Category Archives: Public interest

Snowden Cell Phones Spying and ID

In the public interest.

I give no consent to my location, ID and my data being gathered (bulk connections). I have nothing to hide but I like my privacy as a woman. I realise the company’s believe they own my data and believe they can sell it. I do not give consent.

Susan Carew

NOTES: Snowden’s comments –

Central problem is you do not know what the phone is doing!

According to Snowden you can turn off your phone but how do you know it is off he says. Old phones mean you can take the battery out that stops signals. The phones now are sealed. Airplane mode doesn’t turn off wifi. We don’t know what the phone is doing or what it is connected to? Apps talk want it to stop after using e.g. messenger, weather app. People need to be able to make intelligent decisions not just app by app on a connection by connection basis. You may use Facebook – want to connect to Facebook content servers, want to be able message a friend but you don’t want it to talk to an ad server or analytics server or third party (monitoring your behaviour). Facebook crams them (third party) into every app you download, you don’t know as you can see it, problem with data collection today. Industry built on keeping this invisible. Need to make activities of our devices (iPhone, computer) more visible and understandable to the average person and give them control. Say there is a little green icon spokes coming off, every app your phone is talking to, all hosts talking to. Once every 3 seconds phone is checking in with Facebook. No-one wants spying. If people could press a button to turn off apps ie. Facebook etc. People would want no spying. Google and Apple do not allow the button to exist. If the companies think it is not understood, too complex then it needs to be simplified. It is a problem.

Stories data breached, companies spying here or there, manipulating purchases, search results, hiding things on your timeline – influence and manipulate in different ways. Happens as a result of single problem – which is inequality of available information. They can see everything about you , what you device is doing, they can do anything with your device. You paid for the device, increasingly governments and corporations own it. we do all the work, pay taxes, costs… People work hard but they are owning less. The young people do not know what they are losing.

Data became a commodity, valuable to Google an social media platform, making billions of dollars earned, people are accustomed, difficult to turn that horse around. Snowden says money becomes power and influence. Information becomes influence.

Surveilance states they won’t relinquish as they embed this reality. The permanent record is the story of our lives.

Permanent record is the subject of the book.

You life how intentionally BY DESIGN both government and corporate realised it was in their mutual interest to conceal data collection activities to increase the breadth and depth of their sensor networks spread out throughout society. Back in the day Intelligence collection in US (sigin) was sending FBI agent to put alligator clips in a building, or disguised as a workman bug in a building or built satellite listening, in desert, parabolic collector listening to satellite emissions. Satellite links were owned by military and exclusive to government not affecting everyone broadly, all surveillance was targeted. What changed with technology was surveillance becomes indiscriminately, dragnet, ‘bulk collection’ should become dirties phrases in the language if we have decency. This this was intentionally concealed from us, government did it used classification, companies did it, denied it, they say you agreed to this. You didn’t agree to anything. They say they put Terms of Service page up, you clicked. You clicked a button said I Agree when you are trying to open an account to talk to friends, email etc. You were not agreeing to 600 page legal form, even if read you wouldn’t understand. Even if did, the first para says this agreement can be changed anytime by the company.

NOTE: They built a legal paradigm that presumes RECORDS collected about us DO NOT BELONG TO US. This is one of the core principles on which mass surveillance from the government perspective in US is legal. Government says it is legal, it is fine. Our perspective as a public, says that is the problem this isn’t okay, the scandal is not in their breaking the law, it is in that they DON’T HAVE TO BREAK THE LAW. It is called a third party doctrine, legal principle Smith vs Maryland. Established a precedent that the record don’t belong to the guy they belong to the company. The company has ownership over records, back in 1970s. Still relying on this precedent. No-one has a privacy right over their lives (data collection). Not data being manipulated but PEOPLE being MANIPULATED.

MY COMMENTS:

Everyone jumps on the bandwagon to make money without a backward glance to the social cost to democracy.I personally do not feel safe and I do not want people I do not know where I am and gathering my data about what I do, where I go, who I speak to, who my friends are. I don’t want people accessing my blog if they are monitoring me rather than reading my blog out of interest. It is a form of surveillance. This feels to me like stalking. I am alarmed by the facts raised above that my data is not mine, YES IT IS. What I am doing now is my thoughts on a page they do not belong to WordPress, the IP company or those surveilling me. I revoke other rights that state I have agreed, I haven’t. This provides insights into FOI requests and why no data is forthcoming. I am not fully informed.

