Friday, January 28, 2011

Chaplaincy Shenanigans

A FATHER won the first round in his historic battle yesterday to have government-funded chaplains thrown out of the nation's public schools.

Ron Williams journeyed from Toowoomba to Sydney yesterday for a directions hearing in his challenge and was thrilled to hear that his case could be heard in the High Court over three days in May.

"This is a very important moment," a jubilant Mr Williams said yesterday.

The father of six, who has four children attending Queensland public schools, said his main argument was that the funding for chaplains in schools breached Section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which states that the "Commonwealth not legislate in respect of religion".

"This is not about getting chaplains out of schools, it's about the government funding them, which I believe is against the Constitution," he said.

The National School Chaplaincy Program was introduced in 2006 by former prime minister John Howard.

The national program won support from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist who, just before the election last year, pledged $222 million to extend the program for four years.

More than 430 schools in NSW get up to $20,000 each a year for their chaplain services, totalling almost $12 million, and more than 2500 school across Australia now have chaplains at a cost of more than $151 million.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Australian Councillors align with terrorists

Petition at

Reprimand Terrorist-Sympathisers at Marrickville Council, Australia

Published by Q Society of Australia Inc on Dec 29, 2010

Target: The Hon Barbara Perry, Minister for Local Government, NSW, Australia

Background (Preamble):

Ten local councillors from the suburb of Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia, in their official role as elected representatives of approximately 75,000 residents, have put forward an official resolution in December 2010 to:

"...boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, institutional, academic, government or institutional cultural exchanges."

By this action, the ten councillors have formally aligned their municipality with terrorist organisations seeking to overthrow the State of Israel, the one free and democratic nation in the Middle East, fellow UN member, and notably the only multi-ethnic state in the region where freedom of expression, equality, non-discrimination, free union movements, freedom of press and the rule of law are established and guaranteed. In short, they have espoused totalitarian values over Australian democratic values. They are playing into the hands of the Islamist Global BDS Movement and supporting the Hamas and Hizbollah terror groups and other international racist and anti-Semitic organisations.

This irrational act is not only alarmingly naïve, but by supporting the worldview of totalitarian Islam, represents an appalling abuse of our democratic process.

A council’s brief is to act in the interests of their residents, by organizing such things as rubbish collection, social services, catching stray dogs and regulating fence heights. They are not elected to engage in partisan foreign politics or involve themselves in the domestic affairs of other states. In particular, they must never be seen to side with totalitarian, anti-democratic religious fanatics who use terrorism and murder in seeking to destroy the democratic nation of Israel, with which Australia has strong and friendly relations.


We ask the Hon Minister for Local Government in the State of New South Wales (Australia) to reprimand the council of Marrickville for engaging in conduct unbecoming of a local municipality in Australia.

We consider that the conduct of this council is divisive, irrational and ill-informed, and that it deals with matters which do not and should not be included in the jurisdiction of a local municipality.

I’m not sure who the Q Society of Australia Inc is. I can only find a couple of references from a quick googling.

Google result no. 1 for “Q Society”, seems to be some sort of Christian round table, no website or any other details for this group but they have a DVD for sale at various book stores; Q Society Room V5 Dvd: Staying Grounded In A Shifting World. -

Another google search result for “Q Society” links to the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe who offer the following:

Aliases: The Quetzalcoatl-Society, the Q-Foundation, the Q-Brotherhood


Named after the Aztec (and pre-Aztec) god of Light known as Quetzalcoatl, the Q-Society was founded to prepare for the return of Tezcatlipoca the shadow god. Grooming champions for centuries, the Society's ultimate goal was to create a vessel for Quetzalcoatl's power in the inevitable last battle against Tezcatlipoca. During their long existence, they built up an elaborate network of influential people across the world, including the criminal mastermind and businessman Lex Luthor, who, of course, joined the Society with his own agenda - to destroy the Justice League.

The last of the Q-Society's champions was the super-hero known as Aztek. He sacrificed his life in battle against Mageddon the Anti-Sun, who seemingly was the "Tezcatlipoca", that the Society had awaited. When Mageddon was destroyed, the Society's mission was accomplished and their activities presumably phased out.

This all makes sense. We all know that terrorists, in particular anti-Semitic terrorists, operate exclusively in the DC Universe. With no mission in life, after taking out Mageddon, superheroes will now concentrate on saving Australians from the Marrickville Council.

Back to reality, anyone who is clueless as to why 10 Marrickville councillors would hold concerns over the outcomes of Israeli politics, and exercise their democratic right to peaceful protest, a rather excellent recent article by David Icke - THEY DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME ... is a good introduction.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is Bullsh*t

Some influential and retarded Americans have been calling for Mr Assange's death since cablegate exploded into our internets.

In an open letter, almost 200 signatories including writer Noam Chomsky, a former Family Court chief justice, retired intelligence officer Lance Collins, actors and politicians; call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to ensure Mr Assange's safety in light of the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding WikiLeaks. - calls for Gillard to defend Assange - ABC

PM Gillard has loyally made statements in support of her US masters, declaring wikileaks releases illegal.
Asked what Australian laws had been broken by either WikiLeaks or Assange, Ms Gillard said the Australian Federal Police were investigating.

"The foundation stone of it is an illegal act," Ms Gillard said.

The open letter was published before Assange’s surrender to police over a warrant for Swedish charges of “sex by surprise”

While I have many reservations about the motivation behind Wikileaks and the manner in which it operates, I totally support calls for the Prime Minister to make a stand independent of the almighty US and declare that Australians do not condone assassination, whether state sponsored or privately threatened.

I also unconditionally support freedom of information and therefore Wikileaks right to disseminate information. I question the picture painted by Wikileaks releases, but censorship is offensive, adults can form their own opinions about info and should be free to choose info sources.

The credibility of info released by Wikileaks is not in dispute in my mind, it is what they haven’t released that alerts my suspicion. Where are the diplomatic cables received by the US from their counterparts, that criticise US policy and personalties? Where are the cables from US diplomats criticising their own policies? Surely they exist? Not that they (Wikileaks) can design what is submitted, but I believe we the public are only ever allowed to see what authorities allow us to see.

Authorities may convincingly construct an illusion that “leaks” against their interests happen, but they do not. In the case of a genuine leak, they get no publicity; they get buried very, very swiftly. I believe the “sex by surprise” on again off again warrants are a publicity stunt by authorities to generate demand for documents they “don’t want you to see”.

Would authorities or Intelligence Agencies really sacrifice one of their own or an appointed patsy for political gain? F*ckn oath they would.

The “cablegate leak”, no leak at all by definition, but rather a very controlled flow, has been allowed for political gain despite an elaborate psyop to suggest otherwise. The “cablegate leaks” have given much credibility to US geopolitical policy, such as building cases for more military conflicts – Iran, North Korea.

