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Australian Government Censors Draft Snooping Laws

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.

Privacy 150

coolstoryhansel writes "Stating that release of the draft legislation is not in the public interest [PDF] because it would prejudice decision making processes already in train, the Attorney General's Department has denied the release of the draft laws that would see wide-scale dragnet surveillance implemented along with an expansion of law enforcement powers for the purposes of 'national security'. Serkowski, speaking for the Pirate Party who lodged the FOI request labelled the Department response as 'disgraceful and troubling' saying the decision is 'completely trashing any semblance or notion of transparency or participative democratic process of policy development.'"

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And when passed... (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41617155)

Releasing the final bill as-passed by the legislature will probably not be "in the public interest" either.

And when passed,one more step to Police State (4, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 2 years ago | (#41617235)

Labor & Liberal yet again **voting together** to preserve and extend a _privatised_ police state [youtube.com] in Australia, extend surveillance of Australian citizens without any oversight.

for example:

Flawed cybercrime Bill dodges national security inquiry
20 Aug 2012 | Scott Ludlam
Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy

The Australian Government is pursuing a draconian cybercrime law scheduled for debate in the Senate tonight despite warnings from its own MPs and before an inquiry into national security legislation has taken evidence or reported, the Greens said today.

The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said Labor's cybercrime legislation would open the door to Australians' private data being shared with agencies overseas.

"This proposed law goes well beyond the already controversial European convention on which it is based, and no explanation has been provided as to why. The European Treaty doesn't require ongoing collection and retention of communications, but the Australian Bill does. It also leaves the door open for Australia to assist in prosecutions which could lead to the death penalty overseas. These flaws must be addressed before the Bill proceeds."

Senator Ludlam said the Government had addressed only one of a range of problems identified by a unanimous Parliamentary committee on the legislation.

"The Government ignored a series of recommendations from MPs on all sides of Parliament, and fixed one embarrassing drafting flaw that would have prevented accession to the European Convention and invalidated the whole point of the Bill.

"The Attorney General's Department did the bare minimum they thought necessary to acknowledge the existence of the critical and unanimous committee report. The Government was urged by its own MPs to fix this legislation but chose to leave it as is. The national security legislation review - which will be looking at a highly controversial data retention proposal - has barely begun, yet the Government has now brought a key piece of enabling legislation forward.

"We have recommended a number of improvements to the bill including fixing these flaws and clarifying the Ombudsman's powers to inspect and audit compliance with the preservation regime."

Re:And when passed... (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41617385)

You're still not reducing it down as far as it can go.

"This bill is not in the public interest, so we're not allowing the public to see it."

EU's Clean IT is the same (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618223)

I bet foreign powers get to see this bill, even if the public never does! Can I remind you also of Clean IT. The EU similar spying, monitoring, censorship law. Which follows the same pattern of secrecy:

http://kitmantv.blogspot.com/2012/09/its-coming-leaked-document-on-eu.html

To sum up:
1. It calls for widespread monitoring and censorship of the internet, and end to privacy and anonymity.
2. It is largely agreed, with only some sections are marked for discussions.
3. The discussion document is secret, those sections marked for discussion will never be discussed in public.
4. The police forces and LEAs and governments will 'Commit' to this, i.e. they won't follow the law as agreed, they'll follow this document.
5. Having committed to this, the document requires governments implement EU FD 2002, and EU FD 2008. So to remind you, they don't follow the laws as they stand, they commit to this document, then change laws to to suit this document later, as part of their commitment.
6. Having committed to this, they will discuss how to fix the EU privacy laws to make it legal.

Read the document on what they want, massive censorship, no anonymous cowards, everyone identified, everyone monitored, easy access to private data, privacy laws changed (eliminated) to permit this.

Re:EU's Clean IT is the same (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41619207)

Has Australia have no brave MPs who could stand up, invoke Parliamentary privilege, and make people aware of the more noxious aspects of the legislation?

I mean, how, in the post-Glorious Revolution age of Parliamentary democracy can a government submit a secret law to a Parliament in any of the Commonwealth Realms and have it passed? Something like this would have been seen even in Queen Anne's time as a violation of Parliament's authority and dignity.

Re:And when passed... (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#41617769)

This is insane. I can't even comprehend how a government can even make a claim like this.

Re:And when passed... (1)

postofreason (1305523) | about 2 years ago | (#41617941)

The US has done similar things.

Re:And when passed... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41619233)

Congress has certainly given the US Government some unseemly powers, to be sure, but still, the bills themselves were debated openly. This is quite another thing entirely, and if it is as written, is pretty much alien to the way laws have been passed in the United States and the Commonwealth since before either even existed as such.

Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (2)

mwissel (869864) | about 2 years ago | (#41617173)

then we could download the draft off some obscure chinese website by now. Hmpf.

j/k

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#41617309)

Or some civic minded government worker could leak the documents to Wikileaks. That's what it's there for.

