Big Brother should watch you

Here is a letter from Labor MP Michael Danby to the AFR:

When it comes to detecting and defeating the threat of terrorism, what do conservatives really want? (“Security more than a matter of trust”, June 14.)

Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, we hear that not enough is being done to detect, prevent and prosecute potential terrorists.

Yet at the same time, the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), a think-tank aligned with the Liberal Party, is campaigning against the Attorney-General’s Department’s proposals to amend the law so that communications metadata can be examined and retained.

As the Boston Marathon bombing showed, today’s terrorists are recruited and indoctrinated by tweet, text message, Facebook post and in chatrooms. This kind of home-grown terrorist can only be detected and pre-empted through examining and retaining communications metadata. The right to privacy must be protected, but the first duty of the government is to protect the safety of Australian citizens.

The current proposals should be judged in that light, and not pre-judged by extreme ideologues.

The AFR usually operates behind a paywall – but I think this letter should get lots and lots of exposure and coverage.

You’ll notice in the original letter Danby kind of neglects to state that he is an ALP MP.

This entry was posted in 2013 election, Freedom of speech, Sink the Fink, Take Nanny down. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Big Brother should watch you

  1. dan

    ffs
    why is everyone calling it “metadata”?
    It is data. It’s like saying we want your fingerprints because they are only metabiological.

  2. Jim Rose

    I agree with Danby. there is a war going on.

  3. dianeh

    As far as I know the Boston bombers werent caught by the collection of the ‘metadata’, as the damn bombs went off. Surely the argument for collection of this data is to find the terrorists before they commit the terrorist act, not afterwards.

    Get warrants, then collect the data. And here is a thought, try a bit of profiling. Why collect data from millions of innocent people? Perhaps so much data will stop the real criminals from getting detected.

  4. thefrollickingmole

    The stupid, it burns..

    Targeted operations against known “honeypots”, not “well keep everything on everyone all the time just in case”..

    1/2 the problem in intelligence is too much information, you will never have the capacity to monitor the entire population.
    You will have enough to monitor 1,000.

    Ruthless removal of extremists, any possible visa irregularity, piss them off. Fighting for a jihadi mob overseas, citizenship lost. etc.

    There the pool of people you have to watch is reduced by 2/3rds or so.

  5. Now here’s a thought.

    Instead of them watching us, why don’t we watch them?
    How about CCTV in every member of parliament’s office, 24/7? In parliament, 24/7? Live feeds of every senior public service meeting? Every Cabinet meeting?

    Let’s see how they like it.

  6. thefrollickingmole

    Philippa Martyr
    I absolutely agree, becoming a MP should entitle you to round the clock 24/7 surveillance and charging if ANY law at all, no matter how minor is broken.

    It would see a rush to drop 99% of the pettifogging regulation littering the lawbooks.

  7. Lysander Spooner

    LABOR MP Danby obviously agrees with Howard’s treatment of Hicks then?

  8. Fred Lenin

    You cannot watch the watchers ! Thats really undemocratic and anti UN socialist planning! They are only watching you for the common good,and you cant get much more common than the alp loosers!

  9. twostix

    I agree with Danby. there is a war going on.

    Lol

    This government and Danby’s party, just let 40,000 people sail and land here from hot spots in this “war” and released them into the community unchecked. It definitely needs to know who I ring and email in the name of safety though.

  10. Bruce

    I ask myself how much I trust Michael Danby.

    I answer myself ‘not much’.

    Furthermore the Australian public trusts politicians about as much as I do, since they rated only door-to-door salesmen less trustworthy in the recent survey.

    Now if I don’t trust politicians why would I trust them with this? Especially when politicians of his ideological persuasion used the bureaucracy to inflict the tax office on people not of his ideology in a certain other country. When the ATO is staffed by saints not ALP voters, then it might be worth revisiting the question. Until then Mr Danby can eff off.

  11. Lysander Spooner

    When it comes to detecting and defeating the threat of terrorism, what do conservatives really want? (“Security more than a matter of trust”, June 14.)

    Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, we hear that not enough is being done to detect, prevent and prosecute potential terrorists.

    I think he means “conservatives” such as Fran Kelly, Barrie Cassidy, Tony Jones, Heather Ewart, Leigh Sales et al.

  12. CD

    Danby’s an idiot. Watch how the very people they should be targeting will be exempt under the guise of unfair profiling which you find all over the USA as one example when it comes to frisking airline passengers. CAIR came out screaming when burka clad woman were taken aside to be frisked and bingo! Exemption on the grounds of religion.

