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US-Australia Agreements Create Opportunities for Privacy Violation, Extradition

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the come-on-don't-you-like-opportunities? dept.

Australia 127

TheGift73 writes with a link to (and this excerpt from the beginning of) a brief description at TorrentFreak of recently signed agreements between the U.S. and Australia: "Figures.... File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with U.S. authorities."

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Hey. (-1, Offtopic)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905793)

Why? Why not Gamemaker. Switch now! Gamemaker's the best!

Re:Hey. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905821)

Oh, Jesus, can you see, what inside undies todaaaaaaay!

Use Gamemaker...

What is the Department of Homeland Security for ? (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905835)

I mean, what that word "Homeland" really means ?

Why the hell the department of HOMELAND SECURITY is interfering with file sharing ?

What " SECURITY RISKS " do torrent / file sharing pose for the HOMELAND that department supposed to protect ?

Re:What is the Department of Homeland Security for (-1, Troll)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905845)

Frankly, I'm going to be frank: you need to calm down, take a breather, and smash your ass down on Gamemakerdom.

That's right. You need to return to Gamemakerdom. Your entire life is meaningless unless you do so.

Re:What is the Department of Homeland Security for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905869)

Homeland Security if for Protectionism of US Government and their Lobbying organizations interests.

Re:What is the Department of Homeland Security for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905995)

It would seem that ICE/Homeland Security is the only government organization that the *IAA, ESA, Nintendo, etc could get to take them seriously and persuade to be their goons in the extortion racket they like to call their "anti-piracy campaign"

For Bureacuracy and ... what the title suggests?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906055)

n/t

Re:What is the Department of Homeland Security for (1)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906679)

What " SECURITY RISKS " do torrent / file sharing pose for the HOMELAND that department supposed to protect ?

information leaks? big zip files of diplomatic cables? who knows.

though perhaps "homeland" is one of those ministry of truth kind of names

Re:Hey. (-1, Offtopic)

feasttoday (2632739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905825)

I come in here, and what do I find? More people not using gamemaker! The gamemakerlessness is simply astounding!

RETURN TO GAMEMAKERDOM, I SAY!

Re:Hey. (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905997)

It's just you. Most people have already moved on to the PHP edition to work on GamemakerVille!

Sucks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905795)

...to be you.

Re:Sucks... (0)

starworks5 (139327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905817)

to be Julian Assange, considering that he is running for Australian senate

Terrorism (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905801)

Having caught every terrorist in the world, Department of Homeland Security has now moved to the next threat to America: People downloading crappy TV series.

The Department of Homeland Security is a joke. Director, you sir, are a joke. And sooner or later, public support is going to evaporate, and then you'll be wasting billions of dollars classifying every detail about every employee in your organization. Every camera you point at the public will mean ten more pointed back at you. You're going to spend more time spinning and protecting your image as the "good guys" than you will finding and hunting down the bad guys. And the only people who are going to want to work for your organization are pathetic paper pushers with no sense of ambition, loyalty, or patriotism. And why will that be? Because that's the kind of person your organization will be doing its bidding for. You won't be saving the world... you'll be pool boys for the wealthy entertainment industry.

Re:Terrorism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905827)

The sooner someone puts a bullet in the head of DHS the better for the world.

Re:Terrorism (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906021)

The sooner someone puts a bullet in the head of DHS the better for the world.

One, they'd just replace him with someone else just as bad. Two, you'd be doing the exact same thing they do: Carry out extrajudicial executions without a full review of the facts, which are presented in front of a judge and jury, and the results made public. We can't regain democracy in this country by stooping to their level -- if we're going to dismantle this corrupt super-organization, it's going to start with exposure and doing an end runaround the media.

Spin doctoring and media manipulation works fine against small targets... but if thousands of people are monitoring and reporting every illegal and immoral activity of the organization, then they can't just dismiss them as terrorists, malcontents, criminals, etc. You can't discredit everyone, no matter how much blackmail you've got.

Re:Terrorism (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906111)

I prefer to read that comment as putting a metaphorical bullet in the metaphorical head of the department. But you are right, that is how we must do it.

Re:Terrorism (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906415)

One, they'd just replace him with someone else just as bad. Two, you'd be doing the exact same thing they do: Carry out extrajudicial executions without a full review of the facts, which are presented in front of a judge and jury, and the results made public. We can't regain democracy in this country by stooping to their level -- if we're going to dismantle this corrupt super-organization, it's going to start with exposure and doing an end runaround the media.

A pretty ideal but naive. Talking someone into giving up power only works when a) they are willing to listen to reason [pig-headed delusion about being right by default prevents this]; and b) has a sense of shame. If your opponent fails on either of these counts then they will not go quietly into the night no matter how much you insist they should, they will cling to that Titanic claiming that it is unsinkable even when the water is up to their neck.

