Ungrateful passengers

Gerard Henderson has an interesting op-ed in the SMH:

John Roskam is a fine leader of the conservative Institute of Public Affairs. But in recent times the IPA has grown a libertarian faction headed by Christopher Berg and Stephen (sic) Breheny. Their attitude to surveillance by such security organisations ASIO and ASIS is not dissimilar to that of such left-wing lawyers as Rob Stary.

The Berg/Breheny libertarian position has been properly criticised by Labor parliamentary secretary Michael Danby and by the conservative commentator Colin Rubenstein, who heads the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

First things first, that’s Simon Breheny not Stephen. If Simon were to follow Henderson’s MO this would lead to several months of email exchanges.

It is simply astonishing that Henderson should single out for special criticism the two men who did a lot – a very, very lot – of the heavy lifting in the free speech campaign that the IPA, under John Roskam’s excellent leadership, ran against Conroy’s obscene media laws. We are all in their debt, yet Henderson does the smear. In his op-ed he is attempting to link concern for civil liberties to support for terrorism.

The fact is that the Boston terrorists were detected by CCTV footage. What’s more, the evidence suggests that if the FBI surveillance had been more thorough the attacks may not have taken place. [Well, duh.] Freedom invariably has to be curtailed at a time of war.

The fact of the matter is we are not at war. As Henderson himself knows full well and concedes:

The overwhelming majority of Muslim resident in the West are law-abiding citizens. Moreover, the majority of Muslims who currently die violent deaths are killed by other Muslims. Yet the fact remains that the West, including Australia, is under attack from a few jihadists who hate us so much that they are even prepared to murder children watching a marathon.

Was it ever different? There are always a few malcontents who engage in acts of extreme violence. It doesn’t matter if they profess to be Muslim or Marxist or Anarchist or Patriots or whatever. Their acts of terror condemn them whatever their motive. Anyone who says different is a moral dwarf.

Liberal societies maximise the freedoms of their citizens. Illiberal societies do not and usually contrive excuses to limit those freedoms. Being “at war” is a common excuse to limit freedom.

Linking a domestic campaign to retain free speech rights and privacy against the State to a act of terrorism on the other side of the world is not just a long bow, it is incredibly grubby.

I am also somewhat surprised by the allies Henderson has enlisted. Michael Danby – a member of the ALP who would have voted for Conroy’s anti-free speech legislation and Colin Rubenstein – a supporter of s18(c). Shame on you both. Unsurprising that those two would criticise Chris Berg and Simon Breheny. Danby and Rubenstein lost the free speech debates.

As Henderson says

The time has come for blunt talking.

I agree. Gerard – pull your head in. You are unworthy to criticise Chris Berg or Simon Breheny or, by implication, John Roskam. It is because of these fine men that you are free to write the rubbish that you did in this column. Don’t smear and sneer, be grateful.

This entry was posted in Freedom of speech. Bookmark the permalink.

499 Responses to Ungrateful passengers

  1. papachango

    But I am curious about which bits of the security apparatus in airports you think we don’t need.

    Look to the Israelis. They don’t fondle your balls or take nudie pics of you when going through immigration, they have some CCTVs but not nearly as many. They have a lot more violent enemies but have almost never had a security incident.

    What do they do differently – they watch people carefully and observe their behaviour. They’re very very good at it – they can spot potential terrorists a mile off.

  2. Indolent

    Lazily, you are drawing a very long bow but I do not consider you unworthy of giving your opinion

  3. Jarrah

    Indolent, you seem to be under the misapprehension that criticising someone’s views (ie Sinclair with regards to Henderson) is an attempt to prevent them espousing said views. That is wrong.

    You also seem to think free speech is about worth, when it’s not. In fact the opposite – all views regardless of worth are (or should be) able to be expressed.

  4. Giffy

    Huckleberry Cluckwit
    It’s taken you the best part of an hour? What a dunce you are.
    Have I a crush on GH? Maybe. Thank you for repeating my praises.

  5. Lazlo

    What do they do differently – they watch people carefully and observe their behaviour. They’re very very good at it – they can spot potential terrorists a mile off.

    There is also the long interrogation you go through as part of the process of boarding a fight to Israel. That is quite an experience. It is the reason you have to arrive at the airport three hours before departure.

  6. They don’t fondle your balls or take nudie pics of you when going through immigration

    Only if you’re lucky. They undertake thorough body searches if they deem you need one (and there is no doubt that they sometimes give that treatment to people who don’t “deserve” it.)

    See here as an example (at least of the type of search they do, apart from whether you think this couple deserved it or not).

  7. Indolent

    Jarrah, nice to see a paragraph. If you follow the gist of my argument you would understand that that I am not criticising Sinclair for having an opinion. I am arguing an alternative case. I didn’t say free speech was about worth. I said nobody was unworthy of voicing an opinion (even Gerard Henderson). Concrete thinking and blind adherence to dogma is the greatest danger to free speech.

  8. stackja

    The fact of the matter is we are not at war. Just a slow burn war. Anyone who incites violence needs punishment but the ‘PC’ pick and choose. The “Cold War” had flare-ups too. The police need CCTV to catch the “Carnita Matthews” as well as the new type of criminals we have now. The law-abiding have nothing to fear, those who do not like surveillance should go elsewhere.

  9. Pedro

    “You do seem to be agreeing that no one should be considered unworthy to voice an opinion.”

    That’s true, everyone can voice an opinion, no matter how worthless it is. But that is different to what you suggested earlier. I think you got confused here:

    “Your statement that Henderson is “unworthy to criticise …Berg or…Brehaney” is in itself an attack on free speech. Who is worthy to critique Berg and Breheny Sinclair or is all criticism to be suppressed.”

    I didn’t agree with Sinclair and thought strange the idea that B and B had earned protection from criticism. But however unjustified the criticism, Sinclair was not attacking henderson’s right to free speech. Speech can’t be free if you can only say nice things.

  10. Sorry my link doesn’t go to the full article, which I got to via Google.

  11. JC

    His point there is that the IPA’s pro-liberty case arguing from the right on that point aligns with civil libertarians arguing from the left. The

    What the flying fuck are you talking about, Fatboy?

    What civil libertarians are there arguing from the left.

    Last time I looked they were all supporting c..t conroy’s media turds he introduced to parliament.

    Noise from the left? No, there was either agreement or silence.
    You dishonest, mendacious dunkins eating liar, Fatboy.

    Sinc ought to ban your arse for the rest of your miserable life.

  12. JC

    sinc
    Ban the communist obesity. Please.

  13. Indolent

    Dr Faustus: tibi adsum

  14. JamesK

    The fact of the matter is we are not at war.

    We are Sinc.

    Wake up!

  15. Pedro

    Lefties do argue for some liberties JC, but they’re hypocrites. Only libertarians are pure. It’s why we’re impotent.

  16. Abu Chowdah

    The IPA do not need to be attacked by Henderson, who rides in on the coat-tails of free speech.

    Not quite. Henderson is an advocate of free speech.

    But, he is also an advocate for some state surveillance in the aid of preventing totalitarianism. He is a cold war warrior and that war continues.

  17. Abu Chowdah

    Don’t smear and sneer, be grateful.

    Considering his record, the same demand could be made on his behalf. He’s been fighting against the slow march of the institutions and various totalitarian cuckoos for years, children.

    Let him say what he wants. After all THAT was the point of the IPA effort.

  18. Rabz

    The law-abiding have nothing to fear, those who do not like surveillance should go elsewhere.

    Wrong headed rubbish.

    If totalitarian and/or corrupt parties gain control of the apparatus of state, especially if it contains elements of a Panopticon, most citizens will have something to fear.

    It is impossible to inure yourself from the capriciousness of a corrupt totalitarian state.

  19. tgs

    Let him say what he wants. After all THAT was the point of the IPA effort.

    Don’t be ridiculous.

    Noone here wants to stop Henderson from saying what he wants. We simply reserve the right to criticise it as we see fit.

    That is what free speech is all about.

  20. It might give a better idea to see which ideas of Bergs’ that Henderson is criticising to read this post by Michael Danby, which Gerard presumably agrees with.

  21. Only libertarians are pure. It’s why we’re impotent

    Greenies are pure filth, and aren’t impotent. What’s our problem?

  22. Indolent

    Pedro, I saw Sinclair’s post as hypocritical and there is nothing I despise more (in a philosophical sense) than hypocrisy. I am not Gerard Henderson’s greatest fan. I think he is pedantic and self absorbed. I don’t expect people to say nice things about each other but I do expect people to hold consistent positions unless of course they change their minds.

  23. harrys on the boat

    Lefties are such shameless twats. Bolt has this post on his website, and all his lefties are siding with Sinc and the IPA as they hate Henderson.

    As I said before its the differentiation between us and pricks like shitfer and munter.

    They are fucking shameless hypocrites.

  24. Oh, look what I found via that Danby article. Chris Berg making light of Inspire magazine’s instructions for making bombs from pressure cookers in an article in the SMH in Dec 2010:

    When they’re not utterly stupid, they are oddly banal. Another Inspire recommendation is to shoot up lunch spots that are popular with government workers. So in a decade, al-Qaeda has gone from targeting the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon – the two symbolic organs of American power – to threatening Starbucks outlets one at a time.