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (-1, Troll)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#41617387)

no it's not.

wikileaks is only about assange. if you want to leak important documents do it somewhere that it won't blow up in your face

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#41617419)

Like where? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617559)

internet archive.

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (3, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41617589)

The traditional place has always been cryptome.org [cryptome.org] . Please note that that's the place where early Wikileaks leaks were leaked giving some of us an insight into the possibility that Wikilieaks would turn out to be less than fully competent. The question you should ask yourself is a) how do I get it there safely (the same applies to Wikileaks drop of points) and anonymously b) how do I make sure there isn't a water mark or some other code which makes the information traceable to me or someone close to me.

As far as "blow up in your face" goes, if you are relying on Wikileaks to secure yourself then you are demented. You need to make sure that any leak you do is absolutely untraceable, especially by the site that you leak through. God knows how you do that. Unsecured WiFi? Freenet + Tor? Some distant internet cafe whilst travelling in disguise by bus (to avoid license plate recognition). Whatever; keep it simple; involve the minimum number of people (that should mean one - yourself). Now that's what "inquiring minds" really want to know. The google searches around this are remarkably and interestingly useless. If you are planning to leak material then I wouldn't bother trying them :-) Remember "the issue is whether you are paranoid enough" [imdb.com] .

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#41617873)

Just lose a USB key or two. The rest is up to the person who finds it.

Re:Now if only they hadn't banned Huawei (2)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#41617581)

I don't know which leak you are referring to. Manning was caught because he bragged to Adrian Lamo. If he'd kept his mouth shut he might still have been a free man. (as much as anybody in the army is a free man)

This is new? (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | about 2 years ago | (#41617195)

Sadly, how is any of this a surprise?

What is even worse is that most people would say it is morally wrong to withhold this information - but the voice of the average person is ignored these days...

Re:This is new? (3, Interesting)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41617303)

Is the voice of the average person being ignored, or is the average person just not speaking out? I think it's the latter. The average person is not getting involved. As long as their bellies are full and they're being entertained, they don't care. Bread and circuses all over again.

Re:This is new? (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41617795)

It's not a surprise, and it is very, very sad.

God damn, Australia, for a nation founded by convicts, you certainly do seem to have a hard on for creating more of them.

Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41617215)

Aussies, now you know why you were disarmed.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41617223)

Well, it's one of the reasons, at any rate, but don't worry; there'll be more to follow shortly...

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (3, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 2 years ago | (#41617347)

Err, what are you saying would be different about the situation supposing that every person in Australia did have a gun?

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41617411)

Err, what are you saying would be different about the situation supposing that every person in Australia did have a gun?

The difference is, when the people go to the streets to protest, the government is afraid because people may have guns, meaning, if pushed, they can use force against the government. But if you take the guns away from the people, their protesting doesn't bother you as much, since you have all the force to keep the power.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 2 years ago | (#41617533)

Can you point to any protest in recent history of any western democracy where having guns made any such difference? Or even any example at all (eg, in a non-democracy, or not recent) ?

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0, Flamebait)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 2 years ago | (#41617567)

USA, 1776, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and NOT having them, Nazi Germany.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 2 years ago | (#41617625)

Ok, but none of these are western democracies. We're still a tremendously long way away from seeing why guns would help Australians in their particular situation.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 2 years ago | (#41617805)

USA became a western democracy because of the ownership of personal firearms, and Nazi Germany WAS a western democracy that outlawed them, leading to the abuse of the people by the government.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41619293)

The USA became a western democracy because the French gave the Continental Congress a helluva lot of financial and military aid. I suspect that without it, the best that could have happened for the revolutionaries would have been a long term guerrilla campaign.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (5, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#41617909)

Ok, but none of these are western democracies

And SOMEONE does not know their Western history! (Not surprising given the utter lack of proper history teaching in the West for the last 30 years. Thanks for that, Baby Boomers!)

By 1776 the Magna Carta had been in force in England for over 100 years. England was then, as now, a monarchic Democracy, and certainly a Western state (Actually, they were THE Western State at that point in history.) This is, of course, what led to the American revolution. The colonists felt that they were being made serfs again by lack of representation in Parliament. After years of protests and complaints and a series of political, social and police assaults by the crown on the colonies (designed to suppress dissent) the colonies banded together and revolted. The large scale presence of arms in the colonies attributed in part to the success of the revolution.

Nazi Germany was a Western Democracy prior to Nazi takeover. Hitler's election to Chancellor was by popular vote. It wasn't until after his election to Chancellor and subsequent seizing of power through political subterfuge (like having the army swear allegiance to HIM rather than to Germany or the German Constitution) that the people began to get a sense that there was a problem.

Unfortunately for them, one of the first laws that Hitler passed even BEFORE seizing full Dictatorial power was to outlaw private gun ownership. He knew that an armed populace was a dangerous and uncontrollable populace, even when doped up on the Nazi propaganda that was inescapable in Germany at the time.