They also for example with the previous Iraq “leak”, provide a more positive outlook on recent conflict with a massively down sized body count in Iraq, 4 or 5 times lower than previously well researched figures.

The Iraq Wikileaks of military records still depict a sh*t load of casualties (about 150,000 violent deaths), but when that figure is 5 times lower than independent calculations, the real carnage is a f*cking sh*t load, apposed to the military recorded small sh*t load. I bet if after US authorities’ assonate or imprison for life Mr Assange, they will not hesitate to quote info that Wikileaks released in support of their policies.

The most obvious reason I suspect Wikileaks of being a conduit for designed policy outcomes by authorities, is the abolishment of freedom of information by authorities in response to the “leaks”, a wet dream come true for authorities.

All government employees and military personnel in the US have been ordered not to read or post links to Wikileaks. A Department Of Commerce memo to employees, official US gov policy for all agencies and bureau’s, reads:
These documents may or may not contain information that is considered National Security information (classified information) and as such, the information is NOT authorized for downloading, viewing, printing, processing, copying, or transmitting via non-classified Government-issued computers.

Doing so would introduce potentially classified information onto our unclassified networks and represent a potential security incident.

There has been a rumor that the information is no longer classified since it resides in the public domain. This is NOT true.

Accessing the WikiLeaks documents will lead to sanitization of your PC to remove any potentially classified information.

This memo, or a close approximation of, is also being circulated in universities warning all students to not read Wikileaks if they desire applying for government jobs in the future.

This is seriously f*cked up! If people accept this precedent, “sanitizing” PC’s and phones etc will follow for the general public.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will the real Wikileaks please stand up.

From the infamous “Collateral Murder” video leak, through to the Afghanistan and then Iraq cache of files released, US authorities have been whacking on about the terrible peril this puts US service people in.

But the rhetoric exploding from Washington over the latest Wikileaks dump is astonishing; allegedly they are “infuriated”.

It was reported that US Homeland Security Committee Rep Peter King, urged that Julian Assange be prosecuted for espionage and that Wikileaks be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

Hillary Clinton described the disclosures as an “attack on the international community”, blah, blah, blah.

At first I suspected that authorities were just running with this, using the leaks as an excuse to justify what looks like happening, introducing a next wave of authoritarian censorship measures, like we weren’t already oppressed enough.

The great security threat being screamed about is clearly a hoax. A good deal of the diplomatic cables thus far released, reveal exactly what we already know. In example; North Korea selling missiles to Iran and the US bombing targets in Yemen while the Yemen Government, so as not to upset various interests, is claiming that it is they who are conducting the assaults.

This was all public knowledge before the leaks. The only previously hidden info is the rather personal assessments on various leaders by various diplomats. While embarrassing it’s hardly a security issue.

Perhaps there is something much more nefarious going on here though than just the US Government making the most of an opportunity, to use this as an example for requiring more restrictions on freedom of speech.

One of the most popularised headlines from the leaks has been that of the Saudi King urging the US to attack Iran. In response to the revelations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the release was simply psychological warfare against Iran.
"We don't think this information was leaked," he said. "We think it was organised to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals."

Maybe Ahmadinejad is quite perceptive here. Today it was reported a new leak shows that China, long viewed as the protector of North Korea, is ready to "abandon" the regime and would accept unification of the peninsula. Sound familiar?

In March of 2010, Wikileaks published what it said was a secret US military report from 2008, assessing the danger Wikileaks posed to the military. The report recommended counter attacks on Wikileaks which included; placing fabricated information as a means of discrediting its reliability, spreading propaganda, and of prosecuting anyone within the US military, intelligence or government departments found leaking to it.

At the time Assange said:
"As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective."

Just weeks later however, Bradley Manning became famous after his arrest for leaking the Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video. The circumstances are puzzling; Manning allegedly, confessed all to a hacker named Adrian Lamo.

Lamo turns out to be a volunteer for “Project Vigilant”, an organisation many bloggers made a big deal about as being a sinister secret FBI based spy ring, monitoring regional ISP traffic and forwarding on info to authorities.

Other sources claim though that “Project Vigilant” is a fraud. CNET also reports it is “nothing but a publicity stunt” and that front man Chet Uber survives on disability cheques.

Good luck to anyone ever trying to get to the bottom of the Manning-Lamo-Vigilant story. Back to that military plan though, to attack Wikileaks by disseminating fabricated information and spreading propaganda, it may well be that they have now been exceedingly successful in those endeavours.

Perhaps Wikileaks has been under Military or CIA control for sometime now. In an article posted at on the 11th of August, F. William Engdahl writes:
Since the posting of the Afghan documents some days ago the Obama White House has given the leaks credibility by claiming further leaks pose a threat to US national security.

The one figure most prominently mentioned, General (Retired) Hamid Gul, former head of the Pakistani military intelligence agency, ISI, is the man who during the 1980's coordinated the CIA-financed Mujahideen guerilla war in Afghanistan against the Soviet regime there.

In the latest Wikileaks documents, Gul is accused of regularly meeting Al Qaeda and Taliban leading people and orchestrating suicide attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The leaked documents also claim that Osama bin Laden, who was reported dead three years ago by the late Pakistan candidate Benazir Bhutto on BBC, was still alive, conveniently keeping the myth alive for the Obama Administration’s War on Terror at a point when most Americans had forgotten the original reasons the Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan, allegedly to pursue the Saudi Bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.

The London Financial Times says Gul's name appears in about 10 of roughly 180 classified US files that allege Pakistan's intelligence service supported Afghan militants fighting Nato forces. Gul told the newspaper the US has lost the war in Afghanistan, and that the leak of the documents would help the Obama administration deflect blame by suggesting that Pakistan was responsible. Gul told the paper, "I am a very favourite whipping boy of America. They can't imagine the Afghans can win wars on their own."

Gul has been outspoken about the role of the US military in smuggling Afghan heroin out of the country via the top-security Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan.

In a UPI interview on September 26, 2001, two weeks after the 9-11 attacks, Gul stated, in reply to the question who did back Sept. 11?, "Mossad and its accomplices. The US spends $40 billion a year on its 11 intelligence agencies. That's $400 billion in 10 years. Yet the Bush Administration says it was taken by surprise. I don't believe it. Within 10 minutes of the second twin tower being hit in the World Trade Center CNN said Osama bin Laden had done it. That was a planned piece of disinformation by the real perpetrators"

Assange told Der Spiegel, one of three outlets with which he shared material from the Afghan leak, that the documents he had unearthed would "change our perspective on not only the war in Afghanistan, but on all modern wars."

Yet a closer examination of the public position of Assange on one of the most controversial issues of recent decades, the forces behind the September 11th 2001 attacks, shows him to be curiously establishment. When the Belfast Telegraph interviewed him on July 19, he stated:

"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud."

