19th & 26th January 2006
analysis. That's what's done here.
& PRIVACY -
The Howard Government in Australia is investigating the
of an "Identity" card.
The question is an
because there is a high probability that 99.99% personal recognition
(integrated face & expression, stance, proportions &
& accent) combined with the widening public surveillance network
will soon (2 - 10 years) render identity cards
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
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
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
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
of it's customer search records (including records of searches of those
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
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
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
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
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
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.
AFGHANIRANQ (+PALESTINE) -
The US carried out a missile attack on AlQuaida bigwigs in
near the border with Afghanistan. Reports are that three
terrorist organizers were terminated, collaterally with sympathizers,
children and houses. It can be anticipated that
raise an outcry about the collaterals.
Flash 20th January 2006 Bin
Laden has released a tape offering peace in exchange for withdrawal
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
In Iraq a
female US journalist has been taken hostage, her
killed during the capture, apparently the driver escaped. Riverbend
draws our attention with a eulogy to that interpreter, who was an
was reported by Drudge as "cornered". What is that saying
cornered ferals? My last two posts
05) (sharon Jan
predicted specific action against Iran by the US or the Israelis about
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
Hamas is credited with it's electoral victory because it was not
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
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,
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).