So yes, Having an armed and engaged populace is antithetical to anyone that would seek to rule them by force. This includes Australia.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 2 years ago | (#41617945)

The USA in 1776 wasn't a democracy, it was a colony of England. (England may have been a proto-democracy, but the colonies certainly were not.) Nazi Germany wasn't a democracy. Adolf Hitler never won a popular election. He wasn't elected as chancelor, but appointed by Hindenberg in a constitutional crisis.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41619315)

And SOMEONE does not know their Western history! (Not surprising given the utter lack of proper history teaching in the West for the last 30 years. Thanks for that, Baby Boomers!)

Don't blame us, our education was even worse than yours. Most early 20th centuy history I learned from my grandparents, who lived it. They didn't teach us any more than they did my kids, who are in their twenties, and they're probably doing a better job than then..

I once got an A+ on a science paper in high school because it was over the teacher's head. That's how bad the education system was in the '60s. Almost everything they tried to teach me after I learned to read I'd already read.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619389)

By 1776 Magna Carta had been in force in England for 479 years, that's rather a lot more than 100.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Petronius Arbiter (548328) | about 2 years ago | (#41619879)

In 1776 the Magna Carta was 550 years old. It had nothing to do with democracy, but supported the barons against the king. That was arguably a step backward. It became (wrongly) associated with democracy only hundreds of years later, when people were searching for precedents, even flawed ones, to support democracy.

Also, in 1776, most people in England did not have a vote. Look up rotten borough. There were three major reform bills in the 19th century that basically brought democracy to the UK.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41619947)

So yes, Having an armed and engaged populace is antithetical to anyone that would seek to rule them by force. This includes Australia.

I admire your knowledge of history, but in your zeal to show it I think you have missed GP's point. The question of "can you name a democracy where guns have helped a protest movement" is I think an important point. When you CAN vote, when you DO have free speech, skipping to using guns is a wonderful way to be counterproductive in your movement in a current western democracy. The media will focus on how crazy and violent your movement is, giving them cover to ignore the legitimate message that the other, non-violent people are urging for.

Even simply displaying your guns is a great way to turn the conversation from whatever it is you wanted to get across to "crazy gun-toting movement." Those rallies at Obama speeches where some guy carried some type of rifle? Anyone remember what those protests were about? I sure don't: the only thing that got reported on was there was a dude standing in one with a pretty mean-looking gun.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

postofreason (1305523) | about 2 years ago | (#41617951)

Actually Germany had a very strong democratic government in place...

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41617823)

Protests without guns that successfully toppled oppressive regimes include, but are not limited to:
* Phillipines, 1986
* A whole bunch of countries after the collapse of the USSR: Poland, 1988-9 Hungary, 1988-9 East Germany, 1989 Czechoslovakia, 1989 Bulgaria, 1989
* Serbia, 2000
* Georgia, 2003
* Ukraine, 2004
* Lebanon, 2005
* The "Arab Spring": Tunisia, 2011 Egypt, 2011

The point: You can resist a bad government with nothing but your bodies, your voices, and some semblence of organization, and have a decent chance of success. It's not a 100% chance of success, but neither is violent resistance.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618065)

The USSR formally dissolved itself in December 1991. So, I think you maybe meant after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, or similar. But I doubt it. I think you just need to check your history.

Cheers.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41618443)

1989 was the point where the USSR stopped trying to control the Eastern Bloc, including East Germany. It was definitely the beginning of the end for the Soviets.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

starless (60879) | about 2 years ago | (#41618271)

Also:
India 1947
South Africa 1994
U.S.A. 1964 (Civil Rights Act)

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619169)

The last one you have listed is definitely debatable. Arguably the fact that those in favor of rights had guns and were increasingly likely to use them may have helped in their favor.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619049)

All of the USSR states fell because of massive economic failure though. Without that there's no reason that the USSR would have ever let them go, right?

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619009)

Battle of Athens, Tennessee, 1946. A corrupt county government attempted to commit voter fraud by locking off the ballot box after those supporting the government (lead by a rich local family) had voted. The armed citizens protested and eventually laid siege to the jail that contained the ballot box (while allowing a safe escape route for those in the jail so as to not force an unduly bloody battle.) Those guarding the ballot box eventually surrendered, allowing all to vote and allowing the county to purge its corruption (which was pretty far-spread.)

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41617641)

The difference is, when the people go to the streets to protest, the government is afraid because people may have guns, meaning, if pushed, they can use force against the government.

Totally 100%. Look at Afghanistan and places like that where everyone has a gun and they totally had success resisting professional armed services with their own guns [youtube.com] . No asymmetry between people with Apache's and mini-guns and people with normal civilian assault rifles.

