Doctor fined for filming men in the shower but scope for civil action limited

January 7, 2017

State governments have been enthusiastic about criminalising surreptitious photography of a sexual nature, in response to the questionable practice of upskirting (taking photographs from shoes or ground level of women’s’ underwear) and revenge porn, the posting on-line of naked or intimate photographs by a spurned ex partner. The use of this legislation is reported on in Doctor fined for filming men in shower, where the accused engaged in utterly appalling behaviour in filming men showering in public bathrooms in Brisbane.  The article provides:
Read the rest of this entry »

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus….Merry Christmas

December 24, 2016

As is my tradition, just before Christmas I post a wonderful piece of journalism which is in keeping with this joyous festive season.  It is the editorial “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, a wonderful Read the rest of this entry »

Yahoo hit by another massive data breach, this time affecting 1 billion accounts

December 15, 2016

It would be fair to say that 2016 has been an annus horribilis for Yahoo. In September it announced a data breach, stretching back to 2014, which affected 500 million accounts.  Today it announced a breach which occurred a year earlier, in August 2013. The information taken includes names, dates of birth, hashed passwords and some security questions and answers.  It is a disastrous Read the rest of this entry »

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to hold an inquiry into Telecommunications and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

November 21, 2016

Yet another inquiry into telecoms legislation.  This time it the reivew is into the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.   The announcement Read the rest of this entry »

Big W has self inflicted data leak but nothing compared to the massive data breach at the Friend Finder Network.

November 14, 2016

Data breaches involving the personal information of thousands of people barely rates a mention in data security journals.  Even those involving hundreds of thousands are seemingly ubiquitous, though Read the rest of this entry »

Australia’s biggest data breach, involving 1.3 million records collected by the Red Cross..not quite the world beating Yahoo data breach earlier this year but very significant

October 28, 2016

Another day, another massive data breach. This time an Australian record with more than a million personal and medical records of people donating blood to the Australian Red Cross having their information exposed on line.

The Red Cross issued a fairly comprehensive statement which Read the rest of this entry »

NSW Legislative Council Committee recommends a statutory tort of privacy

March 6, 2016

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice has issued its final report relating to the serious invasion of Privacy in New South Wales.  The report is Read the rest of this entry »

Encryption and Privacy..

January 13, 2016

The friction, if not outright conflict, between government authorities wanting access to data and viable and trusted encryption is a significant ongoing Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Christmas to one and all

December 24, 2015

As I do every year it is time to wish all a very Merry Christmas.  And as is also my mini tradition I reprint the Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus editorial from the New York Sun in 1897.  It was wonderful writing, both in content and style, then and remains so.

I was impressed when I first read it at school and it still brings a smile to my dial in my considerably more wizened state.

Here it is:

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

May all your Christmas wishes come to pass!

Privacy is the new black

November 17, 2015

 Technology is filling a gap left by the law in privacy.  The Australian has a very interesting piece, Privacy protection the new black: Turnbull spruik boost for Wickr on Wikr and how the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for this messaging app has boosted its use. It is a very interesting piece.  Wikr is not alone.  On 29 October 2015 Tor released a new beta version of Tor messenger while gmail is now warning users when messages arrive from unencrypted connections.

A large part of the reason for Read the rest of this entry »