Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Oh, neither am I, and tbh why bother when it’ll all be over-ridden by some unknown clause in the TPPA anyway?

    Radio NZ: NZ warned over goldmine legal action

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5423 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Because profit is more important than the clean water that a nation depends on. Sounds familiar.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Protest scuppers John Key's mall visit

    A visit by the Prime Minister to a mall in Rotorua had to be abandoned abruptly this morning because of an Internet Mana protest.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Yeah, you’re right Greg, thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I’ve spoken to a lawyer, who also referred me to the New Zealand Law Society’s report. He had a read through what I wrote and told me it was the tip of the iceberg and basically spun off the same kind of line as Michael Hadyn had that you just need to embrace it because Government surveillance of NZ citizenry has been going on for ages, mass surveillance for over a decade, and that anyone with any gumption already knows this to be true. He dismissed XKeyscore as a glorified product launch for cyber security geeks, and maintained that there was no way of dismantling the apparatus and the only way to bybass it would be to invent your own technology or get Amish. Brunt of it was that they got everyone’s number long ago, all six lines of it, and they’re for the most part quite entertained, so get with the program* it's the least of your worries.

    He also said the people need to flush out any Anti-conspiracy theorists=luddites, they are deluded, dangerous, technologically challenged and not to be trusted.

    *I'm very serious about this.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Attachment

    PARTY VOTE Bad water!

    Because profit is more important than the clean water that a nation depends on. Sounds familiar.

    Subliminal truth in the placement of a sticker...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to mark taslov,

    told me it was the tip of the iceberg and basically spun off the same kind of line as Michael Hadyn had that you just need to embrace it because Government surveillance of NZ citizenry has been going on for ages, mass surveillance for over a decade,

    It's only one view point. If it's the case, that still doesn't mean that we have to accept it, this is still our country- isn't it?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mark taslov,

    He had a read through what I wrote and told me it was the tip of the iceberg and basically spun off the same kind of line as Michael Hadyn had that you just need to embrace it because Government surveillance of NZ citizenry has been going on for ages, mass surveillance for over a decade, and that anyone with any gumption already knows this to be true

    Which is perfectly true, up to a point but not as far as some people seem determined to push it. There is such a thing as keeping the State in its place, and I would strenuously argue that place is reading my mail only under extreme, specific and strictly circumscribed conditions.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Angela Hart,

    You could probably say that it's still the country the British negotiated the treaty for. Nothing changed dramatically this week or even last year beneath the hype, and I honestly believe that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Perhaps I drank the koolaid but following things vaguely I recognize a gradual liberal agenda worldwide, in terms of human rights. the only exception being the surveillance, but the most important thing about the surveillance is that we have the freedom to turn it off at any time in our homes, in our pockets (If you're particular take out the sim card?), it's invasive but benign. and so our loss of privacy can be more personally defined as our addiction to technology.

    These machines, we love so much, that we could only dream of as children, they are not appendages. No one is standing in our homes. I guess It's just a case of accepting that the computer and the phone are nodes. If you want some privacy unplug your computer from the net, etc.

    For me over here watching New Zealand this week has been a trip. Unfuckingprecedented. And now finally today I've gone over the edge, a bit like when Y2k never happened. Our IT education left a lot to be desired.

    Privacy is a conditioned human response. Our cat 警长 licks his ass in front of me all the time. Little kids run around naked, Not an issue at all. In Hollywood movies the spy guys are always Doctor evils, but that's just a narrative. Our membership of the 5eyes alliance has kept New Zealand free from serious conflict since inception. People's lives are better materially. The problems New Zealand faces are still, despite everything, just first world problems. Which doesn't diminish the importance of the election. but hopefully does provide some weighted perspective.

    On their website the NSA are very transparent about their agenda. The only potential impediment to the NSA/5eyes achieving their goals would be problematic politicians, but looking about the place. Just because it's 'John Key's country' doesn't mean he has everyone's best interests at heart. And just because he doesn't appear to have everyone's best interests at heart doesn't mean he doesn't have everyone's interests at heart. There is a long game here, being played beneath the short game of democratic politics.

    the assumption that the external force, 'the foreigner', has motives worse than our own """""""""""""indigenous"""""""""" motives, ignores the rich and varied history of AotearoaNZ.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Which is perfectly true, up to a point but not as far as some people seem determined to push it. There is such a thing as keeping the State in its place, and I would strenuously argue that place is reading my mail only under extreme, specific and strictly circumscribed conditions. .

