Critics flood Roxon with copies of Orwell’s ‘1984’


blog We bet Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon isn’t thrilled at the latest method which Australians concerned about the Government’s proposed data retention and Internet surveillance regime have adopted to express their dissent. Half a dozen of Roxon’s fiercest critics have started mailing the Labor MP copies of George Orwell’s iconic book 1984. Blogger Daniel Kinsman writes:

“Given the recent push for increased surveillance, ISP data retention, and the erosion of any “right to remain silent”, I wonder if Nicola Roxon has read 1984. Let’s make sure she has, or at least that she re-reads it, given the circumstances. I’m going to buy her a copy and send it to her address at parliament house:

You can do the same. Find a copy in your local book store, or order online at fishpond ($9.51 including shipping), book depository ($9.43 including shipping), or amazon. Be sure to mark it as a gift and include a note, but be civil. We are trying to convince her that our privacy and freedoms are important, and that new powers will violate them in an attempt to catch criminals that has dubious efficacy at best. Twenty copies of 1984 landing on her desk should get our message across.”

Kinsman told Delimiter this morning that half a dozen copies were already on their way to the Attorney-General. One wonders whether Roxon will find the tome to be interesting late night reading material ;) Perhaps she could forward the excess copies to the Australian Federal Police and ASIO?

Image credit: Cropped version of one of the original covers of 1984


          • If they suggest a tiered setup, the next book would be Animal Farm…

            Now THAT would start to be literature bullying :)

          • @Renai

            Let us never forget that some animals are more equal than others …

            Despite its title, the novel (its thesis becoming less novel, day-by-day, in Australia) has no intrinsic use-by date. Remember that paranoia is the one true instinct.

      • Scary thing is I suspect this is where the department are getting their ideas from.

        Anyone seen the latest smart TVs? The ones that are motion controlled and have a camera for Skype conferencing and games etc?

        Anyone note the desire to extend the definition of computer? Most likely to include smart phones, tablets, gaming consoles etc… and most likely smart TVs.

        Anyone note they are asking for unamed 3rd parties to be targeted on without a warrant?

        Anyone care to guess what *could* happen if a “person of interest” happened to visit your home regularly and you happen to have a smart tv with camera in the lounge room?

        I don’t think the spook powers are like Orwell’s Big Brother, I think it *is* Big Brother.

        Seriously, think about the consequences of unnamed 3rd parties to a warrant being able to be electronically surveilled in today’s connected society… what wouldn’t be possible?

        * Devices with fingerprint scanners could be accessed.
        * Televisions with embedded cameras could be accessed, some even in bedrooms.
        * Smartphones with cameras could be accessed
        * Tablets, etc

        What about the photos you have stored on these devices?

        • ‘Anyone note they are asking for unamed 3rd parties to be targeted on without a warrant?’

          This is the single most concerning aspect of the packages in my eyes.

          • You cant just say 24×7, I wanted a specific hour!!! I’ll take 11am Tuesday please.

            Being (only slightly more) serious, I know I wont get a number, but I HAVE been curious to how much all the hits generate for this site :) I see anywhere from 1 to 4 when I load up a story.

            Back button keeps running into them here at work, probably generating its fair share of extra bling along the way.

          • We don’t get a stack of traffic from Google Plus — perhaps a few hundred page impressions a day. We get a lot more traffic from places such as Twitter, Google Search, Whirlpool, Reddit, email newsletter and so on.

  1. I wonder if I can find a copy of Nineteen Eighty Four at my second hand book store?

    It seems only right to send her a second hand book to go with her second hand ideas.

    • I tried two local second hand shops this morning; no luck.

      But I will bestow a gift of the book on Nicola, as suggested.

  2. The problem is they are completely different. Nineteen Eighty-Four is about when he government has total control. Roxon is doing her job by pushing for these recomendations. I Don’t think she beleives they will come into play in the fasion they are proposed.
    The discussion paper was about what powers they needed in ideal circumstances.

    • “Roxon is doing her job by pushing for these recomendations.”

