't have the infrastructure to process nuclear fuel and run nuclear power plants. The billions and decade or two required makes governments of all colours dodge the issue whenever they have the authority to implement it. In Australian politics nuclear power is nothing but a handy issue to bring up and divide the party in opposition.
Whether it's a good or bad idea doesn't matter in this context - either way it's an idea that upsets enough people to have immediate political costs and the benefits are so far away in the future that the current decision makers are not going to get the credit for it. Governments worldwide are not going to start up an entirely new nuclear industry for purely civilian purposes so civilian nuclear power has to wait until it is commercially attractive and private enterprise can do it unassisted.

Blaming or even crediting the Greens for just about anything shows either ignorance or an agenda - they've never had much in the way of political power and they really don't have much now despite their numbers. They will do anything to stop the "conservative" coalition from getting into power and Labour know it and know that they can always depend on the green vote. They'll get a bone thrown to them every now and again but nothing important that Labour doesn't already want.

Re:That's not what happened (2)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203142)

Unfortunately for Australians, the government has really got the old boys club rocking, and now have a very pliable populace that they can tax, control and herd into where they want them.

I remember when I grew up as a kid in North Queensland, most kids knew what a rifle was, had at least squeezed off a few rounds, and knew it was a tool to be used only in appropriate circumstances. Then good old Martin Bryant came and shot up 50 people in Port Arthur. The governments response? Put him in jail, and *Ahem* ban semi automatic weapons. But they went futher than advertised of course, and made it extremely difficult to have either a pistol or a rifle. To own a .22 target pistol, you need to spend about $5000 in total. Not for the pistol, no, that's cheap, but for the gun safe, the club membership etc etc etc. It's all about making things hard at first so it leaves the culture, then they'll ban it entirely. Don't believe me? Try and purchase a .50 or .44 these days. You'll be told you can't own anything over a .375. How do I know? I was lucky enough to shoot a friends father's DE .50 before he had to hand it in for destruction.

There are many many more examples I could cite about reduction of liberties etc, but I chose to cite this one, as I would like people in Australia to truly stop and think. Do you think it's wrong to have a rifle in the house? My very point is that back when I grew up, ALMOST EVERYONE had one. Do you see what they did there?

Re:That's not what happened (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203674)

And there was not the constant drive-by shootings we are having every day almost in the cities where the crime gangs are shooting up houses with automatic pistols. They take the guns off the innocent civilians and the criminals are still armed.

Gun buy-backs do not stop crime.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204044)

Do you think it's wrong to have a rifle in the house? My very point is that back when I grew up, ALMOST EVERYONE had one. Do you see what they did there?

You can still have a rifle in the house. It just can't be semi-automatic. This means that the guy who wants to do target practice or shoot roos can do so, but the guy who wants to easily kill as many people as possible in a short period of time has some difficulties.

How is that a bad thing?

Re:That's not what happened (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204386)

You can still have a rifle in the house. It just can't be semi-automatic. This means that the guy who wants to do target practice or shoot roos can do so, but the guy who wants to easily kill as many people as possible in a short period of time has some difficulties. How is that a bad thing?

The guy who wants to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time is going to figure out a way to do so. Somehow people manage to buy drugs and that's illegal too. With no CCW and everyone's lame-ass bolt action rifle in the gun safe a prospective mass murderer is virtually guaranteed a large number of kills.

Re:That's not what happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37210006)

With no CCW and everyone's lame-ass bolt action rifle in the gun safe a prospective mass murderer is virtually guaranteed a large number of kills.

The fact that gun ownership is relatively common in the US and yet they still have one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world (for a 1st world country at least) pretty much stabs the "everyone having guns makes everyone safer" hypothesis in the heart and burns the corpse.

Most people aren't murderers, they aren't prepared to enter into a kill or be killed situation and are far more likely to just enter shock or be taken by surprise. By the time the chaos and confusion has died down enough to figure out what is going on and begin some sort of resistance to it, the cops have generally turned up already anyway.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37210934)

The fact that gun ownership is relatively common in the US and yet they still have one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world (for a 1st world country at least) pretty much stabs the "everyone having guns makes everyone safer" hypothesis in the heart and burns the corpse.

Don't use grownup words like "hypothesis" when you're making an un-falsifiable statement. You have no easy way to measure how much less safe American people would be if disarmed, save by disarming them; and then, it's too late.

Most people aren't murderers, they aren't prepared to enter into a kill or be killed situation and are far more likely to just enter shock or be taken by surprise.

Most people are exactly as you say. For the rest of us, there's CCW.