That statement from a person who has built a reputation on being anti-establishment is more than notable. Thousands of physicists, engineers, military professionals and airline pilots have testified, the idea that 19 barely-trained Arabs armed with box-cutters could divert four US commercial jets and execute the near-impossible strikes on the Twin Towers and Pentagon over a time period of 93 minutes with not one Air Force NORAD military interception, is beyond belief.

I’m not prepared to guess anymore, what the hell is going on in this cloak and dagger world of complex deceit. There appears to be but one truth, everything is a f**king lie.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leakers should be fired, jailed, fined and lose pensions

With the next impending Wikileaks release, US authorities have been in pre-emptive damage control overdrive. Their now tired rhetoric is once more in our media; the leaks will endanger the lives of service personnel and department employees around the world.

A snippet from Congressional Records I happened to stumble upon, reveals one Mr Bond, in Senate proceedings for S 510 of all places, contributing his opinion on the matter. That would be Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond I presume, and I have no idea how this related to food safety modernization, but here is the excerpt;

[Congressional Record: November 17, 2010 (Senate)]
[Page S7934-S7946]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

In addition, I wish to address an obvious problem--leaks. I have
already made reference to some of the more disastrous leaks that
occurred during my tenure, but unfortunately, these were just the tip
of the iceberg. There are simply too many to list. I shudder to think
about the sources and methods that have been disclosed, and the lives
that will likely be lost, as a result of the obscene amount of
classified information compromised by Wikileaks. Of course, to call
this a leak case is gross mischaracterization; it is more like a tidal

We are blessed with our open society and our many freedoms. However,
our ability to protect these freedoms and preserve our national
security depends upon our ability to keep our secrets safe.

This problem needs a multifaceted solution. We must first deter and
neutralize the leakers. There should be significant criminal, civil,
and administrative sanctions that can be imposed on leakers. Leakers
should face significant jail time, pay heavy fines, forfeit any
profits, lose their pensions, and be fired from their jobs. We should
also not allow the first amendment to be used as a shield for criminal
activity. It should be a crime to knowingly solicit a person to reveal
classified information for an unauthorized purpose or to knowingly
publish or possess such information. Leaks will not stop until a
significant number of leakers have been appropriately punished.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Daniel Ellsberg explains that Wikileaks has previously, in the case of the Iraq and Afghanistan docs releases, disclosed to the Pentagon in advance what is being released, and offered the Pentagon the opportunity to request redactions of names for security purposes. The Pentagon has refused all such offers.


Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

U.S. Government Seizes Domains

by enigmax –

Without any need for COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has just seized the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine along with those belonging to other music linking sites.

While complex, it’s still possible for U.S. authorities and copyright groups to point at a fully-fledged BitTorrent site with a tracker and say “that’s an infringing site.” When one looks at a site which hosts torrents but operates no tracker, the finger pointing becomes quite a bit more difficult.

When a site has no tracker, carries no torrents, lists no copyright works unless someone searches for them and responds just like Google, accusing it of infringement becomes somewhat of a minefield – unless you’re ICE Homeland Security Investigations that is.

This morning, visitors to the site are greeted with an ominous graphic which indicates that ICE have seized the site’s domain.

Aside from the fact that domains are being seized seemingly at will, there is a very serious problem with the action against Torrent-Finder. Not only does the site not host or even link to any torrents whatsoever, it actually only returns searches through embedded iframes which display other sites that are not under the control of the Torrent-Finder owner.

Yesterday we reported that the domain of hiphop site RapGodFathers had been seized and today we can reveal that they are not on their own. Two other music sites in the same field – and – have fallen to the same fate. But ICE activities don’t end there.

Full list of seized domains @

Domain seizures coming under the much debated ‘censorship bill’ COICA? Who needs it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Airport Porno Scanners

I must be becoming desensitised in my old age because none of this got me overly angry, not until I saw this ABC news article.

President Obama Re: public concern about porno scanners

The ABC reports:
Mr Obama said he "understands people's frustrations" over the measures.

He said that following the attempted Christmas bombing, "TSA personnel are, properly, under enormous pressure to make sure that you don't have somebody slipping on a plane with some sort of explosive device on their persons."

Since the explosive on Nigerian "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab "was not detected by ordinary metal detectors, it has meant that TSA has had to try to adapt to make sure that passengers on planes are safe."

"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us. And I understand people's frustrations."

He said he has asked the TSA to "constantly refine and measure whether what we're doing is the only way to assure the American people's safety."

But TSA and US counter-terrorism experts say that the procedures are the only ones they believe are "effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing."

Liar, liar, f*cking pants on fire!

Schiphol Amsterdam, the undies bomber’s departure airport, has had the ‘naked’ scanners in operation since 2007.

Although that's irrelevant in Abdulmutallab's case, because he was escorted around normal security procedures.

Abdulmutallab who was on a terrorism watch list in the US, didn’t have his visa revoked by the US State Department, because they said, they had been begged not to revoke it by federal counter-terrorism officials.
"Surely if US intelligence was aware that Mutallab was a terrorist threat they would have at least taken the precaution of making very sure that the flight onto which he was to be escorted was not a target.

Surely a thorough rub down or a strip search would not have been out of the question for such a threat to US national security?

Take your pick; either US intelligence is so incompetent that they did not first check if this known terrorist was carrying a bomb onto the plane, or they staged the entire operation themselves in order to keep the Islamic terrorism bandwagon rolling."

Johns Hopkins University Safety Assessment of the Rapiscan 1000 backscatter, prepared for TSA and Dept Homeland Security, 30th October 2009.
"An area exists above each of the units, due to primary beam overshoot, where the 100 mrem per year general public dose limit could potentially be exceeded. This area extends up to a height of about 14 ft and 4.6 ft behind each of the units.

A second area exists at the entry and exit locations of the scan area, where the 100 mrem per year general public dose limit could potentially be exceeded. This area extends approximately 1.7 ft from the side of the units at the entry and exit locations."

download Safety Assessment zip file

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A load of Qap

AQAP (A load of Qap), officially read: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, apparently concerned with the printing requirements of Synagogues in Chicago, accordingly (reportedly), have attempted to FedEx urgent ink supplies from Yemen via the UK.

But the US alleges this gesture of good will was a "credible terrorist threat."

Authorities say “a suspicious parcel, a potentially sinister object thought to be an ink cartridge,” was found on a plane at East Midlands airport (UK), en route to Chicago.

President Obama is quoted saying:

"Our intelligence and law enforcement professionals working with our friends and allies identified two suspicious packages bound for the United States, Specifically, two places of Jewish worship in Chicago."

Reportedly Obama expressed suspicions that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is behind the incident.

To support the idea of a "credible terrorist threat", US officials made the non-event seem very, very scary indeed, something every American should be greatly concerned with, by pretending there was a “parcel” of Yemen origins onboard a plane from Dubai to New York’s JFK, which was subsequently escorted on approach by US fighter jets, (the escort made it much less likely the plane would explode).

The EAU (United Arab Emirates) civil aviation body said that the flight had been given the all clear and that it did not contain any packages from Yemen.