This stuff has to be stopped long before they get the chance to call you a terrorist. Small arms just act as a security blanket keeping you quiet. Nukes and heavy weapons are denied from "the people" everywhere. For fairly good reasons too.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

cyberdime (2750427) | about 2 years ago | (#41617749)

The same effect can be achieved when you get enough warm bodies that suppressing the protest would only trigger widespread chaos. Guns are overrated unless they have the power to take out tanks and fighter bombers. Proof is Libya. The rebels had to be bailed out by NATA airpower. If a totalitarian government really wants to crush you, you need more than the right to bear arms. You need tanks, jets, and maybe even tactical nukes.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#41617955)

Did you forget about guerilla warfare? e.g. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. In all three the US had the machines of war, but the guerillas slowly but steadily made the uniformed forces' lives miserable until they wanted to withdraw. The latter two, of course, aren't over yet, but the example still stands.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

someonestolecc (1038714) | about 2 years ago | (#41618727)

Difference there is that those weren't 'total wars' where literally everyone/everything is getting destroyed. They're also wars with local fighters vs foreign. In the pro-guns case (which is NUTS by the way) these dynamics don't apply.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#41618455)

Err you do realise we're a western civilisation right? Not some way back Arab nation, not some communist country ruled under tyranny, but a western civilisation. The people can rise with nothing more than rocks and baseball bats against a government and effectively topple it. It would be the end for the country and the end for the government if someone gave an order to gun down our own citizens.

As for guns, we were disarmed voluntarily. Sure the political party of the day disarmed us, but the opposing party took rolling back gun laws to the following election. We voted, they lost. As did several political parties afterwards. We don't have guns and we don't miss them either.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617613)

The last time the Citizenry were armed, and the country's leader (albeit in the following example, not an elected one) tried to abrogate the rights of the Citizen granted by God and reinforced in Law from the Code of Alfred onward... he was decapitated. Google Charles I and the Second English Civil War (1648-9).

Now, we're seeing - in every so-called "democracy" - the rights of the Citizen whittled away in the name of national security, which Government then arms the private security force known universally as the Police, and turns them out with little to no training and absolutely no psychological screening (I've trained police firearms officers, I should know that a lot of them are such complete idiots they should be left alone in a room with a pistol and one bullet, they'd last all of thirty seconds before removing themselves from the gene pool). Worst yet, a lot of these police officers can't even speak the first language of the country they're expected to police! To me, the enabling of a foreign armed force on domestic soil is TREASON.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#41617963)

What can we do?

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41619399)

Well, you could try starting a letter writing campaign to the Australian Governor General. At the end of the day, the GG has to give assent to any bill, and has the power to effectively veto or delay a bill.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41619377)

And of course, the Citizenry soon found out that the Roundheads were even more egregious in their style of government than Charles I, and ultimately rejected Cromwell's heir in favour of Charles I's heir.

The Glorious Revolution, that's where real Parliamentary democracy had its birth. While it took another century or so before the forms of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy were fully developed, it was at that point that Parliament gained, in law as well as in fact, supremacy.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (3, Informative)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41617729)

Thank you for asking; the answer to that question is undoubtedly of the utmost importance. However, I firmly believe that equipping you to answer it for yourself (assuming you're not a troll) makes much more sense.

As such, here are more than a few relevant quotes that might broaden your perspective enough for you to do so:

"A free people ought to be armed."
~George Washington

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."
~Richard Henry Lee

"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits... and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
~St. George Tucker

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
~James Madison

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
~George Washington

"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."
~Larry Elder

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
~Thomas Jefferson

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
~Alexander Hamilton

"By calling attention to 'a well regulated militia,' 'the security of the nation,' and the right of each citizen 'to keep and bear arms,' our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy... The Second Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the Second Amendment will always be important."
~John F. Kennedy

"Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other."
~John Locke

"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."
~James Burgh

"The congress of the United States possesses no power to regulate, or interfere with the domestic concerns, or police of any state: it belongs not to them to establish any rules respecting the rights of property; nor will the constitution permit any prohibition of arms to the people."
~Saint George Tucker

"The right of the people to keep and bearâ¦arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..."
~James Madison

"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants"
~Thomas Jefferson

"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."
~Patrick Henry

"They tell us that we are weakâ"unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us."
~Patrick Henry

"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
~James Earl Jones

"The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rulers. Only the government-and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws."
~Edward Abbey

"None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important."
~Thomas Jefferson

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people"
~Tench Coxe

"The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
~Joseph Story

"God grants Liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
~Daniel Webster

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
~George Washington

"Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars."
~Unknown

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."
~Charles A. Beard

"The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world not destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them... the weak will become prey to the strong."
~Thomas Paine

"The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world⦠The first step â" in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come â" is to teach men to shoot!"
~President Theodore Roosevelt

"You are bound to meet misfortune if you are unarmed because, among other reasons, people despise you... There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed. In the latter case, there will be suspicion on the one hand and contempt on the other, making cooperation impossible."
~Niccolo Machiavelli

"The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the 'government', not to 'society'; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage."
~Joel Barlow

"Make good scouts of yourselves, become good rifle shots so that if it becomes necessary that you defend your families and your country that you can do it."
~Lord Baden-Powell

"Self defense is a primary law of nature, which no subsequent law of society can abolish; the immediate gift of the Creator, obliges everyone... to resist the first approaches of tyranny."
~Elbridge Gerry

