Australian Politics, Mark II


Can I clarify the whole ‘it will kill our tech industry’

Here in the states, phones absolutely spy on us, microphones absolutely listen to conversations and the government has had the Patriot Act in for a while now

Yet here we are, Apple et al happy to sell the products to the US

How is this any different?


Well you need to hire a new guy, because that’s bullshit. ■■■■, even before today’s events no systems engineer can promise full data security.

Gees, now I’m even more worried about you.



In February 2015, Facebook had a privacy dilemma.

The company’s growth team — a powerful force within Facebook — wanted to release an update to the Android app that would continually collect users’ entire SMS and call log history. That data would be uploaded to Facebook’s servers, and would help Facebook make better recommendations, such as suggesting new friends to Android users based on the people they’d recently called or texted. (This feature, called “People You May Know,” has been the subject of much controversy.)

But there was a problem: Android’s privacy policies meant that Facebook would need to ask users to opt in to having this data collected. Facebook’s executives worried that asking users for this data could bring a public backlash.

“This is a pretty high risk thing to do from a PR perspective but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it,” one executive, Michael LeBeau, wrote.

He outlined the nightmare scenario: “Screenshot of the scary Android permissions screen becomes a meme (as it has in the past), propagates around the web, it gets press attention, and enterprising journalists dig into what exactly the new update is requesting, then write stories about ‘Facebook uses new Android update to pry into your private life in ever more terrifying ways.’”

Ultimately, Facebook found a workaround. Yul Kwon, the head of Facebook’s privacy program, wrote in an email that the growth team had found that if Facebook’s upgraded app asked only to read Android users’ call logs, and not request other types of data from them, users would not be shown a permission pop-up.

“Based on their initial testing, it seems that this would allow us to upgrade users without subjecting them to an Android permissions dialog at all,” Mr. Kwon wrote.


That has nothing to do with end to end encryption


Please send this to another thread and close it. With thanks Benfti


Five shades of faded blue

Ad astra

How well the ancient Biblical words apply to the Coalition: ”How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle…thou wast slain in thine high places, and the weapons of war perished!”

The true-blue Liberal flag, once graced with rich shades of competence, efficiency, endeavour, diligence and success, now flies tattered, limp and washed out. The Liberal flag is now discoloured with five shades of faded blue: denial, arrogance, anger, confusion and ineptitude.

After its humiliating loss at the Wentworth by-election, and the obvious reason for it – the undignified removal of its well-liked member Malcolm Turnbull, a modicum of insight might have been expected as the extent of the Coalition bloodbath at the recent State Election in Victoria was being exposed on ABC TV. But no, Deputy Liberal Leader Josh Frydenberg was soon on the airwaves trying to convince us that the disaster unfolding before his very eyes had nothing to do with the disrespectful extrusion of Malcolm Turnbull and his replacement with a novice. ”It was a state election run on state issues” he insisted. Of course state issues were prominent, but only blind and deaf Freddie would not acknowledge the influence of events in Canberra. Coalition supporters handing out how-to-vote cards reported how often voters curtly informed them that they were not going to vote Liberal because of what the party had done to Malcolm Turnbull. Josh was in denial, deaf to what he was hearing, blind to what he was seeing . He even accused Bill Shorten of arrogantly believing he could ‘measure the curtains in The Lodge’. He looked foolish. As Crikey’s Charlie Lewis put it: ”It was the rhetorical equivalent of jamming his fingers in his ears and making ‘la la la’ noises. Right on cue his fellow-denialist Eric Abetz, always ready to argue the inarguable, followed him. Peta Credlin soon joined the chorus of denial in The Australian , arguing that the Bourke Street terrorist attack made the Coalition’s campaign on ‘law and order’ tricky because public sensibilities prevented them ‘going in hard’!

This chorus of denial has since been drowned out by a plethora of commentary that has pinpointed the ‘toxic Canberra culture’ as a potent reason for the Coalition’s decline. Defeated Coalition Leader Matthew Guy and John Pesutto, member for Hawthorn, who saw his re-election cast into doubt as he commented on the ABC’s election panel, had the good grace to concede that the Canberra shemozzle was a telling reason for the Coalition’s defeat. Even the State president of the Liberal Party, Michael Kroger got the message and resigned. Now, Coalition members in NSW, petrified about the ‘toxic’ behaviour of their Canberra counterparts, are running a mile to distance themselves for fear of contamination during the upcoming NSW State election.