    Then there is “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom”, which suggests repurposing a home pressure cooker to become an explosive device. Such a device is weak, apparently, so the magazine recommends it is placed “close to the intended targets”.

    It is surprisingly hard to detonate explosives successfully. Despite the large number of detailed guides to bomb-making littering the internet – whether written for anarchists or jihadists or self-destructive teenagers – the history of terrorism suggests budding bomb-makers are undertrained and underprepared.

    That’s kinda embarrassing, no?

    Puts a bit of perspective on Gerard’s criticisms.

  25. Makka

    Rabz,

    Even though your sentiment is perfectly right, you are wrong. The threat is clear and present. It is real. As opposed to the potential threat of a truly oppressive totalitarian Govt.

    Therefore these type of measures must be taken. There is no IF about the threat posed by Islamist fanaticism. It exists , alive and well in our midst. The surveillance methods to be deployed are a necessary deterrent , unfortunately.

  26. Jarrah

    “I said nobody was unworthy of voicing an opinion (even Gerard Henderson)”

    No, you said:

    Free speech is about everyone being able to espouse an opinion without being considered unworthy.

    Which is wrong. Excise the last four words, as tgs said, and it’s correct. Being free to say what you like does not mean you are free from consequences, including other people voicing their opinion about your opinion. Sinclair saying that Henderson was unworthy of criticising Berg and Breheny was an act of free speech, not an attack on it.

  27. Jarrah

    “The surveillance methods to be deployed are a necessary deterrent , unfortunately.”

    So when they don’t work, just add more cameras?

  28. Makka

    “So when they don’t work, just add more cameras?”

    Jarrah,

    Fix them and add more if necessary. Having lived more than a decade in Islamic countries I can tell you, enough Moslem’s are deeply committed – first and foremost to their religion not nation- that they present a very credible threat given the right circumstances and motivation.

    As passionate as I am about individual freedom, the threat I believe is so real and serious to the public that ALL manner of deterrents should be deployed. Only the arseholes need be worried.

  29. We really need a return of the concept of the outlaw; someone who has stepped completely outside the bounds of the law and may be dealt with as necessary, by whatever means necessary.

    Law requires a veneer of civilisation to function. If that veneer does not exist, how can the law function?

  30. Pingback: pindanpost

  31. Jarrah

    “Fix them and add more if necessary.”

    I meant when they don’t work as a deterrent, as in Boston recently, not when they’re broken. 😉

  32. Rabz

    Makka,

    Fair enough, but I’ve always advocated entirely different methods for dealing with islamists in this country.

    Methods that largely don’t inconvenience non-muslims, who aren’t the people preaching a hate filled, bigoted, murderous supremacist totalitarian idiotology, which is in many ways indistinguishable from nazism and which has absolutely no place in the modern world.

  33. tgs

    Even though your sentiment is perfectly right, you are wrong. The threat is clear and present. It is real. As opposed to the potential threat of a truly oppressive totalitarian Govt.

    Give me a break.

    The chance of dying in a terorist attack is astronomically low. You do more dangerous things every day, like drive your car.

    The magnitude of the threat is simply nowhere near what you are making it out to be.

  34. I meant when they don’t work as a deterrent, as in Boston recently, not when they’re broken.

    Are they meant as a deterrent? In the case of the kamikaze, their value is moot. In other cases, sure.

    The only deterrence to terrorism is the likelihood of failure.

  35. roger

    Gerard – pull your head in. You are unworthy to criticise Chris Berg or Simon Breheny or, by implication, John Roskam.

    And who are you, Sinclair Davidson, to decide who is worthy to criticize whom?
    (Sorry to see this whole “blue-on-blue” incident. We should be able to accommodate disputes within the conservative side of politics without personal hostility. GH is fully entitled to disagree with you!)

  36. Jarrah

    “Are they meant as a deterrent?”

    That’s how Makka understands them, and that’s what I responded to:

    The surveillance methods to be deployed are a necessary deterrent , unfortunately.

  37. I suspect (regardless of Makka) that their usefulness is more investigative than deterrent.

  38. Gab

    And who are you, roger to decide who is worthy to criticise whom? (such a silly game to play).

  39. Adrian

    This post is massive over reaction to a couple of small statements made by Henderson. The IPA’s free speech campaign has nothing to do with protecting the country against Islamic fascism.

    It is because of surveillance activities, that Sinclair apparently derides, that multiple Islamic fascists went to jail because they plotted to blow up the 2005 AFL Grand Final. There are also a number Islamic fascists in jail because they plotted to blow up the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and attack the Holsworthy Army base.

    The main reason you say we are not at war is because of your ignorance and because those plots were never able to be carried out. If the Lucas Heights reactor had been attacked I can assure you it would have felt like war!!!!

  40. Gab

    I suspect (regardless of Makka) that their usefulness is more investigative than deterrent.

    Clearly as the Boston bombers demonstrated.

  41. A Lurker

    Interesting list from Pedro:

    Dover, list of areas where libertarians and conservatives will often differ:

    My stance on each (and I consider myself a Conservative)

    drug prohibition
    (legalise pot, keep the hard drugs as illegal)

    sexual mores
    (what consenting adults do in their own homes is their own business – as long as they are ‘not frightening the children or horses’)

    marriage laws
    (dead against this marriage equality thing, marriage has been between a man and a woman for thousands of years, why change what has worked for so long)

    govt spending
    (welfare for those who absolutely need it, everyone else should get off their bums and work – they’ll feel better for it at the end)

    role of church in society
    (traditional church? yes, it can do a lot of good in society; but this wanky Lefty-bleeding-heart Uniting Church variety? only if they trouble no-one but themselves)

    military and pacifism
    (strong borders, strong military, would prefer to keep our overseas military presence to local affairs)

    law enforcement and power to the police
    (yes, and get rid of the Lefty-handwringing courts, but there should be strong oversight on the police so they stay within decent rules of behaviour)

    freedom of speech
    (absolutely, in fact it should be written into our Constitution)

    So does that put me into the Conservative, or Libertarian camp?

  42. roger

    And who are you, roger to decide who is worthy to criticise whom? (such a silly game to play).

    Everyone is entitled to criticize everyone, dear Gab. But they should play the ball, not the man. Argue for and against more CCTV all you like, but do not give or withdraw “licences” from people on the basis that they are “worthy” or “unworthy”. There are no “unworthy people”, only unworthy arguments.

  43. John Mc

    It is because of surveillance activities, that Sinclair apparently derides, that multiple Islamic fascists went to jail because they plotted to blow up the 2005 AFL Grand Final. There are also a number Islamic fascists in jail because they plotted to blow up the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and attack the Holsworthy Army base.

    I don’t think any of that was because of broad based CCTV or violations of privacy. I don’t think too many libertarians would object to targeted intelligence activities operating within the law. Realistically, I would suspect that’s all that’s needed.

  44. Abu Chowdah

    Don’t be ridiculous.
    Noone here wants to stop Henderson from saying what he wants. We simply reserve the right to criticise it as we see fit.
    That is what free speech is all about.

    No shit, Sherlock. But demanding he is grateful is a condition. Imposing such a demand is very left wing and not very libertarian. Capiche?

  45. John Mc

    Power and authority should start with the individual, but at some point individuals must cede something to the tribe, to provide protection for the individual. (Not the other way round). Maybe that is organised violence.

    It depends what you mean by ‘cede’. If it’s individuals voluntarily joining the military because they feel the risk of protecting society is worth it, then yes. If it’s being conscripted into the military, then not so much.

  46. Pyrmonter

    Great subject for the posts, if not really a new topic.

    Brings to mind this – I can’t quite remember from where:

    Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom.

  47. Power and authority should start with the individual

    It cannot. Power and authority exist only in relationship. As such they start with community, not the individual.

  48. In his op-ed he is attempting to link concern for civil liberties to support for terrorism.

    This is no doubt the exaggerating line which Henderson should have the most trouble with.

    Henderson and Danby are clearly most annoyed with Berg & Breheny arguing, almost reflexively, against any increased powers sought by ASIS and ASIO.

    To argue that someone is not taking terrorism seriously enough, and that their position puts the country at greater risk of terrorist attack (I note that Henderson does not even go so far as to make that second rhetorical claim in the article, but I presume it can be inferred), is not the same as arguing that they “support terrorism”.

    I think there is no reasonable grounds to infer from Henderson’s article that he thinks Berg and Breheny (or any libertarian) “supports” terrorism.

  49. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It is simply astonishing that Henderson should single out for special criticism the two men who did a lot – a very, very lot – of the heavy lifting in the free speech campaign

    This is the crux of Sinclair’s concern and why I said early on Henderson was ‘riding in on the coat-tails’ of free speech. The issue referred to is specific; in this instance Henderson’s criticisms are OTT, even though in other ways and times he has been a trusty warrior in the fray for free speech. As is clear in the thread, others are free to disagree with this assessment. And they do.

    We owe a lot to these two IPA men: we might otherwise we suffocating under Labor’s desired and hideous media rule which could well have put paid to robust debate on the Cat.