The important thing to remember about the justice system is that it is a mechanism for preserving the status quo of civilization. When the status quo slides away from fairness and actual justice then you aren't going to find those within the system. There's a reason the American Revolution against the British was a war. If you can find people in influential positions who will actually listen and force the collective to behave then maybe you can accomplish your Velvet Revolution but don't expect the institutions of state to give a damn.

I should also point out that someone being compelled to leave office due to a scandal is itself a form of extrajudicial punishment, they were not found guilty under the law but a metaphorical lynching occurred anyway, do you have problem with this as well? I think it's important to remember that Judges really are not all that special, we hope they are fair, wise and knowledgeable but the reality is that you could pick 12 of your neighbors randomly, name yourself judge and run a trial if you wanted; the only difference between you and a "real trial" is the fancy courthouse, robes and the power to command the sword of the state (police) to uphold your/the juror's decision.

Can you say "dying empire"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39908955)

Like dying dinosaurs, dying empires make an astounding fuss and emit loud noises.

Then, they die.

Re:Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39909305)

You are naive to believe that there is something "democratic" that can be done about this. No, no, no democracy can not be regained it has to be re-won. The only solution is a revolution where all their power structures are dismantled the winners start democracy anew with better defenses against democracy being lost ever again.

Re:Terrorism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906281)

Holy jebus... if the wrong person saw that, you'd probably have bought yourself a one-way ticket to gitmo.

Re:Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906115)

And then they'll release the T virus and all the eyes in the (remaining) world will turn to a woman named Alice and her very distinctive - wait, sorry, wrong storyline.... ;)

Re:Terrorism (2)

Sosarian Avatar (2509846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906267)

We wish that's what would happen. More realistically, most of the country will be too busy focusing on entertainment & their bills or job woes to notice what DHS is up to & too uneducated to fully understand it or the freedoms we've been losing; of the people that do notice, most will decide/realize they're powerless to do anything and feel fortunate if DHS hires them given the job market's a mess -- a very small percentage will actively try to change the situation, only to fail or come under DHS scrutiny because there aren't enough activists to make a dent in the problem.

Just consider the closest thing we've had to a grassroots movement in decades (i.e. Occupy)... The government has been alternately ignoring it, seeding it with dissidents, and attacking it physically or legally, and the media convinced the rest of the population that the participants are either hooligans, spoiled trust fund babies, or 'dirty' hippies from '68 that found a time machine. The one success that I saw Occupy claim -- temporary halt of foreclosure evictions during part of December -- turned out to be something that the banks have done every year for ages.

Re:Terrorism (4, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906893)

The Department of Homeland Security isn't involved in chasing copyright violators. TorrentFreaks makes a random association of DHS and Napolitano's visit to O'Dwyer's legal issues with the Department of Justice.

Re:Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907939)

Everything is connected. This case even more so.

Business interests drive foreign policy. I'll say this in other words: the corporations own the nukes.

Do you sleep safely now?

Re:Terrorism (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907791)

And we will be paying for every useless bit of it.

Sounds politically dicey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905805)

Happy Cinco De Mayo, Australia. I raise my Corona in toast to you, our kinsfolk in the free world.

Elections in Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905853)

Any idea when the next elections are in Australia? What are the chances that Australians will vote for the same party that is doing this to them? They can't be that stupid, can't they? Harden the F up, Australia!!

Re:Elections in Australia (5, Informative)

commlinx (1068272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905883)

Any idea when the next elections are in Australia? What are the chances that Australians will vote for the same party that is doing this to them?

It must be held by the end of November 2013, but could potentially be before-hand.

As for your second question this is the the first I've heard of it, no coverage at all in mainstream media. That implies the opposition party didn't raise too many public concerns so no reason to think they wouldn't have done the same thing.

Re:Elections in Australia (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906017)

our opposition party in Australia (the so called "Liberal/National Party", Read Conservative) wouldn't do anything about it, they are the ones who introduced the 'Fair trade laws" which mean that Australians have to bend over backwards to any American copyright but Australian copyright means nothing to America.
At least the Government waited until the Secretary was in Canberra to sign the papers, The Lib/NCP would have signed them and sent them in advance.

Re:Elections in Australia (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906135)

our opposition party in Australia (the so called "Liberal/National Party", Read Conservative) wouldn't do anything about it, they are the ones who introduced the 'Fair trade laws" which mean that Australians have to bend over backwards to any American copyright but Australian copyright means nothing to America. At least the Government waited until the Secretary was in Canberra to sign the papers, The Lib/NCP would have signed them and sent them in advance.