"The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops."
~James Madison

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
~Thomas Jefferson

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms⦠disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes⦠Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~Thomas Jefferson (quoting Cesare Beccaria)

"I am thus far a Quaker, that I would gladly argue with all the world to lay aside the use of arms and settle matters by negotiation, but unless the whole will, the matter ends, and I take up my musket and thank Heaven He has put it in my power."
~Thomas Paine

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined"
~Patrick Henry

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
~Benjamin Franklin

"To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm... is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege."
~Wilson v. State

"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms... the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."
~Sen. Hubert Humphrey

"To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
~George Washington

"One of the arguments that had been made against gun control was that an armed citizenry was the final bulwark against tyranny. My response had been that untrained, lightly-armed non-soldiers couldn't prevail against a modern army. I had concluded that the qualitative difference in firepower was such that all of the previous rules of guerilla war no longer applied. Both Vietnam and Afghanistan demonstrated that wasn't true. Repelling an armed invasion is not something that American citizens are likely to face, but the possibility of a despotic government coming to power is not wholly unthinkable. One of the sequellae of Vietnam was the rise of the Khmer Rouge and slaughter of perhaps a million Cambodian citizens. Those citizens, like the Jews in Germany or the Armenians in Turkey, were unarmed and thus utterly and completely defenseless against police and paramilitary. An armed minority was able to kill and terrorize unarmed victims with total impunity."
~Paul Hagar

"As a card-carrying member of the liberal media, producing this piece was an eye opening experience. I have to admit that I saw guns as inherently evil, violence begets violence, and so on. I have learned, however, that in trained hands, just the presence of a gun can be a real âoeman stopper.â I am sorry that women have had to resort to this, but wishing it wasn't so won't make it any safer out there."
~Jill Fieldstein

"To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
~George Mason

"The philosophy of gun control: Teenagers are roaring through town at 90MPH, where the speed limit is 25. Your solution is to lower the speed limit to 20."
~Sam Cohen (inventor of the neutron bomb)

"From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable... the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good"
~George Washington

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
~Thomas Jefferson

"If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying â" that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 â" establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime."
~Senator Orrin Hatch

" 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the milita, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right."
~Nunn vs. State

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe."
~Noah Webster

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! - I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
~Patrick Henry

"That the people have a Right to mass and to bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the Body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper natural and safe defense of a free State..."
~George Mason

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the underdog is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or police."
~Adolph Hitler

"The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."
~James Monroe

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
~Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

"...arms... discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them."
~Thomas Paine

"No law ever prevented a crime."
~Anonymous

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense."
~John Adams

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
~Thomas Jefferson

"An armed society is a polite society."
~Robert Heinlein

"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
~Samuel Adams

"Laws can't control the lawless"
~Wayne LaPierre

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
~Sigmund Freud

"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power."
~Yoshimi Ishikawa

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."
~Heinrich Himmler

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
~Thomas Jefferson

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
~Wayne LaPierre

"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."
~Phillip Van Cleave

"I sympathize with people who want to ban guns, but I can't agree with them. We have to be careful in our zeal to abolish guns that we don't wind up with counter-productive legislation that will leave armed only the people most likely to do harm with them."
~Hugh Downs

"The fundamental force behind the Second Amendment is to empower the people and give them the greatest measure of authority over the tyranny of runaway government."
~Bob Schaffer

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

"There's no such thing as a good gun. There's no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys."
~Charlton Heston

"The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, and I know I'm not going to make very many friends saying this, but it's about our right, all of our right to be able to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there."
~Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote."
~ James Bovard

"Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security."
~Norman Vincent Peale

"These Sarah Brady types must be educated to understand that because we have an armed citizenry, that a dictatorship has not happened in America. These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to Liberty than street criminals or foreign spies."
~Theodore Haas, Dachau Survivor

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
~Plato

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
~Abraham Lincoln

"Four out of five politicians surveyed prefer unarmed, ignorant peasants."
~Unknown

"There's no question that weapons in the hands of the public have prevented acts of terror or stopped them."
~Israeli Police Inspector General Shlomo Aharonisky

"Taking my gun away because I might shoot someone is like cutting my tongue out because I might yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater."
~Peter Venetoklis

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."
~Col. Jeff Cooper

"Gun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It's quicker to pull your Smith & Wesson than to dial 911 if you're being robbed."
~Lowell Duckett

"If guns cause crimes, do matches cause arson?â"
~Unknown

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature... laws not preventive but fearful of crimes."
~Beccaria

"How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual... as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of."
~Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."
~The Dalai Lama

"Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer."
~Unknown

"That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
~George Orwell

"Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men."
~St. Augustine

"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."
~Ted Nugent

"A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone."
~Unknown

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
~Adolph Hitler, 1935, on The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41617853)

Save your modpoints, UK Gov't shills on GMT; it may still be early here in the States but a lot of us American *nix-guys tend to be independent-minded free-thinkers with modpoints to spare. :)

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41618265)

...it may still be early here in the States but...