  50. Gab

    Everyone is entitled to criticize everyone, dear Gab. But they should play the ball, not the man.

    Good to see you backpedaling.

  51. Indolent

    Jarrah, pull your head in

  52. .

    It’s very amusing that the in-principle opposition to CCTV in this thread is being provided by conservatives while the qualified support for it is being provided by libertarians.

    Make an argument. Stop puffing your chest out.

    CCTV owned by private or public bodies used in public places does not curtail my liberties.

    Please explain how it curtails any right I have put forward under the English bill of rights, US bill of rights, Australian common law, the constitution, the UNDHR, or theories put forward by Locke, Oakeshott, Mises, Rand, Nozick, etc.

    “ooh there is a risk that the Government will abuse technology”

    So…give them all selectrix typewriters and cut their ethernet connections. Actually DB, you might be onto something…

    You’d disarm coppers before you’d roll back CCTV. Like splat pointed out with an example – and which I argued – CCTV is often useful in stopping fraudulent or thuggish cops.

  53. jupes

    ‘Moderate Muslims’ are what people normally refer to as just ‘Muslims’ – people who get on with their lives without wanting to kill anyone.

    They are also people with the same aims as the jihadists but choose a different method of going about it.

  54. John Mc

    So does that put me into the Conservative, or Libertarian camp?

    Can’t say. Where do you stand on tax levels, guns, abortion, minimum wage, size of government, privatisation, conscription, warrantless searches, privacy, right to silence upon arrest and the role of state and local governments.

  55. Gab

    Four people said they recognised William Mills as the man who robbed a bank in Glasgow’s West End – but all of them were wrong. Having endured a dawn raid on his family home and roughly a year in prison, Mills was freed earlier this year.

    With more eyewitness evidence being gathered than ever before, could he be part of a growing trend of wrongful convictions?

    In a recent experiment conducted by Valentine and Dr Josh Davis, 33% of participants identified the wrong person from close-up, high quality, video footage of the suspect’s face. CCTV images are often bad quality, and the angle and lighting can change someone’s appearance.

    “You’d probably recognise your mother from a CCTV image, but recognising somebody you don’t know well is very difficult,” Valentine said. On top of this, in Mills’s case the suspect’s face was obscured by dark glasses and he had a scarf over his mouth and chin for most of the robbery. Yet two policemen were allowed to testify that they recognised Mills from the CCTV image.

    At Mills’s appeal Lord Justice Gill expressed his unease. “It is a matter of concern that an important part of the case for the prosecution was the evidence of two police officers, neither eyewitnesses, who made positive statements that Mills was the robber on the basis of looking at CCTV stills,” he said.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/18/eyewitness-evidence-wrongful-conviction

  56. John Mc

    It’s very amusing that the in-principle opposition to CCTV in this thread is being provided by conservatives while the qualified support for it is being provided by libertarians.

    Libertarians are rationalist purists. If it’s logically consistent they believe (quite rightly) it will probably work, so it’s OK. Different cultures can coexist within a philosophy of liberty, and libertarians often celebrate this a true diversity, so long as they don’t violate the philosophy of liberty.

    Conservatives are advocating a culture as much as a philosophy. So something can exist that is rationally consistent with a free society, but not in line with the type of culture conservatives want.

  57. JC

    The fellas at the IPA was doing really first rate stuff. I love them like I would if I had red headed step children.

    Jimmy Patterson, the Bergster, Roskam… They all just freaking marvelous.

    Henderson needs to STFU.

  58. Indolent

    Gab, sounds like you a mounting a case for better quality CCTV cameras

  59. Gab

    Does it? Oh. What else, can you predict the lotto numbers?

  60. sdfc

    CCTV may not deter crime however it makes it easier to catch the perpetrators.

  61. Mind you, Gab, better quality CCTV would give us better views of idiots driving like… idiots, I suppose.

  62. Indolent

    Gab, do you believe in that sort of thing?

  63. Harrys on the Boat

    The lefty twats don’t get it. Sinc is debating the point. he’s not trying to silence Henderson.

  64. dover_beach

    Libertarians are rationalist purists. If it’s logically consistent they believe (quite rightly) it will probably work, so it’s OK.

    Except that they have been pragmatic here rather than purist.

    Conservatives are advocating a culture as much as a philosophy. So something can exist that is rationally consistent with a free society, but not in line with the type of culture conservatives want.

    I don’t agree only because I don’t think that libertarians themselves are advocating a philosophy but not a culture.

    Can’t say. Where do you stand on tax levels, guns, abortion, minimum wage, size of government, privatisation, conscription, warrantless searches, privacy, right to silence upon arrest and the role of state and local governments.

    I would have thought that some of these issues allow for a range of views that would be consistent with a libertarian outlook that would also be conservative.

  65. John Mc

    Except that they have been pragmatic here rather than purist.

    Not on CCTV. You don’t have a right to privacy in a public place. Wether your society expects to be monitored or not in public places is a cultural thing.

  66. sdfc

    Is there a coherent argument against CCTV in public places?

  67. JC

    There’s one. Evidence suggests that the UK experience shows they have been pretty useless.

    I tend to think the technology will get better over time though.

  68. John Mc

    It’s still feelings based, but it’s not appropriate for government to have that level of distrust of the citizens, or that level of oversight over every detail of their lives.

    Or perhaps a bit more rational, there is a right to privacy if you’ve done nothing wrong and constant electronic surveillance is oversight to a level of detail that violates that privacy.

  69. John Mc

    The utilitarian or cost/benefit basis is still arbitrary though. Lots of small government people would feel it’s a waste of money, while other people would think it’s just the same as lots of government processes.

  70. sdfc

    SO it’s paranoia based.

  71. John Mc

    Do you consider an expectation of privacy to be paranoia?

  72. sdfc

    Privacy in your own home yes but what are you going to do in public that is especially private?

  73. jumpnmcar

    Forget CCTV, what about the NZ Sun-Herald app that can take pictures and video without your permission?

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/04/whaletech-nz-herald-android-app-to-take-photos-and-videos-without-your-permission/

  74. John Mc

    I don’t know, quietly pick your nose?

    Tongue kiss your girlfriend in a corner? Have a conversation where you think no one is listening?

  75. Aliice

    I think electronic surveillance is an invasion of privacy and i dont care who uses it for what. You have all heard havent you…that the ATO is thinking of tuning into facebook?

    Fuck that. MInd you I dont have a face and have never gone on to facebook but I worry that they have trapped a generation who are now talking tro each other on facebook

    with the ATO thinking of stalking them on facebook.
    It was only ever a matter of time.

    Talk to people in person folks.

  76. sdfc

    Do you really think the government is interested in your nasal or snogging activities. CCTV is not a listening device.

  77. Pingback: Skepticlawyer » And yes, I do have a dog in this fight ;)

  78. John Mc

    Just because they’re not personally interested in it doesn’t mean I don’t care if they know about it.

    So you’d oppose technology that was capable of ‘zooming in’ to conversations in public places?

  79. SO it’s paranoia based.

    Basically, yes. And that is a good thing in many ways; a balance should always be found between protection by the state and protection from the state.

    When state paranoia and individual paranoia are in balance, everyone is happy?

  80. So you’d oppose technology that was capable of ‘zooming in’ to conversations in public places?

    This is not particularly difficult.

  81. sdfc

    John I’d be against listening as a matter of course but if they had intelligence of something sinister I would support on those occassions.

  82. John Mc

    It already exists. It’s quite amazing.

    But I personally see this as a question of fidelity or resolution. What’s the difference to listening to an intimate conversation to using thermal imagery to watch intimate body language?

    Ever played pick the male vs female with thermal imagery? Women radiate heat y’know!

  83. John Mc

    Having ‘probable cause’ is different to routine, random surveillance.

    But opposing listening but not intimate visual observation is just a matter of choice or culture. It’s your personal level of acceptability.

  84. dover_beach

    Not on CCTV. You don’t have a right to privacy in a public place. Wether your society expects to be monitored or not in public places is a cultural thing.

    That really depends upon what is meant by the ‘right to privacy’ and whether or not being monitored in public infringes such a right. Do you think publishing your movements, what establishments you’ve attended, who you’ve met, etc. is or isn’t an infringement of your privacy? Moreover, you’ve proved both my other points since here you defer to culture, and then admit that a range of answers are possible for this and by implication other questions that could be consistently both libertarian and conservative.

  85. sdfc

    We’re talking about CCTV John. I don’t have a problem with crims getting caught on camera.

  86. .

    I strongly believe I am correct on this issue but remain open to be swayed – but the anti CCTV mob don’t want to convince me.

    I have set the bar high but don’t see how I am wrong.

  87. dover_beach

    So you’d oppose technology that was capable of ‘zooming in’ to conversations in public places?

    Yes. The fact people are in public doesn’t mean that they are not having a private conversation. If they’re speaking loudly and overheard all well and good but to intentionally use technology that records what is obviously a private conversation should remain illegal.

  88. .

    6.44 pm today boys and girls. Respond to that, if you think I am wrong.

  89. dover_beach

    Make an argument. Stop puffing your chest out.

    Above thread I stated that I was more or less sympathetic to Pedro’s argument. No, dot, rather than immediately shooting from the hip make sure you’ve ascertained the target.