In addition:

I have real concerns about the medical effects cancer and EMF with iPhones. This is a real problem.

The apps are companies they are not just little icons (analytics) and it is too much for the average person to understand and make clear decisions.

The homeless guy living in the bush I met recently is probably right to be there. He is free. He is not accessing digital. He has let go of this society. I can understand why that is a good thing.

Link to Snowden’s paper (Introspection Engine [iPhone 6]: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/08/impaired-judgment-phones.html

Australia’s St Elmo’s Fire is a Test

This poem came from inspiration about the Australian bushfires and homelessness.

Notable excerpt from The Big Issue article below:

Fire has destroyed 8.4 million hectares of land in southern and eastern Australia, an area bigger than Scotland. And despite heroic efforts by thousands of firefighters and volunteers the relentless, unpredictable and fast-changing blazes have killed at least 26 people, more than a billion animals, and destroyed over 2,000 homes.

Refer Big Issue for homeless people in fires. https://www.bigissue.com/latest/how-are-homeless-people-in-australia-affected-by-the-bushfires-down-under/

There are over 116,000 people homeless in Australia.

The poem I felt inspired to write reveals the importance of fires in nature to clear the old to make way for renewable growth within us.

The poem rekindles the Australian spirit of who we really are when in crisis. The real phoenix is our rebuilding who we are as a nation.

Einstein said:

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We have to think anew”

This is the sound track that came to me when I named the poem.

Australia’s St Elmo’s Fire is the Test

 

The burning bush,

Is not a winter burn off,

It is not seasonal regeneration,

But a towering inferno of epic proportion,

Smoke billowing blanking out the blue sky,

As communities are under siege,

Seeking to defend property,

Unaware our right to property is the real fire storm,

So help me God!

 

A climate of change in government is not responsive to the real ecological crisis,

A climate of change in business is not responsive to sustainability as they aim for more growth with less,

Yet it is market based economics that is the red hot ember that won’t go out of season,

Cutting public services as under growth is neglected,

For they cannot see the forests for the wood,

Nature is a raw material costed for production not a natural wonder maintaining ecological function,

People are human resources costed per hour
not human beings growing up to empower,

Seen through the googles of economics
life is an algorithm not a rubrics cube,

The yoke of debt is not an Act of God but unaffordable rent,

As business as usual is endless chaos not order,

As we look for the quick buck not the long term fix,

Markets have short horizons not over the horizon radars advancing civilisation to higher expressions,

For to see beyond the space time continuum of self interest is to realise the uni-verse is the one song in tune with nature.

 

The wild fires have become a fire sale,

Destroying 8.4 million of hectares in the blaze will increase market prices,

A billion animals perished in the smoke haze,

Impacting the biomass as prayers were not answered,

Homeless people camping in the bush were razed
gained no relief or went missing without alarm,

Renters were given no grants or land,

As property owners are hard working and deserving,

Government, media and business jumped on the bandwagon not on the fire truck,

Circling the wagons is not containment of disruption,

Opportunities to strengthen brand images rather than imagine no brands to ask for change not coins,

Still seeking a bounty from the mutiny,

The mutiny on the bounty is to leave GDP,

As branded cattle are piled on burial mounds,

Agricultural crops and harvesters went up in smoke,

Timbers become cinders,

Run for your life abandon possessions, beloved memories and pets,

This is the test,

To save lives not things,

To remember each other and lend an equal hand,

For this is the meaning of the aussie battler,

Bush community know common unity,

As they battle fires with families and friends.

 

Giving is to be good as gold,

Yet what if the gold is in being truly good,

You would naturally give time and all you have,

For it is human nature to give not take away,

To pitch in or risk losing all,

As livelihood is to live your life to be really alive,

This is St Elmo’s fire testing your determination and stamina,

From smouldering embers spark new shoots to push up breaking new ground,

From hardship comes rebirth of a renewable life,

From pot ash comes the phoenix resurrecting renewal,

And all can rise when you can go down no further,

For the rural farmers have suffered for years,

They lost their voice,

Mortgages as debt was the tourniquet squeezing livelihoods year on year as hard work doesn’t yield.