By the time the chaos and confusion has died down enough to figure out what is going on and begin some sort of resistance to it, the cops have generally turned up already anyway.

Incorrect. The cops show up in time to stop a violent crime in progress roughly 5% of the time. As in, roll a natural twenty on your Rescued By Cops saving throw, or too fucking bad for you. Also, they're more likely to shoot the wrong person than an armed citizen who's already on the scene (or is the victim of the attack), for the simple reason that people who are already present when shit starts WILL ALWAYS have a better chance at figuring out what's going on than people who show up even a short while later. Look it up.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37211116)

In our defense, generally most of the gun owners keep it above the fireplace or in a cabinet until they go hunting. The general population of the US doesn't go walking around with a loaded weapon on their person.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216778)

>>The fact that gun ownership is relatively common in the US and yet they still have one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world (for a 1st world country at least) pretty much stabs the "everyone having guns makes everyone safer" hypothesis in the heart and burns the corpse.

And that's why DC, which has the strictest gun control laws in the country, has such a low murder rate, right?

This is an interesting page to read about gun control facts:
http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp [justfacts.com]

Re:That's not what happened (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216708)

The guy who wants to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time is going to figure out a way to do so. Somehow people manage to buy drugs and that's illegal too. With no CCW and everyone's lame-ass bolt action rifle in the gun safe a prospective mass murderer is virtually guaranteed a large number of kills.

Except that without semi-automatic weapons, the mass murderer can't do it on the spur-of-the-moment.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205970)

So why don't we limit people to only smooth bore match lock muzzle loading black powder firearms as those would be enough to take down a roo. I believe that the rate of fire on those is around 6 shots a minute for someone who is really good with one. This would really limit the number of people one could mow down at once while still allowing for hunting and target shooting.

There are times when I was glad to have a semi auto rifle while hunting such things like prairie dogs, or coyotes, hell when hunting deer it was nice that time (5 years ago) I got to take 2 deer that had wandered out into the clearing together. It is not the firearm that is the problem, as one could just as soon use a punt gun and mow down a crowd, but the individual using it. When I was growing up I learned how to properly handle firearms and was taught that they aren't an extension of my cock, but a tool.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206100)

I think you accidentally copied your argument from the fully automatic weapons discussion?

But that's ok, once the semis have been completely wiped you can reuse your argument once more for guns that use cartridge bullets, so we all have to go back to carrying powder and musket balls, just to keep the children safe.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37209172)

You know, there's this weird thing about criminals that might have escaped you: sometimes, criminals disobey the law. Shocking, I know.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216718)

I remember reading somewhere that the largest number of gun related murders are committed by friends or family. So while the criminals may disobey laws, gun laws do work to keep your significant other from putting a hole in you because you left the toilet seat up. :D

Re:That's not what happened (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206184)

To own a .22 target pistol, you need to spend about $5000 in total. Not for the pistol, no, that's cheap, but for the gun safe, the club membership etc etc etc.

I don't have a problem with guns. Indeed, I go skeet shooting with friends reasonably regularly.

However, I have to say I have _zero_ problems with laws requiring the safe storage of guns and at least some token gestures towards ensuring people are competent in their handling. Neither do any of my gun-toting mates I mooch shootin' time off.

I lived in the USA for a while, in Arizona, where it's not uncommon to see people wandering around with guns on them. Used to make me nervous - not because I was worried about someone going postal, but because I was worried about someone accidentally letting off a few rounds. Not to mention the potential for a simple verbal confrontation to escalate into gunfire.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37207442)

It does raise the possibility of indirect prohibition though. The great old tradition in which a government, finding it impossible to actually ban something they dislike, instead create a tangled mess of expensive paperwork deliberatly designed to be near-impossible to comply with. Traditionally used in the US to deal with sexually orientated businesses, abortion and sex offenders. Used in Australia to achieve an effective ban on unrated media.

The anti-gun-control people are afraid of any and all regulation of guns for th same reason the pro-choice people are afraid of any and all regulation of abortion. They see the possibility of incrimentalism looming. If you allow a little regulation today, then there will be more after that, and more after that, until there comes a time when owning a gun means an inch-thick stack of forms and five types of background check at your own expense.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206416)

You stumbled upon the issue people have with firearms. Most people's only exposure to them (especially in urban areas) is through the nightly news where they are used in gang violence, criminal activity, or by crazies who shoot up crowds. I have been accused of effectively murdering my child (nothing has ever happened to him) because I happen to have firearms in my home by relatives who line in San Fransisco, Eugene Oregon, San Jose, and Detroit even though my firearms are stored properly. I have also gotten flack from these same relatives for hunting and how inhumane that is but they all still eat meat. I even own an "AK style assault rifle [wikipedia.org] that has no sporting purpose" according to the media (heard on a radio news report for one of the school shootings) even though it makes a great cheap little deer rifle when going through think forest and pretty much perfect for prairie dogs and coyotes.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217716)

Nice rant and yes I did shoot stuff as a kid as well, but WTF does any of that have to do with my post, the post above or the article? The greens had NOTHING to do with JOHN HOWARD'S gun laws. They are way off on the other end of politics.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204740)

>>Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth?

