Saturday, October 30, 2010

- AN EXERCISE IN SERIOUS FUTILITY -

"Over the years I've spent a fortune on computer electronics and now realise it was all a waste of time and money - 
A treatise on futility"
Or - "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

"These plunderers of the earth, are now invading the seas because, having devastated everything, they now have no more land. If their enemy is wealthy, they are greedy; if he is poor, they will be after glory -- they whom neither east nor west have satiated. Alone among peoples, they have looked with equal greed upon rich and poor alike. Stealing, murdering and plundering they call government; and where they create a desert they call it peace."

--Prince Calgacus of the Scotti, c. 84 AD.


This document is dedicated to Simon and Garfunkel - their boxer -
"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

Author – Deleted for reasons of confidentiality

Preamble -
A reasoned analysis of cause and effect manifest in cyberspace must naturally rely upon how the internet states its own case.
The researcher needs sufficient skills and at the same time accept the rules of the particular medium, in order to winnow the 'wheat from the chaff' - for assuredly cyberspace is almost as full of chaff as an egg is meat.

The obvious solution is to, whenever possible, access pages generated by governance and other pages 'vaunted as relevant' supplied otherwise by high profile non-governmental stakeholders.

This paper begins by exploring the background of electronic intelligence gathering, both by government agencies and by private actors; how activities of those entities have become commingled toward misinformation, omission, censorship. and ultimately suppression of dissent and truth.

The author begins with a representative sample of what at first might read as hearsay - almost science fiction; then goes on to demonstrate how governments finally came to admit that "Echelon" and other El-Int (electronic Intelligence gathering) methods were once indeed fact but more recently have become an organised industry in much the same way that government utilities such as defence, communications, power, health, prisons, and the like, have become corporatised.

Particularly remarkable, in this regard, are the implications contained within the paper, below, provided by the European Parliament.

The author assumes that the reader has some working knowledge of the internet - that the reader is able to open the documents captured below and perhaps more importantly assess for themselves how one document leads reasonably directly to the next.

In other words - don't trust the author's subjective view - read the full documents, from source, yourself.

Towards the tail-end of the document the persistent reader will be fatigued and completely bug-eyed but will nonetheless have reached a place where it becomes obvious that certain individuals operating blogs/fora and the like have taken upon themselves a certain mantle.

This author offers the opinion that with rare exception those individuals operating these alleged 'free speech' sites are more involved with censorship and suppression  of speech, ideas and concepts than are some of the more totalitarian of our Nation States, including Queensland.
A reasonable person with the slightest grain of cynicism within his makeup could become convinced that, on the one hand, there may be an element of monetary, or similar reward behind suppression of speech on the internet: or on the other hand what?
Fear of consequence of overtly sustaining free speech?

The big question surrounds this interesting development in the evolution of the internet.

Why would so many heated complaints evolve from so many about the actions of so few?
By 'heated complaints' - the author means from the legion of disappointed contributors and by 'so few' means those seemingly arbitrarily placed to confound the good intentions of those so disappointed. 
There is no smoke without fire !

Objectives -
A commander tasked with invading and acquiring 'ground' firstly reconnoitres that ground.
Such a commander would utilise cadres possessing certain skills permitting them to leave as light a footprint as possible upon the ground they traverse while simultaneously collecting as much solid information and as many clues as may come to their notice.
Throughout the ages wily commanders came to trust their reconnaisance assets while some outstandingly successful commanders relied upon them implicitly.
This document is such a reconnaisance and is conducted towards answering the ancient question -"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
So who does actually guard the guardians in cyberspace?

Is it possible to smoke them out? 
This particular reconnaisance is by no means a reconnaisance in force.
The vehicle (PC) this author is driving is light and relatively unprotected and has recently been driven into territory where it and its driver have come under attack - after which metaphorically speaking just the other day some vehicle damage had to be repaired and bullet holes patched up.