 

Many have been weighed down…

By what is not important in fears,

By material things that no longer bring joy,

By worries about money that never end contracts,

By conflicts from stress and out of touch bureaucracy,

By family breakdown under pressure,

By rising costs and uncertain futures,

They have been the backbone of our country.

 

Yet what if you look up to the stars my friend?

Take your hands from your eyes to see beyond,

That a new day dawns every day,

The sun-rises from the east setting in the west,

To know that from bad seeds come good,

From disruption comes clarity of purpose,

For you can’t get back what is a final demand,

When one door closes another opens,

And the finale of life is to let go when it is done and dusted,

To face fires, flood, famine and drought fearlessly
as dawn, midday and dusk mark time,

For we must face the phases of the moon together,

We must give a hand up and a hand out
no matter who is in need,

As you are me,

And I am you,

Learn to let go of the seed of greed marketed as need,

It is the fast breeder of fear,

It is the terminator seed,

For what you give away returns the bounty,

What you earn you give away in trust,

As abundance is not in what you have but who you are when you dig deep,

And who you are is gratitude, service and love without end,

And these are the real seeds St Elmo’s fire is renewing,

For the old must die for the new to arise.

 

We are one country under the Southern Cross,

We are stewards not owners,

We are temporary not permanent,

When every ONE is deserving of charity,

We are a nation girt by sea,

From the coast, to the forest, to the deserts,

We are free,

We have boundless plains to share to care,

And air to breathe when we see the key,

That we can regenerate our country’s spirit,

We are dreaming in the land of Oz,

Starting again resets from zero point,

To nurture shattered lives by piecing together the puzzle as the final peace in the big picture,

The deck chairs are rearranging on the titanic seeking to keep the currency afloat,

The Big Issue is that Australians are sharing the bounty not holding cards to the chest,

As friends in-deed we are stepping up to lead,

For Mount Kosciusko can be climbed in a day,

The Murray can replenish a sunburnt country,

The Snowy Mountains can rekindle Clancy of the Overflow,

As he drove cattle down mountain views where all hesitated to step off the real cliff hanger,

He proved the impossible is possible,

Courage leads whilst fear weighs the risks,

In the high country the brumby’s sniff the wind adapting to climates of change as they know which way to run.

Australians know the struggle and the peaks,

As we are heading for a depression of great magnitude,

An economic earthquake shaking ‘em up,

The Great Barrier Reef sacrificed corals to pollution favouring a crown of thorns,

The Great Artesian basin is sinking the water table as hard water is diverted and dries up,

Salt lakes muddy clean waters,

Fertilising biosciences grow at ever diminishing returns akin anti-bio-tics,

Nature is not an electrical circuit board or linear cog in an industrial flywheel,

It is a tipping point of infinitesimal sensitivity,

Where the sum of the parts is the whole.

Descartes reduced life to boxes not cells,

Newton gravitated to apples not seeds,

Einstein’s relativity theory was not absolute,

Mythical dragons breathe fire yet oxygen is fuel,

Oxford became lost in space seeking the last frontier,

Dances with Wolves chose to go to the frontier country before it was lost,

Buffalos were killed for skins not hunger,

Science invented wars losing the peace prize,

For the real courage is to face what we have truly lost and not hesitate to act,

We are lost in space unable to make peace

A priority,

For until we do we hesitate on the mountain view unable to step off the cliff of uncertainty,