    Exactly Craig, and yet even if some irresponsible operative at the NSA or the GCSB did take a fondness to your acerbic sweetness, he may not be alone, there may also be a guy at Google as well as a hacker from Boardman Oregon, all digging your prose, and you know that you’re taking that risk by sending an email. That's human nature. 1000 years ago it may have been man on donkey who steamed open the scroll for a gander. Mainly we know that there’s nothing we can do to rewind the progress that brought us here. Resistance just makes a mess:

    In April 2008 three Ploughshares Aotearoa or Anzac Ploughshares activists breached three security fences to enter the base and then used a sickle to deflate the kevlar covering over one of the two satellite dishes.Prime Minister Helen Clark condemned the attack on the spy base as a “senseless act of criminal vandalism”. They waited there until they were arrested and charged with intentional damage and unlawful entry. They were tried in March 2010 where they readily admitted their actions in court but defended it as a “claim of right” to save human lives. The jury agreed and the three activists were acquitted on all charges. One of the protesters said “we broke a law to protect plastic to uphold a law to protect human life."

    I think Helen Clark has the money quote there.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to mark taslov,

    Our membership of the 5eyes alliance has kept New Zealand free from serious conflict since inception.

    I'd dispute that. We went to Korea, we went to Vietnam, we went to Afghanistan, we've had peacekeepers in all the major trouble spots. What we've had to our advantage is being in the arse-end of anywhere and small population which has largely kept actual terrorism out (Rainbow Warrior aside). And we're generally non-strategic - except in terms of signals intelligence. We're ideally placed to intercept quite a large proportion of satellite traffic and that's the only reason we're part of the 5Eyes programme. If anything 5Eyes makes us more of a target because of the access it provides to the network (think Isreali passport forgers).

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    the only thing to fear is fear itself.

    Taking a well worn phrase and applying it to any context robs it of its vitality and meaning. You should find out the context and circumstances in which it was said

    I think Helen Clark has the money quote there.

    Your opinion only

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to nzlemming,

    As a pacifist with an ideal vision of New Zealand as an independent nation I’d dispute myself there to. I’m trying to placate people, Some of the commentators on Toby Manhire’s masterpiece appear incredibly distraught. But relative to the first and second world war our losses have been marginal. Has New Zealand ever been Autonomous? Who is our official Head of State? We dreamt of coming to these distant shore to escape the empire but here we are in a country that was "founded" by the empire, and not without much ado.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to andin,

    Andin, look I know the context of the phrase, and if anyone he *may* even have been one of the last hopes of resisting this. But I’m not an ostrich, China has had this kind of technology and been engaging in this kind of mass surveillance since before I arrived here in 2003. It’s just the way things went. They weren't world tech leaders.

    My opinion of course, because it’s futile to resist the vast industrial military complex. It’s futile to reap the benefits of all this wonderful technology while maintaining belief that you can resist those who developed this technology from using it for exactly the ends it was designed. Once you come to grips with just how much info is being gathered it stops being about you anymore. and become a fact of life, life having a link to the public library in your living room. But most importantly, I’m not worried about being spied on because I know I’m not that important, bank my emails as you do.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to mark taslov,

    Mainly we know that there’s nothing we can do to rewind the progress that brought us here.

    The problem as I see it is that if the "we" that are here breathing today don't somehow try and rewind what you refer to as "progress" (i.e., indiscriminate data collection, the vast military-industrial complex, climate change, nuclear proliferation, the Type II diabetes epidemic, growing inequality and all else that "progress" has brought us) then it will be another generation not yet born that must suffer the full effect.

    Surely resistance to what is morally wrong can never be futile.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    sheltered workshop

    asshole

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Sorry, to be clear about that, by progress, I’m referring to technology; cellphones, the net, you can redefine your relationship to it. Most importantly New Zealand and these other 4 nations are allies, and therefore terms can be negotiated to an extent, as David Lange did so beautifully on March 1st 1985. And as New Zealand has been doing with diminishing returns for many decades.

