Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Creeping Government Surveillance Now Without Warrants

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the no-privacy-down-under dept.

Australia 78

CuteSteveJobs writes "The Age reports on creeping Australian government surveillance, beginning with the first operation launched on a baseless rumor. Six decades later the still-unaware victim read five months of transcripts with deep distress. Two decades ago few Australians would have consented to carrying a government-accessible tracking device, but phone and tablet data accessible without a warrant includes historic and real-time location data. In 2010-2011 there were 250,000 warrantless accesses by Federal agencies including ASIO, AFP, the Tax Office, Defence, Immigration, Citizenship, Health, Ageing, and Medicare. This is 18 times the rate of similar requests in the U.S."

cancel ×

78 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41459593)

I seriously doubt we're actually being snooped on any less. When the watching is constant by certain agencies it no longer shows up as a separate look.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459663)

I seriously doubt we're actually being snooped on any less. When the watching is constant by certain agencies it no longer shows up as a separate look.

Also, there appears to be debate about making it legal in Australia. They are talking about a spike in wiretapping authorizations (at least with specific numbers they mention)

They should count the total number of wiretaps, including the gag-accompanied ones... I am sure US will catch up in no time.

and remember: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461165)

We have a 100 mile wide "no warrants" zone [aclu.org] adjacent to our entire border. Within which, by the way, 200 million of our citizens live.

Australia has a loooong way to go to catch up to our Orwellian fuckery.

But hey. If you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about right? I mean, it's not like they'd just take your money without a warrant or anything, right? RIGHT? [jonathanturley.org]

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41459809)

I seriously doubt we're actually being snooped on any less. When the watching is constant by certain agencies it no longer shows up as a separate look.

Nope, this is a standard media beat up of the current govt. Not based in reality, uses vauge statistics in deliberately misleading manner.

Technically, when a car dealer checks my credit file when I apply for finance, they are performing a warrentless check of private data... despite the fact I've given them permission. I love the fact the Age does not differentiate between

ASIO, AFP, Defence,

and

the Tax Office, Immigration, Citizenship, Health, Ageing, and Medicare.

A hell of a lot of those checks will be done by the ATO (Australian Tax Office) as investigations against tax cheats. Your bank records are protected by law.

But by all means, let the Australia bashing continue.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459947)

But by all means, let the Australia bashing continue.

Well, as long as I have permission... Damn crazy Vegemite eatining criminals always tryin to tie me kangaroo down, mate!

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (4, Insightful)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about 2 years ago | (#41460695)

Yeah, no kidding. Vegemite is inexcusable.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (3, Interesting)

gnoshi (314933) | about 2 years ago | (#41459981)

Technically, when a car dealer checks my credit file when I apply for finance, they are performing a warrentless check of private data... despite the fact I've given them permission.

Certainly, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to count in the above lists (not being ASIO, the ATO, or any of the others) so that isn't really relevant.

I love the fact the Age does not differentiate between

ASIO, AFP, Defence,

and

the Tax Office, Immigration, Citizenship, Health, Ageing, and Medicare.

You know, I think that whichever of those agencies is accessing my phone, internet, or location records, it is not innocuous. (Note, from the article it is hard to make out who is obtaining what data).

Frankly, I think that the law should be such that all of this data is not available without a warrant, and that those organisations should be forced to put forward a good case for why it is otherwise. Furthermore, I think that if this data is accessed (or a wiretap is performed) then after a period of time (3 months? 6 maybe?) the relevant agency should be required to notify me that the data was accessed, unless either the investigation is ongoing, or they are in the process of pressing charges. If my call listing is accessed, and no action against me follows, then why shouldn't I know it was accessed?

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 2 years ago | (#41460119)

When you have all communications running through your special rooms at all the telco's and ISP's you don't need to ask.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41460199)

Frankly, I think that the law should be such that all of this data is not available without a warrant, and that those organisations should be forced to put forward a good case for why it is otherwise. Furthermore, I think that if this data is accessed (or a wiretap is performed) then after a period of time (3 months? 6 maybe?) the relevant agency should be required to notify me that the data was accessed, unless either the investigation is ongoing, or they are in the process of pressing charges. If my call listing is accessed, and no action against me follows, then why shouldn't I know it was accessed?

I agree with you about the warrant part. But the requirement to notify you will inhibit law enforcement. Cases against bikies have evidence collection phases that stretch into years, literally millions of lines of transcribed conversation. Of course the defense gets access to all of this prior to the case, if you get charged, you and your counsel have a right to see the evidence arrayed against you.

