‘Balance’, ‘open’: Roxon defends data retention plans


news Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has strongly defended the need for the Federal Government to enact controversial data retention laws making it mandatory for telcos to retain data on the Internet and telephone activities of all Australians for two years, despite the proposal having been described by privacy authorities as being akin to “a police state”.

The Federal Attorney-General’s Department is currently promulgating a package of reforms which would see a number of wide-ranging changes made to make it easier for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor what Australians are doing on the Internet. For example, one new power is a data retention protocol which would require ISPs to retain data on their customers’ Internet and telephone activities for up to two years, and changes which would empower agencies to source data on users’ activities on social networking sites.

“As you will be aware, there has been a lot of press coverage about one component of the reforms – and that is data retention,” Roxon told a conference in Canberra this morning. Roxon’s full speech is available online here in Word docx format.

“Many of you will recall the disturbing murder of Cabramatta MP John Newman in Sydney in 1994. Call charge records and cell tower information were instrumental in the investigation and subsequent conviction on Phuong Ngo. These records allowed police to reconstruct the crime scene. Many investigations require law enforcement to build a picture of criminal activity over a period of time. Without data retention, this capability will be lost.”

“The intention behind the proposed reform is to allow law enforcement agencies to continue investigating crime in light of new technologies. The loss of this capability would be a major blow to our law enforcement agencies and to Australia’s national security.”

It is unclear whether Roxon’s comments with regard to the murder trial of Phuong Ngo are accurate.

In his 2009 report to the Chief Justice of NSW inquiring into the veracity of Phuong Ngo’s conviction, former judge David Patten found that mobile phone records supplied by Telstra during the trial had “very limited significance” to the verdict, although they went some way to supporting the case against Ngo and did not contradict the prosecution’s case in the matter.

“It is clear from the evidence of [Telstra employee] Mr Wilson and [telecommunications expert] Professor Coutts that mobile phone records have an extremely limited, if not non-existent, role to play in pinpointing the whereabouts of a person at a particular time,” wrote Patten in the report, available online in PDF format. “At most, they may provide an indication of the direction a person is travelling and, in this case, probably did so in relation to the movements of the white Camry in the period immediately after Mr Newman’s murder.”

In addition, the Government also already has the power to request ISPs and telcos to retain data on customers for up to 180 days for targeted users under existing cybercrime legislation introduced recently.

Roxon also defended other aspects of the Government’s wide-ranging surveillance proposal, which is currently being examined by the the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. “I want to strike a balance between ensuring we have the investigative tools needed to protect the community and individual privacy. This includes protecting individuals from activities that deeply affect their privacy, including hacking and identity theft,” Roxon told the conference.

“Gone are the days when we relied on landline phones, the odd fax or two and mail to keep us all connected. Smart phones allow us to engage with people in our workplace and across the world. Criminals and terrorists have also benefited from this leap in technology. Our police and national security agencies must be backed by solid legislation, to ensure we are all protected and that criminals can be prosecuted.”

“And it’s not only about strangers contacting your kids on the internet. It’s also about protecting the layers of hidden technology driving society like power, water and transport, banks and hospitals. Another part of the reform focusses on the management of these security risks in the telecommunications sector. Telecommunication networks are critical infrastructure that hold personal data and is an increasingly attractive target to unwanted intrusion.”

Roxon also described the Government’s consultation process on the issue as “open”.

“Unlike the Howard Government, I didn’t want to blindside the Parliament and the Australian people by introducing national security reforms into Parliament and rush them through without good advice and public scrutiny. The Government is putting all options on the table so the Australian public, experts and politicians can engage in this important national debate,” she said.

“That process has already started with more than 170 submissions from people and organisations of all walks of life having their say. This will ensure the Government has advice from the experts and will be informed by community views, before making final decisions on these important reforms.”

“I do want to reaffirm the intention of these reforms. We cannot live in a society where criminals and terrorists operate freely on the internet without fear of prosecution. We cannot allow technology to create a ‘safe haven’ for criminals, or a ‘no go’ zone for law enforcement. But, this does not mean unfettered access to private data either. What it does mean are carefully drafted, tested and oversighted national security laws – and this is what I’m focussed on delivering.”

The In general, the package of surveillance reforms discussed in this article has attracted a significant degree of criticism from the wider community over the past few months since it was first mooted. Digital rights lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia has described the Federal Government’s proposed new surveillance and data retention powers as being akin to those applied in restrictive countries such as China and Iran, while the Greens have described the package as “a systematic erosion of privacy”.

