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Comment Re:Privacy is dead (Score 1) 158

I've taken a different approach to email. (See a previous post where I tried to explain my rationale.)
However when so many people / organisations use Gmail ... it almost defeats the purpose!

I don't disagree with what you wrote above. I can envisage a model similar to the way TextSecure / Signal handle text messaging:
where if one's contacts have a PGP key, then the client will obtain those keys and opportunistically encrypt emails to those contacts.

But can users be trusted to not lose their keys / forget their passwords? (And therefore lose access to old emails.)
Perhaps encryption could only be used for email in transit. (?)

Comment Re:Never (Score 1) 765

I once gave an employer 4 weeks notice. (Standard in Australia.)
My manager and his manager asked if I would give 2 months (!!!) notice and were peeved when I stuck with 1 month.
I was treated quite coldly that final month, however I made sure I performed all my duties beyond reproach.

It was a long month ... on the upside, I found another job immediately and for much more money.

I don't consider myself to be particularly hot property; there are plenty of others in IT whose skills I very much admire.
In my experience, a competent person should rarely have difficulty finding another job.

If you're not happy, look elsewhere ... chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Comment Re:Run your own email server (Score 1) 73

Hmm ... not sure if you're being sarcastic. (?)
If not, then I consider myself in esteemed company. I moved my email so it's now hosted by Mail.ru. (Domain held separately.)

I did a little Googling* and saw that Putin has been critical of Yandex but not Mail.ru. (Quite harshly, in fact.)
And historically, he's not on the best of terms with the individuals leading Yandex, but seems amicable with those of Mail.ru.
Also, Mail.ru's email is scanned by Kaspersky, which I find is often singled-out / ridiculed by mainstream western media. That just makes me trust them more.

I moved for what I presume are the same reasons as yourself:
my email may be read daily** by a government department, but at least I know it won't be knowingly / willingly shared with my own government.
My private life is none of their business. Indeed, THEY need to better expose themselves to the voting public.

Oh, and vent, my friend. Vent!

* Don't know if this is sinister, but while Googling for instructions on how to host my email with Mail.ru, Yandex appeared at the top of the search results. Yandex also appears for other queries specifically targeted at Mail.ru.
** I pity the person who reads my email. It's really quite mundane. Nevertheless, it's mine.

Comment Re:Not sure I understand (Score 1) 116

I don't see how they'd get location data from this? (Am I overlooking something?)
At most they'd know the country to which the SIM belongs. Don't know if larger countries incorporate area codes into mobile / cell phones. (?)

Surely IP address provides much more granular location identity?

Comment Re:Slowly but surely (Score 5, Interesting) 116

Definitely part of the long, gradual slide towards less anonymity.
Companies love it: the less nebulous we are to them the more they can profit off us.
Governments love it: all our transactions & interactions can be recorded, tracked and accessed whenever they so desire.

I also groan for the schmucks who use their work phone numbers for online access. If they're let go without notice - and have to surrender their work phone - they'll need to quickly remove that number from their various accounts.

I'll stick to using passwords as my primary log-in method.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 4, Interesting) 177

PUBLIC servants should definitely have fewer privacy rights than PRIVATE citizens.
Particularly when their decisions can affect the lives of millions.

Example:
In Australia, members of parliament are required to maintain details of financial investments in a public register. Private citizens are not so required.

Now I didn't say public servants should have no privacy rights, but they should certainly have fewer.

Comment Re:other citations (Score 1) 204

Good pick-up ... this appears to be mostly a Fairfax story.
I've noticed Fairfax has collaborated with HuffPo the last couple of years, so this may be considered a "collaborative" effort for the purposes of gaining HuffPo's global reach.

But back to the main story ... clearly the rules around lobbyists need to be locked-down much, much more.

Australia's federal government has a lobbyist register but from what I can see there's no penalty (financial, custodial) if one doesn't register. Not good enough.

Secondly, any and all meetings between politicians and lobbyists should be published in a very timely fashion. (No more than a month later.) None of this:

Lobbyists are required to update their details as they change and to confirm that their details are up to date within 10 business days of 31 January each year. Lobbyists are also required to confirm that their details are up to date and provide statutory declarations for all persons employed, contracted or otherwise engaged by the lobbyist to carry out lobbying activities on behalf of a client within 10 business days of 30 June each year.

from here

And if you really want to laugh, read this:

24. What will happen if a lobbyist fails to confirm that his or her details are up to date as required by clauses 5.5 and 5.6 of the Code?
[...] A lobbyist who does not confirm that his or her details are up to date within the period specified in clauses 5.5 and 5.6 may be removed from the Register. [...]

Right ...

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