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Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 124

by GumphMaster (#49351849) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law
No you are not reading that wrong. Journalists sources have (had) protection in courts under the Evidence Act for a long time, and the definition of journalist was quite broad. The early versions of this bill subverted that protection completely, but a watered down protection of journalists sources was added to secure the major opposition party's support. They deliberately narrowed the scope of "Journalist" to limit the number of warrants that might need to be sought.

Comment: Re:Hack for a shitty law (Score 5, Informative) 124

by GumphMaster (#49350451) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

The law tightens the definition of "Journalist" over that in the existing Evidence Act so that this is impractical.

Evidence Act

Journalist means a person who is engaged and active in the publication of news and who may be given information by an informant in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium.

This law:

(i) a person who is working in a professional capacity as a journalist; or (ii) an employer of such a person;

If you are not being paid to be a journalist or paying someone to be a journalist then you are not a journalist, and warrants are not required, under this law. A subtle and deliberate difference.

Comment: Re:What difference does it make (Score 4, Interesting) 124

by GumphMaster (#49350383) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

Making the ISP keep it too:

  1. Makes it reliably available for litigation by big media over copyright infringement and removes the ability of ISP to defend customer privacy with inconvenient legal actions or by simply not holding the information. Hosting privacy protecting proxy/VPN services has essentially be outlawed on Australian soil... or will be as the holes in this legislation become evident and the scope creep continues.
  2. Makes it reliably available for abuse by political parties: want to know who leaked the embarrassing x? Simple warrantless search with no oversight.

Comment: Re:Ghostery (Score 1) 219

by GumphMaster (#46917001) Attached to: Help EFF Test a New Tool To Stop Creepy Online Tracking

A radio station I listen to recently rebranded. Their "improved" web site does not deliver content without the WebTrends tracking code being allowed through NoScript/Ghostery. I seems to do do some magic callback foo to achieve this. This behaviour seems to rapidly expanding on the site; I found a page today that required NetCensus tracking as well. Curiously I get more content if I block JS altogether (although not fully functional). http://doublej.net.au/

Comment: Re:Cause an Elected Dictatorship ? (Score 1) 465

by GumphMaster (#46895829) Attached to: Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

The UK/ca/AU/nz Prime Ministers are effectively elected dictators

Bwah ha ha ha ha! You clearly have not been paying attention to Australian politics since 2007. The "dictator" was toppled several times by revolt from within and ended up running a minority Government until the election in Sep 2013. A "dictator" dependent on the support of minor parties to govern is hardly the description of one with unrestricted control. The current "dictator" is having trouble quelling the open discontent from within his own coalition in several policy areas and cannot get important policy initiatives through the parliament. Unfettered power? I don't think so.

Comment: Re:Why is this so difficult? (Score 1) 1198

Your vet will typically use high dose pentobarbital or sodium thiopental in euthanasia of cats and dogs. Pentobarbital is the drug that the Danish manufacturer is withholding from the US penal system because they use it in executions. Sodium thiopental is no longer manufactured in the US and cannot legally be exported from the EU for use in executions.

Comment: Why should we find this surprising? (Score 3, Insightful) 288

by GumphMaster (#46875753) Attached to: Decommissioning Nuclear Plants Costing Far More Than Expected

'The Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts, took 15 years to decommission—or five times longer than was needed to build it.

Of course it takes longer to decommission than to build. When it was built all the materials were essentially safe, non-toxic materials where handling is easy, well-understood, and well supported by standard systems, factories and the like. When it is torn down much of the material is unsafe or toxic to some degree, some is extremely unsafe and toxic, and all of it must be dealt with in situ using systems that are not commonly used elsewhere. Handling toxic material safely takes more time than handling safe materials. The extended time leads naturally to extended cost. As wise people have observed, time is money.

Comment: Re:Don't take the job (Score 1) 108

by GumphMaster (#46763415) Attached to: 52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

Please do not fly commercially, you clearly will not respect the authority of the pilots or the safety that zero blood alcohol/drug levels add to (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/120.109). Don't consume anything that is mined in my part of the world, most (all) mining companies have zero tolerance for drink/drugs and random testing for same... even for office staff.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.