You are spot on. Unfortunately, posting as AC means many will miss your post. Luckily, we are still free to express our political opinion in Australia.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906531)

from what I can see (living in Australia) most of your everyday Aussies aren't even aware of what they're losing in terms of privacy etc... with these new agreements. And even if they knew, the majority of them wouldn't care. If even American citizens can't stop their own govt snooping, what chance do other govt's have. Australia has always been in bed with the U.S. We're almost like the 51st state of the US.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907419)

Yay! Canada has now been demoted to 53rd place!

Re:Elections in Australia (5, Informative)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906107)

In Australia, we have a situation similar to that of the US. We have 2 major parties one of which is a coalition, but that is irrelevant. Both parties are right of centre and have a secular façade. Both parties have the same contributors, the same policies (albeit a difference in approach), just different 'friends'. The incumbent has few friends in the media and has been raked over the coals continuously for most the term, ever since they attempted to tax the rich. The opposition does not really advertise their policies and simply plays 'the no game' - and they play it well.

The mainstream media in Australia supports the two-party system of voting and government, thus Australians are led to believe that an independent vote or minor party vote is a wasted vote. The media create such a brouhaha involving these major parties that people vote AGAINST the major party they don't want elected instead of considering all parties policies or their leaders reputations. This is the system that keeps these parties in power.

My vote will be wasted in the sense that the party I vote for will not be elected. My vote will not be wasted in the sense that I will be on record as preferring another parties policies. Come next election, there is a chance that the major party that is down in the polls MAY adopt some of the policies from these minor parties in order to secure votes. The outcome being that the people I wanted in are not, their policies are.

Voting is mandatory in Australia and as such is viewed as a chore or a burden. A lot of people don't take it seriously. It doesn't help that it is very difficult to get information on each of the candidates policies. The only real campaigning is tacky flyers with 'Vote #1' in beg red type and a spiel about why the other guy is so horrid.

To highlight my point compare the opposition [liberal.org.au] to a minor party [ldp.org.au] that most people are unaware of. The oppositions website uses the entire banner and the right half of every page attacking the incumbent. Policies are split across dozens of PDFs across several pages. The minor party makes their policies very clear with a headline, summary and major point of each area of issue on a single page.

Now in answer to you questions,

Any idea when the next elections are in Australia?

By Nov 30, 2013. Possibility of an early election but the incumbent won't call it because they are around 30% in the polls and the opposition won't challenge because they have a chickenshit leader.

What are the chances that Australians will vote for the same party that is doing this to them?

Very small - but not because of this issue. The other party would and will do exactly the same thing

They can't be that stupid, can't they?

Unfortunately, yes

Harden the F up, Australia!!

We are following in the footsteps of the US, except out citizens don't have the right to bear arms. Everyone wants change but votes the fucking same.

Re:Elections in Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906371)

This post ignores the fact that the current government is only in place because of the support of one of the minor parties (The greens). Neither of the two big parties currently have the numbers to form government in their own right, they have to form a coalition with one of the minor parties are the independents.

Re:Elections in Australia (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906417)

This post ignores the fact that the current government is only in place because of the support of one of the minor parties (The greens). Neither of the two big parties currently have the numbers to form government in their own right, they have to form a coalition with one of the minor parties are the independents.

Good point. This actually made me hopeful that people would start considering their options. The media, and possibly the majors themselves, have been throwing around terms like 'corruption', '$43 Billion', 'sexual harassment' and 'vote of no confidence' in order to get Joe Public furious enough to vote AGAINST a major by voting FOR the other major. Without this kerfuffle, I would think that minor/independent parties would have the majors by the balls come next election. The way it is looking now, it will be a landslide for the opposition. I do, however, expect votes for minor/independent parties to be much higher than previous recent elections.

Re:Elections in Australia (2)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906967)

I'm definitely going to be voting minority parties this year, though the amazing complexity of the voting system means that no doubt some Lib/Lab cockjockey will end up benefitting from my vote.

I can't believe the political dialogue in this country sometimes. It's like people were born supporting Liberals or Labour, and so they defend that party against all comers, regardless of how godawful the politicians actually are. You can't see the policies for the haze of partisan conflict. But then, both parties' policies are 'whatever the other party does is wrong' with no real thought behind it.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907433)

Like AC said, we have a minor party proping up the labour government. Your original post ignores the fact we have the proportional representation in the senate which has what let the greens capture the balance of power. The is very different to the US where there is no proportional representaion in there senate or congress. The votes for the minor parties will only increase as the voters become dissillusioned with the major parties.

Re:Elections in Australia (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906921)

We have 2 major parties one of which is a coalition, but that is irrelevant.

That's hardly irrelevant. Without the support of a small minority party that has something around 13% of the vote, Labor would not be in the majority. Think about what that means.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907355)

I'm not sure he was actually thinking of Labor when that was written...

