May 21, 2013
Salon reports in Senate: Drones require new privacy laws about testimony before a Senate panel calling for an upgrading of privacy protections in light of the increasing proliferation of drones in the US.
The article provides:
As domestic surveillance drones proliferate, the public needs greater protection experts tell hearing
WASHINGTON – Privacy laws urgently need to be updated to protect the public from information-gathering by the thousands of civilian drones expected to be flying in U.S. skies in the next decade or so, legal experts told a Senate panel Wednesday.
A budding commercial drone industry is poised to put mostly small, unmanned aircraft to countless uses, from monitoring crops to acting as lookouts for police SWAT teams, but federal and state privacy laws have been outpaced by advances in drone technology, experts said at a Senate hearing.
Current privacy protections from aerial surveillance are based on Read the rest of this entry »
May 20, 2013
The Atlantic published a story, So This Is How It Begins: Guy Refuses to Stop Drone-Spying on Seattle Woman, regarding the use of a drone in Seattle by a person to interfere with another’s privacy.
Back in October, Alexis wrote a piece asking what rights do we have with regard to the air above our property. Walk onto someone’s lawn and you’re trespassing; fly over it in a helicopter and you’re in the clear — “the air is a public highway,” the Supreme Court declared in 1946. But what about the in-between space? Does the availability of unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones, aka UAVs) throw a wrench in the old legal understandings?
Well, here’s where the rubber meets the road for this abstract line of questioning. The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog is reporting a complaint it received from a resident in the Miller Park neighborhood. She writes:
This afternoon, a stranger set an aerial drone into flight over my yard and beside my house near Miller Playfield. I initially mistook its noisy buzzing for a weed-whacker on this warm spring day. After several minutes, I looked out my third-story window to see a drone hovering a few feet away. My husband went to talk to the man on the sidewalk outside our home who was operating the drone with a remote control, to ask him to not fly his drone near our home. The man insisted that it is legal for him to fly an aerial drone over our yard and adjacent to our windows. He noted Read the rest of this entry »
May 4, 2013
The effect on Boston of the terrorist bombing has been profound. I am currently in Boston at a conference at the MIT. It dominates the news, it permeates discussions. And it seems to be effecting American’s views on street surveillance. The New York Times in Poll Finds Strong Acceptance for Public Surveillance highlights a willingness of the public to allow for greater surveillance Read the rest of this entry »
April 26, 2013
Recently the World Today the report UK youth commissioner under fire over foul tweets highlights the permanence of the cybersphere and what one in the full bloom of fiery youth may regret as the rules of polite society beckon. Woad warriors could transform themselves into paragons of virtue pre internet. Memories fade and plausible deniability is an active option. Now the the Net sets all matters in in cyber concrete. This has had an impact lately on Paris Brown.
The story provides:
ELEANOR HALL: Teenagers are often warned about what they say on social media sites: that they could come back to haunt them in later life.
A young woman in the UK didn’t have to wait long.
17-year-old Paris Brown’s position as the country’s first Youth Police and Crime Commissioner has been put in doubt Read the rest of this entry »
April 21, 2013
In Violet Homes Loans Pty Ltd v Schmidt & Anor  VSCA 56 the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the trial judge’s decision that a mortgage originator
In Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor  VSC 67 the trial judge, J Forrest J, found that Violet Homes Pty Ltd (“Violet”) had acted unconscionably and in breach of the general law, section 51AC of the Trade Practices Act and section 12CB of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001.
In 2003 the Plaintiff (“Schmidt”) responded to an advertisement which claimed an investment of $40,000 in syndicate would lead to a net return of $80,000 within 12 months. Schmidt range the number given and spoke to a Mr Maddocks (“Maddocks”). In next month he invested $80,000 in the syndicate. obtained a line of credit from Perpetual Trustees Australia Ltd . In early 2004 Maddocks pursuaded Schmidt to make further investments. Schmidt was unable to borrow from his bank, the Bank of Melbourne, because he was a pensioner who had no capacity to repay . Maddocks arranged a loan for Schmidt from Perpetual, preparing the loan application and income declaration. The documents contained false information, as to Schmidt’s employment situation and his annual income. Schmidt did not provide the false information but signed the documents without reading them . The documents were provided to a finance broker, Medallion Finance Concepts (“Medallion”) who onforwarded them to Violet . Responding to querries by Ms Bonnici a credit officer at Violet, including a failure to provide an ABN, raised Maddocks prepared an amended the application and had Schmidt sign it . At no time did anyone from Violet deal with Schmidt directly.