In separate submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, inquiry, a number of major telecommunications companies including iiNet and Macquarie Telecom, as well as telco and ISP representative industry groups, have expressed sharp concern over aspects of the reform package, stating that “insufficient evidence” had been presented to justify them. And Victoria’s Acting Privacy Commissioner has labelled some of the included reforms as “being characteristic of a police state”.

The Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative and free market-focused think tank, wrote in its submission to the parliamentary inquiry on the matter that many of the proposals of the Government were “unnecessary and excessive. “The proposal … is onerous and represents a significant incursion on the civil liberties of all Australians,” wrote the IPA in its submission, arguing that the data retention policy should be “rejected outright”.

“Data retention would be a continuous, rolling, systematic invasion of the privacy of every single Australian,” it wrote, “only justified because a tiny percentage of those Australians may, in the future, be suspects in criminal matters. Indiscriminate data retention is an abrogation of our basic legal rights. Data retention regimes make internet users guilty until proven innocent.”

Instead of imposing a universal data retention regime, the IPA argued that “strictly limited, supervised, and transparent data preservation orders on targeted suspects would strike the right balance between individual rights and law enforcement”, although it added no at this time “no such correct balance has been struck” — with the recent Cybercrime amendment legislation giving all Commonwealth agencies — not just law enforcement agencies – the ability to issue orders that a certain telecommunications user’s data be retained.

In addition, the IPA pointed out that law enforcement authorities already had access to a large amount of data about telecommunications users. “Phone companies collected their customer’s data for billing purposes already; those existent records were available under warrant. By contrast, mandatory data retention policies would necessitate the creation of a massive new record of customer activity,” wrote the IPA.

Image credit: Timeshift9, Creative Commons


  1. As an adjunct to this article, I just received the following media release from the Greens:

    Data retention scheme a lunge for vast surveillance powers

    Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam. 4 September 2012

    Australian Greens spokesperson for communications Senator Scott Ludlam today warned against further extending the already excessive online surveillance powers of Australia’s intelligence agencies.

    “Today’s apparent backflip by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon could mark a dangerous new stage in the ‘data retention’ debate (#ozlog). Does the Federal Government really believe all our personal data should be stored by service providers for two years so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data mining? It is premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects.”

    “Australians are already under a startling amount of government surveillance. Nearly a quarter of a million telecommunications data warrants were granted in 2010-11 according to the annual Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act report. This includes detailed locational data logged by every smartphone, every minute of the day.”

    “The public originally only discovered secret negotiations were underway to create a data retention scheme because of a courageous leak. That whistleblower understood that giving these data retention powers to government agencies undermines our rights and our privacy.”

    “Data retention as envisaged by the Government will entrench huge databases that can be mined for precise patterns of our movements, purchases, interests, friends, and conversations. This interception, copying, recording and disclosure of our data is a means to retroactively police the whole population. We are citizens, not suspects.”

    • On The Project the other night Scott Ludlam directly compared this proposal to North Korea, China, etc, and how what is being proposed should never even been given thought in a democratic society.

  2. The degree of what’s being requested is the problem, not just the data retention, but also things like law enforcement being legally able to access (ie. hack into) your computer remotely and add/remove/change files.

    These measures would be beyond that of a police state, it would mean law enforcement could legally plant evidence on suspects computers to gain a conviction, or in what’s a probably more worrying situation do the exact same thing to an everyday law abiding citizen.

    We’ll end up in a situation where we people are getting convicted of crimes they didn’t do, and that’s just scary.

  3. I predict 2.5 seconds would pass from when this becomes law to when this law is used to track down that scum of the earth, the agents of the devil himself: online file sharers.

  4. Well Roxon, the light on the hill is now extinguished, buried and cremated. You and your comrades are no better than Putins scumbag thugs, minus a few acts of state sanctioned violence. You are a disgrace to the old ALP traditions and a sellout to everything true left wingers ever valued. Can’t even get angry now, its all just too pathetic. No morals, no values, no imagination, no guts, no hopers…

    • Don’t forget it was Hawkes Govt. that proposed The Australia Card (wiki has it if you don’t remember) .They have history. I am largely a Labor voter but they keep rock and hard placing me. NBN on one hand an all this invasive dribble on the other.