Re:Elections in Australia (2)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907057)

In Australia, we have a situation similar to that of the US. We have 2 major parties one of which is a coalition, but that is irrelevant. Both parties are right of centre and have a secular façade. Both parties have the same contributors, the same policies (albeit a difference in approach), just different 'friends'.

So, in effect, its a one-party state with that one party having two factions. Much like the USA.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907455)

No that is not true. Here the greens (about as left as we have in australia) are proping up the labour government with seats. Without them neither party would have a clear majority. In australia your vote for the minor parties has alot more value than it would in the US when voting for the senate.

Re:Elections in Australia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907097)

Australians are led to believe that an independent vote or minor party vote is a wasted vote.

You missed one major point which non-Australians in general may be unfamiliar with: Australia uses instant-runoff voting [wikipedia.org] , in which you rank the candidates in the order of your preference, rather than voting for a single one. So you can put your favourite minority party down as your top preference, and if they don't get in, your vote gets transferred to your second preference, and so on, usually eventually going to the major party that you ranked above the other major party. So there's no such thing as a wasted vote.

Re:Elections in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907365)

Mods?!

Oh FFS (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905857)

How do we (Australians) sack our government? They are obviously fucked in the head.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905889)

Re:Oh FFS (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907051)

Correction, not enough Europeans care.

Re:Oh FFS (2)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905935)

How do we (Australians) sack our government? They are obviously fucked in the head.

We can't vote in US elections :)

Re:Oh FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905945)

brilliant!

Sadly, though, most Americans don't vot in US elections

Re:Oh FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905963)

We can help them hack their electronic election boots =)

Re:Oh FFS (1)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906681)

apparently we can ask the governor general nicely

Re:Oh FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906723)

You mean the same anachronistic old wank who thinks over 18s don't play video games? The same dicktard who petitioned the courts to censor the FOI requests to make the minutes of the MPAA/RIAA talks with ISPs public? Somehow I don't think he will listen. Somehow I think he's already in their pockets.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907075)

For one, he is a she. And two - No.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor-General_of_Australia
Perhaps you're thinking of a certain southern state governor?

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907541)

How do we (Australians) sack our government? They are obviously fucked in the head.

All you need to do to sack every one of them is 1) take a black marker to the next polling booth, 2) strike out EVERY candidate on the ballot, 3) place your secret ballot in the ballot box. This will not count as an informal vote as you will have expressed your will to REMOVE the preselected candidates. You're not told this as a majority vote like this would cause chaos for federal parliament (they would realise that the people are back in control and the gravy train ride was over). It is your duty as an Australian to vote in (or out) the candidate in your electorate that will perform your will and not that of a foreign entity (which is classified as treason and punishable at a minimum by removal from parliament or more severely... death). Do a video search for "Sack Australian Parliament". It is extremely insightful.

Can we get some objective analysis? (-1, Troll)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905895)

Torrent Freak seems highly pro-piracy and against paying for anything. They refer to Kim Dotcom as a "celebrity hacker and internet entrepreneur". He was a career criminal who made a living by deliberately charging for access to content that he didn't own, and didn't create, nor have any license or agreement in place to distribute. Hardly an entrepreneur. Just a guy who figured out that it was easy to distribute copies of games, shows, albums, and films, without paying any of the artists or companies involved and get rich quickly off of it. If a country has a career criminal operating a warez empire and they want to crack down on him then good for them. Kim Dotcom is no hero, he's an insider trader, and embezzler, who moved onto his next scam.

What exactly are copyright holders supposed to do about people like Kim Dotcom? Let him make millions off of other people's work? Allow him to continually ignore their requests to remove their work from his site? The fact is that we live in a world that is much smaller and connected through the internet. Information is connected worldwide so why not have some laws, international laws on the books, that are connected as well. To help spread the flow of information while also protecting copyright holders who want their works protected.

"We have reached a point in Australia where citizens can be arrested and extradited to the United States based on information supplied by Australian spies for breaches of US law on Australian soil. Australia has effectively signed away its right to govern its own in matters of copyright infringement when those matters overlap the interests of the United States".

Australia has determined that if someone breaks a specific law that they can be tried in the United States. That's how they've chosen to govern that particular offense. If this is how the Australian government wants it then that's how it is. As long as they aren't flying high school students to the U.S. for downloading a few songs and are actually going after career criminals then I don't see why anyone (other than pirates who want free stuff) would have a problem.