To continue with the corollary: this reconnaisance is intended to discover what motivates attacks against VIPs who venture into that murky land inhabited by blogs and forums in Cyberspace.
Are they government agents, or those of some enemy?
Could they be guerrillas or auxiliaries and if so who might be paying them?
Or are they just latter-day reivers; the last unprincipled adventurers playing hurtful games on what they see as the last available relatively unguarded frontier?

Methodology –
  • Set up one reasonably capable, commercially available, off-the-shelf, personal computer. (the 'vehicle')
  • Ensure that the on-board security systems and firewalls are correctly installed and up to date with special attention towards running  all security scanners, then deleting all cookies/threats found prior to the experiment.
  • Start up computer.
  • Open e-mail and format a 'new message in reply'.
  • Shut down e-mail main page while leaving 'message reply' window open.
  • Open 'Google' and set filtering and security formatted at 'medium' settings.
  • Continue by choosing then entering appropriate search terms then conducting the 'Google search' series exclusively.
  • Capture the URL from the address bar atop the 'open page' of each chosen site.
  • Capture and copy unedited extracts from chosen sites.
  • Conduct lateral searches of found information in order to confirm the veracity of chosen documents.
  • Commence compiling document.
  • The author's comments shall be in 'blue' within the body of the search document.
  • Extracts from chosen URLs shall be in 'Italics' immediately below the relevant URL
  • Search terms shall be annotated above the results of each search.
  • Conduct full computer scan after completion of document.
Observations -
1 - Within the wealth of information stored below it has been stated and oft reiterated that people writing (for that matter otherwise promoting themselves) on the internet fall into the trap of believing themselves surrounded by their 'personal space' - to be 'at home'.
The author's own 'country boy's' experience of living and people watching in big cities comes to mind - human frailty; nose pickers in cars in traffic jams and worse on public transport.
With the internet we further transgress that illusion of personal space - not only by accidentally acting as if we were at home but by actively, often incautiously, virtually inviting a fair share of the outside world into our home

2 - Some years of perusal of these sites suggests that this principle does apply - as is evinced both by the conduct of a fair number of those invited to comment and by those claiming to be justly and fairly 'moderating' the input.
Putting it bluntly the majority of contributors reveal themselves by acting as if they were 'home alone' - while the poor, jaded site administrators/moderators, equally fallible, equally human, tend to fall into the same trap.

3 - An immense amount remains published on these blogs/fora which ably demonstrates that much is no more than a waste of bandwidth - while anecdotal evidence contained in records of complaint overwhelmingly supports the case that reasonable work worthy of publication is being systematically suppressed by governments, by corporations, by religions, by interest groups, by those whose interest is conflicted, by the narrow minded - by the broad minded who choose to reject a wowswer's input to their page - by conspiracy theorists - by those whose world picture abhors conspiracy - by those who generate conspiracy - by 'utter wingnuts' who cannot handle argument - even by the immensely bored and/or any other poor old Don Quixote silly enough to attempt yet another tilt at the windmill .

4 - The text supportive of the case for free speech, reason and diverse comment exists in profusion in cyberspace as do numerous pages dedicated towards drawing attention to or justifying its denial.
A fair percentage of those pages give indication that individuals are acting as censoriously as entities of certain Sovereign States.

5 - Some consideration therefore must be committed towards gauging what might motivate private individuals to comport themselves similarly as the less salubrious of Nation States.

6 - An arguable case does exist for filtering objectionable content from the internet.
Whether self-censorship, peer censorship or censorship undertaken by some branch of government - most would have a reasonable expectation that such would be fair - would be dedicated toward minimising matter commonly accepted as objectionable and be managed in ways that not only filtered out the bad but also facilitated the good.

7 - At the conclusion of this experiment it may not be denied that private actors, for reasons of their own choose to censor or suppress written contributions they've invited to their pages.
It remains a mystery why without any pressure from government they seem to be so remarkably intent on retaining the bad and consistently removing the good.