  90. .

    That means you ought to explain why you haven’t agitated for unarmed police, DB. Technology can be abused and ‘sensible people are against this’ – even when someone is within their rights and not violating the rights of others using such technology.

  91. dover_beach

    What are you talking about, dot? Are you referring now to CCTV or listening devices?

  92. John Mc

    If an intelligent agent listened to your private conversation in a public place, or used binoculars to examine what you were reading, would they be doing anything wrong?

    So why is it different if they do it electronically?

    If you want to disempower them in case they use this powerful technology in an inappropriate or illegal way, why don’t you want to do the same thing with other technologies like firearms where the consequences of abuse can be worse?

  93. John Mc

    I don’t think this should be made illegal assuming appropriate disclosure. But it’s pretty crap and I would never deal with a company that did something like this:

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/04/whaletech-nz-herald-android-app-to-take-photos-and-videos-without-your-permission/ (Jump @ 7:49pm)

  94. sdfc

    Back on the listening devices John. What about CCTV?

  95. .

    The quote I mentioned was about CCTV.

    Listening devices are fine if you are forewarned (like a landline out of gaol) or if a warrant for using one is produced regarding a specific issue for a limited time.

  96. John Mc

    CCTV is like using binoculars. I’m not aware of people using binoculars as listening devices.

  97. sdfc

    You’re the one who brought in listening devices.

  98. John Mc

    Listening devices are completely relevant. But for you, I’ll keep it just to visual devices.

  99. sdfc

    Why are they relevant to the argument about CCTV. Apart from the usual slippery slope argument that is.

  100. Leigh Lowe

    CCTV may not deter crime however it makes it easier to catch the perpetrators.

    Well, it has certainly deterred recidivism in one case I can think of.
    If it wasn’t for CCTV those two mo-bro pieces of shit from Boston would be down at K-Mart buying more pressure cookers.
    That, for me, is the end of the debate.

  101. John Mc

    IMHO, both sides have missed the point in this debate.

    There is no inherent right to privacy in a public place. It’s just not maintainable without violating other people’s rights, amongst other reasons.

    However, culturally, a surveillance society is a shit society. It’s not something a forward moving society does. It’s devoid of trust and suggests a cultural ownership of people by the state. Who’d want to live in one?

  102. Leigh Lowe

    Anyone opposed to CCTV is obviously given to masturbation in laneways.

  103. dover_beach

    If an intelligent agent listened to your private conversation in a public place, or used binoculars to examine what you were reading, would they be doing anything wrong?

    If there wasn’t any probable cause, yes. If I’m a law-abiding citizen they simply have no business prying into my conversations or reading habits; none at all.

  104. John Mc

    Because some people say the majority of communication is non-verbal and the words are only a small portion.

    Why is that communication acceptable to be monitored, but the sounds themselves exempt?

  105. John Mc

    What about monitoring by lip-reading via magnification? A popular technique of the FBI.

  106. Aliice

    I am with john Mc. a urveilllance society wehther with CCTV or tracking on facebook is a shit society. Id rather see more cops on the beat than more CCTVs.

  107. John Mc

    If there wasn’t any probable cause, yes. If I’m a law-abiding citizen they simply have no business prying into my conversations or reading habits; none at all.

    That’s a ‘right to privacy’ argument.

    But again, an intelligence agent executing his duty in full compliance with a warrant will certainly stumble upon private information that is not applicable, such as a conversation in a public place. He has a duty to ignore it, but has he done anything wrong? No.

    Does he have a duty to ignore conversations in your house while he’s monitoring the house next door? Yes, but moreso he has a duty to ensure they’re not heard in the first place. If he’s predictably hearing your conversations he’s acting illegally.

  108. sdfc

    So John you are afraid of government lip reading and body language experts.

  109. John Mc

    Not really, but I don’t see who you can differentiate between using long-range listening device or a magnification button on a hi-res CCTV to lip read.

  110. sdfc

    They’re not gathering information on crime on the basis of lip reading.

  111. dover_beach

    There is no inherent right to privacy in a public place.

    John Mc, you keep asserting this without making the case for it. To say that someone has a right to privacy in public is not to say that they must remain invisible; it’s merely to assert that people have a right to go about their business in public without being monitored.

    It’s just not maintainable without violating other people’s rights, amongst other reasons.

    You need to elaborate this as I’m not sure what rights I’m violating by preferring my movements, conversations, and reading habits to remain private where there is no probable cause.

    Anyone opposed to CCTV is obviously given to masturbation in laneways.

    Oh my, this thread is surreal. It begins with Sinc’s full-throated libertarian defence of Berg and Breheny’s position on the problems of CCTV and ends with a libertarian commenter implying they’re derros.

  112. .

    Id rather see more cops on the beat than more CCTVs.

    I said the same thing about the (US) PATRIOT Act but also and the new powers given to the AFP and ASIO – I wanted more ASIO and AFP officers and restore common law rights and standards regarding detainment, questioning and habeas corpus – yet munty called me a fascist, not actually libertarian etc for thinking so.

  113. sdfc

    I thought the masturbation comment was pretty funny.

  114. .

    There is no inherent right to privacy in a public place.

    There isn’t. This is just a fact. Grass is green. Do I have to prove this as well?

    it’s merely to assert that people have a right to go about their business in public without being monitored

    Sounds interesting – but do we really have that right?

    Anyone opposed to CCTV is obviously given to masturbation in laneways.

    I think he was taking the piss.

  115. Gab

    Plenty here who feel CCTV is just fine. CCTV equipment, installation, maintenance is expensive. Drones are getting cheaper. I imagine you’d all have no problems with the government using drones to spy on you?

  116. John Mc

    They’re not gathering information on crime on the basis of lip reading.

    Yes they are. They’re monitoring meetings between criminals in open spaces or cars, for example. This has been used extensively in the US to bust drug deals. What information do you think they want to hear? NFL scores?

  117. dover_beach

    But again, an intelligence agent executing his duty in full compliance with a warrant will certainly stumble upon private information that is not applicable, such as a conversation in a public place. He has a duty to ignore it, but has he done anything wrong? No.

    Does he have a duty to ignore conversations in your house while he’s monitoring the house next door? Yes, but moreso he has a duty to ensure they’re not heard in the first place. If he’s predictably hearing your conversations he’s acting illegally.

    If I understand you correctly here, we’re in agreement.

  118. sdfc

    We’re talking CCTV Gab.

  119. Gab

    What’s the difference, sdfc? Same concept just different technology, therefore you’d have no problem with drones.

  120. .

    sdfc

    I think everyone ought to stand back and refrain from trying to be the next hammy, alene or IT.

    Comedy is a tough racket.

  121. Gab

    We’re talking CCTV

    noooo? really? I hadn’t noticed /sarc

  122. sdfc

    CCTV is gathering information via identification of criminals. Lip reading has nothing to do with it.

    That I imagine that would only be used in trying to prevent crime. Just what problem do you have with crime prevention?

  123. John Mc

    Dover, if you fly a drone over an area you gather a lot of information on people. In Afghanistan they regularly catch Afghani men having sex with their wives on the top of buildings. You can’t violate privacy more than that, but the roof is effectively a public space and they have no right to privacy. Even in a modern country you can’t enforce their right to privacy in a public place without putting unreasonable restrictions on other valid entities, such as law enforcement, or even the general public who can’t be punished for inadvertently seeing or hearing something private.

  124. sdfc

    From CCTV to drones. Where will it end?

  125. Infidel Tiger

    Well, it has certainly deterred recidivism in one case I can think of.
    If it wasn’t for CCTV those two mo-bro pieces of shit from Boston would be down at K-Mart buying more pressure cookers.
    That, for me, is the end of the debate.

    That assumes the intelligence community didn’t already know who it was.

    CCTV strikes me as something that the state loves because it appeases the masses but doesn’t actually prevent shit.

    Far more effective would be to DNA swab every citizen from birth and to have them check into a police station twice a month for a polygraph. If we want to get fucking serious, how can one object?

  126. .

    Plenty here who feel CCTV is just fine. CCTV equipment, installation, maintenance is expensive. Drones are getting cheaper. I imagine you’d all have no problems with the government using drones to spy on you?

    “Hyperbowl”. CCTV in a public place is hardly “spying”. Deterrence cannot remain secret.

  127. John Mc

    sdfc just believes people have a right to privacy, for example, in their conversations, but they don’t have a right not to be identified when moving through a public place. It’s just his personal level of acceptability.

    What if they’re wearing a hoodie, sdfc? (You know this is why the hoodie has become so popular in the UK?) Should they have to take it off. What about a burka?

  128. John Mc

    From CCTV to drones. Where will it end?

    It won’t end. You will be able to see through walls if you want. It’s totally what we decide is right within our society.

  129. Gab

    “Hyperbowl”. CCTV in a public place is hardly “spying”. Deterrence cannot remain secret.

    It is not hyperbole. Drones are a natural replacement for CCTV. You say it’s not spying, then what are CCTV used for if not spying on people’s conduct and whereabouts?

    Ok, as a Libertarian you say civil liberties are not worth fighting for becuase we are “at war”.

  130. .