The Court found that “..recklessness, in the form of wilful blindness, may in some cases supply the necessary element of moral obloquy”. The court said Read the rest of this entry »
The Full bench of the Federal court in McCracken v Phoenix Constructions (Queensland) Pty Ltd  FCAFC 41 by unanimous decision and per Lander J’s reasons, upheld an appeal against a sequestration order made by the Federal Magistrate’s Court. The issue on appeal, at , is succinctly described as:
“..first, whether if a debt is relied upon for the issue of the bankruptcy notice and as an act of bankruptcy, that debt must continue to be owing at the time when the creditor’s petition is heard for the Court to make a sequestration order; secondly, if the debt is no longer owing at that time, whether the petitioning creditor can rely upon a later debt which first arose after the act of bankruptcy and after the filing of a creditor’s petition; and thirdly, if that debt can be relied upon at the hearing of the creditor’s petition and at the time of the making of the sequestration order, must that debt be for a liquidated sum.”
The Appellant (“McCracken”) and the Respondent (“Phoenix”) were involved in a proceeding which culminated in judgement being entered for Phoenix in the sum of $2,025,212.17 on 15 June 2011. On 7 July 2011 the official receiver issued a bankruptcy notice directed to McCracken . On 12 July 2011 McCracken filed a notice of appeal  and on 13 July the trial judge ordered McCracken to pay Phoenix’s cost of the proceedings . Those costs were never assessed. On 10 August 2011 a bankruptcy notice was served on McCracken  with Phoenix filing a creditor’s petition on 11 August 2011. The creditors petition relied on a number of acts of bankruptcy including McCracken absenting himself from Australia and his dwelling house to avoid service. It did not rely upon the appellants failure to pay the judgement sum . On 27 September 2011 in the Court of Appeal refused McCracken’s application for a stay of the judgement  and the Federal Magistrates Court refused his application for a stay of the bankruptcy proceeding . On 18 October 2011 Phoenix filed an amended creditors petition relying upon McCracken’s failure to comply with the bankruptcy notice .
On 18 May 2012 the Court of Appeal allowed McCracken’s appeal and set aside the orders made by the trial judge . On 19 July 2012 the Federal Magistrates Court heard the petition and made a sequestration order against McCracken on 14 September 2012 . Their Honours’ noted that at the time the Federal Magistrates Court heard the creditor’s petition the debt which was relied on in both the bankruptcy notice and the creditor’s petition no longer existed, having been discharged by the Court of Appeal . The Federal Magistrate concluded that even though the amount may have changed there was an ongoing debt that which was still doing due and owing  and that once an act of bankruptcy had been committed it remained available for the purposes of a sequestration order and did not rely on other acts of bankruptcy relied upon by Phoenix, such as the conduct of the appellants to avoid service .
Where the debtor who has committed an act of bankruptcy is ordinarily resident in Australia the court may make a sequestration order against the estate of the debtor . The first requirement to found that jurisdiction is that the debtor has committed an act of bankruptcy . The second necessary fact is that the debtor comes within one of the descriptions and section 43(1) (b) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (the “Act”).
The Court found that whilst the debt need not be the same debt as was relied upon to the act of bankruptcy it must be a debt which existed at the time of the act of bankruptcy . The debt must Read the rest of this entry »
April 13, 2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) have accepted my proposal to publish a paper and make a presentation at MIT8; public media private media, media in transition international conference. It will be held at Cambridge Massachusetts, USA.
The homepage for the conference is found here. The tentative agenda is found here.
I will be on a panel on Sunday 5 May 2013 covering Reputation and Identity Online. My presentation is titled Managing Online Identity.
The agenda relevantly provides:
April 12, 2013
In Complainant AY v Public Sector Employer  VPrivCmr 02 the Victorian Privacy Commissioner considered a serious complaint about a breach of privacy by a public sector employer.
In approximately 2006 Read the rest of this entry »
The Age in Liquidator claims in writ that stripper photos led to dismissal reports on an allegedly surreptituous photograph of the Plaintiff in a compromising position with an exotic dancer (stripper in the general vernacular).
Strip club operator Read the rest of this entry »