So with a spot of googling, beginning with the government perspective  may we now proceed toward where this argument leads -

Search word - "ECHELON"

"the ECHELON system was designed by NSA to
interconnect all these computers and allow the stations to function as
components of an integrated whole. The NSA and GCSB are bound together
under the five-nation UKUSA signals intelligence agreement. The other
three partners all with equally obscure names are the Government
Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain, the Communications
Security Establishment (CSE) in Canada, and the Defense Signals
Directorate (DSD) in Australia."

This one contains some informational links and as a bonus some beautiful pictures of New Zealand.

"Two of the chief protagonists - Britain and America - officially deny its existence. But the BBC has confirmation from the Australian Government that such a network really does exist and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for an inquiry."
"2.5. The operations of certain intelligence services
Public debate has been sparked primarily by the interception operations of the American and British intelligence services. They have been criticised for recording and analysing communications (voice, fax, e-mail). A political assessment requires a yardstick for judging such operations. The interception operations of foreign intelligence services in the EU may be taken as a basis for comparison. Table I provides an overview. This shows that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is by no means confined to the American or British foreign intelligence services."

EUROPEAN PARL/T INVESTIGATION PAPER - PLEASE READ AND VIEW TABLE 1


SEARCH TERMS - "DEFENCE SIGNALS DIRECTORATE" VOICE FAX E-MAIL
Believe I can rest my case on this one.
The fact that the Directorate needs to publish this guide proves that they feel the need to disseminate the info contained in order to guard against monitoring of gov/t communications.

SEARCH TERMS - internet espionage information gathering AG's department

"Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC)
CSOC in the Defence Signals Directorate is a Defence capability serving whole of government cyber security needs to detect and defeat sophisticated cyber threats. The CSOC provides cyber situational awareness and an enhanced ability to facilitate coordinated responses to, and management of, cyber security events of national importance. Staffed by skilled experts from a number of Australian Government agencies, it maximises the Australian Government’s ability to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to fast evolving sophisticated cyber exploitation attempts and attacks."
"The CSOC draws on an array of sources in the intelligence and security, law enforcement, national CERT and industry communities to provide a comprehensive picture of threats to Australian information and systems. The CSOC coordinates cyber event responses by government agencies and works in collaboration with overseas partners."

Some useful info there. A bit off the thread - or is it when you read the next -

"information provided to police in "threat assessments" or "intelligence reports" from the company include material derived from academic journals, speeches, media reports and publicly accessible company data.
As well as focusing on domestic activist groups, the company monitors news, government and security-related websites around the world for indicators on threats or potential threats to Australia and Australian interests abroad — including travellers — from acts of terrorism and civil unrest."
Got a tip? Email investigations@ theage.com.au.

"As Terrill (2000) observes in his history of secrecy and openness in the Australian government, the protest against secrecy was the "pervasive feeling that secrecy hid bad government." He lists numerous examples where the government lied, protected party or departmental issues before public interest, punished public comment by public servants, were inept, corrupt or needlessly secret. As he remarked: "Scandals made secrecy seem illegitimate, useful only for political convenience [and] secrecy could certainly protect undemocratic practices."


first article -
"The end result of the Australian Government sticking its nose into internet content is that people will do the same as they did before the internet became so popular in the last 10 years and sign up with ISPs in other countries.
This will have the dual effect of not only taking money away from the local ISP market but also tie-up international telephone circuits being used for data transmission instead of being available for voice calls.
In fact, given the charges offered by some private telecommunications companies around the world today many users might find the data transfer speeds faster and the costs on a par with what they pay now, while not having the concerns as to who is looking at what data they are sending or receiving."