    Yet the same f*ckheads have the audacity to check babies’ nappies or young kids. I couldn’t believe it when a friend told me of the number of times she’s been pulled aside as an older white woman along with her husband yet women in burkas or young Middle Eastern looking guys walk through without a word over and over again.

  13. Cold-Hands

    The Government has (temporarily at least) backed down on telco retention of metadata.

    The Federal Government will temporarily shelve its proposal for a mandatory data retention regime for telecommunications metadata after a parliamentary committee failed to reach a verdict on the controversial scheme.

    …The committee slammed then-Attorney General Nicola Roxon and her department for not providing enough detail on the proposed reforms, hampering the inquiry and causing confusion on what data was to be retained under the regime.

    The committee commenced its inquiry in July last year, with only two lines of text on the data retention reforms to work off.

    It claimed the Attorney-General’s department had much more detailed information on the topic which it did not pass over until November last year.

    Still, the battle is not over- the government has not ruled out introducing similar legislation again and the Greens propose letting Law enforcement have access to metadata without a warrant.

  14. maurie

    I’ve said this before & will say it again. Don’t waste time using drones to hit mosques protecting radicals, a couple of instances of carpet bombing would instantly see a remarkable & capable level of self policing of the religion that is getting away with existing in the seventh century & using religion as an excuse for incestuous behaviour, while our gutless governments pretent they can’t see it!

  15. lotocoti

    As the Boston Marathon bombing showed, today’s terrorists are recruited and indoctrinated by tweet, text message, Facebook post and in chatrooms.

    What a steaming pile of bullshit.
    The Boston Marathon bombing showed the bronco bama administration fucked things up from start to finish. From bowing down to down to CAIR and putting mosques off limits to the fibbies to declining to act upon the Russians’ information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
    Everything else came to light after the body bags were zipped.

  16. Ah yes, the ATO. Now there’s another body which would benefit from being the object of 24/7 surveillance, with live streaming.

  17. Grumbles

    Yet another example of sacrificing freedom for the bad behaviour of a few, and all in the name of anti terrorism, because that has been a huge problem here in oz, with all the bombings and what nots.

  18. Ant

    Using the Boston Marathon bombing as a reason to justify the collection of “metadata” on a massive scale really is idiotic, not to mention lazy.

    US intelligence had tip-offs from Russian intelligence TELLING THEM that the Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have terrorist links and should be kept under close surveillance. Yet, for all of the US’s “metadata” gathering capabilities, they ignored the information lying under their nose and the lowlifes were free to go on and murder three people and maim hundreds.

    Buy, hey, don’t worry, if geriatric Uncle Chuck who had his leg amputated in the Korean War is wheeling himself through airport security with a hip flask of moonshine in his coat pocket, the Big Brother TSA will come down on him like a ton of bricks – as the NSA collects “metadata” from the phone calls to his hillbilly friends back at the ranch.

  19. inedible hyperbowl

    Understand how this works. Information is collected, much of it is publicly available. It is processed and things that look threatening are passed on to another agency to deal with. The process has occasional success, which justifies its existence. There is no evaluation of effectiveness. Stop one terrorist attack and you have justified your existence.
    Questions to ask at a parliamentary enquiry -
    Do we have at least one operative in each refugee camp / detention centre?
    Do we have any operatives that infiltrate the people smuggling regime?
    Do we have operatives in radical hotspots (e.g. mosques)?
    Do we pay enough for the information we need? Information can always be bought.

    Expanding the electronic collection of data expands the bureaucracy and the computer hardware. It adds little to the detection capacity.
    There are many people dedicated to keep us safe. Unfortunately, due to likes of Danby they are not given tools they need to do the job.

  20. Mother Hubbard's Dog

    Danby needs to learn to distinguish between conservatives, liberals and libertarians. People opposed to the views of him and his party are not a homogenous group.

  21. Brett

    It is all for our own good; they are preserving our freedom by taking it away. And anyone who doesn’t agree is dangerous ideologue who must be monitored, for the common good.

  22. tgs

    Danby needs to learn to distinguish between conservatives, liberals and libertarians. People opposed to the views of him and his party are not a homogenous group

    This.

  23. egg_

    Anything with Roxon’s and Conroy’s (Telco’s his Dept., after all) fingers on it smacks of Big Brother/Ministry of Truth.

  24. jupes

    Targeted operations against known “honeypots”, not “well keep everything on everyone all the time just in case”..

    Spot on mole.

    I have no problem whatsoever with ASIO reading emails of potential Jihadists. And if that includes every Muslim, I don’t have a problem with that either. Hell, we might even learn something about ‘moderate’ Muslims in the process.