More because they've caused as many environmental problems as they've solved. Australia has around a quarter of all the uranium deposits in the world, but has no nuclear power plants. Opposition is greatest from Greens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Australia#Opinion_polls), and this in a country where only 7% of energy production comes from green sources.

Fighting for the status quo is a horrible idea when the status quo sucks.

Australia also has none of the nuclear fallout the rest of the world has from Chernobyl and Fukushima. Australia also has large deposits geothermal energy, space for wind, tidal and solar. As a last resort they have oodles of coal they can burn because it is cheap high quality coal.

Australia is burdened with uranium mining that is using a process call acid-leach in-situ mining, which is illegal in the U.S and Russia, on top of the great Artesian Bore, their ground water supply. Have a guess where that uranium is going?

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

Lunzo (1065904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37214396)

The greens don't fight for the status quo - that would be the major parties. The greens are vocal critics of coal fired power stations, especially the brown coal ones. They argue for renewable energy.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37215770)

>>The greens don't fight for the status quo - that would be the major parties. The greens are vocal critics of coal fired power stations, especially the brown coal ones. They argue for renewable energy.

There's a difference between the words and what actually happens. That's the problem Greens always face.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we could ban those low-efficiency station wagons?" they ask - and thus the modern SUV was born.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216686)

Except that while Nuclear Energy is cheap while the plant is in operation, the cost of stripping, renovating and updating nuclear plants (as well as storing the radiation-exposed material) when they get past their use-by date (30-60 years) makes it one of the most expensive forms of energy.
I wish I could find a good, single-source primary sources, but I guess Wikipedia will have to do for the moment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning [wikipedia.org]

Re:You know you're screwed when... (3, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202626)

Australia also recently greatly expanded its Surveillance State [crikey.com.au] . In combination with this new "cyberCrime" bill the game is set - This is the states power grab to control information on the internet [salon.com] .

Quote from that last link "A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State":

The emergence of entities like WikiLeaks (which single-handedly jeopardizes pervasive government and corporate secrecy) and Anonymous (which has repeatedly targeted entities that seek to impede the free flow of communication and information) underscores the way in which this conflict is a genuine "war." The U.S. Government's efforts to destroy WikiLeaks and harass its supporters have been well-documented. Meanwhile, the U.S. seeks to expand its own power to launch devastating cyber attacks: there is ample evidence suggesting its involvement in the Stuxnet attacks on Iran, as well as reason to believe that some government agency was responsible for the sophisticated cyber-attack that knocked WikiLeaks off U.S. servers (attacks the U.S. Government tellingly never condemned, let alone investigated). Yet simultaneously, the DOJ and other Western law enforcement agencies have pursued Anonymous with extreme vigor. That is the definition of a war over Internet control: the government wants the unilateral power to cyber-attack and shut down those who pose a threat ot it, while destroying those who resists those efforts.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203024)

I pulled the wrong quote from that link. I meant to use this one [salon.com] : (Emphasis mine)

This is the point I emphasize whenever I talk about why topics such as the sprawling Surveillance State and the attempted criminalization of WikiLeaks and whistleblowing are so vital. The free flow of information and communications enabled by new technologies -- as protest movements in the Middle East and a wave of serious leaks over the last year have demonstrated -- is a uniquely potent weapon in challenging entrenched government power and other powerful factions. And that is precisely why those in power -- those devoted to preservation of the prevailing social order -- are so increasingly fixated on seizing control of it and snuffing out its potential for subverting that order: they are well aware of, and are petrified by, its power, and want to ensure that the ability to dictate how it is used, and toward what ends, remains exclusively in their hands.

I agree with GP - The Aussie Greens appear to be the only political party with a backbone on these issues. Where are the minority Aussie "right" parties which should also be objecting to this expansion of state power? The US has a few, even if they are completely ignored [salon.com] by the mainstream media circus...