"Back in 2000, a critic of the official narrative of the massacre, retired policeman Andrew S. MacGregor, related having been informed that Port Arthur was subject to a D-notice (short for Defence Notice), that is to say, an official government request not to discuss a particular subject. For those who don't know anything about D-notices, they were created by the English government in 1912 as a means of deterring the press from publishing information that might have been of value to England's then enemy, Germany. It is generally stated that they are voluntary, but this is a total fiction; they are in fact perceived by newspaper editors as direct orders from the government. The Guardian, for example, has several times pulled items from its website the instant a D-notice was served. (Example here)"


Now let's come to the endgame -

"MANY regimes around the world have attempted to do the unthinkable - censor free speech. The South Australian Government appears to be one body which is going to successfully apply such suppression.
Such a draconian move should come as no surprise. In many ways, it is entirely predictable.
The State Government has long made obvious its distaste for those who disagree with its policies in any form and to any degree whatsoever.
It is indeed difficult to recall a government of any persuasion being quite so sensitive.
Amendments to the Electoral Act, which came into force on January 6 and which require all bloggers and contributors to political debate to list their real name and postcode during an election campaign, appears to be an attempt to silence public dissent and opposition to government policy.
The changes to the law were overseen by Attorney-General Michael Atkinson and passed through Parliament with a pace akin to the night when MPs rapidly voted themselves the right to have cars paid for by South Australian taxpayers."

"Realistically and logically, there is no need. All blogs and comments published on AdelaideNow are moderated. Broadcasters monitor and moderate what is broadcast.
All also abide by extensive laws that prevent the publication or broadcast of defamatory and other illegal material.
The legislation also further enforces South Australia's reputation as a place where secrecy flourishes. It is instructive that similar laws were also enacted in China last year, a country which has yet to embrace free speech.”




"Michael -- I don't have a problem with comments being deleted if they breach a moderation policy such as being abusive, using foul language, defamatory, etc. However my concern was that a calm and reasoned comment that was critical of Telstra's behaviour hadn't been posted.
Back when Now We Are Talking was launched, Telstra was adamant that it wouldn't censor based on opinion."

SEARCH TERMS - ranting on the blog read what I said next day was ashamed asked for it to be deleted -music -review

"That posting on his blog nearly a year ago caught my attention. What was written there was not about me, none of it was true, yet it was made to look like it was. So, when he said, “All a person has to do is look at your comments here, and at the Times-Standard reader's forum where you constantly troll around looking for trouble.” Well, that caught my attention again. First I didn't engage him in any “comments” there on my blog. You could say I made that mistake before only to learn I didn't need to draw him out to prove what kind of a person he is. All I had to do was go over the the [Times-Standard reader's forum] and take a crash course. There are 171 comments on that thread and all the Dave Stancliff anyone could ever want."
"What happened? Why has it gone this far? When did emotions begin to rule over intellect?"
How silly is this; arguing over a fictitious character?

SEARCH TERMS - suppression censorship by moderator

"My response: The change I would like to see is that anybody who writes the kind of posting that Renato wrote BE ALLOWED TO DO SO. There was nothing in his post that warranted a unilateral deletion. If you felt that there was something was offensive you needed to at least talk to him BEFORE you deleted it. I read it initially and will continue to defend his right to say what he did even though I actually don't agree with him.
As a moderator I delete blatant ads posted as discussions all the time. Once I deleted somebody who posted an ad for Used Cars and also blocked this person from the group. But I always leave any serious MT focused issue alone even if I think it is wrong. The community decides what is interesting and what is not.
These forums are not the personal playgrounds of the moderators, and the community members can and should hold them accountable in exchange for their trust, involvement and engagement.
Leadership in the forums is most clearly demonstrated by giving voice to opinions that are different in a fair and equitable way.
I think an apology would be in order."

"The Suppression of Dr. Rowlands' Quantum Physics Paper
Summary:"
"On December 8th, 2004, I sent a paper to the quant-phys section of the archive, having posted 9 previous papers to arXiv.org, in the phys, quant-phys, and computer science sections.  I wasn't told that the paper had been blocked.  I only found out by accident when I tried to access it a week later.
The managers of the site told me that the paper was deemed 'inappropriate' and 'of no interest' to users.  I demanded an explanation from arXiv 'Moderation'.  I have had no response and am still waiting.  I tried again a week ago.  They say only that the issue will be dealt with - no proper reply."

 "To this date, January 25, 2005, Dr. Rowlands has received no reply from arXiv.org explaining their censorship of his paper."

