Australia the Internet “King Canute” – censor this


Save the Net
Save the Net

 

Well-meaning official moves to filter the internet as it’s received in Australia are set to cause major problems without achieving very much at all.

The Social Activism site GetUp is leading a push to get the regulators to do what is effective and not what may seem politically expedient.

click here to visit GetUp’s campaign page

Meanwhile Greens Senator Scott Ludlum is trying tol get some sense from the Government on the Broadband Fiasco after Telstra only threw half a hat in the ring and Optus cried foul.

Broadband tenders must put public interest first

The Australian Greens are concerned the public may be the real losers  under the new National Broadband Network and are calling on the federal government to explain how it will protect end-users from price hikes, as tenders for the project close today.

“Privatisation of essential public services is not the answer when you want the public interest to take precedence over shareholders. Broadband is an essential service that should be run for the public, by the public and it is a key plank in delivering Green collar jobs and the green economy.” said Greens Communications Spokesperson Senator Ludlam.

“Telstra is demanding an eighteen per cent return on investment to operate a natural monopoly – consequently some analysts are saying there’s potential for broadband prices to increase by 50%.”

“That would be a slap in the face to consumers who were promised an accessible and affordable broadband network at last year’s election,” said Senator Scott Ludlam.

“During the course of Senate hearings into the NBN tender process, we heard from virtually the entire telecommunications industry that Telstra has behaved aggressively and litigiously in its incumbent position, and the NBN process must not entrench this behaviour.”

Senator Ludlam raised the issues with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in Senate Question Time today. He asked how consumers would be protected from price gouging and whether the new Communications Consumer Action Network had been involved in the tender process.

Minister Conroy declined to answer the question directly.

For more information or media enquiries please call Robert Simms on 0417 174 302

Australian Federal Police forced to get real re David Hicks

The Australian Federal Police have apparently reacted to public/media pressure and stepped back from their standing orders to monitor every move and motive of illegally detained australian David Hicks

This may clear the way for the Guantanamo Bay survivor to speak publicly about his experience.

Well Done to the Australian Greens, Liberal Petro Giorgiou, the community network GetUp and others who spoke up for justice.

As you’ll see from the AFP media release on their website and pasted below – the Feds won’t comment further.

This is the agency under a huge dark cloud over the Haneef debacle and other  politically tainted events under John Howard’s “leadership”

David Hicks’ Control Order not to be renewed

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Media Statement

On the 21 December 2008, the current control order in respect of Mr David Hicks expires.

Following extensive consultation with a number of agencies, the AFP has decided it will not be seeking a further control order in respect of Mr Hicks.

The AFP has today advised the Attorney-General and Mr Hicks’ legal representative of its position.

The AFP will not be making any further comment in relation to this control order process.

I noticed on CNN Asia’s website that one blogger said he wouldn’t lose any sleep over Hicks’ plight, totally missing the point that it’s not about David, it’s about all of us.

Perhaps his snoring may disrupted if he read and had the wit to understand that great piece of writing that begins ” First they came for the communists, and I said nothing…:” ( full text via Wikipedia here )

 


Greens push for change over David Hicks’ muzzling post-Gitmo

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has renewed calls for changes to our Jackboot Justice system, much as Human Rights Doyen Geoffrey Robertson QC did in his recent ABC Lateline  interview.

There is reason to pursue the Australian lawmakers from the discredited Howard regime who legitimized the US shame of “Gitmo” just as moves are underway in America to pursue the legal attack dogs who set up Guantanamo and sanctioned torture and “rendition”

The Human Rights Judge also pointed out that Australia’s lack of a Bill of Rights means this sort of travesty is possible in the future if another morally bereft PM feels so inclined. ( see link to his interview on lateline on this blog or just click “Geoffrey Robertson QC” in the tag cloud on the left )

Today Senator Ludlum released the statement pasted below;

Thursday, 20 November 2008
Hicks case shows need for anti-terrorism review

The public gagging of David Hicks should be ended and Howard’s heavy-handed anti-terrorism laws reviewed, according to Australian Greens Attorney General Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks today told members of online lobby group, Get Up that he is fearful a new control order will be imposed on him by the Australian Federal Police, and this will prevent him from being able to move forward in his life.

“Control orders are infringement of basic human rights and incompatible with Australia’s broader democratic culture,” Senator Ludlam said.

“Control orders are just one example of some of the draconian and extreme aspects of the anti-terrorism laws the Howard government rammed through the Senate after 2001 – and are yet to be reviewed by the Rudd Government.”

“The laws were passed without any safety net or mechanism for review. Unfortunately, David Hicks is feeling the consequences of that flawed process today. The Rudd government needs to support an independent review so that we can be assured that the rights and freedoms of Australians are not being eroded.”

