Australia's metadata-retention debate needs more than just an injection of technical clue. Some nuanced political discussion, informed by history and the law, would also be handy.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it. Mostly in words -- sometimes in audio or video formats -- always cynical. Incorporating the Patch Monday podcast.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
The supposed Dropbox hack that's really a five-cent scam tells us something important: Information security shouldn't be here, and it's mostly the cloud providers' fault.
The froth of hype surrounding the new social network Ello is proof that something's deeply wrong with the way we report on Startupland.
Big data is a dangerous, faith-based ideology. It's fuelled by hubris, it's ignorant of history, and it's trashing decades of progress in social justice.
Events of the past 24 hours show that Australian politicians still don't understand the issues around internet surveillance — and that's dangerous.
Attorney-General Brandis needs to forget categorising personal data by how it is collected, and focus on whether its use to solve crime justifies invading our privacy.
If these efforts from the copyright industry and its workers' union are the best they can do, then it's time for them to face up to their own mortality.
The Australian government has been discussing a detailed data-retention wish list with internet service providers for more than four years — with citizens kept in the dark.
Is Australia ready to face SCADAgeddon? No. Many of the defenders aren't even on the same page. Literally. Good thing the bad guys aren't ready, either.
"The world will leave us behind," warns Australia's Chief Scientist. We need a game plan, and fast.