Is it stupid to arrest someone for downloading music or movies? Yes. Is it ridiculously absurd to assert that downloading a few songs is worth millions or billions in damages? Obviously. Is it wasteful to extradite someone to another country for downloading music or games or whatever? Of course. But it is hardly a waste to arrest the guys who run criminal empires that make millions of dollars off of illegally distributed works and extradite them to the U.S. to answer for their willing participation in an organized criminal business.

I don't really have a problem with the Kim Dotcoms of the world being held accountable for their criminal empires. If they live in a country that will extradite them to the U.S. then they run a risk for operating an illegal business.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905909)

You can be pro piracy and not against paying for stuff. Those who will pay, or think it is worth paying for will pay. Those who can't or don't think something is worth paying for, won't.

You can't change that.

So instead focus on making better music or movies, and accept that people may share your shit and you can't stop it.

You can be comforted by the fact that a)those people are spreading your work bring in potential paying customers and b) the free cultural exchange of ideas benefits society.

Protecting their assets (1)

Gimbal (2474818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906081)

Though I don't feel any particular warm fuzzies about it, I understand that the recording industry is simply endeavoring to protect its collective assets, in so far as legal precedent may define its collective assets to be.

I'm sure that there may also be a certain side to it, in which they're simply endeavoring to impress shareholders. The main issue seems to be the matter of legal precedent, however.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (3, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905947)

The issue here is that the people being extradited aren't committing crimes. If they did they could be charged, but they aren't so extradition is the only way to lock them up.

Soon we'll be sending all women to Saudi Arabia to have their heads cut off.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906143)

Soon we'll be sending all women to Saudi Arabia to have their heads cut off.

As soon as the Saudis have the geopolitical clout to make that demand anyway.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (3, Insightful)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905967)

For all the criminal career of Kim Dotcom, how does anything he did become a threat to Homeland security? DHS does not, or at least should not, have jurisdiction in every federal crime. And since when is copyright violation even a crime instead of a tort?

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905975)

A little broader perspective
http://slashdot.org/journal/282007/fun-things-about-australia [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/journal/282059/apparently-i-was-not-pessimistic-enough-yesterday [slashdot.org]
[these are by me from the few days]

Basically ignore the hype of file sharing, the Australian government really wants to get down & dirty on this total information awareness deal. NBN will be a big help there.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905985)

I draw a clear line between redistributing works (like filesharers) and reselling them for profit (like Kim Dotcom). But even the latter I find less objectionable than the modern copyright industry. The measures proposed and implemented in the defense of copyright - subverting people's devices, putting national law enforcement resources at the disposal of a civil complainant, bribing laws into being that impose completely disproportionate financial penalties - are a detriment to modern society that is more important than the entire entertainment industry. Even if the Kim Dotcoms of the world were to strangle Hollywood to a fraction of its current size, it would be worth it if it destroyed the MPAA.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905993)

But it is hardly a waste to arrest the guys who run criminal empires that make millions of dollars off of illegally distributed works and extradite them to the U.S. to answer for their willing participation in an organized criminal business.

Except that it is a waste. People who want to download will move elsewhere, and they're the people who you just said weren't worth arresting. The fact that he's making money means nothing. It's mostly on ads and premium accounts. And all this is from the people who use the website (the ones you said weren't worth arresting). It's a complete waste of time. We gain absolutely nothing from wasting taxpayer dollars trying to stop this.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906039)

re 'That's how they've chosen to govern that particular offense."
If its such an offence, why not face an Australian judge or jury? You then get to quiz your isp, the legal standing of the firm that identified you and trace paper trail that got you before a court.
Hire a legal team, see what they can do and face the Australian legal system, media and the state/federal political machines that passed the laws.

Its also very chilling to think about having your ip/site/comments/video/pics found by a US contractor/official. You might have posted from Australia, but this could get interesting for Australian citizen journalists.
Aid and comfort to a person who leaked a secret document?

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906127)

They refer to Kim Dotcom as a "celebrity hacker and internet entrepreneur". He was a career criminal who made a living by deliberately charging for access to content that he didn't own, and didn't create, nor have any license or agreement in place to distribute. Hardly an entrepreneur.

Blah blah blah. I hate to break it to you, but he's as much an entrepreneur as the Google guys were around when they started. What, you think a search engine owns all the content you can access through their search page? And yet, they charge you through forcing ads down your throat, and through selling your private browsing behaviour to third parties.

Welcome to the Internet in 2012. Kim Dotcom is just an average internet entrepreneur, but I guess he's not an American darling.

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (1)

fuhq2mofo (1820918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906211)

Allow him to continually ignore their requests to remove their work from his site?

Actually they gave the companies direct access to remove content from the site. I think it was only limited to 100,000 files per day. So the site was completely DMCA compliant and cooperated with them in every way. In fact, they were even working a deal with a few media companies to distribute their content legally. The companies were just butt-hurt because no matter how hard they tried the pirates were always one step ahead.