As life is not predictable nor mechanical,

It is a miracle,

And only when you lose everything do you realise the true value of life,

For this is the real gold,

Or indeed the Fool’s Gold of awakening from the dream,

Fires cleanse away debris to make way for renewable growth,

To see the forest instead of the wood,

To value nature as a flow not a production process,

For the real currency is love,

What you truly love becomes visible in crisis,

To breathe is nature’s rhythm,

To speak is nature’s sound scape,

To eat is nature’s bounty given for free,

For free dominion is nature’s possibility,

That self selects when the fruit is ripe,

To fall from the tree at the perfect moment,

As love withholds no wealth from life,

As life is the real wealth loving,

And until you taste the sweetness
greed will be the bad seed replanted,

Yielding endless wars fuelling climates of disruptive change,

For until the burning bush is seen as a message from the creator,

Heralding that all people are chosen,

And that all roads lead home,

For Rome will return to the Garden of Eden,

Adam & Eve will plant an apple tree together,

Receiving nature’s bounty at the perfect time in peace,

Loving what is was all ways the peace that passeth all understanding.

How Dare You!!! Sustain the Planet NOW!

I feel her pain.  What will it take for our world to wake up to its illusion of economic growth?  When will our world come into a space of maturity to be able to self reflect and take responsibility for actions that are undermining earth systems and future generations. 

At what point does the money mean nothing?

At what point do you put children’s happiness ahead of your own?

By what facts do you determine that your insistence on IT Smart Cities and automation is sustainable when it uses energy and marginalises those who cannot participate?

AT what point do you care about starving children, refugee flows, endless war doctrines and extensive polluting of the planet and at the same time genetically modifying plants and seeds to conform with business profit outcomes rather than homeostasis of life support systems.

This little girl talks from the heart, can you feel her?  I certainly can.  I would love to have been her standing in her shoes.  As an adult I am ignored.  I love children and my hope is that they take it into their own hands and wake up the world to the reality of extinction, we are definitely heading for that.

However, it is not inevitable, as a word some like to use for automation.  The future sustainability of the planet is possible but we have to change our ways,  The current economic paradigm does not work. We have to create a new paradigm where values is the centrepoint and we envisage our future on the basis of virtues, as you feel it you will see a new world arise.

I will send love to this little girl tonight and strength as they will need it.  Adults have proven to be immovable when it comes to greed and there is without doubt a dark energy behind the push for profits without any serious consideration of a real sustainable future.  Her video is below these points.

Equality will feature in this new world.

Values will be taught to all children.

Stewardship will replace status.

Judgement is toxic and inaccurate.

Humility will be valued above attention seeking.

All we realise that what you do to another returns to the self.

What you resist persists and what you look at disappears.

You see as you are not as others are.

What you think about you bring about.

Life mirrors what you believe back to yourself (self fulfilling prophecy)

The greatest success is to be who you really are.

The greatest happiness is to live your dreams.

Money is plastic, real wealth is living to give arising from love.

Love is the currency.

There is enough for all.

The planet will not collapse when we align with nature, which is our true nature.

Peace is not idealism it is the centrepoint of our survival as we recalibrate with nature, which is peace.

Speaking up is our true nature as expression is making impressions like footprints in the sands of time, each print changes the future.  Good Luck Greta!

 

Whistle-Blower McBride States Government Acting as a Totalitarian

In the public interest, courtesy of the Guardian.

I don’t think the government is acting. The suppression of the truth is perverting the course of justice, in my view.

A notable extract from below:

Boyle, the ATO whistleblower, similarly made an internal disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act to the ATO. His complaint was investigated and dismissed, according to the ABC and the Nine Entertainment newspapers. Boyle then went public.

There are attempts to have people complain internally to ensure no public scrutiny, but if they are not able to act neutrally or seek to protect themselves then inevitably if the problem is not resolved, it escalates.  The lack of values is a core issue.  It is all very well to have mission statements and assert publicly the organisation has values but not act on it due to interference or fear. 

The issue in my own experience is reporting suspected corruption to regulators to be told the complaint is dismissed or not even investigated when evidence is available.  I perceive this practice is widespread and deeply problematic. There are other questions around underfunding regulators so that complaints are delayed.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/06/whistleblower-protections-a-sham-says-lawyer-whose-leaks-led-to-abc-raids

Whistleblower protections ‘a sham’, says lawyer whose leaks led to ABC raids

 This article is more than 3 months old

David McBride, who leaked information on special forces, says government is acting like a ‘totalitarian regime’

Leaks from whistleblower David McBride prompted this week’s raids on the ABC
 Leaks from whistleblower David McBride prompted this week’s raids on the ABC Photograph: Alexandra Back/Fairfax Media

The military lawyer whose leaks prompted this week’s police raids on the ABC has criticised Australia’s whistleblower protections as a “sham”, saying the government is acting like a “totalitarian regime” to shield itself from criticism.