But yes, what data is collected should be available by an FOI request.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about 2 years ago | (#41460289)

But the requirement to notify you will inhibit law enforcement. Cases against bikies have evidence collection phases that stretch into years, literally millions of lines of transcribed conversation.

And think you and I actually think the same on this: I agree that as long as investigation is still underway, it is reasonable to delay notification - it may be that this should requires approval from a judge every six months, but I think that would be manageable.

Really, the point of requiring notification would be to 'encourage' appropriate use of this kind of data access. If people who are engaged in perfectly acceptable activities (like organising political protests, or just living their lives) started receiving notifications you can be certain attention would be directed to the issue quickly.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41460413)

Really, the point of requiring notification would be to 'encourage' appropriate use of this kind of data access. If people who are engaged in perfectly acceptable activities (like organising political protests, or just living their lives) started receiving notifications you can be certain attention would be directed to the issue quickly.

I agree but it will create another overhead in the public service. Hell, they'll create an entire department for this kind of oversight, I've worked in the Australian Public Service.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41460445)

... those organisations should be forced to put forward a good case for why it is otherwise.

Context is everything...
Case 1. A woman went missing here in Melbourne on the weekend, cops had a great deal of information on her very quickly simply by asking, for a start they know she hasn't used her bank accounts or her mobile phone since she dissappeared, they also know from public CCTV footage that she got within 450 meters of her home before dissapearing, and that's only the evidence they are telling us about, they probably know quite a bit more.

Now lets change the context...
Case 2. There is a guy who is currently on terrorist charges because he was caught downloding "terrorist documents", ironically newspapers and blogs have condemend him by reprinting the worst bits of those documents, "in the public interest" of course. They also seem to think that making bombs with household chemicals is some sort of classified information and not just simple HS chemistry.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of cases that find their way into court are much closer to case 1 than they are to case 2.

FUD much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460141)

"Australian law enforcement and government agencies are also accessing vast troves of phone and internet data without warrant. Indeed, they did so more than 250,000 times during criminal and revenue investigations in 2010-11."

I read the article, your comment has no relation to it. This is government agencies helping themselves to data where less than 1% of it is covered by a warrant and not public data either.

The ATO doesn't use it against Tax Cheats, the warrantless surveillance comes FIRST, the accusation SECOND. 99% of the people watched are never accused of anything.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41460243)

Technically, when a car dealer checks my credit file when I apply for finance, they are performing a warrentless check of private data... despite the fact I've given them permission.

Last I checked, a car dealer was a private entity. In the US (which I gather is where you reside), the rules for private entities is vastly different from that of public ones. But even if the car dealer was somehow a law enforcement agency, one doesn't need a warrant when the subject consents to the search. I doubt either would be considered a warrentless search.

A hell of a lot of those checks will be done by the ATO (Australian Tax Office) as investigations against tax cheats. Your bank records are protected by law.

Not all that protected in Australia, if your assertion is correct.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41460533)

In Australia, car dealers use credit rating agencies, they do not have access to your personal details. The agency gives you a rating depending on your track record of paying off previous debts. If you don't like the rating you can force the agency to give you the information they are using for their rating and also force them to correct any errors.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41462481)

The agency gives you a rating depending on your track record of paying off previous debts.

The rating is a personal detail. It is disingenuous to compare Australian government warrantless searches to private US credit ratings even if Australian credit rating agencies release somewhat less information about you.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

rusty (3244) | about 2 years ago | (#41460519)

Nope, this is a standard media beat up of the current govt. Not based in reality, uses vauge statistics in deliberately misleading manner.

Um, no, the 250,000 requests per year are government warrantless data requests; these include call data (who called whom, not contents), location data, and request header data (eg http, email: interestingly, I've not been able to find out which headers are included: links anyone?)

Obviously with this number of requests going on, the process isn't being vetted very well if at all. Certainly there aren't that many people in Australia under reasonable suspicion of criminal behaviour, so it's deeply concerning :(

Cheers,
Rusty.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460599)

Nope, this is a standard media beat up of the current govt. Not based in reality, uses vauge statistics in deliberately misleading manner.

Um, no, the 250,000 requests per year are government warrantless data requests; these include call data (who called whom, not contents), location data, and request header data (eg http, email: interestingly, I've not been able to find out which headers are included: links anyone?)

