back to article NSA leaker Thomas Drake says Oz security reforms are 'scary'

Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake says Australia's looming national security reforms makes him 'shudder', labelling them ambiguous and a plot to stamp out legitimate public-interest whistleblowing. Drake, who Edward Snowden said was his …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    People like these are shouting louder and louder, but apparently the general public still can't hear them.

    What on earth does it take?

    1. ShadowedOne

      Checkpoints with armed guards asking people for their documentation? Most people are content to ignore anything that doesn't make their own lives difficult or inconvenience them overly much.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge
        Facepalm

        > Checkpoints with armed guards asking people for their documentation

        Nope. Most people I know would go "oh I feel SO MUCH SAFER" just like they do with the TSA security theater at the airports. They already think I'm some sort of terrorist for refusing to put up with that shit.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Boffin

      It takes

      The real issue is criminalizing journalists publishing classified info. Despite all its faults, and a number of Administrations wanting to lock up journalists, at least in the US, Courts have upheld the 1st Amendment even when the documents being published have "SECRET" stamped all over them. (e.g. New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) US Supreme Court Decision )

      So far.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It takes

        Yet forty-three years later and the DoJ is ding blanket dumps of journalist's phones and trying to have a reporter jailed as contempt of court for not revealing his source. 1971 looks to have been peak Bill or Rights. Pretty much shit-paper now.

        1. Thorne

          Re: It takes

          And the Australian Government is bring in mandatory data retention laws so they can trawl through every phone call, email, website, download that you have ever made. Current bill is to hold two years worth but the police are pushing to make it forever.

          Makes Hitler look like a pansy.........

  2. Denarius Silver badge
    FAIL

    unfortunate how many useful idiots justify serfdom

    Takes me back to Hawkes Oz card, complete with fines for offending public serpents.. Everywhere you went you needed an ID card, just like the USSR so many saw as the promised land. Brandis seems to be another terrified clerk in thrall to important sounding acronyms. Perhaps The Man From Uncle was watched too much by impressionable young minds, instead of Get Smart.

    1. bitpushr

      Re: unfortunate how many useful idiots justify serfdom

      You had me at "public serpents".

  3. Cipher

    What if...

    ...the massive data sucking was a self preservation action on the part of the alphabet agencies?

    Funding threatened? Dig up everything on Senator X and let him/her know that you have the goods on them. Friendly administration needs a bit of dirt on a political enemy, happy to help.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: What if...

      Per the recent CIA revelations I think it is fair to say that that is exactly what is happening. Granting of massive powers that exist without any further parliamentary or judicial oversight must call into question any future acts of parliament or claims by politicians. 5+1 eyes and the mass collection of local data that is then forwarded to foreign jurisdictions makes any thought of a member parliament actually representing its nation farcical. On the positive side we now know National Security == Government acting illegally.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What if...

      Curious how the Lady Senator, and Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee from my Republic of California has a husband with extensive commercial dealings in China. [Thankfully all in the public record!] Technically an administration friend you'd think.

  4. nhoj1

    its more about surveilance role play they are doing across Australia where they go and bully people coducting degrading interviews of targets at thier workplaces pretending to be coworkers,customers and givin them untouch torture the nazi style.the problem they face now is some intel elements of austalia tried to leak information about this program and major targets are muslims,activist.what do you think aussie will do when they will learn of this program?most of targets end up in mental healthcare because no one such an evil inhuman thing can happen.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Incoherent gibberish...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

    Well maybe just short of invoking Godwin's Law anyway.

    Collectively, we've never had such a nasty, scary, ignorant bunch of twats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

      I follow a bit of Oz politics, but clearly not enough.

      Question: Is it the case in Oz that in recent years the departmental objectives continue despite a change in the elected politicians nominally running the department?

      That would appear to be the case in Britain, indicating that here at least we have achieved the fabled status of "post democratic government". And I fear that all the FiveEyes have undergone the same transformation in one way or other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

        Question: Is it the case in Oz that in recent years the departmental objectives continue despite a change in the elected politicians nominally running the department?

        No.

        Whole departments and major initiatives have been and will be ploughed-under by this incompetent mob.

    2. earl grey
      Unhappy

      Re: Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

      OH, you said scary. I read it as scaly.

      1. Thorne

        Re: Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

        Scaly is an accurate description of Tony Abbott.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nothing is too extreme for this OZ government

          Many people think that, but actually he's more Slimey than Scaly...

  6. ForthIsNotDead

    What would they do...

    ...if everyone just simply stopped using the internet?

    You know, if everyone just said "fuck it" and went back to effectively much simpler times and means of communication?

    What would happen to Twitter, Facebook, and all those other "social media" spy networks? How would the government get their intelligence then? If we stopped emailing each other...?

    I know it's a dream, but I wonder what the governments of the world would do then - if the networks just went quiet? They'd likely shit themselves, terrified by the notion that they don't have a feel for what ordinary people, and ordinary families are doing in the privacy of their homes.

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