      No, her job is to represent the Australian people — who have overwhelmingly demonstrated that they oppose this surveillance and data retention package.

      • And that is precisely what the Australian Electorate and most of the Citizens of Western Democracies have forgotten Renai. They are OUR Representatives and not the Multinational Corporations, nor Lobby Group’s Representatives. If that is what they want to be and represent them and not us, well I am not foolish enough to vote for them.
        Time for Australian’s to wake up again and steer our own course for our own future, which can be nothing like Nineteen Eighty-four if we decide to think for ourselves.

      • @Renai

        ‘No, her [Roxon’s] job is to repress the Australian people …’ Fixed that 4 ya.

        ‘… reading Iain M. Banks’ Culture series, personally — it gives us a glimpse of what our society could be …’ Regrettably, most ctizens of most societies are unlikely to agree about the ideal shape of their society, but we are being given plenty of practice in identifying the kind that we jointly do *not* need or desire.

  3. Probably pick up a DVD of the movie for around the same price as well, if not less.

  4. I like this idea, but surely there are a few other books she may find useful as well. Perhaps some Solzhenitsyn, or maybe just the Diary of Anne Frank?

    Alternatively, I have a copy of The Prince that may come in handy.

    • I think politicians would benefit from reading Iain M. Banks’ Culture series, personally — it gives us a glimpse of what our society could be, if we actually aspired to something. Star Trek TNG is also a good vision of this.

  5. It is not only Roxon and the Labor Party that causes concern. Abbott and the Liberals do not appear to have opposed any of this! So we have a cross party agreement?

  6. How ironic would it be if Roxon ended up receiving hundreds of copies of 1984 in the mail and ended up burning them all to get rid of them?

    Orwell would die laughing at that one.

  7. I’ve just saved a digital copy of it on my desktop under the folder “Federal Police Don’t Look in Here”
    Now I wait for her to read it…
    Roxon – “Yes! This passed law is about to start working in our favour!” *opens folder* “.. bugger not again”

    • lol it would be hilarious if the AFP actually did look in there and found it :)

      I guess you’ll have to commit some sort of criminal activity and attract their attention to find out ;)

      • If these powers get through as proposed unfortunately that will no longer be the case.

        They may “disrupt” your device as a 3rd party (and without including you on original, or any warrant) to get to someone that is under direct investigation.

        Do you everything about the people you interact with online? What private messages have you exchanged with them? Could the spooks be interested in them?

        Why not? They are also proposing to make getting a warrant more streamlined (read no checks and balances) so it wouldn’t take much to go on a fishing expedition.

  8. As with our foreign policy, defence spending etc., she’s simply doing what her masters in Washington are telling her to do. After our next election, the policy will remain. Only the names will change – but not to protect the innocent! Roxon’s only there to cop the flack.
    Sending Orwell’s book is a neat idea, but it won’t change anything.

  9. What a fucking bullshit story – “Flooding her office with….”

    Oh like umm how many people so far? What is that? 9 of them?

    Ummmmm who really gives a fuck.

    Idiot journalism.

  10. They have good intentions, but have no idea how the Feds work… the books will be intercepted by very low level mailroom kids and consigned to an incinerator, or recycled to come back as Labor how to vote cards.

  11. Maybe we should start sending to everyone we come across the E-Book, since here in Oz it is in the Public Domain. If everyone read it, it would certainly send shivers down the spine of a lot of people who have never read it. It certainly make the Politicians of the major Parties cringe in horror to see it become the number one book read in the Country. LOL

  12. i have decided to make a piece of malware… fear not people, this malware will not be harmful and will hopefully help destroy these data retention proposals….
    my malware will monitor network traffic and when usage is low, it will start pinging massive amounts of IP addresses, this will make all the data that the ISP’s have to collect useless as it will be impossible to distinguish between the malware and actual usage… FUCK YOU NICOLA ROXON

  13. Purchased and sent her a copy. Delivery time approx mid October. Wonder what the mail room in Parliament House is going to see in the next couple of weeks?

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