Obviously with this number of requests going on, the process isn't being vetted very well if at all. Certainly there aren't that many people in Australia under reasonable suspicion of criminal behaviour, so it's deeply concerning :(

Cheers,

Rusty.

An Australian not under reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior. Unfortunately, as an American, my experience of Australia is limited to a satelite channel, that plays old reruns of an Australian police procedural and Rake. Please tell those are exaggerated.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464993)

Your statement is misleading... 85% of warrant-less wiretaps are to catch drug dealers. The reason for this is because the arresting dept gets to keep a portion of the ceased money... so by doing this, they can increase their funding, and crack down on 'bad guys'.

Something about Law Enforcement for profit bothers me... It seems like maybe there is an ulterior motive. IMO this money should go toward the national debt, not to to their dept.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41460921)

Current government?

I'm pointing back to at least FDR, probably Taft

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464713)

Bank details are protected by law, yet medical records ain't? Why? what shithole is that you live in?

Could be a numbers thing... (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 years ago | (#41459953)

Maybe there are only so many bad guys to go around... and they are not so good at math.

If "the terrorists" send 50 to the USA and 50 to Australia, then the 18x ratio is just about right.

Prolly not, but just sayin...

Simple fix (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 2 years ago | (#41460111)

Have mandatory notification 60 days after they access your data, unless they get a court order blocking it. The random fishing expeditions get embarrassing, the actual criminal investigations are unaffected.

That's a good idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460731)

Make the law require the party (e.g. phone company) notify the user.

So
1st Tier - you are notified immediately, the government doesn't request secrecy
2nd Tier - you are notified after 60 days, the govt requests secrecy but doesn't follow it with any court action to suppress for a fixed time.
3rd Tier - the suppression expires, or the case goes to court.

If THEY have nothing to hide, then there is nothing to fear from the release. After all YOU have done nothing wrong, and they are not prepared to even make a claim to a court that you have done something wrong.

Re:I'm guessing the US hides the request better. (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 2 years ago | (#41462921)

I really wiish somebody who actually lives in Australia would comment on this story. A lot of what makes Aussies different is that they have a lot of wilderness left down there. Their approach to things is a lot different then uptight, whiny Americans.

One network (4, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | about 2 years ago | (#41459621)

Conveniently, they are building out a single universal high speed network - so surveillance would be a lot easier. No more pesky multiple providers to monitor, multiple data centers to maintain, disparate protocols to support.
Sounds like Woz found a perfect place to move to. (Of course he could not just move to a house with broadband in US, that would..what, make sense? :) )

Re:One network (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41459951)

I think the Woz's moving was more of a political statement then an attempt to get broadband. He has enough money and political capitol that he can run fiber to the house he is in already if he wanted to.

You may be right though, he might not have thought it through enough.

Re:One network (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460741)

How did this get modded up? The NBN is strictly a Layer 2 network. One of the main points of the exercise was to get rid of a vertically integrated monopoly. Surveillance will be just as difficult (or easy) as it was beforehand.

Decline of a civilization (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 years ago | (#41459665)

This is how the West is receding from the forefront of the human history and affairs of the world, through internal rot.

Well, I suppose we had a good run.

Re:Decline of a civilization (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about 2 years ago | (#41460139)

Right. I'll start believing that as soon as the also-rans start having less totalitarian regimes.

The West isn't receding from anything. The FOREFRONT is receding. The West is still ahead. Unless you somehow believe that China or Brasil or who the fuck ever else is LESS invasive and MORE respectful of human rights. Which I mean, my man, if that's what you think more power to you, feel free to move there and experience for yourself how much better life is in the West.

Re:Decline of a civilization (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 years ago | (#41460197)

Right, "we are still not as bad as those other guys" argument. Gives you a nice warm feeling inside, doesn't it, "we still suck less than them other guys".

It's not where you are, it's which direction you're going.

Re:Decline of a civilization (3)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about 2 years ago | (#41460565)

Nope. No no no, nope. Don't even try to fucking backpedal. You're the one that brought the rest of the world into the race in comparison to the West, NOT me.

You said the West was receding from the forefront of human history and affairs of the world.

The forefront HAS TO BE OCCUPIED. There has to be someone or something there.

If it's not the West, then I ask you who? Who? Name any group of nations excluding any Western nation that would be supplanting the West as leading the forefront of human history and affairs of the world?

Yes, this is a big problem. Yes, this is bad. Yes, this shouldn't be happening.

Point me to the places that are overtaking the West with regards to human rights. Go ahead and try. PROTIP: Nowhere that isn't Western is even trying to make any improvements.