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203412)

"Right" has a different meaning outside the US. It usually goes more in the direction of fascism, in other words, MORE control of the population by the government.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203532)

"Right" has a different meaning outside the US. It usually goes more in the direction of fascism, in other words, MORE control of the population by the government.

Even in the US, it means that in certain contexts. The right in the US tends to be both pro-law-enforcement and anti-regulation. Those two things aren't necessarily compatible, but that has never stopped a political party from trying. :)

The strongest anti-regulation voices in the party are market deregulation, lower taxes, and the gun lobby (both manufacturers and owners). Party members generally don't trust the government to do things right, but they also want to government to punish criminals and have the power to throw criminals away and generally don't care about criminals. They just don't want the government to regulate THEM, because of course they will never be a criminal, and neither will anyone they care about. :)

Of course, these are generalizations, and the real party is quite a mix of interests.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203694)

In a nutshell, at least that's what I noticed, the "right" position is to give corporations as much leeway as possible while caging in the people as much as possible without causing an outright rebellion.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203888)

While grandparent's note that 'the real party is quite a mix of interests' is true and important to keep in mind, the curious dissonance that always strikes me is how often "right" means "I wouldn't trust the government to run a school; but I wholeheartedly support their running a penal system, an army, and a variety of clandestine agencies..."

The fascists, on the one side of "right" and the libertarian anarchists on the other are at least ideologically consistent and the 'I have strong concerns about state power and central-planning's often tepid results; but protective use of force is unfortunately an area of market failure' group has pragmatism in their favor; but the people who, simultaneously, assert that the state ruins everything it touches and regard as practically treasonous anybody who does not give their fervent support to any element of the security apparatus just absolutely baffle me. I don't understand how those two ideas coexist inside a single chunk of brain meat.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216512)

Once you managed to wrap your brain around the concept that you should pay your workers as little as possible (because they're easily replaced and generally expendable materials, there's plenty where that came from), and them using that lack of money for being not only the ones that are consuming your products but also able to prepare for retirement themselves that way (hey, if you don't have the money, you can as well spend it twice), I guess the suspension of disbelief is already at a level where Santa Claus becomes a real figure.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216732)

In a nutshell, at least that's what I noticed, the "right" position is to give corporations as much leeway as possible while caging in the people as much as possible without causing an outright rebellion.

Meh. That currently sounds like both Liberal and Labor parties at the moment here in the land of Oz.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217332)

Yeah, the left sure has learned a lot from the right recently. It's the old ice cream vendor problem.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203524)

Minority parties don't get to make policies so they can display more backbone. If they were actually given the power to implement things I bet they'd get corrupted quickly.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216740)

Minority parties don't get to make policies so they can display more backbone. If they were actually given the power to implement things I bet they'd get corrupted quickly.

But theoretically that would take some time, and those 1 to 2 years of corruption-in-process would still have to be better than the current situation.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#37220084)

Yes but unfortunately getting a majority share is a slow process so the bribers can adjust their corruption plans accordingly.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202690)

So true!

Re:You know you're screwed when... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202708)

No, you know you're screwed when the only sensible voice is the Greens, AND you're in the US, where the Greens are less likely to be part of the government than an oil company is.

Unfortunately, the only hypothetical part of that is the Greens being sensible, and even without that part, you're still screwed.

Statistically... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203748)

Since an oil company is 100% likely to be de facto part of the US Government, any level of support for the Greens will be less than that. Even Brezhnev never got more than about 99.8% of the vote.

...mind you, I really wish the Greens were sensible. I am myself an annoyingly smug environmentalist, but as someone with a scientific and engineering education who has dabbled on the fringes of politics, whenever they open their mouths I cringe.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (2)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202856)

Its not that the major parties are antagonistic towards technology, its that they are ignorant.

ALP(?) did get legislation through forcing government departments to consider open source software, its just that it took democrats and greens to translate the concepts into something the major parties understood.

ALP is driving the NBN which is the biggest technological investment in this country in generations, they deserve some credit for that.

This probably come about because the wikileaks drama caused some ignorant politicians to think about what they stood for, one side deciding they wanted to be seen to be "doing something" about internet stuff.

Scott Ludlam for the greens is worth following, probably more clued in about tech politics than any other representative.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216748)

Its not that the major parties are antagonistic towards technology, its that they are ignorant.

... WILFULLY ignorant!

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203502)

Meh, minority parties are generally smarter than big ones. I'm voting for the Greens in Germany because they also have the sanest stance on privacy and such (to be fair the liberals are also very anti-surveillance but they're going too far with their anti-regulation talk when our economy is actually less fragile than that of less regulated countries), not because I care about their approach to saving the environment. In a representational system those votes for minority parties strengthen their role in govt coalitions which means the big parties have a harder time passing more authoritarian laws.