  5. >>>“Many of you will recall the disturbing murder of Cabramatta MP John Newman in Sydney in 1994. Call charge records and cell tower information were instrumental in the investigation and subsequent conviction on Phuong Ngo. These records allowed police to reconstruct the crime scene.<<<

    What bollocks. What these schemes *will* do is provide details on which whistleblower spoke to which journalist.

    To claim a full police state is not what is being aimed for here is absurd.

  6. How is the Government going to be able to guarantee that the data they propose to have retained wont be hacked? Nothing like making identity theft easy for the criminals.

    When are they going to start keeping a copy of every letter or package that goes through Australia Post or sent by private messenger? That is obviously the next move.

    Next they will be selling the data to marketers so they can better serve us with useful advertising.

    Why should we have to pay extra so the Government and its servants can indulge their paranoia?

    Politicians in the main political parties in this Country are beyond contempt for even entertaining for one second this draconian proposal. Surely the “no to everything” opposition should be loudly condemning this proposal that assumes that all Australians are terrorists or criminals.

  7. If law enforcement agencies have a reason to suspect a person of criminal activity, then they can ask for things like search warrants. They don’t have a search warrant for every person issued in advance, just in case they might need it.
    There should always, always be a good reason for law enforcement agencies to interfere with or monitor individuals.
    Total, inescapable surveillance is a breathtaking breach of privacy, freedom and the presumption of innocence.
    How anyone can seriously consider this proposal is…. well, words fail me.

  8. So nearly 20 years ago police used telecom data to apprehend the murderer of an MP. I guess that would be pretty scare for an MP, hence why the police dug that old case out as an example. Well – newsflash Ms. Roxon: The world has changed since then. We now have this thing called “encryption”. Any bad guy is not going to be stupid enough to be caught in your pathetic net. Meanwhile, what happens if ever there is a change of goverment to a more totalitarian regime? First they came for the Labor people, but I didn’t speak out because Labor created the stupid laws in the first place. Then they came for the dissidents and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a dissident. Then they came for the copyright infringers and I didn’t speak out because I don’t download movies. Then they came for me and there was no-one left to speak for me. This law is not a law that provides security. It is a law that should make you afraid… very afraid…

  9. I’m sure these laws will not be used for any other purpose than catching crims, just like the association laws are only used to fight bikie gangs. *cough*

  10. >The Government is putting all options on the table so the Australian public, experts and politicians can engage in this important national debate

    I don’t see the “let’s not have ozlog” option being placed on the table.

    It’s more like a restaurant has picked your order for you, and is now showing you pictures of it while you wait for it to arrive.

  11. Now all the Australian Labor party needs to do is change there name to the Nationalist Socialist Party, and there transformation will be complete. I reckon a little mustache would suit Julia Gillard well.

  12. FILTHY SWINE. Can’t help themselves, pressure from american money lobby groups and a spineless government hiding behind them yet supporting.

    Where are the options? LIARS, the lot of them, how can we trust these people to do anything within the public interest, they are out of control, drunk on supplying fear to the nation.

    Every day, they need something new to catch so called “criminals”. Load of crap.

    I’ll be helping in the effort for all Internet aussie internet users to understand and circumvent this un-necessary bullsh*t.

  13. The NBN has never been an issue for me because it comes with my vote. This now changes. I will not vote or preference the ALP if they introduce this legislation. I now have to consider that I will be voting against the NBN. I didn’t think I’d ever be here.

    • I guess it’s our own fault, if we weren’t all hardened criminals looking to destroy the government at every opportunity there would be no need to turn us into a police state.

      /sarcasm off

      • Well this is the thing – we are all criminals, and we will be forced to live under parole conditions.

        It is also worth remembering what got done to Muhammed Haneef – without a data rentention scheme. Selectively pasting data together can paint anyone as a monster.

    • It’s worth repeating that the LNP have a major hard-on for this putrid legislation as well. The Greens are the only political force that is opposing it.

  14. It’s all very well to throw in the Phuong Ngo argument, but surely we could similarly argue that if the police were to keep every single person’s fingerprints on file, a whole multitude of other crimes could be solved overnight. Why aren’t we out there collecting a data bank of fingerprints in that case? …oh wait, for exactly the same reasons that Ozlog should never see the light of day. Using a single, twenty year old murder case as justification is surely clutching at straws.

    I also note with some amusement the language being used, such as the Internet being a ‘safe haven’, and criminals ‘operating freely’ in it. It’s a communication medium, just like a telephone or a letter, not some sort of lawless third dimension.