I wonder what the master plan was for detonating those “potentially sinister” ink cartridges at the intended destination. Presumably the detonators would not have been wired with a timer, you never know with FedEx if your post will arrive tomorrow or next month.

No doubt the usual story about a mobile (cell) phone SIM card, planted in the ink will be offered.

I also ponder; if I was a Rabbi in Chicago, and I received post from an Arabic friend in Yemen, would I not be slightly apprehensive.

It would appear AQAP still have room for improvement when constructing dastardly plots.

To be fair though, the plan to ink Synagogues was better thought out than the “underpants bomber” mission.

Allegedly, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to detonate a bomb on Christmas day while landing in Detroit onboard Delta Northwest Flight 253, despite not being equipped with the type of detonator required for the type of explosives he had packed in his undies.

US officials claim Abdulmutallab was trained for the attack in Yemen by AQAP. They also maintain he had contact in Yemen with “radical cleric” Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen.

President Obama, clairvoyantly foreseeing this unfortunate misadventure, responded by ordering cruise missile attacks against targets in Yemen, one week prior. US agents failed on Christmas Eve however, in an attempt to assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki, but he remains on the official list of people for the CIA to kill.

Reportedly, the missile attacks killed 120 innocent civilians, and depending on who you believe (Yemen eyewitnesses or US authorities), killed between 0 and 34 Al-Qaeda insurgents.

The American ABC reported that one of the missile targets was:
"A location where officials said ‘an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned"

It was not mentioned which “US asset” in Yemen, but some of note are the natural resources licensed to Kuwait Energy, who were given a $50 million loan by the World Bank (read: owned by World Bank).

In recent years the World Bank has also assisted the nation of Yemen with around $200 million (read: owned by World Bank). Coincidentally, 4 major oil and gas exploration blocks in Yemen, were designated to Kuwait Energy (World Bank owned), under conditions set out by the World Bank and the IMF in exchange for that aid (the $200m).

Surely these minor details have little to do with bombing the crap out of Yemen though, it’s all about the “war on terror” right?

In August of this year, a CIA assessment implicated AQAP as a “more urgent threat” than al-Qaeda itself. Consequently, it was reported that, the Obama Administration was considering the deployment of CIA Predator drones to Yemen for launching strikes against AQAP.

These aptly named indiscriminately killing, flying robots, may incidentally themselves be terminated pending a lawsuit, after it was revealed the company supplying their software to the CIA, had pirated it from another source. It wasn’t even stolen properly, the plaintiffs claim it’s a hacked version with incomplete targeting functionality, and as a result Predator drones could be missing their targets by as much as 40 feet.

If you don’t really believe in imaginary characters (AQAP), starring in a global fairytale (war on terror), and are wondering why Yemen is the recipient of so much favouritism lately, apart from aforementioned limited oil and gas reserves, it is a location of significant geopolitical importance.

Yemen is home to a world class deep sea shipping port. Besides neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Yemen is the only country from which most of the Middle East’s oil can potentially reach the open seas without passing through either the Strait of Hormuz or the Suez Canal.

But instabilities which can threaten this supply route do sometimes flare from opposing tribal factions fighting a civil war in Yemen. A situation the US takes quite a dim view of, even though, as usual, they had more than an influence in bring this to pass.

The obvious solution to this dilemma, hindering the US in controlling access to most of the world’s energy supplies; brand one side of those warring combatants with the Al-Qaeda trademark and blast them to hell.

Ali Jawad of writes:
“Should Yemen fall within the orbit of direct US influence, it will ominously reduce the geo-strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz in formulating calculations surrounding any future ‘shock and awe’-type strikes on Iran.”

Perhaps a note worthy observation. At present there are massive expansions in US and allied military naval and air power underway in the Arabian Sea. It has also been disclosed that Washington plans to sell $123 billion worth of weapons to allied countries that encircle Iran - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hockey doesn't care

The following ABC headline caught my imagination today:
“Hockey doesn't care if bank chiefs 'shoot' him”

Neither do I, you have my blessing banker’s, just this once.

The shadow Treasurer and ANZ chief have been bitch slapp’n each other since the company posted a record profit a few days ago.

In response to the latest lashing from ANZ, Hockey reportedly said:
“I don't mind because we are standing up for consumers”

"I welcome profits but I love competition, and in this situation Australians want to know that they have a more competitive banking environment as a result of government action."

Don’t get me wrong, bankers are little more than organised criminals who have us all bound in abject slavery repaying never ending debt.

But when Mr Hockey says “more competitive”, it’s in the way the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) has made the Australian manufacturing, agricultural, film & television industries more competitive, by decimating them.

I’m ever so grateful that Mr Howard stood up for me, the consumer, several years past signing the FTA with the Bush Administration.

After our farming community was turned to dust, with the exception of corporate entities, my groceries have become infinitely cheaper.

Well, they would have in theory, had two supermarket chains aspiring to be competitive, not anti competitively acquired every other retailer in the country and then colluded in inflated price fixing.

When a politician promises more competition, brace yourselves, your about to get screwed all over again.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

From December (bushfire season), the Federal Government plans to move up to 400 asylum seekers into a detention centre at Inverbrackie in SA (bushfire zone).

The facility will be created basically by banging up a fence around 83 vacant former defence force houses next to the Woodside army base.

The Immigration Department says the Country Fire Service (CFS) in SA will try to teach non English speaking detainees about bushfire safety, including the 'stay or go' policy and how to evacuate the area in the event of catastrophic bushfire.

They’re what now, instructing prisoners about ‘stay or go’?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Respect My Authoritah!

Australian Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda, Comrade Conroy says he will wield federal law as a weapon to force people on to the national broadband network (NBN) if the states and territories don't make connections mandatory. Sydney Morning Herald

At present, laws prevent strangers from entering private properties without permission, with some exemptions for utility employees to read gas and electricity meters. To make the new fibre connections mandatory, state governments will have to change trespass or property laws.

WTF now?

To get around restrictions, NBN Co has been collecting consent forms from households in first release sites to allow contractors onto their property. However, this 'opt in' model has left nearly half the households in Tasmania's three test sites unconnected.

You zill haz ze fibre connected!

Telstra who maintains the existing copper telephone network has signed a deal with Government worth $11 billion to “decommission” the copper network as fibre is rolled out, leaving no alternative but to use the new government fibre connection if a consumer desires fixed line services.

I'm actually quite excited about the prospect of being connected with fibre, and the great possibilities and opportunities this infrastructure will present for the nation, but Mr Conroy does have a way of making everything suck.

With the only hard wired communications network in town owned by the government, I wonder how long it will be before they legislate what constitutes legal signal transmissions. I can see everything ending up here.

Iraq War Logs

View the Wikileaks Logs

(may take some time to load due to traffic)

View the Wikileaks Logs

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hail Kevin Bracken

Kevin Bracken, Victorian Trades Hall Council President and Victorian MUA branch Secretary, is under fire in a rhetorical lynching from opposing sides of politics after his comments on Melbourne ABC talk back radio (Wed Oct 20th 2010).