Sorry; grammatical fuck-up there. That should have read "It is still early here in the States and..." :)

Mod this man up! (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#41618163)

Thank you, that was amazing! I have copied it and will add to my copy whenever I come across relevant quotes.

I think the chief problem is that fear rules over reason in the minds of so many. And I don't know how to solve that, other than a worldview focused on eternity, not on this world. And people must make that decision on their own.

"Eternal vigilence..."

Re:Mod this man up! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41619253)

...other than a worldview focused on eternity, not on this world...

Not to throw a wrench into the gears of what some might prefer remain a highly-polarized debate... but I can't help disagreeing with you there: weapons are all about this world. The notion that "Gawd wants us to have 'em!" - whether we swallow it hook, line and sinker like a bunch of brainwashed fundamentalists or we completely scoff at it like properly-indoctrinated liberals - is just more framing-of-the-debate courtesy of TPTB.

But no, there's absolutely nothing divine or spiritually-healthy about weapons of death and destruction; you can bet your ass that neither Christ nor Buddha would've wanted to carry around a Taurus Judge or a Saiga 12... and perhaps when I reach total-enlightenment and/or become One with the Metaverse, I won't want to, either. Until then... ;)

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
~Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger), ca. 4 BC â" 65 AD

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41617735)

Just ignore him These American gun nuts can't understand the difference between having a gun in their pocket and just being glad to see you.

In other words, it makes him feel more manly. It does nothing to guarantee democracy, and actually does much to retard it (in both senses of the word). Having a heavily armed population just gives the government a better excuse to surveil you. None of these 2nd Amendment wackos has ever done anything to advance democracy and human rights.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#41618301)

So you think that if the population isn't armed, the government won't want to surveil it or encroach upon its liberty?

Oh, yes, you're so right: none of the people in favor of the Second Amendment ever did anything to advance democracy or human rights:

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
~Thomas Jefferson

"A free people ought to be armed."
~George Washington

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
~George Washington

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
~George Washington

"None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important."
~Thomas Jefferson

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
~James Madison

Nevermind that those men are the ones who created the world's foremost democracy by the blood of many men, the nation which has thus far done the most to advance the cause of liberty and set the strongest example (no it's not perfect; that's not the point).

It's good to see that you are on the same side as freedom-loving, citizenry-trusting people like this:

."The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the underdog is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or police."
~Adolph Hitler

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
~Adolph Hitler, 1935, on The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany

Considering your blatant lies, ad hominems, and lack of reason, I can only conclude that you desire a fascist state.

If you're an American, shame on you for forgetting the history of your own nation. If you're a European, shame on you for forgetting what happened 70 years ago in your own neighborhood. If you're neither of those, shame on you for forgetting the (short) history of the free world, and for giving in to fear.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618909)

"So you think that if the population isn't armed, the government won't want to surveil it or encroach upon its liberty?"

Okay. Once more with feeling.

Any democratic government is simply the will of the people, distilled.
All that will creates enormous power of action
Power, ANY POWER, corrupts. The more power you have, the more corrupt you are.
Yes, having guns around gives the government an excuse to surveil you and encroach on your liberty.
No, the government can do those things quite well without you carrying a gun.
HOWEVER, a gun in your pocket or in mine does nothing to protect OUR FREEDOMS unless you are willing to USE IT.
I don't see an army of NRA gun-nuts on Pennsylvania Avenue, so I'm guessing you guys are all talk.

  Tl;Dr:
The government will do what it wants. Your gun(s) is/are just ANOTHER excuse for the government to spy on you.

Sleep tight, citizen.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41619713)

So you think that if the population isn't armed, the government won't want to surveil it or encroach upon its liberty?

Of course it will -- it does. And in America, with a gun on every nightstand and glovebox, it does that too. The government isn't afraid of your guns.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41619791)

Oh, yes, you're so right: none of the people in favor of the Second Amendment ever did anything to advance democracy or human rights:

By "2nd Amendment wackos" I thought it was clear I was referring to you NRA-types, now who want the "right" to have an assault rifle in case the homeboys come calling. Not those who actually were in a well regulated militia and fought in an actual war.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41618369)

As long as unimaginative, highly-conditioned liberals and conservatives keeping trying to stereotype me into a box constructed by their own limited intellects, I figure I must be doing something right. ;)

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41619413)

There is nothing "insightful" about this post -- it is just a bunch of bald assertions running contrary to historical fact.

It does, however, run in accordance to the historical "fact" that is the meme worldview contained in certain people's minds that falsely informs them of the state of reality.

Gun ownership is not a quaint anachronism; rather it has aided not falling into tyrrany, and so much so we've been able to save nations that fell, or almost did, and contain other that did, all of whom followed your broken, inaccurate meme worldview against gun ownership.

Re:Aussies, now you know why... (0)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41619859)

Gun ownership is not a quaint anachronism; rather it has aided not falling into tyrrany,

How? When Oswald killed Kennedy?