  15. Hmm….

    Dr. No or Nanny Niccola?

    The choice isn’t getting any easier…. Please, please, please let this Julie Andrews wanna be get down from her tower to see the damage she is causing because of her PERSONAL BIAS and OUTDATED OPINION

    i.e. Smokers get plain packaging
    i.e. OzLog
    i.e. Same-Sex relationships

    The individual responsible for guaranteeing our rights as citizens has become a totalitarian despot. I suppose we should all look at the forthcoming introduction of the “Fourth Reicht”.

    Hail Niccola!

  16. 1st sentence of your take Renai…

    The In general, the package of surveillance reforms discussed in this article …”

    sorry? :P

    • Exactly, circumventing data retention is easy with VPN. Which makes this whole argument pointless and a waste of time. Someone should tell the government about VPN and data encryption.

      Then there’s options like the Tor project https://www.torproject.org/index.html.en, which gives you even more anonymity.

  17. I am someone with the unfortunate tendency to believe that people generally have good intentions.
    so lets think for a moment and consider that this “Net Nanny” loving dinosaur, does have good intentions. believes that this data will only be collected and store safe in a perfect world, and will only be used by top security agencies to hunt the lowest of the low scum of the earth.

    how long do you think it will stay like that.?
    here is this pile of data sitting here not being used to its full potential. so lets pass an amendment to that bill letting ASIO have more room to move on that large tempting pile of data.

    how long do you think it will take before ASIO comes knocking on your door because you were curious to find out what why the Hydrogen Bomb was an Atomic reaction and not a Chemical one.

    how long do you think it will take before you and your neighbours face tens of thousands of dollars in fines for watching a clip on you tube that was deemed as an infringement of copyright.

    how long do you honestly believe it will take before individual Insurance risk and credit risk profiling takes place based on your browsing search history. you go for a loan and are and suddenly declined because you recently researched Australian Bankruptcy Law.

    Also something interesting included in this bunch of changes are added protections and immunity to ASIO officers. So if they make a bad call, and publicly ruin or embarrass someone who was innocent, its ok…

    Very interesting times we live in were idiots are shaping the very fabric of the future we will be living in. and unfortunately the vast majority of the population are to ignorant, or self important or trusting to care.

    • Two quotes spring to mind –

      “Ignorance is no excuse for a law” (that is *not* a misquote, re-read it)
      “The path to hell is paved with good intentions”

      The other point most folks are missing – this is “blank cheque” policy, fueled by superstitious fears of shadows and noises beyond the light of the camp fire (e.g. terrorists, pedophiles and organised crimes).

      If our “security” organisations are so hell bent on this, then they need to realise nothing is free. In simple terms – “You want tasers? Ok, no problem, it will have to come out of your hand gun budget”. They can’t have everything, and they can’t have it for free. If it is really that important, they can pay for it, and it will mean cutting back elsewhere.

      It is a testament to the shallowness of these proposals that no consideration to this is given. In effect, Roxon wants to jail the Australian population – but we will need to pay for and build the jails ourselves.

  18. Is this a joke?

    How much data would an ISP need to hold to be able to do this? This is going to be ridiculously high and expensive, and all its going to do is bump up prices for everyone right? Data only ever increases each year. Good luck to that.

    She talks about a murder case as justification for the system. Please….. I don’t think that justification is necessary, and even it it were, it might be for 1 person is 20 million, its just stupid.

    This will effect your privacy and is a wasteful exercise because people will find ways around it.

    Protect water, electricity, banks…. ffs they all have their own security. This is not Die Hard 4.0 / fantasy firesale. A lot of shit would still be manually done anyway.

    I don’t think she knows what she’s doing, and thats disappointing.

    • How much data? Well, if you take the #NatSecInquiry dicussion paper’s suggestion, it’s several hundred terabytes per year. Let’s not forget that they need to at least make a pretence of caring about security and verification of chain of control of the evidence, and backup copies… so that really does mean that you have to buy the high end kit to do it with any degree of confidence. The costs mount up very, very quickly. Let’s also not forget the cost of providing the data centres to house the storage, the computer systems to manage the storage (“securely” accessing it and mining it, it ain’t just a flatfile), the security clearances for the staff to manage it, the extra power generation capability that will have to be built in order to run it……

  19. This is an interesting backflip from Ms. Roxon’s recent statements that the reforms would be shelved for the time being because the government & intelligence agencies haven’t made a compelling case for their need. I guess she’s now attempting to start making the case… Although using an episode of L.A. Law to help make the case is a somewhat bizarre way to go about it.