    CCTV strikes me as something that the state loves because it appeases the masses but doesn’t actually prevent shit

    What about catching cops doing a bad job, thus deterring future abuse/dereliction of power/duty?

  131. dover_beach

    John Mc, just to clarify, the reason why your first example is not a violation of X’s privacy is that the intelligence agent did not intentionally listen-in on X’s private conversation; he simply stumbled across it. This is really the application of the principle of double effect.

  132. Chris M

    Henderson is a journalist. They are all minimum 50% imbecile (including the pseudo-conservative ones). Their brains are vacuumed at J-school.

    The only surprising thing is that some people still care about the dribble they write.

  133. sdfc

    I have no problem with being identified by CCTV John. If it helps identify criminals then CCTV has my support.

    If you have nothing to hide, what is the problem.

  134. .

    Ok, as a Libertarian you say civil liberties are not worth fighting for becuase we are “at war”.

    I have never said that and I will never agree with that, hence my comment about habeas corpus.

  135. stackja

    Wrong headed rubbish. If totalitarian and/or corrupt parties gain control of the apparatus of state, especially if it contains elements of a Panopticon, most citizens will have something to fear. It is impossible to inure yourself from the capriciousness of a corrupt totalitarian state.

    Curtin was a virtual dictator but we were at war and people made do. I believe we are at war with some in this country but they will not succeed if we keep them under surveillance. If you let some get full sway you then allow them to make mischief. The police in Boston used surveillance to capture the bomber. The FBI may not have used enough surveillance because of the “PC” to prevent the bombing in the first place. Do we have to wait until another bombing to keep vigilant watch?

  136. John Mc

    he simply stumbled across it. This is really the application of the principle of double effect.

    If you have a right to privacy he has a reasonable expectation not to violate that right. Therefore, if he expects he may stumble across things and violate your right, he shouldn’t do it.

  137. John Mc

    If you have nothing to hide, what is the problem.

    Ah, the classic squeal.

    As I said above, for lots of people, just because other people have no interest in what their doing doesn’t mean they’re happy with other people knowing about it. For example, the closet gay bloke who wants to keep his personal life private.

  138. Gab

    Do we have to wait until another bombing to keep vigilant watch?

    How did the CCTvs prevent the Boston bombings?

  139. .

    Wrong headed rubbish. If totalitarian and/or corrupt parties gain control of the apparatus of state, especially if it contains elements of a Panopticon, most citizens will have something to fear. It is impossible to inure yourself from the capriciousness of a corrupt totalitarian state.

    Um, they’ll probably install their own CCTV regardless of whether or not it already exists, police will shoot civilians on a whim and anyone offering a blip of resistance will be mowed down by the 120 mm smoothbore cannon of a M1 Abrams tank, or laid to waste under its 60 or so tonnes via its tracks and hull.

    This is hardly an argument against CCTV right now.

  140. .

    If you have nothing to hide, what is the problem.

    I don’t see how CCTV in public is a privacy issue, however, the point is thus – if I have something to hide you have to prove it and get a warrant. If you can’t prove it, then we may as well have random searches.

    “Nothing to hide” is an appalling attitude to take.

  141. Leigh Lowe

    Anyone opposed to CCTV is obviously given to masturbation in laneways.
    I think he was taking the piss.

    Not really.
    It has certainly cramped my style and Slippery Pete agrees with me.

  142. John Mc

    As I’ve sort of said above, I believe in a right to privacy. I just don’t believe it applies in a public space (or is enforceable in a public space).

    However, for the government, I think we should have ‘standard operating policy’ which is based upon the lines of allowing people to go about their lives without being monitored.

    Even more difficult, how do we stop a private company from gathering too much information on people, say, to market products to them. I don’t really have an answer to that.

  143. sdfc

    So John you’re happy denying law enforcement a tool to catch criminals because you’re paranoid.

  144. FDB

    1 – There is no rights-based argument to be made against CCTV in public places. Not if you like to base your rights-based arguments on clear definitions, as I do.

    2 – No government of any ideological persuasion has ever seen a power it didn’t want, nor ceded one it managed to secure, in the interests of making people feel safer.

  145. sdfc

    Why is government going to be interested in your conversations?

  146. dover_beach

    You can’t violate privacy more than that, but the roof is effectively a public space and they have no right to privacy.

    Just saw this comment. Given the principle of double effect, that example isn’t an invasion of privacy. However, if the government had drones deliberately flying over apartments to catch people engaging in sexual intercourse in on their apartment rooftops or backyards than that would be an invasion of privacy. That’s why I also said earlier that inadvertently overhearing someone – or opening next door’s mail by mistake – are not invasions of privacy. Deliberately listening-in to conversations by placing a microphone at someone’s coffee table in the local cafe is an invasion of privacy.

  147. Leigh Lowe

    Then again, if you are an exhibitionist masturbator, CCTV is a dream come true …… so to speak.

  148. FDB

    However, for the government, I think we should have ‘standard operating policy’ which is based upon the lines of allowing people to go about their lives without being monitored.

    Even more difficult, how do we stop a private company from gathering too much information on people, say, to market products to them. I don’t really have an answer to that.

    Agreed. They’re both pernicious, and seemingly unstoppable.

  149. .

    sdfc, I really don’t think John said that at all.

    For the record I agree with him and FDB.

  150. sdfc

    Then what is the argument against CCTV. John’s had a go how about you.

  151. John Mc

    So John you’re happy denying law enforcement a tool to catch criminals because you’re paranoid.

    No, I’m happy to deny law enforcement a tool to catch criminals because I value privacy.

    I believe privacy is a fundamental right, and the reason we have law enforcement is to protect fundamental rights. So violating a fundamental right to assist law enforcement is self-defeating.

    However, I don’t believe privacy applies in a public place. In a public place I believe in limiting surveillance on a cost/benefit basis. I think in say, low risk areas, the government should refrain from invasive surveillance on a cost/benefit basis because privacy is a good thing.

  152. sdfc

    What privacy is CCTV violating?

  153. Tel

    It is because of surveillance activities, that Sinclair apparently derides, that multiple Islamic fascists went to jail because they plotted to blow up the 2005 AFL Grand Final. There are also a number Islamic fascists in jail because they plotted to blow up the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and attack the Holsworthy Army base.

    Not exactly. There were ten rocket launchers “borrowed” from the Australian Defense Force. Shane Della-Vedova admitted to theft and is now in jail. One rocket was recovered, leaving nine at large.

    Some of these ended up in the hands of Adnan “Eddie” Darwiche who was involved in a local family feud (the sort of feud where rocket launchers come in handy). Darwiche ended up sentenced to two counts of life imprisonment for murder in 2006 (the Lawford Street murders, where they considered using rockets for the murder, but decided to use normal bullets instead).

    Somehow or other three years after getting life imprisonment, Darwiche was back on the streets in Bass Hill, when he in turn was gunned down by Mohammed ‘Blackie’ Fahda (probably a tit-for-tat revenge killing).

    The rockets were allegedly on-sold to Mohamed Ali Elomar, who was eventually busted, not for buying stolen rockets or anything bad like that, but for supposedly conspiring to make explosives (although he never did make any explosives). So all this time while ASIO had him under surveillance, it didn’t occur to them that lugging around rocket launchers was a bit unusual. The prosecution didn’t even bring up the matter of the rockets at his trial. These “terrorists” were convicted on circumstantial evidence because they had quite a lot of ammunition (more than you would normally expect for sporting use) and because they ordered chemicals that could possibly be used for explosives (but never actually were used). Essentially, the government failed to catch these people doing any real crimes, so they resorted to thought crimes instead.

    So where are these missing rockets now? Errrr, nobody knows. They seem to have lost them. Well, I’m sure somebody knows, but nobody is telling at any rate.

    So ASIO are asking us to “just trust them” because their work is “real good mate”… and when has that ever been a formula for success? Maybe they should spend more time running surveillance over military stores or something. Maybe they should go the extra mile and catch people with stolen rockets in hand… then we wouldn’t have to hem and haw over circumstantial evidence. No doubt their answer is that if only they had a few more extraordinary powers they would be right as rain. Of course, with no oversight, they will be saying that forever won’t they?

    As for the matter of street cameras, I support the idea providing:

    [1] All people are subject to roughly equal surveillance, including politicians and police.

    [2] The cops don’t try and take the camera when you film them kicking heads.

    [3] All footage is released into the public domain after 3 months. We paid for it, no privileges, no favourites, everyone gets to see it.

    That is to say, providing ALL parties concerned are happy to live with annihilation of privacy, then I’m OK with them removing what little privacy I have left. A reasonable and fair outcome in my opinion.

  154. dover_beach

    If you have a right to privacy he has a reasonable expectation not to violate that right. Therefore, if he expects he may stumble across things and violate your right, he shouldn’t do it.

    I don’t agree. I certainly agree that where he has a reasonable expectation that he may inadvertently overhear a private conversation that he should take reasonable steps to avoid this, but if he does this and still overhears a private conversation I don’t think he’s committed a wrong and violated your right by continuing.

  155. John Mc

    A guy making out with his girlfriend.

    Would you make out with your girlfriend on a park bench by yourselves?