Why is it that American governments need to have a heavily armed population to "keep them from falling into tyranny"? How about not voting for tyrants, isn't that the idea of democracy? Except that less than half of Americans bother to vote.

Now say goodbye.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617241)

To every right and freedom you think you had.

People First (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41617261)

At what point does a government forget that it works for the people of its nation?

Re:People First (4, Insightful)

J.J. Dane (1562629) | about 2 years ago | (#41617333)

When they get elected?

They dream themselves your master. (5, Interesting)

MnemonicMan (2596371) | about 2 years ago | (#41617273)

"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Re:They dream themselves your master. (2)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 2 years ago | (#41617305)

The best quote from a game full of good writing.

Re:They dream themselves your master. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617689)

The best quote from a game full of good writing.

What game is that? I am interested.

Re:They dream themselves your master. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617649)

Dude, I don't mean to disrespect you for posting this statement. If you can see the value of that statement, you're going to be ok. However, I think that both logic and the reality at present will both agree with me when I say, "The people that are able to read that saying, here on Slashdot and anywhere else that's posting that - what appears to be becoming more and more popular - quote, are the most powerful people in the world, as they have access to the internet, and some interest in stuff other than porn. They are just sitting at the house, sipping coffee or whatever, and la la la, going about the day. They feel that in reading thee types of pages on the internet, they have sorta, gone through the trauma of the event to some extent, and they have said their piece, and moved on. This means that it's over for them, and '...omg can you believe that they're doing that, omg...' But they'll do nothing about it. Prove me wrong, bitches."

    People the human race has basic needs. Those needs are:
food/water (I would also add waste management, but it greatly depends on the type of development of the society)
follow internal directions
information exchange with other humans

These 3 things are what we, as a race of beings on a planet need, and these 3 things alone are the reason for all of the systems that we have in place. We need a garbage truck to come twice a week, depending on the development of the society. We need a government of certain caliber, depending on the development of the society. The thing is that we would need the things that keep the day-to-day activities of a race of beings on a planet, would need to all be an open book to that society. It's not that there is this separate entity called "the government" and we all have to pay it, and it takes care of things, and not all of those things are in the interest of the public. That's bullshit. There are citizens out there that drive the garbage trucks, there are citizens that open companies and hire other citizens, and we all do this for the benefit of the society. The people that are in, what we call, the government are there as citizens that help organize the public aspects of life, for all the other citizens. They are only citizens. However, there is far to much evidence that this type of setup isn't going to work, due to the nature of man. I'm sorry to say that the people that are in the government are just regular people like the rest of us. They are making decisions that no one should have to make at such a scale. There is growing in all of us the want and need for a singular way of life, there's no doubt. We will have to organize ourselves into a new way of humanity. At the current rate, we'll be in a terrible state in less than 30 years, I dare not go into details. We humans just need to stop allowing our minds to sway so far to one side. Everything is not left or right. There is a natural balance in the universe and humanity is a part of that. We can all very easily start to try to see others as our brothers and sisters. We all have to extend to each other the 3 basic human needs, or it will always eventually end up like it is now, just like a garden that's full of weeds and bugs, or the garden that's completely rid of all insects and weeds, but causes horrible immune disorders if you eat it.

Shit, sorry for the rant.
haha, security word was "forgive"

Re:They dream themselves your master. (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about 2 years ago | (#41617693)

td;dr + 'whoosh'

early days... nip it in the bud? (4, Insightful)

feepcreature (623518) | about 2 years ago | (#41617277)

It sounds troubling, but it's hardly even a Government proposal for legislation, never mind a Bill being laid before parliament. And the decision to withhold the draft may still be appealed.

This seems to be an early draft (a bit like the ACTA negotiations, perhaps) since the grounds for withholding are:

  • the material is still in draft form
  • the material has not gone through the necessary whole-of-government review and approval processes; and
  • to release such material at this stage would, in [the bureaucrat's] view, prejudice the current negotiations and decision making processes which are in train

So the Department concerned is probably committed to something like the draft, and they are trying to work out what is feasible, but the rest of the government has not yet had a chance to comment.

The appropriate response at this stage is probably (1) appeal, (2) contact representatives in government and opposition who may oppose any provisions that threaten civil liberties, and (3) use the media (and slashdot) to raise awareness that something is coming in the future.

But it is not normal to release early drafts (that have not yet been thought through properly) to the public - at that stage you could not possibly have a workable policy, and people may get very worked up about errors that the government themselves will address. Surely the time for public scrutiny is when concrete proposals are made?

Though crowdsourcing of bills might be interesting... it worked for the constitution in Iceland, didn't it?

Re:early days... nip it in the bud? (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about 2 years ago | (#41617325)

Posting to undo a jittery-finger-offtopic-mod (damn these virtual keyboards....)

For the record, I saw this as interesting/insightful....

cheers,

Re:early days... nip it in the bud? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618229)

If a would be law can be derailed by public scrutiny... it has no business being *anywhere* in the process to become a law. Seriously. If the words are so sloppy, or the requirements so outrageous, then it needs to be scrapped in its entirety. Find some better fucking authors to start anew.