    I hope that everyone commenting here made a submission to the enquiry… There were appallingly few submissions made (just 177) for such an important issue. Clearly most people either “don’t care” or “don’t get it”. Disappointing.

    • Dont forget how little time people were given. I spent my time drafting a researched and carefully worded submission i felt was worth sending to avoid any weaseling or misinterpretation on the behalf of the people reviewing the submissions, only to realize i wouldnt be done in time, it was at 5 pages and counting, about half done when i realized i needed several more weeks.

      I didnt want to send an ‘I dont want this ozlog nonsense’ form email that could be at all misinterpreted to presume I didnt understand the topic and would be perfectly ok with it if better educated by further political propagandizing using such nasty words as ‘terrorist’ and ‘pedophile’

  20. For everyone saying to use a VPN provider can you please explain how this will help?

    All data transferred will be recorded, including the initial passing of keys when the VPN is established, and even if there is no key transfer all the data is sitting there for it to be brute force hacked.

    • No – asynchonous encryption relies on public and private keys, Your private key never gets transmitted –

      “Although it is computationally easy for the intended recipient to generate the public and private keys, to decrypt the message using the private key, and easy for the sender to encrypt the message using the public key, it is extremely difficult (or effectively impossible) for anyone to derive the private key, based only on their knowledge of the public key. This is why, unlike symmetric key algorithms, a public key algorithm does not require a secure initial exchange of one (or more) secret keys between the sender and receiver. ”


      “Brute force” is not always feasible, providing you have sensibly created your private key, and is not cheap.

      • Of course there is a lesser known, and particularly noxious, provision appended to all of this – to make it a jailable criminal offense to not divulge passwords and hand over keys.

        • I believe the handing over of passwords during an investigation is a part of these proposals, of course anyone who is using a VPN (or encrypted) for all traffic will kind of stand out from the pack.

    • @Tezz, VPN’s will not do much at all. You have to join the internet somewhere. Your options will eventually be through a government network that terminates at your house, via a wireless link that you have to provide ~100 points of identity to use or via a hacked connection into someone elses link. Assuming you are onboarding via the first two options then the ISP and the government already know who you are and where you live. As to what you are doing: guesses can be made based on volumes, the grubyment can assume guilt by association, brute force the traffic if it is of interest, meddle with your PC or subpena one of the ends of the VPN – remember the international data sharing legislation passed a couple of years back (opposed by the greens as lacking safeguards, passed by labor and LNP). There is always the Soviet option, if you don’t love the grubyment then you must be crazy.

      This type of legislation is being proposed throughout the free west and many non free countries already have it so you will be hard pressed to do anything useful with the VPN for long. While people blame the media companies for the push, I believe they are just a cover. The criminals behind this are the international finance community, that is why the politicians are so eager to lay down and have their heads patted. Currency in almost all the world is privately issued (not government issued), is based upon entrapping whole countries in debt, is backed by nothing but the promise that the serfs will continue to labour and commands massive transfers of wealth to its proponents. Currency and the fraud that go with it must be protected at all costs.

      Pirate community mesh networks will be one of the few ways of getting around this latest wet dream by our oh so capable public sector but traffic will still be exposed at internet onboarding points – especially if these are aggregated by a single network. It will be interesting to see what technologies develop and the over the top legal responses by the grubyment based upon increasingly trivial infractions of arbitrary laws. I recall a child porn case a few years back whereby someone who was part of a TOR network was prosecuted for having a fragment of an encrypted image on their hard drives. This suggests that any solution to our useless public sector should not involve store and forward and should be distributed over many onboarding points – but even then geography would still give the game away.

      Alternately, encourage all your peers to stop voting for tyrants. Forget Get-Up, we need a Sit-Down campaign.

  21. Hey, I’ve had a great idea! If having everything – emails, the lot – saved up so the Government can read them any time it wants to, how about we just do the job properly: we can jsut pass a law to say that all files – including Government files – get posted onto Wikileaks, where everybody can read them. That way, there’d be just one type of privacy for everyone (that is, none), and no risk of anything being hacked! Fair’s fair, Nicole: if you want us to share our Internet activities with everyone, then you should be willing to share yours too!

    • I have been suggesting this for a long time. That all members of government and their families should have all their ‘net activities available for live viewing on a public portal. After all, if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear right?