Re:You know you're screwed when... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205694)

Come to America. The Greens don't have a voice in government, so there's no one sensible at all.

Just shows how things really are (3, Informative)

acehole (174372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202496)

It's a minority government with Labor depending on a couple of independents and a green to have the numbers in the lower house. When things like this come up, Labor and the Coalition (Liberals + Nationals) hold hands like old chums to make sure what they want gets through. Australia has pretty much the same problem as the US in the political system. Team Blue and Team Red. Anyone else that is voted for is just a token effort.

Labor and the Coalition might have different ideals but they're both members of the same "old boys" club and be damned if anyone is going to threaten that.

Re:Just shows how things really are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202804)

Yeah, except the greens are a growing movement, and anyone can vote for them, I think a few more elections will be enough to see the Labour party completely gutted from within by members defecting to the greens. Labour are too far to the right now. The Greens are the only real left leaning party anymore so that's where the votes are going to flow.

Re:Just shows how things really are (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203428)

Know a country where it ain't that way? Even Italy, which is renowned for having a billion parties per election, eventually descended to right vs. left coalition. It's the same all over the globe, in the end, you end up with two groups of parties.

Re:Just shows how things really are (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203764)

Australia has pretty much the same problem as the US in the political system.

You've got a party of racist religious extremists in the pocket of transnational corporations too?

I didn't know. I'm sorry.

Re:Just shows how things really are (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206592)

So is that the donkey or the elephant party in the US? I can't tell them apart when you use such general terms you need to mention specific religions, or specific corporations/industries.

Re:Just shows how things really are (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37211168)

I get the feeling your post was attempting sarcasm, but in all serious: yes, yes we do. In fact we have two parties in the pocket of transnational corporations.

Australia - more backwards than the US (2)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202498)

Second only to the UK. It's so fucked up that shit like this happen and that the general populace don't care, or worse when they are informed support it because its only to stop bad people. Don't be fuckin stupid mate, its only gonna affect criminals! Sigh. No wonder I left.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202574)

yeah, but the problem is where to go

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202640)

I'm thinking maybe Canada, Europe is a possibility (i do have a UK passport) but that involves learning another language.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202698)

Canada is essentially the US, and most of the EU is a nanny state, although not as extreme as the UK. The US actually seems the best of the bunch for many reasons. Odd, huh.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202770)

I agree the US does tick a lot of the boxes and i am tempted, but something about it doesn't quite feel right.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202828)

Personally, I'd say that Australia has its flaws but I'd take it any day over a country that takes all 10 of your fingerprints on entry and has warrantless, industrial-scale monitoring of telephone calls etc.

I suppose it depends which particular freedoms are more or less important to you though. You win some and lose some in each of the countries being mentioned...

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202884)

Australia has warrant-less searching of your home.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203222)

Taking fingerprints isn't unique to the USA, and within its borders I have far more rights and freedoms than I do in Aus...

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203324)

Taking fingerprints in certain situations, for example if you are arrested, is indeed fairly common practice across the world. But we aren't talking about that - we are talking about taking all ten fingerprints of every single entrant to the country. As far as I'm aware that is, in fact, unique to the US (at least among developed countries).

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203564)

all ten fingerprints of every single entrant to the country

To be honest this isn't that big of a deal. You've always needed to be identified to enter the country... the fingerprinting is just a more rigorous form of identification. The difference between presenting a passport and presenting your fingerprints is really just semantics. Not to mention that you forfeit the right against unreasonable search and seizure when crossing an international border. The only thing that could change that would be the elimination of borders entirely.

After all, if you can't identify and/or search people crossing the border, why bother having a border in the first place?

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203708)

I agree that identification is obviously required and that a country has every right to search you or do anything they want, if you are seeking to cross their borders. No arguments there.

The difference is a cultural one. To Americans, the difference between presenting a passport and presenting your fingerprints is "just semantics", as you say. In fact Americans use fingerprints as an identifier in many contexts, and they don't give it a second thought. It's just the way it's done there.

BUT I think they don't understand that in most other countries, taking fingerprints is seen as something only ever done to criminals and is NOT used as a form of identification in any circumstances. As such, it carries a very different connotation. I'd submit to any amount of searching and identification through other means, and that would still 'feel' less invasive to me than taking my fingerprints. To you that may seem ridiculous, but if you grew up in a country where the only time you've ever heard of fingerprinting is in the context of someone being convicted and put in jail, you would understand.