So they did everything they could to stop it. Including using their crony friends in the government take the site taken down illegally!

Re:Can we get some objective analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906355)

You should be interested to know that Megaupload did indeed comply with the takedown requests of copyright holders when alerted to the files in question, the problem they had with the company was that Megaupload wasn't "proactive" in removing files without notification, regardless that such a system isn't feasible.

Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (5, Interesting)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905921)

Far worse than the stereotype of Americans here on /.

Australians tend to be gullible, and heavily rely on group think. If you think something other than the obvious what the media says, prepare to be insulted while patiently trying to articulate your point.

Most Australians would be OK with this because they will believe it is for the greater good and serves some purpose. If this is even on their radar. Historically they are more concerned with essentially inconsequential things like tuition increases or workchoices.

Written as an Aussie expat.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (4, Interesting)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906255)

As an Aussie - this guy is fairly right.
You can get us to whine a fair bit but as for actually doing anything? Simply unheard of. We're so screwed.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (2)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906379)

Far worse than the stereotype of Americans here on /.

Australians tend to be gullible, and heavily rely on group think. If you think something other than the obvious what the media says, prepare to be insulted while patiently trying to articulate your point.

Most Australians would be OK with this because they will believe it is for the greater good and serves some purpose. If this is even on their radar. Historically they are more concerned with essentially inconsequential things like tuition increases or workchoices.

Written as an Aussie expat.

Bullshit. Maybe the people you hang out with rely on group think, but that's not typical in my experience. Possibly the lower class rely on "group think" but I imagine that would be the same in any country you care to visit.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (2)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906605)

Bullshit. Maybe the people you hang out with rely on group think, but that's not typical in my experience. Possibly the lower class rely on "group think" but I imagine that would be the same in any country you care to visit.

I agree that the lower class generally rely on 'group think'. I know many in the class that are quite proud of the fact that they watch the news and feel very well informed by doing so. However, I believe there are other groups that engage in this 'group think'. New Australians, especially those who segregate and live in their own enclaves, I posit would follow community fore-bearers. And I almost forgot the Hipsters with their anti-group-think group-think.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906645)

It's not bullshit. It isn't a class thing, it's a cultural thing.

The same relaxed, take it easy, don't fix it if it aint broke thing extends to most peoples though process. If you try to suggest something that isn't obvious or the opinion shared by the majority, be prepared for a long battle to even have your point of view heard. Much more so in other countries in my experience, and i've been to 40 or so.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907597)

I second that good fellow, it is bullishit. I've gone through highs and lows of australian society and found this is simply not the case. What aspects of australian society have you dealt with and from what perspective? I can’t imagine much time to connect with all aspects of a society when hopping between 40 countries.

If what you said was true we would have a clear majority in our parliament but instead we have a power struggle between the major and minor parties. This clearly shows the australian electorate is more complex than you would have us believe.

Re:Australians are pretty dang bad with this stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907487)

You are kidding right? You are ignoring that australians practically invented tall poppy syndrome and are incredibly cynical of our politicians and what the media says about them.

From an Aussie to all Americans (5, Insightful)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905957)

To my eyes, this is just another sign about how desperate America is in preventing it's inevitable slide as a world power. I honestly can't remember any other US pact that was so blatant in its goals. Anyone can look at this pact and tell it's not about terrorism and national threats (both Aus and US), it's mostly about file sharing and America trying to spread it's onerous copyright laws to protect its exports. The bit about the US monitoring Aussie citizens is very worrying at the very least when we consider the MPAA/RIAA lawsuits I've seen in America.

I don't really know what America exports these days apart from war, patents and entertainment. It would look too bad if American invaded Australia at this point in time (although some people have taken the sign of US Marines being based in Darwin as the sign this has started) so I suppose the only other thing for America to spread it's tentacles is by dodgy pacts like this. Anything to try and stay on top (apart from fixing the underlying issues with the government and legal system in the USA and stop bullying the world, turning everyone on the face of the planet against you).

Americans, please stand up and do something about this. I'll do what I can from this side, but I'll stop there. Really, I should have no power as to how Americans rule and legislate in your own country, and that is the way it should be.

Quite frankly, after everything I have seen, I'm starting to think that there will be an armed uprising in America within the next 10 years against the US government. Guaranteed. Maybe the US government foresaw the same thing. It would explain why so much leeway the US government has given to internal security forces like the FBI and possibly the creation of the Dept of Homeland Security, and how the shift in America has gone from looking for external threats to internal threats.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (1)

Gimbal (2474818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906095)

It's hard to overturn the massive bulk of legal precedents supporting the recording industry's claims to intellectual property - and not much easier, out here, to gain popular attention about anything not accompanied by a sensational presentation - regardless of the actual content of an argument, quite frankly.