This matter is about the ethical conduct of Cornell University - http://arxiv.org/.
How compromised are they?
This author has decided that without a doubt chronic censorship exists on the net.
The author shall let the concern about an academic's right to publication stand upon its own merits - for his claim does warrant a hearing.

But when it comes to human life - the following is infinitely more important -

"I first experienced censorship on the CA list several years ago. I was running Berkut at the time, and we had our web page hosted at The Wright Connection, which ran Canard.com and the CA mailing list. (in fact, I was the one that suggested he get the canard.com domain, much to my later chagrin) Someone posted that we at Berkut were selling molded canards. I replied that we had them in development and hoped to have them available soon, but they weren't for sale yet. It was rejected. The moderator said it was a commercial post. I pointed out that I wasn't trying to sell anything - in fact, it was a clear announcement that something WASNT for sale. But it made no difference. Needless to say, I pulled the web page from Wright shortly thereafter. Most amazingly, Marc's Cozy email list is virtually on the same topic, with many of the same participants, is uncensored, and is a perfectly civil forum. Marc has the ability to censor if things ever get out of hand, but they never have. The CA forum would be the same , and would be a much more valuable source of information, if the anonymous thought police would step aside. > I've also had an oil pump post censored in the past few days. In the past, > posts on baffle seals, airspeed sensor switches, flight test, brakes, > landing brake actuators, canopies and upholstery have been dumped. Never > an explanation. > > At 09:05 AM 12/8/02 -0700, Scott Derrick wrote: > >Lately I've had the following subjects censored. > > > >Veri-EZ Spar cap failure > >Flutter > >Pump for oil heat > >Electric heater > > > >the list goes on and on. > > > >If your opinion on the subject doesn't conform to the assholes that moderate > >the list they dump it. I'm pretty sure most of the folks on the list don't > >know. If you post a message with a hint about censorship it gets dumped! > > > >Scott"

Aircraft tend to crash after mechanical failure.
Crashing aircraft tend to kill the occupants of that aircraft and anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way on the ground.

It has been a tradition of aircraft operators since about 1903 to record maintenance/repair procedures and whenever necessary to expeditiously forward their knowledge to their peers for the simple reason that doing so saves lives.
Aircraft operators do this sort of thing even if it costs them money.
There is nothing altruistic about this - far the reverse. They simply know that someone operating an identical aircraft as theirs with more hours on the clock may experience problems.
They are all ears to hear what problems may occur with their own equipment at that future time. (Neville Shute Norway wrote about this sort of thing - "Over the Top".)

This author submits that when the situation has become so utterly degraded and compromised that egos must prevail at the expense of lives - that innocent lives shall be subsumed to egos - then the game is lost beyond any recall.

An Australian test run follows - Take a fresh blog at random and accept their invitation to comment - then see how it leads absolutely nowhere -
---------
'Calligula' writes thus -
To - http://jamespurser.com.au/blog  Topic - Australian content


"Hello James,
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write.
Here goes.
As a bloke a little past middle years and becoming humongously computer literate despite my own failing neurones I have come to notice a real doozy of an obstruction to OzContent.
Most blogs appear to have (whatcannIcallem) John Cleese/Basil Fawlty clones acting as moderators. They literally can your hours of work - seemingly because they can.
I have been in communication with a person recently who complains bitterly to me about experiencing the same thing.
In fact she's sent me her censored work and cannot find fault with it. No ranting nor roaring - just the voice of sweet reason directed precisely toward fair comment on the relevant thread.

Perhaps the reason for this censorship, for censorship it is - is about the fact that the surly little Fawlty clone acting as moderator simply disagrees with her views.
I find the same thing happening to me.
If such is happening to one person, then its a fair bet that it is happening to others.
If one meets another, then discover what is happening - is happening to both - then it is a fair bet that such is happening to scads of others.
The way I see it is that I'd be tempted, myself, to censor statements that were utterly foul and/or totally senseless.
Yet for some reason that sort of stuff is sustained throughout the medium to the extent that it has debased the medium.