Callers to the radio programme were invited to discuss Australia’s support and involvement in the Afghanistan war.

Presenter Jon Faine was apparently some what stunned by Mr Bracken’s contribution as he seemed to suggest that he didn’t believe the official lies (cover story) detailing how the events of 9/11 had transpired.
KB: "Well, I believe that the official story is a conspiracy theory that doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny."

JF: "Are you serious? Is this a hoax or are you serious?"

KB: "No and I'd love to debate you publicly Jon if you think it's ridiculous."

JF: "There's nothing to debate."

KB: "Well, the fact is that aviation fuel doesn't get hot enough to melt steel."

JF: "I think it reflects very poorly on your members, Kevin, that you have views that are so ridiculous, so extreme and so unacceptable.”

Prime Minister Ju La Guillotine says the comments were “stupid and wrong”, the opposition says they were offensive.

Victoria's shadow-attorney general, Robert Clark, said "These remarks give comfort and support to those who seek to condone terrorism."

I’m offended, very, very f*ck’n offended! Not by Mr Bracken’s comments. I can not begin to express how outrageously offensive it is, to be labelled as someone who “condones terrorism”, because I agree with Bracken.

And Australian politicians spewing this rhetoric are merely an echo of a chorus line that I have noticed frequently emanating of late from their US master counterparts.

Suddenly everyone is being charged as “offensive”, everyone who cares to remark that they don’t quite see how on that particular day, jet fuel burnt at much higher temperatures than is normally within the laws of physics, hot enough to melt steel and iron, and that this melting iron some how caused three WTC towers (one of which wasn’t damaged by any impacts), to perfectly implode into their own foot prints, at free fall speeds which again, is outside the realm of physical reality, as apposed to the real world, where a building collapsing from top down encounters resistance from every floor below, thus slowing the decent incrementally until it abates completely.

I can accept that for the last 9 years, the officially disseminated propaganda has been swallowed hook, line and sinker, in blind faith, rendering many ordinarily intelligent people incapable of independent thought on the matter, I can deal with that.

But these political slurs against anyone with half a thinking brain, that express people should not give thought to this matter, because to do so is deeply offensive to the memory of the victims, is just sickening.

What is offensive is that thousands of innocent people were slaughtered that day. How is it offensive to analyze and question exactly who the murderous party might be?

From all accounts, it would seem highly remarkable, that a few inept rookie, wanna be pilots armed only with box cutters, could evade America’s military defences to orchestrate such a cataclysmic disaster.

By request from Australian Greens Party leader Bob Brown, parliament has just spent a couple of days pretending to debate the nation’s involvement in the Afghanistan war. Kudos to Andrew Wilkie, Adam Bandt and Rob Oakshott for condemning Australia’s conspiratory alliance in the imaginary “war on terror”.

However both major opposing political parties agreed unanimously that Australia should continue this murderous charade for at least another 10 years, maybe more. The government and opposition, saying we can not withdraw now because, in short, that would leave an unmonitored space for breeding terrorists.

In one respect they are correct. With the allegiance of invaders generating so much animosity against their presence from local Afghans, they can ill afford to leave now before asserting adversaries are 100% subservient to their interests.

Let us forget not though, how a small faction of guerrilla fighters came to be known as “Al-Qaeda”, and were then imaginarily inflated in importance to the rankings of “global terror network”, and then named as the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, and subsequently delivered as the justification for bombing Iraq and Afghanistan back to the stone age.

One of President Barack Obama’s most notable supporters and influential foreign policy advisers is a character by name of Zbigy (Zbigniew) Brzezinski. Zbigy is quite comfortable and proud with the fact that he created Al-Qaeda.

In the late 1970’s in Afghanistan, a tyrannical and fanatical government was toppled and replaced with one that was democratically elected, albeit with socialist ideological tendencies that enjoyed support from the USSR.

The USA determined this development to be detrimental to its geopolitical objectives. Enter Zbigy Brzezinski, then National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

Advocated by Zbigy, President Carter signed a directive in July 1979 to start covert operations in Afghanistan. Those operations involved the CIA funding, training, nurturing extremist Islamic ideology and supply of weaponry to a group of guerrillas called the Mujahideen, so that they might disintegrate the newly formed government. The US administration referred to them as “freedom fighters”.

The Mujahideen went on to form both the Taliban and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda which translates to “the Base”, often reported as some sort of inspiration for Islamic fundamentalists, i.e. – “the strong base”, was also reportedly nothing more than a CIA data “base” containing the names of Mujahideen forces.

Asked if he had any regrets in retrospect (like finding the US now a victim of these terrorists that he himself created), Brzezinski in a 1998 interview is on record saying:
“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the break up of the Soviet empire.”

“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”
Further pressed, he was asked “But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.”

“Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.”

The treachery continues to this day. A recent BBC article reported that:
"Pakistani intelligence gives funding, training and sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought."
"Pakistani ISI intelligence agents even attend Taliban supreme council meetings,"
the BBC went on to write, and:
Support for the Afghan Taliban was "official ISI policy"
Guess who supports the ISI with funding, training and materials? If you're musing, the CIA? You would be correct, correct and correct again.

Zbigy Brzezinski and Tim Osmond, a.k.a. Osama Bin Laden in 1979.

Note: Tim Osmond lived in Los Angeles for a short time in the early 1980’s as a guest of the CIA.

“Freedom Fighters” (Mujahideen) and President Ronald Reagan.

Who Killed John O'Neill?

see also - take over the World

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How to subvert the firewall

When the Australian Minister of National Enlightenment and Propaganda fires up the Great Firewall of Australia, the website of pro-euthanasia group Exit International will be among those blocked from access because of its "RC" content.

Exit International approached the Pirate Party of Australia and asked if they would kindly prepare instruction suitable for 70+ year olds in the art of bypassing the filter. The Pirate Party gladly obliged, the result can be seen here at

The slide show also includes general info of interest.

Think about that for a minute.

Minister Conroy claims that testing undertaken by Telstra, showed that every single website you visit being logged and checked against a blacklist, slowed internet performance by less than one seventieth of the blink of an eye.

The blink of an eye? Who’s eye? How fast could this eye blink?

In the "pilot test" that the Government commissioned, the performance results were apparently not so favourable; otherwise Conroy would be quoting them and not Telstra. In these tests by the way, it was reported that "testing criteria" was decided after commencement of tests (they made it up to produce results they quite liked), and they were carried out using a blacklist of around a 1,000 URLs.

If 0.0001 percent of www pages (of which there are about 25 billion indexed) contained content reviewed and categorized RC by Australian authorities, the blacklist would contain 25,000 URLs. I suspect that the hindrance on performance for that number may be significantly greater than one seventieth of the blink of an eye (whoever that eye belongs to).