Next, along came arrogance to further stain the Liberal flag. PM Morrison, who ought to have been a little contrite, came out arms flailing, insisting that notwithstanding recent electoral debacles, the Coalition would triumph at the next federal election. Voters would reward the Coalition for its outstanding economic success and reject Labor’s high-taxing policies, he insisted. And he reinforced his words by angrily shouting them whenever he could – at doorstops, in press interviews, in Question Time, in parliamentary debate. He turned up the volume as he fumed.

But for arrogance writ large, there could scarcely be a more brazen display of it than dark-suited Coalition members walking out of the chamber as Julia Banks announced a few days later that she was withdrawing from the Coalition to sit on the crossbenches. You can hear her speech in the Featured Video. Of course their leader has form in walking out when females are speaking in the House!

Anger soon stained the Coalition’s flag. Shocked at its electoral reversals, and extrapolating these to the May federal election at which many Coalition members could see their seats evaporating, the prospect of losing a comfortable income evoked much anger and distress.

Although a cluster of Liberals joined their leader to unveil their anger, none could match him; his shouting became more and more raucous. And when schoolchildren organized a rally in school hours to protest against the government’s lack of action on climate change, Morrison exploded. In typical ‘strict father’ mode, so well described by George Lakoff, he condemned the rally with: “Each day I send my kids to school and I know other members’ kids should also go to school but we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments.”

Following his leader, Resources Minister Matt Canavan added that he wanted children in school learning about how to build mines, do geology and how to drill for oil and gas, “which is one of the most remarkable science exploits in the world” . He warned the students that their protest was ”the road to the dole queue” . Clearly, he not only lacks insight into the motivation of the protesting students; he remains intractably wedded to the outmoded technologies that scientists assure us will bring about global devastation and render the planet inhabitable. He was angry and confused, along with many of his parliamentary colleagues.

In response to the PM’s reprimand, one student said: Mr Morrison’s comments were ‘ridiculous’. It is as if he expects us to be completely apathetic towards the world and its issues until we reach the age of 18, when we are suddenly supposed to become well-informed voters with our own developed opinions…Mr Morrison says that he does not support our schools being turned into parliaments. Well, maybe if the people in our Parliament listened to the science and took action like those of us in school, we wouldn’t have to resort to strike action like this.” A campaign organiser said that Mr Morrison’s comments had actually boosted the protest’s profile and spurred more people into action. Another example of Morrison’s ineptitude and lack of insight!

Greens leader, Adam Bandt who had met with some of the students involved and backed their actions, said: “The PM is unbelievably out of touch with young people, not only in Australia but around the world…these students want a leader to protect their future, but they get a hectoring, ungenerous and condescending rebuke from someone even worse than Tony Abbott.”

So it came to pass that on the last day in November eight thousand students from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Coffs Harbour, Bendigo and twenty regional areas did head to the nearest Parliament House or the offices of members of parliament to take part in the strike, quite undeterred by the angry rebukes from their parliamentarians. More protests are to follow. The repercussions will long reverberate.

The next shade of blue to tarnish the now-very-dull Liberal flag was confusion . Clearly the Coalition, the PM and his ministers are rattled, beset as they are with electoral defeat after electoral defeat, abysmal opinion polls that never improve, a confident Labor Opposition, and a cluster of policies that even their own supporters won’t accept, the most recent being its energy policy. And all they do in response is to shout more and more angrily.

Denial, arrogance, anger and confusion bring in their wake ineptitude, the fifth shade of faded blue to tarnish the Coalition flag.

Virtually everything Morrison and his ministers now say and do reeks of ineptitude .

The Coalition is lost. The path ahead is beset with intractable difficulties, insurmountable problems, and an impoverished mindset incapable of addressing them. Ideological shackles restrict their thinking; outmoded beliefs curb their judgment; antediluvian attitudes constrain their reasoning.