To respond to the second matter: Myself, I don't suppose we'll see any coups at any time soon. Plenty of gun sales, I know, but no coups I think - quite.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (3, Interesting)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906233)

Sorry about that last bit, I didn't really explain it well.

I didn't mean that there will be an all out assault on the White House. To me it seems the American people (excluding politicians, lawyers and people in the security industries who seem to be pushing most of the laws) are starting to get fed up with the way things are. I don't know how true this, as I am not in the US and can't comment on what it is like to be a US citizen. I'm going of everything I have read and seen. Losing jobs in greater numbers, losing their homes etc. Things that are affecting them personally. People will start to get desperate and upset.

Hopefully, these people will start to try and change things for the better peacefully. The problem is, they will be working against a stacked deck. It seems to me that most of the laws that have been enacted lately are more to do with keeping the US population from gaining power. If the ordinary people can't take the politicians on in a political battle, what else is there left for them to do?

Maybe I am being cynical, but I can imagine these groups of people trying to challenge the 'political and corporate elite' being charged with terrorism and being sent off God knows where without a trial using the laws already brought into effect

To me, it seems that 1984 genuinely is starting to become a reality in the US (and other places on earth) and that given another 10 years it will be in set in concrete. And most people would have accepted it. Look at the changes that have already come about in the last 10 years (well, 12 years to be precise) due to September 11th.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908355)

>I didn't mean that there will be an all out assault on the White House.

Don't worry I'll say it for you. Revolt America, storm the White House and take over your government and dispose of the corrupt politicians and lobbyists.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (3, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906141)

Your a little behind on the US invasion of Australia. Already it is spreading beyond the US Marines in Darwin now Garden Island just off Perth has been added for the US Navy, Australia generally for the US Airforce (hard to figure out exactly what that is meant to mean), and the Cocos Island for a top secret airbase.

Something decidedly unsavoury is going on here. Americans had better be careful. It smells of the US powers that be have realised they have crapped all over their own country and an looking to ensure a safe place to retire too and run the US via remote, leaving the rest to wallow in the pollution and destroyed environment with no chance of joining in the great escape.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906431)

And at the end of 2012 all international airports got body scanners; because the USA says-so. Not the same scanners as the USA so that's a small mercy.

Re:From an Aussie to all Americans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906161)

I don't really know what America exports these days apart from war, patents and entertainment.

Laws.

the shift in America has gone from looking for external threats to internal threats.

That's nothing new. Remember COINTELPRO, when the FBI tried to destroy domestic political organizations using any means necessary?

I'm glad I left Australia (2)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905961)

I'm glad I left Australia.

Now I just have to pick up Citizenship somewhere else so I can revoke my Australian Citizenship.

What a joke Australia has become.

Dear rest of the world (5, Funny)

ChrisGoodwin (24375) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906085)

Please stop doing what my country's government tells you. It only encourages them.

Xoxo,

some American guy

Re:Dear rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906309)

Best advice I've heard this year: Just ignore OBAMA. Americans should do it, so should other countries. Oh, and vote for someone who actually cares about your country, not one who uses the Constitution as toilet paper.

Re:Dear rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907559)

Problem for those of us that do ignore you, or rather, don't do as you say, we tend to get the business end of your military. My country ignored you, and we got the **** beaten out of us, now our government are very good American lapdogs.

Sad but true, we have no choice, and I suspect most countries (bar the big ones, like Russia/China/India/etc...) would have to toe the line of the most powerful regional country, such is life.

If you really want what you say, you'll have to reduce your military power. Unfortunately for us, in waning empires the military is usually the last thing to go, and when the military is all you have... well, the saying "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" holds true.

Re:Dear rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39908229)

If only our government listened to us..

Perhaps you can tell your government to tell our government not to listen to your government... ??

an Aussie bloke..

Re:Dear rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39909713)

Funny, and if Aussi government doesn't listen to US government prepare for an extra ordinary boarding and takeover.

Original source please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906177)

There is nothing on the torrentfreak website that points to there being an original source for these claims.

For instance, there are no URLs that reference any of the local newspapers and if there was noise to be made on an issue like this, they'll be more than eager to apply the heat.

Whilst the page on torrentfreak is actually someone that writes for a local newspaper (Myles Peterson, writes for www.theage.com.au), this story and nothing like it appear on The Age's website. Until it does, I'm less than convinced about what he's written as The Age will likely require proper journalistic practice be applied whereas the torrentfreak will not.

Re:Original source please? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906295)

Noise? What noise? It's about terrorism, Ozzies sleep undisturbed on this account.