Re:Decline of a civilization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461963)

Protip: cut the crack and the meth. You'll be less of a dick. Might even get some friends.

Re:Decline of a civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41475425)

Nope. No no no, nope. Don't even try to fucking backpedal. You're the one that brought the rest of the world into the race in comparison to the West, NOT me.

You said the West was receding from the forefront of human history and affairs of the world.

The forefront HAS TO BE OCCUPIED. There has to be someone or something there.

If it's not the West, then I ask you who? Who? Name any group of nations excluding any Western nation that would be supplanting the West as leading the forefront of human history and affairs of the world?

Yes, this is a big problem. Yes, this is bad. Yes, this shouldn't be happening.

Point me to the places that are overtaking the West with regards to human rights. Go ahead and try. PROTIP: Nowhere that isn't Western is even trying to make any improvements.

Um no. There are plenty of places that are trying (yes, even on a government level). Unlike the "west", its not rubbed in your face while they cover up another turd being passed as law.

Re:Decline of a civilization (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41460631)

You can't measure direction from position, you need a previous position. So go back 50yrs, unless you have some teary eyed nostalgia for those days, it is unquestionably heading in the right direction concerning the rights of individuals in western nations. Oh, and when the only alternative on offer is "them other guys" then "we suck less" is a perfectly valid argument.

Re:Decline of a civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464737)

So go back 50yrs, unless you have some teary eyed nostalgia for those days, it is unquestionably heading in the right direction concerning the rights of individuals in western nations.

Speaks volumes about your intentions.

Re:Decline of a civilization (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41460569)

OldHack? - How old? - Seems to me that the civil rights movement is a pre-historic era in your book, and "the draft" is something you get when you leave a door open.

Re:Decline of a civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460665)

... through internal rot.

Rot in a social system is noticeable only when the cost of maintaining power is greater than the revenue from 'doing business'. It is complicated somewhat because a government can distribute their costs through taxes. Because electronic surveillance/censorship is nearly cost-free, governments can increase their power/control significantly and still have a stable society. Essentially a society is unstable when (a) a large portion of the population undertakes 'regime change', or (b) when a large portion of the population can't afford food, transport and education. Note that most governments subsidise education. Some also subsidise food and transport.

Re:Decline of a civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460927)

The fact that government can do this is a highlight that anyone with access to the countless points through which the web travels can do this. Encryption is the solution.

Ouch.... (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#41459677)

I'm considering immigration.... OUT OF AUSTRALIA

Phew! An Australian story on Slashdot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459711)

I got my hopes up when I saw the title of the stratospheric skydiver dude, then went down in flames of despair upon rereading it.

Luckily, the Aussie-lurvin' "editors" of Slashdot have come through, so it just goes to prove the old adage, "All good things come to those who wait, and who obsessively and narcissistically crave seeing their nation mentioned at least twice a day on slashdot.com(.au)!

Re:Phew! An Australian story on Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460069)

You just got modded down to -1. Don't you know that Hell hath no fury like a Aussie scorned?

Maybe Woz (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 2 years ago | (#41459731)

won't move to Aus after all

fuck the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459741)

fuck i hate my government.. total bunch of commie bastards

Re:fuck the government (3, Interesting)

evanism (600676) | about 2 years ago | (#41460073)

I despise them too. We really deserve what we are getting.

This country is utterly doomed. Utterly and completely doomed.

I did a stint at DSD and while I cannot talk about what I saw there specifically, I can tell you that every single one of your absolute nightmares is absolutely true. Double up on the paranoia, the data collection and the cross indexing, then multiply this by six and you might get close.

Regard every single system that has an electron running through it used to monitor you and you would be getting close.

Re:fuck the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460203)

You're an idiot. One phone call from signals to ops, and you're gone. They undoubtedly already know who you are - better run now. Give us a call from the outback.

Re:fuck the government (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 2 years ago | (#41460831)

This country is utterly doomed. Utterly and completely doomed.

You should hook up with Woz and move to Australia.

Re:fuck the government (2)

evanism (600676) | about 2 years ago | (#41461151)

dude! I AM in Australia!!!!

Re:fuck the government (1)

RevDisk (740008) | about 2 years ago | (#41466019)

Yea, I did some work myself at interesting places. The plus side is that they have plenty of information, but not enough hands to use it. Best they can do, and it is pretty bad, is use that information when they have someone they want to find guilty of... anything. The number of laws on the books are the really bad part. Reduce the number of possible crimes to something realistic, and you have virtually no hold over the majority of normal folks.