    A poignant question to ask yourself is do you believe that humans are essentially good or evil?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Katharine, though I don’t agree with everything in them by a big stretch I think these articles may offer some perspective. They are written by David Wong (Jason Pargin), author of John Dies at the End. He’s in the US where unlike our own John, Obama did come right out and admitted to this:

    The 6 Weirdest Things We’ve Learned Since 9/11

    7 Reasons the World Looks Worse Than It Really Is

    One last thing, I do feel safer living in China than I ever did in New Zealand. But the biggest difference between the surveillance in these cases is that in China I know where I stand, while there, you’re stuck in limbo until someone in a position of power comes clean. Also here I’m an expat and China remains weary of diplomatic complications, though I’m regularly censored and an in no doubt the massiveness of it.

    I’m sure many NZers still don’t believe the Moment of Truth, as for myself, all things considered, I’m stupefied by what I’ve observed this week.
    #toomuchinfo

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    asshole

    Agreed. While the rest of it was annoying, that and the diatribe immediately prior was simply nasty.

    And also a salutary lesson in just how we are from where we want to be in this country. The lack of empathy, the ease with which pain is caused in others for his (assuming here) own entertainment. It's all part of a larger picture that defines the things we need to change to become a genuinely caring and responsible country.

    You can have fun without trying to hurt others and despite the trolls under the bridges we can get there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Surely resistance to what is morally wrong can never be futile.

    No, of course not.

    But the technology is not at fault here. Consider the ability to collect and process large amounts of data. The technology exists and some of its uses are abhorent but the same technology is being used to capture and analyse epidemiological data. And at a density and depth never before possible. We've gone from guessing that cholera has something to do with one well in London to being able to identify that some diseases have genetic origins, that some people seem to be largely immune to cancer, that some drugs cause heart attacks when they are meant to cure. None of that and none of the things to come in epidemiology and genetics would be possible without the ability to collect and process staggeringly huge amounts of data.

    Where we need wise and responsible government is to define when a technology should be used to benefit our society. That is not a simple task, it requires serious commited people with access to expert knowledge. People who know when to make a decision and when the decision needs to be canvassed wider. We need a better class of politician. Because the technology is here and it can do tremendous harm but it can also do tremendous good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to mark taslov,

    A poignant question to ask yourself is do you believe that humans are essentially good or evil?

    That really is a pointless question. Anyone can believe what they like about humanity en masse, the binary choices offered tho' mean nothing.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hi folks. I've already had to delete one comment this morning -- please don't post anything that could be seen to influence any other person's voting intentions. The rules are harsh:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00555/media-activity-on-election-day.htm

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    We’ve gone from guessing that cholera has something to do with one well in London

    Isn't there some group in the US that monitors internet chatter and has picked up outbreaks of disease, including the current Ebola outbreak, long before anybody else has noticed? Too early in the morning, not yet caffeinated, but I seem to remember reading about them fairly recently.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    we need wise and responsible government

    Ethical oversight is essential, regardless of technology or policy aspects. Selecting only the best people for such responsibilities is important. Character counts.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to andin,

    A poignant question to ask yourself is do you believe that humans are essentially good or evil?

    That really is a pointless question.

    No it isn't. Are you with Mencius in believing that people are essentially good, but environment, education (or lack thereof) and upbringing determine whether they turn out good or bad? Or Xunzi in believing that people are essentially evil and need strict laws and harsh punishments to keep them in line?

    The first is mainline Confucianism, which, for all its patriarchal mysogyny, is essentially optimistic about human nature. All we need to do is make sure our kids are raised in a good environment and get a good education, and they'll turn out good. The second leads to Han Feizi and Legalism, which then leads directly to rulers like Qinshihuang and Mao Zedong.

    So, not a pointless question at all. But it is still too early in the morning for all this.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    some group in the US

    Yeah both Google and twitter have shown they can follow flu outbreaks faster than the CDC by tracking common phrases associated with flu e.g. I feel like death warmed up and all my joints ache but I'm still going to work to spread my disease to all my colleagues while proving how staunch I am*

    *not a real example

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

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