If the URL blacklist should be less than 25,000, why is Minister Conroy so keen to spend $44 million implementing a filter for the purpose of blocking access to even less than 0.0001 percent of known indexed website pages?

Suppose that was some how good value, Minister Conroy and the Government, by their own admissions, know the internet filter will not work. Conroy claims:
"The Refused Classification Content list cannot be made public because if it was, it would simply be a catalogue to direct people to specific URLs that are Refused Classification."

If the filter was other than an elaborate joke, the URL blacklist would be safe to publish publicly, because if the filter worked, nobody would be able to access them.

How to subvert the firewall – Pirate Party Australia

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

World Wide Web of Censorship

conroydoms – click to enlarge
The Australian reports:
The Obama administration has questioned the Rudd government's plan to introduce an internet filter, saying it runs contrary to the US's foreign policy of encouraging an open internet to spread economic growth and global security.

Officials from the State Department have raised the issue with Australian counterparts as the US mounts a diplomatic assault on internet censorship by governments worldwide.

Responding to questions about the filter, commentary website The Punch reports today that US State Department spokesman Noel Clay has raised concerns on the filter plan.

A spokeswoman for Senator Conroy declined to comment on Mr Clay's remarks.

This comes on the back of damming criticism for the mandatory censorship policy by two of the internet industry’s biggest players, Google and Yahoo.

Both companies tendered their input in a discussion paper released by the Aus Dept of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, which had called for feedback on transparency and accountability measures, 174 submissions were received in total.

The policy (if you haven’t heard) aims to "deny access" to overseas hosted internet content that is Refused Classification in Australia.

"In considering the government's plans for mandatory ISP level filtering we have listened to many views, but most importantly those of our users."

"RC is a broad category of content that includes not just child sexual abuse material but also socially and politically controversial material - for example, educational content on safer drug use - as well as the grey realms of material instructing in any crime, including politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia. "

"Decisions in relation to instructional, educational, scientific or current affairs video material will often be much more complex than in relation to entertainment 'films'."

"Scenes of war or terrorist activity may 'offensively depict real violence' and rate RC when the video is not in any way 'gratuitous violence' or posted for entertainment."

"Moving to a mandatory ISP level filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond child sexual abuse material would raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information."

"Filtering material from high-volume sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter appears not to be technologically possible as it would have such a serious impact on internet access".

"We have a number of other concerns, including that filtering may give a false sense of security to parents, it could damage Australia's international reputation and it can be easily circumvented."

"Yahoo are entirely supportive of any effort to make the internet a safer place for children, however mandatory filtering of all RC material could block content with a strong social, political and/or educational value"

"Innocuous sites that could be blocked include:
  • Safe injecting and other harm minimization websites.
  • Euthanasia discussion forums.
  • A video on creating graffiti art.
  • Anti-abortion websites.
  • Gay and lesbian forums that discuss sexual experiences.
  • Explorations of the geo-political causes of terrorism where specific terrorist organizations and propaganda are cited as reference material."

I offered my own personal submission (well kind of); I wrote to the minister 6 times, rejecting the automated address I received the first time I had written. I was overjoyed when I received a note from his office today, a very speedy 3 month turn around in response.

The last paragraph on page 1 reads:
"The RC Content list includes child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence including rape and detailed instruction of crime or drug use. The Government believes that RC content has no place in a civilized society and blocking of this material is nor an impingement on free speech."

This is really beginning to f*cking shit me. It’s regurgitated by the minister and Prime Minister every occasion the policy is discussed, it’s mindlessly repeated in every main stream media article ever posted about the policy.

Yes RC does include child sex, bestiality and rape. But as Google and Yahoo point out above, it also includes so much more.

The government should be required to reveal the truth, that RC content includes; safe drug injecting and harm minimization info, euthanasia forums, graffiti art videos, certain gay and lesbian forum content, terrorism studies, scenes of war "offensively depicting real violence", some fetish pornography, women with small breasts in porn and even porn featuring female ejaculation (when male ejaculation is quite acceptable).

If they did so though, told the truth, they would have but one solitary policy supporter, the Australian Christian Lobby.

This propaganda, choosing which facts to disclose, and which ones to omit, has been used to dodgy up surveys to in turn further the propaganda effort. It was reported that a commissioned survey reflected that 80% of Australians support mandatory internet censorship.

Crap! To begin, 1000 people only were telephoned, hardly a cross representational indication of the Australian continent. More importantly, participants were asked their opinion on the aforementioned propaganda:
Do you support the government filtering access to RC internet content that includes child sex, bestiality and rape?

You would have to be pretty f*cked up to answer no. Apparently though 20% of Australians are, or maybe they were just aware of the facts regarding the policy and choose not to comply with the loaded question.

An online survey on March 30, 2010 by the Age News paper was conducted without the propaganda.

Question - "do you approve of the government filtering the internet"

Response - 96% No, 3% Yes, 1% Indifferent

The Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995 governs classification decisions. It provides that classifications are in accordance with the National Classification Code and guidelines.

The Code sets out that RC is applied to content which may; depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) took action against 1365 different pieces of web page content hosted overseas in the period 2008 – 2009. This was double the volume of items actioned for the previous year. It includes not just RC material for which filtering will be based upon, but also X18+ and "potentially prohibited" content.

At the same time, the actual number of complaints received by the ACMA decreased in the period. We are told that the system is complaints driven; ACMA only investigates content when it receives a complaint. It is quite curious to see complaints decrease but actions undertaken double.

On the topic of censoring online games, page 3 of my letter from the minister’s office reads:
"The Minister for Home Affairs released a discussion paper to consider whether there should be an R18+ category for computer games in Australia. The government’s approach to filtering online games will be developed drawing on this consultation process"

Making shit up as they go along in essence. If R18+ video game ratings are still not forthcoming after the consultation, any online game there forth not suitable for persons aged 15 years and under will be blocked from access, if law requirements are followed.

view the complete letter here

The US Government, Google and Yahoo are the latest and biggest in a long, long growing line of critics against Australia’s internet censorship policy. But are they the pot calling the kettle black?

YouTube (owned by Google) has a growing reputation for removing user videos by the bucket load. I have a YouTube channel specifically designed for reloading content that has been removed/banned by YT.

Currently I am unable to keep pace with restoring the content that has disappeared from the site, just within the videos I have added to my channel favorites. These are not videos that violate the terms of service (although they are often claimed to), they do not contain sex or violence, they are however politically sensitive.

I’m glad Google is so concerned about "restrictions on access to information". To add some perspective, YT generally do "take downs" upon request, so the true censorship culprits are those doing the requesting, media corporations.

YouTube recently revealed that the media company Viacom have been engaged in the game of uploading their own product to YT, only to then turn around and lodge complaint with take down request.

As for the US Government "raising concern" over the policy, this really is a twisted game they are playing, which is why Minister Conroy will probably not feel unduly pressured by the remarks.