Re:fuck the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460857)

Doomed to what fate?

Need more input....

Re:fuck the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461373)

I did a stint at DSD

Really? I'm guessing your employment in the APS didn't end too well if this is how you treat sensitive information.

re: fuck the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41463785)

"I'm guessing your employment in the APS didn't end too well if this is how you treat sensitive information."

If you're talking about Aunt Mabel's conversations with her young nephews, yes, I think that's his point.

Re:fuck the government (1)

evanism (600676) | about 2 years ago | (#41471375)

No it didn't. I'm not an unprincipled tax sucking public servant. Filthy bunch of over entitled scambags. When the economic revolution comes, which is soon, the revolutionaries are going to be drawing up lists. I'm making damned sure I'm not on it.

Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459807)

Could we please look at the number of requests for that kind of data versus the number of times that data was subsequently used against that person in court? I suspect it is going to be a very low number. That being said, I worry about what is happening to the other people. Maybe there's a police tracking device on your car, and you will never be prosecuted and won't know why, but someone. Someone out there is watching. You don't know why. You'll never know why. But they're putting your habits down in a little black book and stashing it away 'just in case.'

This scares the fuck out of me. Ten years down the road is someone going to say, "Oh you failed your security clearance review. It appears you were driving through the bad part of town late at night once."

erm (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | about 2 years ago | (#41460007)

Ageing.../twitch

It's Not So Much That It's 18 Times (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41460017)

They're just 18 times worse about getting caught at it.

Besides, Aussies are FUN to spy on. It's the accent. I'm spying on like, three, at this very moment.

Well, what do you expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460019)

The whole country was founded as a prison to get rid of undesirables from England. You really can't expect too much privacy or liberty under those circumstances now can you...

Re:Well, what do you expect? (3, Informative)

evanism (600676) | about 2 years ago | (#41460079)

Plus we are now ruled by card carrying hard line anti business communists. Throw in a few strong arm head kicking unionists and the mix is about right.

Re:Well, what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460409)

Plus we are now ruled by card carrying hard line anti business communists. Throw in a few strong arm head kicking unionists and the mix is about right.

That was completely unwarranted ;-)

Re:Well, what do you expect? (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 2 years ago | (#41462969)

Get real... These folks get lost all the time. They get lost in the wildernss so much they have an expression in order to explain that they are lost. It's called "gone walkabout." The government is just trying to be able to find people under those circumstances, has nothing to do with Civil liberties or criminality or terrorism! Bloomin, bloody, Yanks and their penny-ante idea of freedom. Have a drink, mate.

That's no surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460507)

Australia gave up its guns a long time ago..

Re:That's no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41470161)

Not all of us.

What happened, Australia? You used to be cool. (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41460685)

I cannot think of another "Western" nation that is slipping into oppression faster or further than Australia. Not even Nanny Brussels is dragging Europe down at this rate. Internets use, surveillance, road traffic, hobbies, speech, it's just turn after turn of the prohibition thumbscrews on the left hand and the mandating screws on the right.

What up, Oz? When are you going to have enough laws to keep every child and kitten safe, all the time, forever?

Re:What happened, Australia? You used to be cool. (2)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#41461767)

Continental drift.

Re:What happened, Australia? You used to be cool. (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 2 years ago | (#41462893)

Ehh. That's the thing, maybe the Aussies really are that laid back about things? When 75% of your population can decide to disappear into poorly charted wilderness at their own discretion how much "control" does a government really have? Down under is a big place. Think 1,000,000 person version of "Burning Man." Hey!

The time will come... (2)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41460791)

Can you see it yet, up ahead there just beyond the curve? Every infant will be implanted with a technology. It will connect to the brains neural network linking the new person to infinite digital possibilities and it will have amazing abilities. It will help a child learn. It will record a person's life in exquisite detail. It will allow people to share thoughts, experiences, work and collaborate in ways in which we now have no comprehension. The down side is that uninvited others will hear every thought you ever have. No action will go unrecorded. Your position, intention, aspirations and inclinations will all be a matter of public record and nothing you can do, will ever buy you even a moment of privacy. I call this future the "Hotel California" because it may be heaven and could be hell, and no matter how you check out, odds are you'll never leave.