A passport should be enough (especially with the modern electronic/RFID passports they have these days in most developed countries). Having said that, even though I don't like the fingerprinting, it's still within the US' right to require that. It's their border, as you say. Doesn't mean I have to like it though (and I can genuinely say a LOT of people here avoid travelling to the US and spending their tourist dollars there because of this very reason).

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37210208)

I think a more interesting point is that they don't usually check the fingerprints of Americans entering the US... only foreign passport holders.

in most other countries, taking fingerprints is seen as something only ever done to criminals and is NOT used as a form of identification in any circumstances

I don't know about "most other countries", but I know for a fact that to get a French passport you have to give your fingerprints. I know this because I have a French passport in addition to my American one. As a side note, this makes it a hell of a lot easier to travel between the EU and US. You can take the "local" line on both ends =).

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216648)

Interesting. I also hold passports for two (Western, developed) countries and my fingerprints were taken for neither of them. The only entity that has my fingerprints in the world is a foreign (US) government.

I've been to France and didn't have to provide my fingerprints to ~enter~ (even as a non-EU passport holder), but that's not the same as actually applying for a French passport obviously. Plus it was quite a few years ago (2004) so things may have changed since then.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37215490)

I agree that identification is obviously required and that a country has every right to search you or do anything they want, if you are seeking to cross their borders. No arguments there.

And I think you're nuts, or suicidally timid. Why people are so willing to bend over for gov't paranoia escapes me. If you've done nothing wrong, nor displayed any propensity for doing wrong, why are you EXPECTED to put up with this sort of !@#$?

The US, at least, used to go by this "Probable ..." thing, as in someone suspects you capable of dangerous stuff based on your known and demonstrable probability of doing harmful stuff, THEN you get looked at. Now, it's just dragnet; everyone's suspect. TSA! TSA!

Backbone anyone? Me, I don't like that kind of suspicion of my honourable intentions, so I choose not to go there. They've no right to insinuate that I'm a "potentially" bad person when I've done nothing to raise anyone's suspicions. Their loss.

Yeah, I'm a libertarian, and I think this century sucks horribly. I wish you all would just start saying no to your police state at every turn, whichever it may be.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216524)

I wasn't saying I ~liked~ the idea of a country doing invasive searches etc. I was merely agreeing with the assertion made by the parent that the US (like any country) technically has the legal right to impose whatever entry requirements for non-citizens that it sees fit. Just as I am free not to travel to the US if I don't agree with their entry procedures. And just as the citizens of that country are free to get rid of those laws if they don't like them by voting the offending parties out (although in a de facto 2 party state like the US, both can be as bad as each other admittedly).

I don't agree either with the way the TSA is doing things these days (though it doesn't affect me much personally as I rarely travel to the US ... in my home country thankfully there's no nudie scans or liquids-on-flights restrictions or taking off shoes or any of that other crap the US has introduced in the last 10 years).

Having said that, unless you are advocating a completely open border/borderless society, I don't think that simple identification procedures (e.g. passport) are overly onerous. Similarly with Xrays of baggage etc. - that's done in Australia though mostly due to quarantine rather than terrorism concerns (taking food/plant material into an island nation like Australia is a big no-no as we are free of many diseases and pests that exist in other countries, and would like to keep it that way).

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204822)

Japan does it, Brazil does it for certain visitors, and a few other countries do it. Not common, but by no means unique to the US. I also feel you are mistaken. Americans are not so casual about fingerprints, and like in most westen countries it is something only to be done when you are arrested. Still, it isn't invasive, and I think it may be a mental block on your part.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37216480)

Ok fair enough - not unique. I said "as far as I know", and I haven't been to Japan or Brazil. But of the ~15 or so countries I've entered, the US is the only that took fingerprints.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37209248)

I entered the country recently, returning from a trip abroad, and no one took my fingerprints.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202904)

Well in the scandinavian countries, the Netherlands & Belgium people generally speak English as a second language..

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202982)

I wouldn't be able to handle the whole country having a language i didn't understand but it would defiantly help the learning process.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203152)

From what I have read the biggest problem with trying to learn a Scandinavian language is that most Scandinavians rather speak English with you as soon as they notice that you are struggeling with the language. Perhaps it will be easier for you to fit in if you moved to Germany or France where they refuse to speak English.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203422)

That hasn't been my experience of Germans and Germany. Germans in my experience generally switch to English when there's a need. The previous poster is correct with regards to Scandinavia. A large enough percentage speak English and are comfortable with switching over if you're struggling with the local tongue.