    Would you make out with your girlfriend on a park bench if someone was sitting on the park bench opposite?

    I believe making out (cuddling and kissing) with your girlfriend on a park bench is a good thing to do.

  156. FDB

    sdfc – just because there is no inviolable right to privacy in public places (that being part of their very definition), doesn’t mean you can’t use the term ‘privacy’ to describe not being constantly filmed.

  157. sdfc

    The government is not interested in your canoodling.

  158. sdfc

    So FDB you’re happy denying law inforcement the tools to identify criminals.

  159. John Mc

    Dover, if someone has a right to something, you don’t just have an obligation to not deliberately violate it, you have to ensure that you don’t negligently violate it.

    If didn’t set out to hurt you, but I negligently ran you over, I’ve still done something wrong.

  160. JC

    sdfc – just because there is no inviolable right to privacy in public places (that being part of their very definition), doesn’t mean you can’t use the term ‘privacy’ to describe not being constantly filmed.

    Dude, stop worrying. Law Enforcement isn’t going to chase you if they catch you CCTV sucking down a joint. Nobody cares anymore and your mamma won;t find out for the pic.

  161. John Mc

    The government is not interested in your canoodling.

    I’m not happy with them monitoring it.

  162. sdfc

    You should be banned by the way FDB, ya lefty bastard.

  163. .

    I’m not against it sfdc, nor are John or FDB. Do you even bother reading the replies here?

    I have to conclude you don’t believe in civil rights since you don’t like the way we justified having CCTV.

  164. sdfc

    Yes I do Dot. John was presenting an argument against it.

  165. stackja

    Do we have to wait until another bombing to keep vigilant watch?
    How did the CCTvs prevent the Boston bombings?

    The bombers were allowed to bomb because they were not been watched before the act. Enough evidence of them seems to have been gathered but not acted on. Just like 9/11. Boston CCTV could only catch them after. A vigilant watch was kept on many in the past before CCTV. Now we have too many “PC” nannys wanting us not to keep a vigilant watch. I do not trust CCTV alone but it can help after the fact. Why not a vigilant watch before the fact?

  166. Gab

    I have to conclude you don’t believe in civil rights

    That’s a bit rich coming from someone who has no problem with the government spying on the population. But you’re probably right, Dot civil liberties are for the birds.

  167. .

    John was presenting an argument against it.

    No he wasn’t, see his comment at 9.32 pm.

  168. John Mc

    I certainly could never live in a surveillance society e.g. the UK.

    But I also have no problem with CCTV on problematic train stations (which I try to avoid),

    I think the US largely has the right mix in CCTV. And although it didn’t stop the Boston bomber, it helped catch them. But I don’t want to be monitored walking my dog in the park.

  169. Tel

    Even more difficult, how do we stop a private company from gathering too much information on people, say, to market products to them. I don’t really have an answer to that.

    It isn’t difficult at all, you just make sure all the government big-wigs are personally subject to exactly the same treatment regular people are subject to. Then they will call “enough” when they are no longer comfortable with such treatment.

    So long as one group of people gets to be the watchers while another group of people are the watched, there will be no end to it if you just ask the watchers to be nice about what they do.

    By the way, properly targeted marketing is actually useful to both parties. That’s the whole idea of trade — both parties benefit. I agree though that a lot of marketing is bullshit, and done badly. A brute force approach instead of a thoughtful approach.

  170. JC

    I really don;t understand the argument against CCTV.

    Are those against also against coppers witnessing a crime… seeing with their eyes?

  171. John Mc

    I’ve played both sides, which could be confusing from a quick glance.

    But I’ve outlined my position – which is logically consistent – a couple of times now.

  172. sdfc

    Dot

    John responded to my question does anyone have a coherent argument against CCTV, or words to that effect.

    Still confused about monetary economics?

  173. irving J

    Jupes – you believe that motive matters when engaged in terrorist violence? I suspect not.

    Was there a goldern era of zero malcontents? I suspect not.

    the difference is that never before have the malcontents been the indirect beneficiaries of a tsunami of petrodollars.

    there are few solutions to islamisation, the only workable one is to never let them in, in the 1st place. beyond that freedom will suffer either way.

    one place to start is to criminalise the prevention of apostasy and ban mosques and minarets ala switzerland.

    a gentle introduction to islam for its apologists

  174. .

    Why twist my words Gab? CCTV does not equate to spying on the populace. Are you against carnivore and echelon by the way? Or the police using facebook to catch dumb crims?

    PS have you ever met a more ardent of civil, political and common law liberties than me?

    You are hysterical if you equate CCTV in high density areas to reduce property crime and assaults with using drones to spy on innocent civilians.

  175. Tel

    A vigilant watch was kept on many in the past before CCTV. Now we have too many “PC” nannys wanting us not to keep a vigilant watch.

    Bollocks. All through history people have died of various things, and violence has been one of those. Today, violence is about the least likely death but overall in the 20th Century many more people died of government violence than died because of any terrorists. In fact, more people overall were killed by their own government than by military action from someone else. We happen to live in a Democracy, which avoids the worst part of government violence, but don’t think for a moment that’s a guarantee for all future time.

  176. John Mc

    Do you work in oil and gas over there, Irving J?

  177. .

    No sfdc, you are confused, as John says. You still think banks “create money” out of nothing not contingent on deposits or viable economic activity (to wit “any money creation by banks is inflationary” – any right thinking person sees this as doctrinaire, populist nonsense) and essentially agree with Graeme Bird on the topic (whilst at the same time you show partiality to chartalism). Yet you have the temerity to say I’m confused.

    Good work, fuckhead.

  178. .

    Thanks for the compliment sfdc but any cheap shots will be met with curt responses. I was trying to be polite and you troll.

  179. sdfc

    Banks do create money out of nothing. It is simply a book entry.

  180. Harrys on the Boat

    Sdfc is a fuckhead.

  181. Gab

    PS have you ever met a more ardent of civil, political and common law liberties than me?

    No so I guess my dismay when you are in favour of the population being under surveillance in public places (so far, but who knows how far this go in future)

    You are hysterical if you equate CCTV in high density areas to reduce property crime and assaults with using drones to spy on innocent civilians.

    What an emotive mix. You’re okay with CCTV but not drones? One and the same principle, different technology.

    As for solving crimes, in the UK police admit only 3% of crimes have been solved using CCTV despite the UK being the most heavily CCTV’d place globally.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/may/06/ukcrime1

  182. .

    Let’s put it on the open thread…BTW you are nuts sfdc – no bank has let me “just do a book entry”, to increase my accounts – they have either wanted cash or the ability to draw down on cash diminished elsewhere.

    “Just doing book entries” to alter net equity is fraud, sfdc. Hill v Foley proved it isn’t fraud.

  183. .

    Loans create deposits.

    This cannot be a continuous process unless it is contingent on ongoing economic projects or there are divestment elsewhere – or too much base money is supplied.

    Let’s move it to the open forum.

  184. JC

    Banks do create money out of nothing. It is simply a book entry.

    Ok Horace, go on the open thread, show us an example of a bank balance sheet and how money is created out of nothing.

    Now!

  185. .

    You’re okay with CCTV but not drones? One and the same principle, different technology.

    The principle is not the same. Hence why you call them different names.

  186. C.L.

    Good God.

    Dot supports the totally, utterly, demonstrably useless CCTV police state?

    Disgraceful.

    Dot, CCTV doesn’t work. It’s a dud.

  187. sdfc

    There’s no point in trying to identify criminals says CL. Set them free.

  188. John Mc

    Dot is simply claiming there is no right or expectation to privacy in a public space. This is just logical.

    No one likes CCTV except sdfc.

  189. Gab

    So far we have proof that CCTVs have been useful in reducing car theft but not much else; have aided police in solving 3% of crimes; can be useful after the fact in identifying possible perps; CCTV images are not always clear yet the reliance of them in court to wrongfully convict has happened and mostly likely continue to happen; cost a fortune to install, maintain and have someone monitoring the footage in real time (which doesn’t happen often due to costs). A lot of cost for little benefit it seems but hey if people “feel” safer and they are willing to take the chance that their images will never be used against them illegally through third-parties or will never be used against them to wrongfully arrest then so be it but it’s not the type of society that sits well with me.

  190. Gab

    The principle is not the same. Hence why you call them different names.

    Both are capturing images of citizens on medium. It’s the same principle, different technology hence the different names.

  191. C.L.

    There’s no point in trying to identify criminals says CL. Set them free.

    LOL. A lefty joins Ray Hadley in a campaign for Lorin Orda.

    Crime prevention now becomes “identify criminals.”

    Read the thread.

    CCTV doesn’t work, doesn’t substantially prevent crime, doesn’t prevent violent crime especially. At best, it prevents car theft – and studies suggest that’s because of carpark lights, not cameras.

  192. The statement made was: “The fact of the matter is we are not at war”.

    That statement is incorrect. We ARE at war. The full-on muslims who believe literally what the Koran and related islamic texts demand, have been at war with the west – openly, blatantly and brazenly – since 9/11 (actually from before that, but let’s make 9/11 an agreed starting point).

    If you have two sides and one says “We are at war”, and the other says “No, we are not” – then it becomes wilful, ignorant denial on the part of the latter when the belligerent party starts to attack and kill.