But what is really burring me up is that I begin to see that this gratuitous censorship is more about the fact that some of us write better and more imaginatively than those running the show.
The point I make is that such treatment results with the same sort of thing one finds on radio talkback and those asinine quizzes.
The ABC is good at it with,say, Delroy and his ilk talking to the same half dozen every night.
I have come to see it as a very Australian and all-encompassing thing - the mediocre so hellbent on maintaining their small degree of control that they literally destroy their own little patch or puddle in that process.

Looking at that from another angle - Take Telstra corp who late last year unilaterally dissolved my corporate web-page with no good reason.
They arbitrarily ripped up an agreement of about fourteen years standing and turned the standing of my business as an original equipment designer/ manufacturer/exporter into utter mush.
So there was Australian on-line content about Australian off-line manufacturing technology destroyed by the same style of person who also seems to appear as censors on blogs.
These days it truly makes me wonder." - MESSAGE ENDS

And there you have it below. The result of trying to speak truth in Australia.- hit the send button and the following pops up -

"Your posting on James Purser from 113.212.99.150 has been automatically flagged by our spam filters as being inappropriate for this website.
At James Purser we work very hard behind the scenes to keep our web pages free of spam. Unfortunately, sometimes we accidentally block legitimate content. If you are attempting to post legitimate content to this website, you can help us to improve our spam filters by emailing the following information to a site administrator:"
So I report the problem as was requested - wasting only another two hours out of my life, reporting thus -
"As it happens and since you have been good enough to offer me this opportunity I'm writing a bit of a submission about internet censorship.
I believe my original text speaks for itself if it happened to be read carefully by a human being rather than some spam blocker that probably rejects anything else than US/English.

However since e-mail, in my view is a cold-blooded reprehensible medium that does more to mask, than to convey good intent - I shall say a little more here.
Firstly, I am not particularly computer illiterate and neither is another member of this family who has an IT diploma.
It distresses me and annoys him when I need to call on his help when some people claiming to be honest, decent and even handed 'moderators' on allegedly Australia's most famed fora/blogs prove their true colours by sending me private little emails containing viruses. (Before I go further - NO - I'm not accusing you)

If we may step back from that personal situation for a sec - if you read my original I hint that I'd recently been in contact with a person experiencing the same situation.
I may be stupid but after receiving a number of 'content verifiable' and very 'information rich' communications from that source I decided to do some research.
Since the final document will be shared with the abovementioned I chose to conduct a series of searches utilising the Google search engine - hopefully permitting her access to the same results.

Putting it bluntly the object of the exercise was to demonstrate that the internet is compromised beyond recall as regards secure communications AND any expectation of utilising the resource as a means of disseminating information or, say, social justice issues.
Essentially I created a document containing mostly official government web page search results and some learned articles - documents all of which in any case may be accepted as of a demonstrably high degree of confidence.

Since my profession has surrounded defence industry for the last two decades I chose to begin my paper from a known position with information about El-Int starting with 'Echelon' and going forward to the present Australian context where essentially the DSD will be working along with the AG's office if the Fed. Admin .has its way with net filtering.
Nothing remarkable there but it covered only half the lady's concerns.

There remains her concerns and my own as to why our work should be 'canned' at every turn.
Which is exactly why - once I discovered a site I believed was worthy of comment - I sat down and wrote the above/my original.

In closing I suggest you read again then publish both.
No skin off my nose if you don't - since you'll only prove the point in direct opposition to what is displayed on your own pages.
Even if you do publish it simply proves how much a bloke has to crawl over broken glass to get a word in these days.
Best regards -
Calligula  - MESSAGE ENDS

Result - as expected, nothing published.