Last week the Greens supported a Bill initiated by Liberal backbencher Petro Georgio to review the forty pieces of anti-terrorism legislation. The government voted against the measure.

Senator Ludlam has also questioned the legitimacy of David Hicks’ initial sentence.

“David Hicks was subject to an illegal and illegitimate military tribunal process on foreign soil. He was held for five years without charge, the principles of natural justice and rule of law were disregarded and the Geneva conventions were not complied with. The legitimacy of his conviction is therefore in doubt, even more so as the US President-elect Obama has indicated his intention to close Guantanamo Bay. David Hicks has a right to closure and should be allowed to move forward in his life.”

“The control order should not be extended and David Hicks should be afforded the same rights as any other Australia,” said Senator Ludlam.

For more information or media enquiries please call Robert Simms on 0417 174 302
senator.ludlam@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.scottludlam.org.au http://www.greensmps.org.au

Australian Guantanamo prisoner speaks out on GetUp

Guantanamo prisoner David Hicks speaks out

Illegally detained aussie David HICKS has broken his silence as he tries to recover from his years of suffering in Gitmo.

See the video here and get involved so abominations like George W Bush’s Guantanamo Bay “prison” won’t happen again.

This is not anti-US, but pro justice and the morally bankrupt John Howard regime is as much to blame for his treatment as Dubya’s was.

Click the link to hear what’s going on.

https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/WereAfraidNot&id=435

What has Ben Cousins got to do with Social Justice?

Here in Australia there are many serious Social Justice issues, especially for Indigenous people and migrants, but what has one of our “fallen” heroes got to do with SJ?

It’s about mental health – here we have a young man who’s acknowledged having an addictive personality and having used illegal substances – and he’s been widely villified by booze swilling, pill popping people in “authority” and the commentariat.

Yesterday he had draconian drug testing requirments put on him to allow his return to australia’s most popular sport and has been shamefully rejected by his old club.

The guts of it is this – drug abuse ( including the big killers, alcohol & nicotene ) is a mental health problem and Ben has worked harder to recover his “sobriety”  than he ever did while captaining his team, winning a grand final or the game’s highest honour.

To treat him like a criminal, when no conviction has ever been recorded and when he’s had the courage to disclose his illness, is simply unjust. That’s especially true in a sport where alcohol sponsorship and a culture of booze and womanizing remain endemic.

How about breathlyizing and drug testing the administators and club officials who’ve put this extra and disproportionate weight on this young man’s shoulders, basically to cover their own butts in the face of pressure from a media that’s also riven with boozers, misogynists and drug takers.

Now, Ben’s a big boy and can speak for himself, but my concern is this, if Ben can be treated like this, how can an “ordinary” person hope for social justice if they have mental health/susbstance issues.

Who is going to disclose a problem and seek much needed help when it’s clear that doing so is likely to cost them their job and the esteem of their community.

So if you care about social justice – spread the word that substance abuse is a mental health issue – NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND jeapordises their life and career by abusing substances, legal or illegal

If we can’t give genuine heroes like Ben the much vaunted australian “fair go” –  what hope is there for the rest of us.

 ( by the way, in the “war” on drugs, how many drugs have we killed?  It’s a %^$*ing health problem, not a criminal issue ) 

Our society is like a bad doctor, we bury our mistakes.

New Online Conference & File Collaberation tool from Perth

Perth has some great internet/comms companies ( the recent success of “Buzzbox” cheap VoIP from a normal phone line for example see http://WWW.thebuzzcorp.com/  ) and now Vistime has something cool and productive to offer global business – see below for a basic idea and weblink to 21 day free trial.

I hope to interview the team from Firmware Technologies and will post the audio ( possibly video as well) in the near future

 

Vistime is a software product that allows a licenced user anywhere in the world to invite colleagues, clients or any number of nominated participants into a secure interactive online conference.

The application allows all involved to simultaneously view and interact with documents and images through a simple and common interface whilst maintaining control and security.

Vistime enables all users to share and interact with more than 50 industry standard file formats including 3D models, images and PDF documents.

http://www.vistime.com/product.html

If you have products or services that are really useful – please contact me if you’d like an interview. I’m not interested in being a PR conduit, but if your work is of general interest or helps bring people together, let’s talk.   ( email, voicemail & Skype contact details in sidebar bottom left ) 

 

Murphy’s Law Muzzles Mighty Google Voice Search

The Google Voice Search mentioned here last week still hasn’t appeared in Apple’s iPhone Apps store ( A place I love 🙂 )

Wired worked out why as you’ll see by clicking below
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/11/apple-forgets-t.html

I do like the Apps store more than I should – and some of it is really useful, not just fun – I highly recommend iTalk and it’s computer companion iTalk Sync for recording quality audio on iPhone and wifi’ing it to your PC/Mac.

The other big App for me is FRING – Skype and many other comms on iPhone no matter who your carrier is.