Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Who spys on the spybots?

This from slash dot, it appears the Australian Police have been given powers to tap your computer. They can, with a warrant, install spyware on your home computers without your knowledge. Once again a Benjamin Franklin quote springs to mind:

Someone who gives up an amount of liberty for security deserves neither.


What are they thinking? Why didn't the ALP stop this, question this or, it seems, even read this? This is crap!

So What's Wrong?

Anyone who argues that if you have nothing to hide, what's the problem? Simple really, what if they decide to pass a law in the interests of security that makes it illegal to gather in a group of more than four people or view this posting as the type of critisism that is a prelude to terrorist activity and make this illegal?

Perhaps I email a friend that I intend to leave the house this evening with only $10 in my wallet (odd hting to post out, but hey..) I could get arrested for vagrancy!

Do We Trust Them?

Further more; do you really trust these people to keep within the original bounds of this law? We are looking down the barrel of 1984, book burning, thought police etc. How specific is this? If you scan one of my hard drives you will find at least one item that is illegal,well was illegal, to have; read "The Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling and you will know what it is. You will also find a series of plans that involve the potential destruction of a large city, and one item that is anti-religious. Except the illegal article, they are all either short stories or chapters of novels I am working on.


There are a number of cameras around Adelaide that are meant to be there to protect us "For you safety". Is this because violent crime is on the way up? No, because it isn't. Is it because the can find criminals just walking down the street? No, they cannot. Are they there to curb the amount of vandalism? No, there aren't. Just what are they looking out for? Violent crime reporting is up, violent crime is down. No, they are there because someone somewhere thought "What if...?" and came up with a solution to a non-existent problem.

A Real Problem

Are these people looking for key words of is there to be some intelligence behind it.
Key word and phrase searches will cause problems; consider the phrase "child sex" if that is blocked or flagged as evil you stop all of the web-sites entitled "Child sex victim support group". If you check up on anyone posting about terrorism and bombing, you pretty much eliminate all news papers. Perhaps they just check for "Osama bin Laden", which means we will only ever get FOX news feeds.

I get hundreds of e-mails a day, keeping me informed about the goings and comings of our business. Of these I need to action maybe four or five a day. There is way too much information to concentrate of it all, it tends to be glossed over and I search for specifics. I have missed a couple of important things over the last couple of months because there is too much information. You cannot, seriously, except to analyse the data coming in to find threats. You can only find specific information types, like credit card numbers, pins, passwords etc. Consider this:
I will be painting my outhouse in "Maximum Green" on December 13th next year.
It's not a threat to anyone, is it?


I give advanced warning: If I find spyware on anyone's computer it goes, I will not care how it got there, it's gone.


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