  22. I love how everyone loves to use the whole “phone logs/taps” to help solve crimes and yet they miss one interesting nugget – “due process”

    Most data retention on devices such as phones and the like is *illegal* unless there is an outstanding warrant for such information gathering (in fact any information gathered outside the scope of a warrant is thrown out). Note the important part… gathering can only be done AFTER there is a need not BEFORE! You cannot keep information unless you can show a *need* for such information to be kept (usually as apart of an investigation)

    What this law is saying is that apparently it’s “Ok” to skip the process on the *need* for the information as “we won’t touch it anyway” but it’s there “if we need it” because it’s “easier”. So what this government is saying is that we are all potential criminals and we all need to be “kept tabs on” w/o the need for proof that we are a criminal or not.

    It’s amazing the amount of abuse and circular logic such a system can lead to. As an overused quote of ages past from good olde Franklin – “”He who gives up liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor safety.” “

  23. It is interesting the in the first few paragraphs of Roxen’s speech is this “The responsibility we have to protect that information is immense” This data retention policy of course abrogates this immediately as there is no way the Australian Government can guarantee that data retained by the Telcos will be protected.

    Every organisation on the plant has failed at this CIA, FBI, AFP, ASIO, every state Police Force, every government department, it is a total joke and highly misleading to give the impression that this data can be kept private.

    Roxen needs some hard questioning on this policy (#Note most media are totally incapable on this subject)

    How will the Government guarantee the privacy of users information?

    Will the Government be auditing the Telcos to ensure the data is secure, how often after every patch / upgraded network change?

    Will the Government be vetting all employees of the Telcos?

    What remedies will be available to Citizens when their data has been breached?

    What penalties will be enforced on those Telcos and employees who are breached ?

    How do you restore the reputation of a Citizen whose data has been exposed for instance a woman who may have researched a medical condition, a mental disease?

    What penalties will be enforced on those organisations who use the data to discriminate against a person think Insurance companies/ employment agencies.?

    I am sure this list could grow exponentially
    Then there is the vexed question of allowing spooks and other “trustworthy” government employees to add, remove and change data on a person’s computer and or device, when I first heard this I honestly put it down as some bad joke or shock jock bullshit but now I am just flabbergasted.

    Needless to say it will only be the stupid and uninformed criminals and the naive innocent that this rather fascist legislation will catch, the ones with half a brain will easily circumvent this and actual use this against the innocent users making then look like the perps and as history has already shown us the rather bumbling spooks and law enforcement agencies will fall for just about every dumbass trick in the book.

    I could go on all night but have work to do….

  24. Will all phone calls start with a recorded message that says “This call may be recorded for AFP and ASIO business.” ?

  25. Since when has being an Internet user made me a criminal? A valid question to ask considering a very important point in law that comes to “innocent till proven guilty.” Who did the reversal, when did it happen and who arranged it that we were not to be told? Equally valid questions.
    If we have not had our law changed, why are politicians actively working to pervert the law and justice? Why would they? What is the motive? Who is bankrolling this move as people rarely do things not in their best interests, nor their children’s, unless there is protection and a very healthy gain to be had from it. Basic human nature, unfortunately.

  26. This whole debacle is a multifaceted problem involving numerous problems, that in general, Societies around the globe have come to reasonable solutions, but find the Dinosauric Corporations and their tamed Governments and Parliament refuse to accept. This has created a paradigm of contentious moves and a Society that utterly refuses to put up with a outdated push model for media, and a Dinosaur media Industry with pets in tow, refusing to give up the “PUSH” model which assist their propaganda machine so well. They are not foolish in realising that the “PULL” model of media self-extinguishes most propaganda delivering models. Hollywood has been dishing out so long it makes a wonderful example.
    But it goes even further with the media working to manufacture and give the illusion of consent that absolutely does not exist. We are told to obey the law, but our own Government won’t and Corporation do so with impunity.
    On the point of the situation of Copyright, it is now used and abused and is a laughing stock of a model that can no longer work unless a major rewrite occurs protecting all parties and not just the rich and powerful. File Sharing of Copyright material, legally, is not stealing. It is more like “trespassing” and saying it is stealing shows profound ignorance to what the issues really are all about.
    Are we all screwed? Absolutely. But only way to make it transparent would be mass rejection in the polls and having our Government decreed upon us, as it was in the good ol’ USA years back. See Australia, we have a lot further to fall to catch up to the USA yet.

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