    The side being attacked can block its ears, cover its eyes and rock bacwards and forwards all it likes whilst chanting “We are NOT at war” – the reality is that a state of war actually exists, and the belligerent side is attacking and killing when and where it can.

    The sooner the side in denial wakes up to reality and finally acknowledges what the heck is actually going on – the better. When reality is recognised and acknowledged, THEN the side being attacked can properly respond and act to protect its own interests.

    Western society and nations of the West – are you listening?

    You ARE being attacked – you ARE at war.

  193. sdfc

    That’s 3% of robberies Gab. 3 criminals in 100 caught who otherwise would likely get off. Give them a break says Gab.

  194. dd

    the fact remains that the West, including Australia, is under attack from a few jihadists who hate us so much that they are even prepared to murder children watching a marathon.

    Was it ever different? There are always a few malcontents who engage in acts of extreme violence.

    No, this is too fatalistic. It has been different before.
    I don’t believe in shrugging and going “t’was always thus.”

    Also, it matters what is driving destructive and hostile acts, now as opposed to the past. I think the attitude of “whatever, they’re all criminals so who cares who they are?” is wilfully naive.

  195. irving J

    Do you work in oil and gas over there, Irving J?

    it is estimated that saudis spend in excess of $2b/yr spreading islam and building mosques. they spend $.5b just on paying for its army of evangelists.

    where wahhabiism goes, freedom dies.

    if politicians had an iota of courage they would declare islam to be a cult and ban it. demolish the mosques and deport the death cultists on mass

    the best they can squawk is that multiculturalism has failed. no kidding sherlock

  196. C.L.

    Ray Hadley now writing SDFC’s material.

    Never mind the qualitative research.

    We must have LORIN ORDA!

    And – oh yeah – plus millions of cameras!

  197. sdfc

    No one here as argued that CCTV is a crime prevention tool. Try again.

  198. Gab

    That’s 3% of robberies Gab. 3 criminals in 100 caught who otherwise would likely get off. Give them a break says Gab.

    1000 CCTVs to help solve one crime. What you don’t understand, sdfc, is CCTV aid the police in a very limited way. I’d rather have more police to solve real crime and as studies have shown police presence reduces crime rates. 3% of crimes solved with the aid of CCTV. The cameras didn’t actually solve the crime, I hope you understand that point.

  199. Gab

    No one here as argued that CCTV is a crime prevention tool.

    Actually they have, just scroll up.

  200. C.L.

    So SDFC is admitting that CCTV doesn’t prevent crime but the state should nevertheless erect need thousands of cameras to help identify criminals who have already raped, bashed or murdered people.

    In the streets.

    Near the cameras.

    Which hardly ever happens.

  201. C.L.

    … studies have shown police presence reduces crime rates.

    Right but they first have to get out of their cars.

    And they love those cars.

  202. irving J

    The statement made was: “The fact of the matter is we are not at war”.

    looks like war to me http://thereligionofpeace.com/

    Monthly Jihad Report
    March, 2013
    Jihad Attacks: 189

    Countries: 21

    Religions: 5

    Dead Bodies: 988

    Critically Injured: 2093

  203. sdfc

    No one has said it prevents crime. But it does help identify perpetrators.

    Do you have a coherent argument against providing law enforcement with the tools to identify criminals?

  204. Infidel Tiger

    No one has said it prevents crime. But it does help identify perpetrators.

    So would asking every black person what they were doing last night.

  205. JC

    Right but they first have to get out of their cars.

    And they love those cars.

    lol

  206. Empire Strikes Back

    Lawdy lawdy, lawdy Miss Clawdy. I’ve just returned from a single malt and cigar session with a dear old friend. He’s a pommy and laments the media law malarky that Cameron recently implemented in the UK. We would have knocked off a bag of coke too, but apparently that’s evil.

    This is without doubt the best thread I’ve ever seen on The Cat. You won’t see this quality of debate on any leftard groupthink blog, because they’re all too busy falling over themselves to project as perfect progressives.

    Give yourselves a pat on the back people. Bravo Sinc for throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. Let’s not fool ourselves though. Many species employ deception as a survival tactic and humans do it best. There is no absolute freedom, but there exists individuals who ruthlessly pursue absolute power. They are our common enemy. Treat them with ruthless disdain and respect one another.

    I’m going to bed. I must rise early to silently pay my respects to the fallen at a modest solemn service that is not the jingoistic circus too many dawn services have become in recent times.

    Peace.

  207. dover_beach

    Dover, if someone has a right to something, you don’t just have an obligation to not deliberately violate it, you have to ensure that you don’t negligently violate it.

    If didn’t set out to hurt you, but I negligently ran you over, I’ve still done something wrong.

    John Mc, but in my example the agent takes reasonable steps to avoid overhearing a private conversation but inadvertently has, so they cannot be said to have negligently wronged you.

  208. dover_beach

    Up-thread CL made an excellent point that has been passed over and that is that what constitutes a public or private place is in some instances ambiguous, i.e. is a cafe a public or private place? Is a private room in a restaurant a public or private place? How about my car with the windows up in a street, public, or private, car park? Is a park bench 100m from the nearest person a public place?

  209. Taylor

    Well, the argument against it is simple. Those touting it suggest the world is a radically differentiated sphere composed of the private (home and the dunny) and the public (all the rest) – which belongs wholly to the state. But the state doesn’t own the non-private world. To accept that it does is simply fascist.

    My view is CL is right. Liberal democracy depends on a strong civil society defending individual liberties against the state. This depends on freedom in public places.

    Some compromise might be necessary if it can be shown to reduce serious threats to the safety of individuals in public places.

  210. Lazlo

    it is estimated that saudis spend in excess of $2b/yr spreading islam and building mosques. they spend $.5b just on paying for its army of evangelists.

    where wahhabiism goes, freedom dies.

    if politicians had an iota of courage they would declare islam to be a cult and ban it. demolish the mosques and deport the death cultists on mass

    Fair comment. Rabz and I would agree on this. As well as Bayern winning the ECL.

  211. John Mc

    It is, by definition, unreasonable to expect you can maintain privacy in a public space for any number of activities that you would occur in a surveillance activity.

  212. Dianeh

    To me the issue is not that my image has been recorded on CCTV but what will be done with the image. Due process should apply just as it does for phone tapping. Just because images are captured doesn’t mean they should be available for others to view them.

    The penalties for using CCTV images without due process should be severe, and that should include law enforcement as well.

    What if the CCTV owner published the images over the web without notice? Is this an invasion of privacy?

    Is yes, why is this different to the law looking at the pics?

  213. John Mc

    This depends on freedom in public places.

    Public spaces have different rules and are not as sacred as private ones in a free society.

    The Swiss have extremely regulated, very conservative public spaces but their society is one the freest and most democratic going.

    The level of freedom in public spaces can go either way. Just not in private ones.

  214. dover_beach

    So it’s unreasonable for me to sit on a park bench with a friend talking, not near anyone, and expect that our chat not to be the object of surveillance? Why is that expectation unreasonable ‘by definition’? I’m sorry, it isn’t. It’s no more unreasonable than expecting that I can go to a friend’s house and not being asked for my papers in transit.

  215. John Mc

    Because if someone comes up silently behind you and listens to your conversation, have they done anything legally wrong?

    Now consider the same scenario in your lounge room?

  216. Lazlo

    This discussion is becoming boring. There must be another thread we can escape to..

  217. John Mc

    Look, it’s reasonable to keep some checks on the government to ensure they’re not surveilling you without a good reason. That’s just diligent management of your government.

    But the thing about the British surveillance society is they’re not really doing anything that you can deduce as morally wrong by reason. It’s just really distasteful and raises the question “who is this government serving”?

  218. dover_beach

    if someone comes up silently behind you and listens to your conversation, have they done anything legally wrong?

    Why raise the issue of current law? We’re arguing whether something should or should not be illegal. If someone did that they should be regarded as having wronged me and my companion, in precisely the same way that if someone places a listening device at my cafe table in order to tape my conversation would have wronged me and my companions at the table. They same would be true in my lounge room. Where the conversations occur really has nothing to do with it; it’s the nature of the conversations that matters.

  219. dover_beach

    Look, it’s reasonable to keep some checks on the government to ensure they’re not surveilling you without a good reason.

    FFS, the fact that you require good reason to do this suggests that we all in fact enjoy a right to privacy of the sort that provides that our movements, etc. aren’t as a rule monitored and recorded.

  220. John Mc

    I don’t even know what the current law is with regards to that. I’m arguing solely from a moral perspective.

    The person coming up behind you has no knowledge of the nature of your conversation. How can they determine if they’re doing something wrong?

    What if they put a recording device on their own cafe table next to yours?

    The onus is on you to protect your privacy in a public place. It’s the other way around in a private place.

  221. John Mc

    FFS, the fact that you require good reason to do this suggests that we all in fact enjoy a right to privacy of the sort that provides that our movements, etc. aren’t as a rule monitored and recorded.

    So, by your definition, the British governments would be acting immorally at this time with the most CCTVs in the world or whatever it is?