Join a bunch of French people at a table and they're far more likely to leave you sitting there not understanding a word of what's going on. That's been my experience of over ten years of working with them and trips to France and Germany.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203442)

Can't speak for France, but the German "anti-english" sentiment is mostly a thing of the older generations, younger (and halfway decently educated) people will seamlessly switch to English if they notice you have troubles understanding them. Like, say, when you're from another part of Germany (seriously, they have mean dialects!).

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202854)

Sweden?

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202576)

As sad as it is, the US is becoming good in comparison. Let us not forget France's three strikes law.

We're quickly nearing a need to have our own version of the Arab Spring, to establish some governments that respect technological freedom.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (2, Interesting)

janrinok (846318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202802)

Ah, the 3 strikes law.... I am currently living in France (and have for quite a few years now) and have not heard of anyone being prosecuted under that law (HADOPI), nor am I aware of anyone having had their internet connection withdrawn. I'm sure it must have happened, but it is not the doom and gloom that others seem to think that it is. I do know lots of people who regularly download films, music and pornography but none have experienced any trouble nor do they show the slightest concern for that particular law. It seems to me that the HADOPI law has put more fear into people who don't live here than it has in those who do...

French legal system (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203792)

This reminds me of an old joke:
  • In England, some things are forbidden and some things are compulsory and everything else is optional.
  • In Germany, everything which is not compulsory is forbidden.
  • In France almost everything is forbidden, and nobody takes any notice.
  • In Switzerland everybody does exactly what they like, but strangely it turns out to be the same as everybody else.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202810)

Hold on there ... while I agree with your sentiment, this is far from being a done deal. It still has to get through the Senate, which in its current form it isn't likely to do.

We often see overreaction on Slashdot (some guy proposes something bad, and people talk about it on here like it's already a law). Conroy's internet filter springs to mind - it never had a hope of getting through Parliament and being enacted, but people on Slashdot talked about it like it was definitely going to happen (and some still seem to think that it DID happen). Slashdot headlines are always designed to be sensationalist, remember.

Introducing, or even passing, a Bill through one chamber of Parliament does not equal an enacted law. And the same applies here.

TFA provides some hope: "The Attorney General said today he was considering the report before the debate in the Senate. The Australian Greens look forward to working with both parties to fix this fundamentally flawed bill in the Senate, but we are greatly troubled by the fact that both the Labor Party and Coalition gave no indication in the House that they believed any of the flaws needed fixing. On the contrary, they had nothing but praise for the bill.

Re:Australia - more backwards than the US (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37207502)

I think a lot of them are negociating ploys. Push for something far too ambitious to actually pass. After months of debate, rewriting and watering-down you still have something the original proposer wants, and it can go through, while the opponents claim credit for stopping something that was never intended to pass anyway.

No need to worry (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202586)

The police are with the good guys. They're only trying to catch the bad guys. If the laws stop them them must be changed. We don't want another terrorist attack, right? And we should protect the kids from predators. If you're not with the bad guys, you shouldn't have anything to hide from the police. Also, they are committed to keeping your data securely. The police can be trusted.

Re:No need to worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202710)

The police can be trusted.

hahaha, this has to be a troll.

Re:No need to worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202726)

Good call there genius.

Re:No need to worry (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203454)

You forgot to mention that we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Clearly Biased Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202600)

While it does contain news, the story clearly takes sides using highly opinionated language, then tops it off by linking to the Green party. Sounds like a piece from a leftist FOX news.

The Greens have never been a sensible voice and use every opportunity to push their own extremist agenda.

None of you pot-smoking socialists have even read the bill and already you're crying foul. The bill has nothing to do with limiting your freedoms or inspecting all your traffic without cause - it seeks to address certain severe limitations with existing police powers. The two are not mutually exclusive. Don't post unsubstantiated opinions based on a politically motivated story without having read any of the background.

Re:Clearly Biased Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202832)

If you have read the bill you would see how easy it would be to use for whatever the police or another country wanted it for. "without cause" is a perfect example; do you know it is easy for the police to have a cause?

Re:Clearly Biased Article (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202970)

While it does contain news, the story clearly takes sides using highly opinionated language, then tops it off by linking to the Green party.

Just a guess, but maybe it's "clearly biased" because the site belongs to Senator Scott Ludlam, a senior member of the Green party? /sarcasm.
PS: Kudo's to the submitter for linking to the original source rather than an opinion blog about a newspaper article about the senator's press release..