David McBride is facing lengthy jail time for providing documents to the public broadcaster on the conduct of special forces in Afghanistan, which prompted the Wednesday raids.

McBride is far from alone in his plight. Witness K and Bernard Collaery, who revealed Australia’s unlawful 2004 spy operation against Timor-Leste, are facing two years behind bars for their actions, and the Australian Taxation Office whistleblower, Richard Boyle, is facing a lengthy jail sentence for exposing aggressive debt collection tactics that were destroying the lives of vulnerable taxpayers.

In all three cases, the whistleblowers went through the appropriate steps to raise their concerns internally within government, before frustration at inaction led them into going public. They believed doing so would help afford them protections under Australia’s whistleblower regime.

“I made an internal complaint, I even went to the police first, I invoked whistleblower protections,” McBride told Guardian Australia.

“It’s all a sham.”

McBride said the inaction on his complaints led him to the ABC.

The lawyer says he was simply acting on his duty to report illegal conduct, and only wanted to protect Australia’s interest.

“I think it says everything about the problem today that if you describe my situation without saying my nationality, you would think we were talking about China or Russia,” McBride said.

“The idea that someone who basically suggested something was going wrong from within an organisation … is put in jail forever as a spy, that’s what totalitarian regimes do.

“There’s no suggestion that I’m actually damaging national security. I think the government is damaging national security, and yet they’re treating me as if I’m a terrorist.”

McBride’s comments again raise concerns about the ability of whistleblower protections to help those wanting to expose government wrongdoing.

In the case of Witness K and Collaery, the pair aired their concerns internally as required.

Witness K sought and obtained permission to talk to his lawyer, Collaery, about an illegal spy operation bugging Timor-Leste’s government during sensitive oil negotiations, raising his concerns through the inspector-general of intelligence and security.

Frustrated by the inaction, they contacted a series of journalists. Both are now facing two years behind bars for doing so.

Boyle, the ATO whistleblower, similarly made an internal disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act to the ATO. His complaint was investigated and dismissed, according to the ABC and the Nine Entertainment newspapers. Boyle then went public.

“It says the government of Australia actually only cares about the government of Australia, and doesn’t actually care about Australia anymore,” McBride said.

“So if you speak out against the government, you’re a really bad person, even if you’re sticking up for the nation.”

“They’ve forgotten that they’re actually meant to work for the people of Australia.”

Should Whistle-blowers be Protected or Criminalised?

In the Public interest.

Richard Boyle is a former ATO staff member who is currently facing 161 years in jail for blowing the whistle on the ATO for its use of heavy handed tactics and revenue targets as motivation in its collection of debts.

Before going public with this information he disclosed his concerns under the Public Interest Disclosure Act to the ATO where they were investigated and dismissed. He subsequently went public with this information which resulted in a investigation by Four Corners for ABC titled “Mongrel bunch of bastards”.

The issues he raised have since been reviewed by Treasury and the Inspector General of Taxation and resulted in changes to laws yet he is now on trial, having been charged with 66 offenses, though his actions were clearly performed for the public good.

We call on Attorney-General Christian Porter to intervene in this matter and end the prosecution of Richard Boyle. Prosecuting this individual will greatly discourage any other potential whistle-blowers from coming forward and further erode public faith in our institutions.

https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/mongrel-bunch-of-bastards/9635026

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-06/ato-whistleblower-faces-161-years-prison-possibility/10872350

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/10/coalition-orders-investigation-into-alleged-unethical-behaviour-at-tax-office

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/afp-raids-four-corners-whistleblower/9617698

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/blowing-the-whistle-on-the-tax-office-s-cash-grab-20180404-p4z7rj.html

https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/ato-whistleblower-faces-six-life-sentences-roughly-the-same-as-ivan-milat-20190226-p510d2.html