blog Oh, dear. It appears as though Australia’s new Federal Attorney-General is at least as arrogant as the previous two. An article in the Daily Telegraph published late last week tells us that Mark Dreyfus, who replaced Nicola Roxon in the portfolio in February, refused to turn off his mobile phone in a recent flight and was subsequently met by the AFP — an agency he supposedly helps oversee — when the plane landed. The Tele reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Qantas staff felt obliged to contact Australian Federal Police after Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus – who was determined to check his emails – refused to turn off his smart phone during take-off on a Sydney to Brisbane flight last week. After he ignored pre-recorded warnings about turning off all electrical equipment, a fellow passenger complained to Mr Dreyfus.”
Yes, Dreyfus has some ground to stand on here, in that science (yes, actual science) has shown that the likelihood of a smartphone actually impacting the operation of a modern airplane is pretty infinitesimal. However, what we can’t get past is the sheer arrogance of Dreyfus in insisting on his right to check his email, despite the fact that this was a breach of airline regulations and that his action was angering his fellow passengers and airline staff.
Frankly, this kind of arrogance is precisely the reason why we suspect we’re not going to see any positive action from Dreyfus any time soon on key techno-legal issues such as data retention, Internet piracy, modern copyright law, draconian telecommunications surveillance measures and so on. When an Attorney-General won’t even listen to a flight attendant on a place, what hope can we have that they’ll be able to have the presence of mind to rein in their own secretive and manipulative department?
Image credit: Office of Mark Dreyfus