Re:Clearly Biased Article (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203618)

AC did you read http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jscc/cybercrime_bill/report/additional_comments.pdf [aph.gov.au] ?
ASIO (Australia's national security service ~MI5) gets more power.
Your ISP will preserve traffic data for a ***foreign country*** in response to a mutual assistance request. (A 24/7 tap thats .au legal, NSA is in from the cold)
Traffic may be stored for up to 180 days
Domestic investigation data is shared without request to any country Australia likes.
No independent oversight.
Not clear on 'telecommunications data' - what can they collect?
No dual criminality test for mutual assistance - if your ip is found anywhere in the world on any forum...

WHY CAN'T THE SUBJECT BE AN ELLIPSIS? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202632)

W... T... F... Exactly what are the difficulties one might encounter in renouncing one's citizenship?

Re:WHY CAN'T THE SUBJECT BE AN ELLIPSIS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202712)

Deportation and the problems of being without home state on foreign soil.

Re:WHY CAN'T THE SUBJECT BE AN ELLIPSIS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203120)

If you go to another country and they have signed a treaty preventing it, if you have no home state, you will be treated like a refugee and offered citizenship.

Re:WHY CAN'T THE SUBJECT BE AN ELLIPSIS? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202788)

If you're a citizen of some other country, not many.

If you aren't though, er, where exactly do you propose to go then?

You can check out but you can never leave... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202900)

We've been getting a lot of news here in Canada about American's living in Canada but never renounced their citizenship and who are now facing some pretty draconian tax issues.

I met one former American who spent $5000 to renounce and has 6 more years ( out of ten) where he can't spend more than 30 days a year in the U.S.. No wonder most never bother to renounce.

The U.S. is forcing Canadian banks ( through threats to specially tax their American subsidiaries ) to report on Americans. So just saying to hell with it is no longer an option. Oh, and all those years of failing to file a separate form reporting your non-U.S. account - big penalty - potentially huge penalty.. plus interest... yikes.

The funny part... America was founded by people who voted with their feet.

Are you really free if you can't actually leave.. not that you would ever want to... but isn't the threat of leaving part of keeping things honest even if you don't ?

another treat... the IRS pays tax snitches... so good luck getting help with tax issues after the fact - you've got a bounty on your head! Are "they" watching to see who downloads the voluntary disclosure forms from the IRS? Thanks to the internet you may not even be able to help yourself.

It's a slippery slope to mental illness. Can't you tell I've been dealing with some tax issues lately...

Re:WHY CAN'T THE SUBJECT BE AN ELLIPSIS? (1)

Thornae (53316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37207160)

Well, for one thing, they'll charge you $285 for the privilege [citizenship.gov.au] .

"Cybercrimes" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202720)

"Cybercrimes"? Is it a bill against software patents?

Fir5t posT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37204374)

of OpenBSD Versus It's best to try OUT HOW TO MAKE THE

Australians are fucktards, this is more proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37207174)

Having worked for Aussies, I can attest to how completely retarded they can be.

Cybercrime Bill (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37209386)

If my name were William and I were a cyber criminal, that's how I would like to be known. Cybercrime Bill sounds awesome!

Write to your MP (1)

Slotty (562298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37213260)

Handwrite a letter and get up in arms about it!

Constituents writing a letter scares politicians and when it's done by hand they get even more spooked. Pen to paper equates to genuine concern.

So They're Going Under Down Under (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37214142)

Nothing new, in the story. It's a repeat of the Printing Press one, where information distribution was advanced beyond the comfort levels of the contemporary authorities. It's the story of the Lollards, who did the same, expanding information distribution beyond authorities' comfort-zones by translating Judeo-Christian Scriptures into vernacular languages, so the masses could-read them (or they could be read to the masses then).

Let's see, the Lollards were persecuted, and their work destroyed, until it was gathered and published under King James, the printing press was bound with prohibitions, licensing requirements, regulation, laws and lawsuits, which slowed the spread of legal printing, while providing economic opportunities for over-the-border printers, in places languages were not those being printed, which gave the printers the excuse that the words were Greek to them, and wasn't Greek respectable? and how were they to the customer was a smuggler?

Soon enough came broadsheets, broadsides, bill-posting. Then the mimeograph machine. With the mimeograph the game went to cat-and-mouse, then came the Xerox process, and then the computer, then the internet...

Now they hope to put a lid on the internet distribution can. To close Julian Asange's box, instead of Pandora's.

That it is occurring in Australia, originally a penal colony, where, among others, political disidents were quarantined in efforts to stifle their voices, is ironic. Proves the premise Albert Camus put forward in his "Myth of Sisyphus, that the slave, on becoming able to dominate, dominates, becomes a slaver.

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