The US Gov is at the forefront of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which it is forcing upon the world. A balance heavily weighted in the interest of big media corps already exists under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but ACTA is set to take these interests to unprecedented new heights.

Australian copyright law largely mirrors US DM Copyright Act due to Australia being a signatory to the 2004 Free Trade Agreement, another US policy forced upon the world.

The ACTA treaty is highly secretive. After much tedious campaigning by Electronic Freedom Foundation in the US, 159 doc pages associated with the treaty were released, but only after 1362 had been deemed as potentially violating “national security” and withheld.

A new UK Digital Economy Bill has also been drafted as a result of ACTA negotiations. It is proposed in the UK, users have their internet service disconnected if they are caught file sharing 3 times or more, "three-strikes" and your out regime.

Other measures include a ban on open Wi-Fi (hot spots) and needless to say, website filtering. Currently the censorship of internet pornography and even abuse material is voluntary for ISPs in the UK, but this new Bill places compulsory requirements upon ISPs to block access to copyrighted content.

The ACTA treaty tentacles obligate signatories including Europe, USA, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates.

An EU ACTA negotiator recently promised no "3 strikes" rules for Europe, but a leaked ACTA draft would indicate otherwise, as will be the case in future for all aforementioned signatory nations.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Urging violence

The Krudd Government has introduced a range of amendments to Australia's counter-terrorism laws which it says aims to "deliver a better balance between protecting people's rights and protecting the nation from attack".

The new balance includes giving police the powers to enter and search property without warrants. To "protect people's rights" Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland proposes to abolish the crime of sedition, by renaming it "urging violence".

The crime of sedition is not an act of violence; sedition is criminalised speech (thought crime).

Previously to be tried for sedition in Australia, your speech had to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth. The proposed law amendments remove this onerous requirement. Amendments also expand speech crime law from applying against groups, to now cover speech crime against individuals as well.

The English Court of the Star Chamber invented the crime of sedition based on the theory that the King (Henry VIII ) was above public criticism and that statements critical of the government should be prohibited. Like the law of blasphemy, sedition fell out of use to a large extent in most democracies during the twentieth century.

Sedition laws were effectively defunct in Australia for half a century until 2005, when the Howard government introduced an anti-terrorism Bill and passed 44 pieces of anti-terrorism legislation, more than in any other comparable jurisdiction internationally.

An Australian national security legislation discussion paper from August 2009 recommended the above mentioned law amendments now being introduced in Parliament as draft legislation.

The 2009 report also proposed to expand the definition of a terrorist act in the Criminal Code to include psychological as well as physical harm, and a new terrorism hoax offence, punishable by up to 10 years' jail for anyone seeking to create a false belief that a terrorist act will occur.

While countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, Ghana and Sri Lanka have in recent times removed criminal defamation laws, it’s good to see the Australian government returning to the age of King Henry the eighth.

It was reported in July 2009 that the UK government was finally relenting and had agreed to abolish the offences of seditious libel and criminal defamation.

UK Justice Minister Lord Bach said:
"Sedition and defamatory libel are arcane offences from a bygone era when freedom of expression wasn't seen as the right it is today"

While the UK laws were rarely in use, their existence, said Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
"provides more repressive governments around the world with the excuse they need not only to refuse to repeal defamation laws but also to make active use of such laws to imprison journalists, writers and others."

Conroy in a pickle

Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders last week put Australia on its list of countries "under surveillance" in its recent "Internet Enemies" report.

Australia joins the company of countries in danger of making the main enemies list which includes Russia, Turkey and South Korea.

The report added that in South Korea; "draconian laws are creating too many specific restrictions on web users by challenging their anonymity and promoting self-censorship".

According to the report, China, Iran and Tunisia who have been named "Enemies of the Internet", got more sophisticated at censorship and overcoming dissidents' attempts to communicate online.

Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda - Stephen Conroy, protected under parliamentary privilege from real world accountability, attempted to mitigate the reports implications by attacking Electronic Frontiers Australia.

Prompted by the Reporters Without Borders report, Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce asked Conroy if he had stifled national debate on internet filtering by "branding critics as child pornography advocates".

In reply Conroy said:
"The material that has been supplied to Reporters Without Borders comes from Electronic Frontiers Australia, who have been challenged publicly on a number of occasions to produce a quote where I have ever said that."

"Electronic Frontiers Australia have run one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians."

"I challenge each and every one of you to come up with such a quote, because it does not exist."

But EFA immediately did produce two such quotes:
In one of the first public pronouncements of the policy, the Minister stated:
"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."
On another occasion, when answering a question on the filter put to him by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam during a Senate Estimates hearing, the Minister dodged the question using this device:
Senator Ludlam – Just let me finish. In terms of the countries that you have just listed for me, it is mandatory or is it an opt-in system that, for example, concerned parents could take advantage of?
Senator Conroy – Illegal material is illegal material. Child pornography is child pornography. I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography.

After laying down the challenge to find such a quote, Conroy (without irony) went on to say:
"Anyone who tries to suggest that anything other than material included in the RC classification is subject to the filter is misleading all Australians. Let me be very clear: the material under the RC classification is material like child pornography."

EFA asserts that RWB have never contacted them for opinion or briefing on this matter.

One commenter at EFA points out:
"All you have to do to make something “RC” is to simply refuse it. What a twit."

Very true, Refused Classification material already includes content that "instructs or promotes" acts of crime like safe drug use, graffiti art and euthanasia.

Adult content depicting particular fetishes is also RC, in example "golden showers". Recently female ejaculation was reviewed to be included under the later category. It has also been proposed that small breasted women in sexual contexts be refused classification.

But can we trust the government of the day to only ever apply a filter to RC content; even though that in itself can grow to incorporate anything they chose?

Just one year ago Conroy himself was flagging that the compulsory filtering would be based upon the ACMA blacklist of prohibited websites. After much outcry, making sh*t up on the fly, the Minister back flipped to announce official filtering policy was now strictly about denying access to RC, a subset of the blacklist which contained legal adult material.

This got the Australian Christian Lobby all hot and bothered who accused the government of breaking its election promise to censor the internet.

ACL managing director Jim Wallace said of the change to RC content filtering only;
"That doesn't meet the election promise as far as we're concerned at all. The promise was clearly about providing a safer internet environment for children and to do that you need to mandatorily block in the first instance pornography and R18+, and then provide an opt-in system for those adults who want to access it."

Even if Conroy can continue to dodge the wrath of the fundamentalist ACL and maintain a course of RC filtering, as apposed to filtering all online adult pleasures, this would still be an assault on freedom of speech.

Recently the minister called upon Google to censor all videos on its YouTube website in accordance with the filtering scheme. Google Australia politely told him to go f*ck himself, saying:
"The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information. RC includes the grey realms of material instructing in any crime from [painting] graffiti to politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia, and exposing these topics to public debate is vital for democracy."