Re:The time will come... (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#41472025)

Yep. I even think read about it in a book a long time ago. The title was "Foundation and Earth", I believe. It wasn't all that new or different from the best Soviet utopian sci-fi from the late 50s. I'm almost certain someone is already writing another one with the same concept and a different, silicon-based plot device -- and calling it the iThink chip.

The social organization is very similar, what is different is the means the different authors come to it.

The Prison capital of the world (1)

Spectrumanalyzer (2733849) | about 2 years ago | (#41460871)

Kind of ironic isnt it?

Australians hails from a prison colony, 165.000+ convicts where sent to Australia because the British prison facilities was overburdened. ...and now they themselves become the supressors, where law and monitoring ever citizen becomes the daily agenda. Sends a cold shiver down my spine, and to think that I actually considered moving there one day, I guess I dodged a bullet there.

Re:The Prison capital of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461183)

Australia's first private prison became operational in January 1990. It is a
244-bed prison, situated at Borallon, near Brisbane. It was built by the
Queensland Corrective Services Commission (QCSC) at a cost of $22
million. The operator is the Corrections Company of Australia (CCA),
which is a consortium equally owned by the Corrections Corporation of
America, the John Holland construction group, and Wormald's Security
Ltd. The initial contract is for three years, and negotiations for its renewal
are expected to take place during November 1992.
Junee prison in New South Wales is expected to become operational in
March 1993. It is a 600-bed prison. Design and construction has been
undertaken by the successful tenderer, Australian Correctional
Management Ltd (ACM), which in turn is a consortium of the Wackenhut
Corporation of Texas, the Thiess construction group, and ADT
Correctional Services Ltd (the Australian-based management company of
Wackenhut). The operating contract is for an initial period of five years,
with expectation of renewal for a further three years.

Re:The Prison capital of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461547)

I don't agree with you. Personally, I think the AU government has to be a bit careful because there will be a point where the population decides that enough is enough and reminds the government that it is there to serve the people, not to imprison them.

Personally, I would not want to be in the way of an Ozzie crowd when they get angry - the combination of British originated stubbornness and AU selective survival makes in my opinion for dangerous mix to get on the wrong side of.

On the MASSIVE plus side, in my experience they're also the most fun people to hang out with. I rather like Australian directness and pragmatism - we seem to share the same tolerance level for BS (none whatsoever :) ).

Re:The Prison capital of the world (1)

Spectrumanalyzer (2733849) | about 2 years ago | (#41462081)

I rather like Australian directness and pragmatism - we seem to share the same tolerance level for BS (none whatsoever :) ).

Ah, here is where things get real dangerous. Who decides whats BS or not?

Re:The Prison capital of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41462347)

Prison capital of the world? Surely you mean the United States. Perhaps you should look up some numbers sometime. The USA has the highest number of people in prison, the highest incarceration rate per capita, and has hundreds of private prisons.

Re:The Prison capital of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41462889)

But Australia was used as a prison long before the United States of Amerika even existed. Can the USA, a country, beat Australia, a continent and country, on that score?

And of course The People can do nothing... (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41461755)

... now that they've allowed the State to take their only means of changing their tyrannical government.

I still can't figure out why Aussies were falling all over themselves to give up their guns, knowing what the reasons were for them being taken.

Re:And of course The People can do nothing... (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 2 years ago | (#41462783)

ooh.. actually you can't change government with guns anymore. They'll lock your bank accounts, publish your pornographic e-mail, repo your property and all with the click of a mouse button. "One click oppression."

"In the 21st century, Losers have guns, winners have an air force."

Crocodile KGB! (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 2 years ago | (#41462755)

"Hey Mate.. thas not a warrant. THIS is a warrant"

Australian for warrant..

Minimal rights in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41470849)

Australia has minimal rights etc. compared to places like the U.S. We have no bill of rights, we have a very water down privacy act, and have a legal system that makes it very difficult to oppose any government sanctioned actions.
Unfortunately its just the way it is!
One of the primary reasons for a single backbone communications network like the NBN is it allows easier monitoring and collection of data. Again there is nothing that can be done as we don't have the rights to protect average Australians. (We have the watered down versions, sort of)
The attorney general department and law enforcement are trying to enforce that transmitted data is kept indefinitely in Australia, up from the 2 to 5 years they keep it now! Combine this with the data from devices like the iphone and tablet as well as credit card and you have a near complete profile on anybody, to use against them as you wish, at anytime in the future.
In 10 years time you'll start receiving "on the spot" fines (or worse) for things you did/ said/ wrote/ 10 years prior.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>