Foolishly, they have corrupted their flag. And in the process they have besmirched our National flag too.

The once proud true-blue Liberal flag hangs tattered and limp. Only five shades of faded blue remain.


I’ll say it again, the Liberal’s response to the student strike was hopelessly, well as it says above, inept.
I’m not saying it could have been a home run for them, but it could easily have been a base hit with a little acceptance and engagement.
But sure, the tut-tutting and patronising pat on the head was one way to go…

Edit: And also, to go back to an issue they got smashed on, that one could feasibly argue was when the rot really set in, with LBQT rights…to remind people of that…
Hey! Remember that thing we got completely wrong? The thing that showed we were hopelessly out of touch with middle Australia?
Guess what?
We still are!



did i ever tell you how much i hate encryption?


even more baffling when you consider their stance on not governing for the next five months.

kids should study, not protest!!!11!!11

hey guys, turn the lights off, we won’t be here for the next 5 months.

idiots. hypocrites.


How easy would it have been to say “It’s great to see kids engaging in political discussion. We’d certainly love for them to be at school for the sake of their education, but this sort of engagement helps them learn about democracy, community engagement and social responsibility. Hopefully we can see this sort of passion carry through to when they are adults and may consider entering into politics themselves.”?

Nope, Minister for mines propaganda Matt Canavan follows up his brilliant ‘Lil’ Aussie Battler Adani’ tweet with “get back to school and learn how to build a mine”.



‘Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a country where people are politically engaged, that they care about the future and take responsibility for it, that we can have these peaceful protests.’

And it’s begging them to explain that they Are working towards greenhouse targets.

But no.
Go back to school, ya layabouts.

There. Did we…did we do good with that?


So Labor ended up waiving all their amendments if I understand that right? There’s something about the fervor to rush this through on both sides that doesn’t sit well with me, especially when the law in question relates to security.

We need some quality journalists to really make these pollies accountable for what they’ve just done - something smells off.


Dare I say it, it would actually make them sound somewhat statesman-like? Something sorely lacking in modern politics.


Thank you for your concern beni.

We tooks steps after our brush with Ransomware to isolate any strategic data like our IP, technical drawings and source codes for our firmware and software. I guess someone can break in physically and steal it, but not sure we are that important or it is that valuable.

In any case, I have trolled all news services and other blogs and I am yet to find anyone else besides you being so concerned about these new laws. Perhaps you could point me to a non-Apple employee diatribe on the matter.

Have Apple released a public statement on the matter ?


Watch the Computerphile youtube video I linked to before. You can see how absurd the idea of leaving open backdoors in encryption is.


Yep, the ALP abandoned all their amendments at the last minute to pass SOMETHING just to avoid having the Libs and Murdoch press say nasty things about how they’re supposedly compromising national security. Of course, the Libs (and probably the Murdoch press, I haven’t checked) immediately said those nasty things anyway, so I’m ever-so-glad THAT tactic worked.

The ALP have said that they will press to move the amendments anyway when parliament comes back in the new year. The Libs said ‘yeah nah’, and ASIO said that they were planning to start using their new unamended powers immediately.

I suspect one of the first people the AFP target these powers on will be John Setka, - under a bit of prodding from the AG and workplace relations minister. When the libs’ mates at the AFP very publicly charge the CFMEU with something or other based on wiretapped data three weeks before the next election, the ALP will only have themselves to blame.

The ALP have done the policy terribly, but unbelievably enough, they’ve probably done the politics just as badly.


And, ironically, that sort of (reasonable) thing is pretty close to what Howard used to say when there were protests. Agree with you that it’s insane they didn’t do it here


They’ve probably just helped out the Greens quite a bit at the next election too


I had already watched it, Mr Deukes. Even Baby Boomer me understood all of this already.

I just do not care and have nothing to hide. I will always support bringing down the bad guys by any means possible. And I cannot see how it is a civil rights issue, because if you don’t like it then don’t use a phone or the Internet.

And in political terms, more votes in safeguarding people than worrying about WhatsApp and Messenger.


Thanks for that gem.