Poor Stephen, he’s alienated just about all internet users and the internet industry for planning to over filter, while the zealous filter advocates are p*ssed that his plan doesn’t censor nearly enough.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Block the Filter

Reminder – National day of action. On the 6th of March 2010, Block the Filter, Stop Internet Censorship and Stop the Filter will be holding events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. More info -

I don’t want to be a broken record, but the mandatory internet censorship policy that our Government has locked in, under the pretense of protecting children, is something that I find most disturbing, so I will cover the topic once more.

Protecting children is a noble objective, one that should be paramount with no resource spared, but censoring the internet or as the government terms it “filtering”, can not deliver on this vital objective.

The Government euphemistically refers to its policy for mandatory internet censorship as “filtering”, but filtering is something applied to percolating coffee. Make no mistake; this is censorship, pure and simple.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says some internet content is simply not suitable in a civilized society and that “It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material.”

There are currently around 25 billion indexed pages accessible from the World Wide Web, plus an untold number of encrypted and hidden pages which have not been indexed by major search engines.

Even the most clueless of clueless Governments could not seriously entertain that a blacklist could in any way shape or form, provide a meaningful “filtering” solution for that volume of website pages.

It is clear from the outset that this policy has nothing to do with “protecting citizens” and has everything to do with creating additional government authority for the purpose of censoring any internet content that they so choose, in a very targeted manner, as this is the only manner feasible.

If anything, the policy will place children at greater peril, as parents may be given a false sense of security and become more complacent about their children’s online activities. The policy is an easy fix solution, one that requires no real effort by parents in being responsible for their children’s safety, and one that requires no real effort for government to implement. This makes the policy very attractive to all concerned, but again the sense of security is extremely misplaced.

Senator Conroy has announced the requirements that Internet Service Providers censor internet content hosted overseas, will come into effect twelve months from the date of the passage of the legislation.

This conveniently places the commencement of censoring our internet, post Election Day. There’s a reason for this, the Government knows full well how enormously unpopular the policy is.

However rather than listen to just about every respected academic and technical mind in the country, and around 90% of the general population, who are all screaming NO FILTER, the Government seem quite at ease demonstrating utter contempt and disregard for our wishes, providing they can of course do so and still secure re-election.

If you believe what the Government tells you, you may have the impression that the mechanism for “filtering” is purely based upon a “defined list of URLs” or black list which ISPs will deny end user access to.

But of course the Government has not exactly been forthcoming with disclosing the technologies that were utilized in trials during 2009.

Lui Spandas of ARNnet reported in June 2009 that ISPs involved in the trials were using appliance based products which through signature blocking, have capabilities for filtering peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, instant messaging communications, anonymous website proxies and online gaming sites.

Quoting Webshield Managing director Anthony Pillion, Spandas writes:
“Web filtering is more granular and flexible than just blocking a black list and we haven’t stopped at Web content level.”

Stephen Conroy says the Government will not determine what is blacklisted; rather an independent body will determine what sites are rated as RC (refused classification).

The “independent body” he refers to is otherwise known as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a government organization.

Currently the Australian Classification Board provides classifications on internet content to the ACMA on request, if and only if, the ACMA receives a complaint about internet content. According to the ACMA website:

The ACMA can only take action about material that is prohibited, or potentially prohibited, under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

This golden rule will now be applied to all overseas content under the filtering policy and already law exists in anticipation of that. The Broadcasting Services Act of 1992, Amended Nov 20th 2009, Vol 2 reads:
If, in the course of an investigation under Division 2 of Part 3 of Schedule 7, the ACMA is satisfied that Internet content hosted outside Australia is prohibited content or potential prohibited content, the ACMA must:

Give each Internet service provider known to the ACMA a written notice (a standard access-prevention notice) directing the provider to take all reasonable steps to prevent end-users from accessing the content.

If you are to attempt discourse with Minister Conroy or worse, ask him to explain the Governments position in this matter, you will receive from his office a publication entitled “Cyber-safety and internet service provider filtering” which will do nothing to address your questions.

One paragraph of this document makes the claim:
“For families that wish to have a wider range of material filtered, including potentially X18+ content and gaming sites, the Government will establish a grants program to encourage ISPs to offer these services on a commercial basis.”

This would appear to contradict the Broadcasting Services Act which, defining Prohibited Content reads:
For the purposes of this Schedule, content (other than content that consists of an eligible electronic publication) is prohibited content if:

(a) The content has been classified RC or X 18+ by the Classification Board; or

(b) Both:

(i) The content has been classified R 18+ by the Classification Board; and

(ii) Access to the content is not subject to a restricted access system.

Further, the Act defines potential prohibited content as follows:
For the purposes of this Schedule, content is potential prohibited content if:

a) the content has not been classified by the Classification Board; and

(b) if the content were to be classified by the Classification Board, there is a substantial likelihood that the content would be prohibited content.

Online video games will also be subject to internet filtering requirements. This presents a double edged injustice, as Australia is currently the only democracy in the world that has no adult classification ratings for video games.

What that means is existing video games, even extremely graphic and adult audience orientated ones, receive a maximum classification rating of MA+ 15 in Australia. This allows minor’s to play games with inappropriate content for their age, often unbeknown to their parents whom mistakenly believe MA+ 15 indicates suitability for ages 15 years and above.

A similar set of circumstances apply to games, which have been outlined in relation to internet content. If someone complains about a game, or the Classification Board receives a tip off about content concerns before a game is released, they revue the game in question. If it is found to fall outside the definition of MA+ 15, then it is classified RC, becoming prohibited content.

It will become very common indeed under these guidelines, for online games to be added to the list for which access is denied.

Already an ever increasing amount of material is being categorized as, and adding to, an extensive list of prohibited content, long before filtering is even due to begin. At this rate, by the time filtering does arrive, it may well be that content from main stream media outlets are the only remaining publications/productions which the Government allows the public to access.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Free speech now $20K speech

Detailed in the previous post, revelations of South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson, suing one of his own constituents for the sum of $20K, because she was brazen enough to complain about Atkinson in a confidential email which she sent to her local Council, who then forwarded the correspondence to Atkinson.

Last night in the ABC program – Media Watch, more details of Atkinson suing yet another individual for calling him a “crook” in a blog comment. The asking sum - $20K of course. Poor Mr. Atkinson must be short of dollars, so has thus instigated this genius plan of demanding $20,000 from anyone who annoys him.

If you would like to donate to the Michael Atkinson fund, here’s how, just make an unfavourable remark about him, on the blog of your choosing, anywhere on the net (doesn’t matter where, he’ll track you down), and you too will receive an extortion note from his lawyers Norman Waterhouse.

It’s a bargain really; just $20K and you can say whatever, just like free speech but not, because it costs $20K, call it $20k speech.

So ok, here’s what I think, $20K speech is terrorism, Michael Atkinson you are a terrorist and Norman Waterhouse – go f*ck yourself!