19th & 26th January 2006
Objective analysis.  That's what's done here.



The Howard Government in Australia is investigating the introduction of an "Identity" card.

The question is an irrelevant exercise, because there is a high probability that 99.99% personal recognition technology (integrated face & expression, stance, proportions & ambulation,
vocalization & accent) combined with the widening public surveillance network will soon (2 - 10 years) render identity cards superfluous, and incidentally reduce violent crime in a public space to minuscule proportions by having a 99% conviction rate.  White collar crime could best be reduced by having public company disclosure laws strengthened.

Personal recognition technology will be so good that Bourkas would not provide anonymity, although it might be necessary in rare cases to require people wearing clothing that makes them difficult to recognize to carry identification documentation.  Australians are already under surveillance on federal highways (the "safe-t-cam" network), public streets and public (eg retail store) premises.  As soon as reliable personal recognition software is available it will be wired into the surveillance & webcam network, and ASIO & police & politicians & other people with political influence will start tracking criminals, terrorists, business competitors and partners.

All of these invasions of public space privacy are acceptable, but only if the output and the records of access of those public space webcams or devices is in the public domain.  If they can watch us, then we should be able to watch us (and them, and them watching us).

Google has hit the news recently because the US government has taken it to court because it refused to provide customer search records to the FBI.  If Google loses that case, I would like to suggest to Google that it puts all of it's customer search records (including records of searches of those records) into the public domain.  I can think of several reasons why Google might want to keep those records secret (commercial is one), but would Larry & the team at Google
please take note, I do appreciate that you informed me that the US government was attempting to gain surreptitious access to your records of my search parameters.  Why not adopt a scorched earth policy on our confidential information?

Private space privacy is something else again.  A person is entitled to rent or own private space, although the responsibility for protecting the privacy of that space against external (non intrusive) devices must fall on the individual concerned.  Intrusive devices are quite illegal, and that should remain unchanged.

A corporation has not got an independent intellectual existence,  hence a corporation does not have privacy.  Corporate secrets are the secrets of the owners of the corporation, who must collectively take full personal and financial responsibility for any lawbreaking.  I believe that there should be full, online, current disclosure of all corporate financial transactions.

In summary, a right to privacy does not exist in public space,
with the proviso that any records made must be in the public domain.  An absolute right to privacy exists in private space, except when there is good (> 51%) evidence that another's rights are being breached by that privacy.

25th January 2006  I have just read "The Traveler" by John Twelve Hawks.  The author is aware of the developing surveillance technology, and has constructed an educational fiction against that canvas.  One message of the book is a warning against elitist (= "we know best what is best for you") control of surveillance technology.

- AWB -

The Australian Wheat Board scandal just keeps festering.  The Government carefully wrote the terms of reference of a judicial investigation (and probably chose a "safe" judge, but I am not in a position to be aware of any nuances in that matter) so as to exclude the possibility of any investigation of the persistent rumors that the PM and FM (Foreign Minister) were fully and in timely manner informed of the bribes paid to Hussein.  That is exactly as predicted in late October, when the UN first raised the issue.  Most Australians are aware that their liberal representative democracy is broken.  Considering the way that the Australian government is curtailing our liberties, we soon won't even be a liberal representative democracy, or have the power to expose & so reverse the trend.

I guess the poor idiot who was AWB director will go to jail, but not lose all his booty.  If he lost the booty, (e.g. under the proceeds of crime act & based on the argument that his salary derived from the performance of criminal acts) then he might tell on TLK & Upside.  I suppose that is how business is done at the top.  He is paying the price that most of the toadies never have to pay.  Personally, I would rather take dirty money, than take money the way the director of AWB took it.


The US carried out a missile attack on AlQuaida bigwigs in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.  Reports are that three (or four) terrorist organizers were terminated, collaterally with sympathizers, children and houses.  It can be anticipated that liberals will raise an outcry about the collaterals.

Flash 20th January 2006 Bin Laden has released a tape offering peace in exchange for withdrawal from Iraq & Afghanistan.  The White house has pointed out that Afghanistan was invaded because of AlQuaida's 9/11 attack, so the offer does not make sense.   The White House also declared that it refused to negotiate with terrorists.

Bin Laden denied that the pause in anti-terrorist activities in the US resulted from US anti terrorist activities.  There was a rather pointed indication of imminent terrorist action in the USA if peace negotiations were not initiated.  My own analysis is that the elements of a major (death roll in thousands) attack are in place, and that threat will be activated fairly soon, possibly on 14th February (that being Christianity's St. Valentine's day) or some similar anniversary.

In Iraq a female US journalist has been taken hostage, her interpreter was killed during the capture, apparently the driver escaped.  Riverbend draws our attention with a eulogy to that interpreter, who was an acquaintance.

Iran was reported by Drudge as "cornered".  What is that saying about cornered ferals?  My last two posts (iran Dec 05)
(sharon Jan 06) predicted specific action against Iran by the US or the Israelis about March 2006.  Any odds?

Palestine has elected Hamas, and most of Christendom is going "tut tut".

Not to worry.  That issue (Palestine-v-Israel) has been festering for nearly six decades, and nothing is going to happen quickly.  Since thoroughly defeating the Palestinians in the 50's, the Israelis have practiced a restraint towards that conquered people that is unique in the history of the world, exceeding even the restraint of the Americans after winning WWII.  I think it is unlikely that the Palestinians would practice similar restraint.  With few exceptions, Muslim Arab cultures are quite bloodthirsty in victory, and oppressive masters of conquered infidel (they have a special word for us!) cultures.

Hamas is credited with it's electoral victory because it was not corrupt.  We have a saying, "power corrupts".  It will be interesting to observe the truth of that saying.  Prior to this victory, Hamas had no political power.  In the Arab world, just about every nation has a powerful dictator whose family/henchmen/tribesmen run the civil service.  (Following the model created by Mahommed).  All of those nations have reputations as having corrupt civil service and government.  I expect that someday soon, somebody will calculate a formula that shows that the degree of corruption in any society is inversely proportional to the distribution
gradient of the power structure.

Such a formula will have to be preceded by discovery of a way to quantify corruption, and a method to quantify the distribution gradient of the power structure.

LATER...  On reflection, our politicians are unlikely to reward any such research, so it won't happen.  Our democratically elected dictator - leaders have more in common with Chinese leaders or Kim Jong Il than with we the people.  Our leaders do not like sharing power, nor having to stand elections. There are only two leaders in the last century with whom I might have entrusted my nation, Nelson Mandela and Ghandi.  The rest of the genre are mostly a sorry lot, (even the best of them are not people who I would want to introduce to my family).