If my thesis advisor comes by and wants to see my work.. it's really not promising if I have to tell him that I can't let him see it because it might prejudice his reading of my final submission.

Re:early days... nip it in the bud? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41619559)

Government review process? A bullshit procedural addendum.

The ony review process that matters, by definition, is a review by The People, which is being thwarted for only one possible reason: to prevent blowback against elected officials who are trying to sneak something through.

"Let's write an awful piece of rights-stripping legislation. Of course, we must hide the first few drafts while lawyers review it and rephrase everything in less threatening terms.

This is the BS that a free society must stop.

Will they even post it afer its law? (1)

zippo01 (688802) | about 2 years ago | (#41617283)

I wonder if they will even post it after its law. I would think that would make it very convenient for the state. State: Sir your under arrest for violation of a law you've never heard of or seen. Guy: Um, ok. Can I see the law now? State: No. Guy: How am I going to have a trail? State: Heh, No, no, you still don't understand, go directly to jail, do not pass go, and pay us $200 along your way. This seems like a very slippy slope.

Kafka's The Trial. (2)

MnemonicMan (2596371) | about 2 years ago | (#41617293)

Oh, Kafka was way ahead of you: The Trial [wikipedia.org] . Charged, convicted, and executed on secret evidence the protagonist was never allowed to see.

Re:Kafka's The Trial. (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617709)

That's called a Star Chamber. Abolished in England 1641. Resurrected in the twentieth Century under the guise of Family Proceedings.

Re:Kafka's The Trial. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41617777)

Deep Space 9: "Tribunal" [wikipedia.org] . Hand in your Nerd Card and your UID at the door.

This is why we need Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 2 years ago | (#41617295)

There can be no democracy if institutions act in secret.

Re:This is why we need Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618527)

Here's hoping that as this bullshit continues we'll have more and more standing up to freedom and transparency.

Super-Nanny State (4, Insightful)

neurosine (549673) | about 2 years ago | (#41617319)

I remember thinking when Bush was elected that I had to get out of the states before my freedoms were systematically ripped away. I didn't realize when I came to Australia just how much farther the process had already gotten here. They've effectively stifled protest and dissention and now the people are more or less owned by the government. When people started giving up their rights in the interest of protecting everyone, the personal choices taken away from them have increased manifold. I'd like to take my bicycle to the store without wearing a helmet. That's $100.00 fine. Ownership is control. Even when you own something here, the government controls it. All that being said, I would much rather deal with an Australian policeman than a US policeman. It's unlikely you'll be unfairly charged, or treated badly. I guess the nanny approach is nicer than the militant approach. The results though are insidious, however they are implemented.

Re:Super-Nanny State (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617467)

I'd like travel at arbitrary speeds while driving my car, but the nanny state has instituted what they call "speed limits". They say its for public safety, but its clearly just a transparent attempt to control the sheeple.

Re:Super-Nanny State (2)

ravenlord_hun (2715033) | about 2 years ago | (#41618035)

No speed limits in certain areas works great for Germany.

Re:Super-Nanny State (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#41618333)

The grass is always greener, eh?

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Real reason for censoring... (1)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#41617367)

The real reason for censoring such proposed laws would be if they were offensive. Do you guys feel offended by all this yet?

Re:Real reason for censoring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617495)

I certainly think i should feel offended if i was part of the Australian public.

And even though i'm not, i still feel offended as a citizen of this planet.

Re:Real reason for censoring... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#41617593)

And that's exactly what they said. The public is supposed to prejudice the decision making process that's called having input to the elected body that's supposed to represent there interests.

prejudice (1)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41618031)

So they don't want to tell the public about the laws they are looking to pass, because the public won't like them?

They sure have balls to say that. Now I hope they're exposed enough for someone over there to kick them, nice and hard.

I do not agree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617879)

The situation is very critical. I propose to get pay day loan [payday-loan-in-uk.co.uk] in United Kingdom now!!!

LOLZ Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618169)

"release of the draft legislation... would prejudice decision making processes already in train"

Uh, pardon me good Sir, but isn't this practically the entire goal and description of participatory democracy?

Don't need it then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618381)

If discussing a proposed law is "not in the public interest", well, that is just another way of saying that it is not needed. Passing such a law would definitely not be in the public interest.

Shame about that 'human rights' stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618531)

We had them
We let a lot of idiots scare us for fifty years with Communists and now Terrorists
The idiots promised that we would be 'safe' of they tool away the rights
We lost them
It's a shame, that's what it is. A crying shame.

Oh well. Who's up for a TSA cavity search and having your internet access taken away? Yay!

Complacency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618815)

Australians are too rich and comfortable to worry about these things at the moment. The country cares more about big-screen TVs and investment properties than big ideas.

Not in the public interest means... (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 2 years ago | (#41619915)

until everyone is signed up for the National Broadband Network - then we'll tell you what we've done.

Can't get decent software to scan job applications but software to scan internet use will work perfectly.

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