Canberra Times [canberratimes.com.au]
SMH [smh.com.au]

Attorney General [attorneygeneral.gov.au] 's press conference:

Q:And if I could also ask the Attorney-General, this kind of increased intelligence cooperation tends to also lead to increased sharing of the information of Australians [unclear] information on Australian citizens. Have we seen today with the signing of these agreements, will more information be shared between the two countries?

NICOLA ROXON: Thank you. Look, when we say that we want to increase and improve cooperation, of course it still means that we will do that within the constraints of our laws, which means that information is shared where it meets particular thresholds. Of course we have for a long time and will continue to share information with other partners when someone is involved or we fear is involved in criminal activity. That sort of information, I think Australian citizens expect us to share with others. But there are very tight constraints around what can and can't be shared.

This agreement doesn't change that. But what it means is that we can continue to cooperate very closely in sharing where there are risks, what trends change, whether there are people of particular interest. And the US and Australia and our law enforcement agencies have had very strong partnerships for a long time. This enhances in an environment where we have new threats, new risks, more online activity, more information that's obtained, more transnational crime which relies on activity that might travel through different countries. We need to be aware of all of that and that's why we want to keep working so closely with the US in improving those relationships and I think these agreements today allow us to do that.

Re:Original source please? (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906357)

Attorney General [attorneygeneral.gov.au] 's press conference:

A press conference on such an important issue and only 4.5 questions were asked by journalists - or journalist. Probably the lone AAP journo who penned the brief article reported in both the links you provided.

Was the press release kept secret or audience restricted in some way - or is there simply a lack of interest? Whichever, it is very disappointing.

DHS (1)

barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906235)

Why is DHS involved in Kim Dotcom? Well it's because they have the executive powers to get things done and "somebody" forgot to require that there be a clear threat to US lives before DHS became involved in a matter. Why is the US signing copyright agreements with Australia?

It's all about regulatory capture. (see wikipedia). Those poor starving MAAFIA and RIAA and Microsoft and Google and the rest of the copyright/patent trolls are handing out or withholding their superpac contributions against results.

Are you in the US having a Presidential election this year by any chance?

Is there a contest for the most hated country? (2)

hherb (229558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906493)

Considering the news of the past few years, there must be a contest for the most hated country and the USA are fighting really hard to win. I seems this new move brings them closer to the top, now head to head with North Korea! Well done, Mr "Homeland Security" (I remember my birth country having had a similar security organization many decades ago, was called SS I think). I guess the USA can win this race to the bottom, they were never keen to come second (though Aussies are beating them now as the world's number one per-capita energy hog, na-nah-na-naa-nah!!)

Why is the MEDIA MAFIA industry so damn important? (4, Interesting)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906739)

Please, tell me.

The entire media industry is worth less than say the cpu industry. So why the closeness to congress and LEO friends?

How many other industries get such high up help in legal help.

Is it that corrupt and evil?

(I mean the govt, not the honest media industry)

Re:Why is the MEDIA MAFIA industry so damn importa (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907025)

It's not only about money, it's also about power. When you control (or have some influence over) the media, you get to effectively mind-control a lot of the country population and point them in the direction of your interests and spend money where you want them to.

Re:Why is the MEDIA MAFIA industry so damn importa (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907373)

Their business depends entirely on the government so they give lots of bribes. Other businesses lobby, but once the government has paid you to build your factory and let you operate it tax free, what else is there to ask for? Copyright on the other hand requires constant vigilance.

Now Australia is open to DHS intrusions? (3, Interesting)

YankDownUnder (872956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906927)

Lovely that. So now the Department of Homeland Security - with this new bit of "permission" - can literally extradite anyone and everyone they wish - based on accusation - to be held for unknown amounts of time on US soil - with no hope of defense or fair trial? I came to Australia because I had hopes it would remain relatively free of "US imposed rule". I feel sorry for the Australians that don't have a clue as to what this means exactly. I feel sorry for those ruled over by the US government that don't have a clue as to what this means exactly. I feel remorse that I am still a US citizen, and that people will judge me by my government's actions; and I feel fear merely for the fact that I may no longer speak freely with the threat of the DHS looking for insurgents like myself. It's a pity that the US government has been allowed to descend to the horrible depths it's gone to - by the American People.

the story sounds fishy (0)

unami (1042872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907139)

although i live in austria, i've never heard of the "austrian times" (and it's really not that big a country). also, the story lacks information about where this has happened (except that the fortune tellers are romanian), and i would't be the least bit surprised if the pictures from the two women were random stock photos. i'd take this story with at least a grain of salt...

Oops - wrong story.... (1)

unami (1042872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907143)

sorry

WW3 will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907417)

The World vs U$A

File sharing is illegal ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39908175)

except when the US Govt. does it.

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