    To allow potential terrorists to plan without hindrance is insane.

  25. Robert Blair

    This is a general phenomenon, but I don’t know what it is called:

    - Release the mental asylum inmates into the community, but now you have to have laws that treat every citizen as potentially mentally defective

    - Refuse to discriminate among plane passengers, but now you have to treat every passenger as a potential terrorist

    - Refuse to track potential terrorists based on likely profiles, but now you have to spy on every single citizen

    There is some kind of wilfull “dumbing down” or levelling, I suppose it is all in the concept of “non-discrimination” applied indiscriminately …

  26. Bons

    Coming back from a business trip to Europe.
    Meeting late, queue at the hire car return huge, no time for shower and change at airport. Drank too much on the air truck. Late into Singapore – no shower. Did my usual silly little protest on the immigration card by crossing out “Resident” and inserting “Australian citizen by birth”. Arrived in Sydney looking, smelling and feeling like a CMFEU canteen.
    Arrived at the Immigration counter and the woman said “Sir there is a serious matter that we need to discuss”. Nooooo I am going to become an airport mass murderer! ” Sir, do you realise that it is 40 degrees outside and you are wearing a coat”. Kissed her.

  27. MP Danby states:
    “the first duty of the government is to protect the safety of Australian citizens”. CORRECT.
    “this kind of home-grown terrorist can only be detected and pre-empted through examining and retaining communications metadata”. WRONG.
    Data needs to be managed to separate the significant from the insignificant. A management process commonly used to achieve this is the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, which demonstrates: 20% of the data contains 80% of the facts and 80% of the data contains 20% of the facts. Focus on the key facts requires 20% of the effort and the remaining 80% can be evaluated based on reduced levels of importance, availability of resources and time available. The problem is relatively simple if we focus on the key facts: who are the most likely to be terrorists etc? Strip searching white Anglo Saxon grandmas at airports is not likely to reveal militant jihadist terrorists.

  28. mareeS

    Michael Danby is probably a perfectly nice person in his family life, and in the time he spends with his friends, but he is a complete dill as a politician.

    The less seen and heard of people like him in public life, the happier I will be for this good nation of ours.

  29. C.L.

    The current proposals should be judged in that light, and not pre-judged by extreme ideologues.

    Nice try, turd, but we didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.

    YOU are the extremist.

  30. Leigh Lowe

    Danby is our local member.
    We’ll do our best.

  31. C.L.

    As the Boston Marathon bombing showed, today’s terrorists are recruited and indoctrinated by tweet, text message, Facebook post and in chatrooms. This kind of home-grown terrorist can only be detected and pre-empted through examining and retaining communications metadata.

    LOL.

    The Boston Marathon bombing showed just how efficacious retaining communications metadata is, hey?

    What. A. Fucking. Idiot.

  32. Adam D

    The current proposals should be judged in that light, and not pre-judged by extreme ideologues.

    So everyone’s data should be tracked by the government because of a few extreme ideologues, sorry rogue bad guys and we shouldn’t listen to the organised, polite and well-reasoned lebertarians because they are extreme ideologues.

  33. Helen Armstrong

    searching white Anglo Saxon grandmas at airports is not likely to reveal militant jihadist terrorists.

    So that is why they always check me out for bombs? They think I am jihadist? Or I’m an easy mark to make it look like they are not targeting certain ethnicities?

  34. Combine Dave

    So that is why they always check me out for bombs? They think I am jihadist? Or I’m an easy mark to make it look like they are not targeting certain ethnicities?

    I’ve seen plenty of jihadi looking types pass through airport security unscathed but they’ve searched my very pale infant son for bombs three times now….

    Foreign airport security (Japan/Taiwan) have never behaved this retardedly, allthough I suspect they are not opposed to racial profiling, on the grounds that a white So that is why they always check me out for bombs? They think I am jihadist? Or I’m an easy mark to make it look like they are not targeting certain ethnicities? with a baby is an unlikely terrorist threat.

  35. 2dogs

    As the Boston Marathon bombing showed, today’s terrorists are recruited and indoctrinated by tweet, text message, Facebook post and in chatrooms. This kind of home-grown terrorist can only be detected and pre-empted through examining and retaining communications metadata

    No, that means we need more honey-potting, not more surveillance.

  36. Combine Dave, you are a white male. Therefore a soft target. So you will be checked. Same as traffic offences. Same as ATO reviews. Same as carrying a camera to a beach and taking a photo of your grandkids.
    Get the message?

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