  222. wreckage

    So, by your definition, the British governments would be acting immorally at this time with the most CCTVs in the world or whatever it is?

    By his definition, OF COURSE. But boy oh boy hasn’t it cut their crime rate? Rhetorical question. It hasn’t. It’s a sop, a bandaid, a smokescreen for the fact that in the UK in effect you do not have the right to self-defence or the defence of your property.

  223. Tel

    … where wahhabiism goes, freedom dies.

    if politicians had an iota of courage they would declare islam to be a cult and ban it. demolish the mosques … [blah blah]

    Not all Islam is Wahhabi you know. We have enough laws, they just need to be applied even handedly.

    Dead Bodies: 988
    Critically Injured: 2093

    Read R J Rummel and find out what a real war looks like. Your figures are short by some millions.

  224. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Anyone opposed to CCTV is obviously given to masturbation in laneways.

    Very droll, although that is something that very few women get up to in laneways. Just saying.

    The public/private divide though, as CL notes, is a very moveable divide.

    What I dislike is surveillance in places one thinks might be private but aren’t. Like lifts. Da Hairy Ape and I are quite given to tender physical expression of mutual attraction when alone in lifts, stopping far short of fulfilment (most buildings have so few floors). The thought that we may be providing entertainment for an audience of any sort is rather disconcerting.

  225. Tel

    What if they put a recording device on their own cafe table next to yours?

    That’s a good question, but I think if a private citizen did that in Australia it would be illegal (sort of equivalent to a company secretly recording telephone calls).

  226. John Mc

    for the fact that in the UK in effect you do not have the right to self-defence or the defence of your property.

    That’s unquestionably immoral. But watching people or taking notice of what you hear in a public place doesn’t have the same rationale.

  227. dover_beach

    I don’t even know what the current law is with regards to that. I’m arguing solely from a moral perspective.

    You finished with “have they done anything legally wrong” so what was I to think?

    The person coming up behind you has no knowledge of the nature of your conversation.

    The nature of the conversation is that it is private. I’m sitting there speaking almost inaudibly to anyone more than 5 m away from me.

    How can they determine if they’re doing something wrong?

    How can they determine if I’m not planning the same thing in my living room? Better leave a listening device by the lamp.

    What if they put a recording device on their own cafe table next to yours?

    Illegal if they intend to record my conversation.

    The onus is on you to protect your privacy in a public place. It’s the other way around in a private place.

    I am. I’m speaking quietly to a friend at my table. I haven’t invited you to partake in our conversation. The onus of proof is for you to have probable cause that would justify listening-in, or a stop and search, or whatever.

    So, by your definition, the British governments would be acting immorally at this time with the most CCTVs in the world or whatever it is?

    Certainly. You sound as if you would currently have no problem with being asked for papers on your way to or from your home by police, with the onus of proof being upon you to show proof that you have legitimate reason to be afoot this day or evening.

  228. Taylor

    The level of freedom in public spaces can go either way. Just not in private ones.

    John

    You believe that a law against any association in public places would have no impact on freedom?

    Or a law that the proceedings of all meetings not approved by the state must be recorded?

  229. John Mc

    Watching you walk home is not the same as stopping you and asking for ID.

    I admire your commitment to privacy. It just shows there’s lots of common ground between libertarians and conservatives.

    But trying to put in legal protection for individual privacy in public places would result in unworkable law and, ultimately, innocent people getting treated completely unjustly.

  230. John Mc

    Lots of places require permits for public protests etc. I’m pretty sure Switzerland would have this stuff along with mandatory civil courses for walking your dog, strict rules on clothing, public displays of affection etc, no minarets(!).

    It’s still a free country. Probably freer than Australia.

  231. John Mc

    If I overhear a conversation in a public park, then get interested and, even though I know it’s private, just decide I’ll keep listening, should I be prosecuted under law?

  232. FDB

    The government can only set up CCTV in public places.

    If the non-public place is a place of business, the owner of the business can record what they wish. Although there is precedent for prosecuting doing so without warning in compromised situations – toilets, tanning salons etc.

    If it’s a private place, the owner can record whatever, wherever and whenever they like.

    The topic of this post was government surveillance, which can only occur in public, in places of business with certain caveats, or in private places with a warrant.

    It’s not that complicated.

  233. .

    C.L., you are mad if you think saying having CCTV in a a few high density public areas out of entire cities or towns in an attempt to deter or to prosecute petty crimes against property and the person is a “police state”.

    If they don’t work they will be scrapped after the election and dismissal of woeful, reckless spending socialists in any Western democracy.

  234. irving J

    Read R J Rummel and find out what a real war looks like. Your figures are short by some millions.

    its a guerilla war expected to last generations.

    it works. it has worked over and over.

    the most recent annexation in europe was kosovo, with europe and americans acting as useful idiots. kosovo was fully annexed from serbia in a mere 60 years.

    the fact that saudi pretends to be our friend is nothing but Taqiyya ???? .

    the aim is not to take on an enemy that can not be defeated but to wear away at it from every angle, and waste its resources on unwinnable defence/offence, while building up headcount internally and sharia enclaves, all the while using double standards, deceit, and claiming victimhood and peaceful intent.

    the uk now has 85 sharia “courts”, no go zones are thriving. unchecked the uk will become a sharia zone within a couple of generations.

    guerilla war is still war. in syria it is in fact more your conventional style war, just lacking $$$ and arms supplies, muslims consider anyone who deviates from the true word of god as kafir and to be exterminated, subdued, enslaved etc. there can only be one true islam. the softest easiest to reach targets are in fact opposing sects of the cult of death. study the underlying stats on http://thereligionofpeace.com/

    this little syrian conflict is soaking up jihadists from both major sects and they should be helped to grind away at each other for as long as possible.

    the “arab spring” democratic movements never stood a chance when faced with the ruthless thugs of salafists/wahhabists

    the prophet the perfect example to all men, set the standard, raiding, looting, raping, assassinating and spreading the cult by the sword. it hasn’t stopped in 1500 years.

    go back and study the islamic meme islam for bleeding hearts

  235. Tel

    The topic of this post was government surveillance, which can only occur in public, in places of business with certain caveats, or in private places with a warrant.

    Or in private places without a warrant if you happen to be a large US telco and guaranteed immunity, or if you happen to be working in secret without public oversight, or anyone else too important to convict.

  236. Leigh Lowe

    What I dislike is surveillance in places one thinks might be private but aren’t. Like lifts. Da Hairy Ape and I are quite given to tender physical expression of mutual attraction when alone in lifts, stopping far short of fulfilment (most buildings have so few floors). The thought that we may be providing entertainment for an audience of any sort is rather disconcerting.

    Security Guards lead mundane lives.
    If the tape of some furtive fumbling in the elevator brings a bit of a spark to their lives, they are welcome to it.

  237. Aliice

    Lizzie

    I once knew of a doctor and a nurse who discovered that the lift could stop for longer between floors as long as somneone kept their hand on the emergency stop button.
    I imagine this would only work in some lifts!

    Now about this two days fast and 5 days feast. What can I eat on the two day fast? Only water? Do the two days have to be adjacent? Dont think I would make it.

  238. Paridell

    “The fact of the matter is we are not at war,” Sinclair says, in full pre-9/11 mode.

    Then, to prove we’re not at war, he quotes Gerard Henderson saying
    that we are under attack from jihadists!

    We are at war, Sinclair. It’s not World War I or II, but it’s war. Leave pretending that we’re not at war to the Left. It’s too late in the day to be having arguments like this.

  239. “The followers of Islam need to learn from our history – it was necessary to kill 8 million Germans so as to kill 100k Nazis.”

    Liberty Quote!

    Thankyou Harold, but I’m sure someone can polish it up a bit more than my clumsy attempt.

  240. Greg Byrne

    I would say that essentially we are at war with militant Islamists. On that basis I think that it is necessary to have surveillance of possible terrorists. Have we not had a plan to attack the Holdsworthy Military camp. That led to a very long trial and the conviction of several Islamic terrorists. I agree with Dr Henderson on this as do most other people who follow terrorist incidents.

  241. dover_beach

    Watching you walk home is not the same as stopping you and asking for ID.

    That is true. But, if I’m a stranger to you in the first instance you’re not invading my privacy. If you stop me and ask for my papers without cause you are.

    But trying to put in legal protection for individual privacy in public places would result in unworkable law and, ultimately, innocent people getting treated completely unjustly.

    But we already have laws like this; as in you cannot be stopped and asked for ID without cause.

    If I overhear a conversation in a public park, then get interested and, even though I know it’s private, just decide I’ll keep listening, should I be prosecuted under law?

    How many times have I answered this hypothetical? Anyway, do you think all your communications that occur using your mobile, notebook, or tablet while out of your house are private or public?

  242. dover_beach

    But trying to put in legal protection for individual privacy in public places would result in unworkable law and, ultimately, innocent people getting treated completely unjustly.

    Do you have any examples of what these unworkable laws would look like or where innocent people would be treated unjustly?

  243. Jim Rose

    under the common law, people have no reasonable expectation to not be photographed in a public place. that is why they are called public places.

  244. dover_beach

    That is fine, to the extent that the photograph is taken for private purposes.

Comments are closed.