Fine. I chose my attitude carefully within the bounds of what I'd read on his pages - have had other work accepted as from 'Calligula' elsewhere.
Example here -
  
SEARCH TERMS - the moderator keeps censoring me -

 "I worked for a short stint for America On-Line
Their censorship truly shocked me.
For comments made in their chat forums they would regularly suspended and terminate the accounts of users for making statements deemed to be anti-American.
I had access to a facility that allowed me to see the comments users had their accounts terminated or suspended for. Stating the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan was morally wrong could get a poster banned.
One that sticks in my mind. A user who had their account blocked for saying ",,It's not right to bomb civilians in Afghanistan,," - In response to another poster who kept making statements like "let's nuke all those ragheads" without any censure.
AOL were hilarious in other ways - like when they blocked the accounts of every user who had Ossama in their name -A very common name in Muslim countries - the equivalent of blocking every user called Bob.
The only freedom AOL believe in, is the freedom to mop floors, serve the rich drinks, and to keep your uppity little mouth shut."

“harry :
26 Mar 2008 1:11:14am
I would have liked you all to read of my personal experience with the internet and censorship, but the moderator did not post it. Censored it was.
RumpoleofSurfers :
26 Mar 2008 9:37:23am
We will never know.You might have made that up!
Harry :
26 Mar 2008 6:42:40pm
Would the moderator post a lie?
James_T_Quirk :
27 Mar 2008 10:57:05am
While the board is obviously moderated, I cannot believe they would censor you, after some of MY more, "rabid" postings ...

Censorship & Freedom of Speech
Under Australian law, the only protected form of speech is that of a political nature, and even then, it's only protected from governmental interference. Private entities can not, by definition, be guilty of censorship. Whirlpool is a private web site - owned and operated by an individual.
In short, you have no "freedom of speech" on Whirlpool, nor is the cry of "censorship" at all valid.
In the interest of fairness and balance, as well as to help focus and improve quality of discussion, there is a team of moderators who have the ability to remove posts and threads from the public eye. There are many legitimate reasons for a moderator to remove comments, which are outlined elsewhere in the Forum Rules.

"Do you think that the authors of the article “Aboriginal” were defending free speech or just being racist bullies?
Bullying is when someone gets beaten. Satire is when an article gets written on an Internet comedy website.
Do you think Google was right to remove the article from its search?
Google didn’t remove it, Australian law did. Very few companies will defy a legal order in compliance with national law. It differs naught from the censorship used by the PRC or the Soviets. It is a sure sign of decline when a nation facing great social and economic problems that threaten to sink it has little more to do than squabble over things people say."

"The issue is that largely new classes of people who previously were excluded from this medium of communication are finally getting connected and they’re shocked by what they see. People acting obnoxiously on the Internet to garner reactions is not a startling revelation to anyone that has been using any sort of social media in the past three decades."

"DD Ball replied to mareeS
Thu 08 Apr 10 (10:31am)
Maree, I don’t choose to view porn and I am not worried about the filter in that regard. I object to what the filter will be used for and that is to suppress legitimate opposition to ALP government. Whistleblowers who highlight corruption can be silenced with no appeal. That is a direct consequence of the filter. What may also happen is that the filter may not be an effective filter against porn."
Tim of NotOnMyWatchVille (Reply)
Thu 08 Apr 10 (01:57am)
"The bedrock of Western Civilization is the free exchange of ideas. Conroy & Rudd’s plan is totally at odds with this. We have actually fought wars against people who believed that a government has the right to censure and punish individuals for thinking differently.  In effect Rudd is dialling back our freedoms to match those of communist China’s."



The proof of the pudding, this A page dedicated toward ethical webhosting and a 'professional moderator' named 'Chicken' justifies this paper.- by sheer misplaced, self defeating ego.

"Now, I am SURE the admins peered through each post and determined them each to be “offtopic” as a justification for removing his nick, user access, and then replacing all his posts with empty space, while retaining any post that responded or copied it. This isn’t censorship, indeed, it’s an excision. But like all medical procedures of this nature, it only removes a response, not the source, of the doubt, the rejection of ID’s fallacy, and exposes the fear of death of the patient, a movement including the above quoted individual.
Since it IS his blog, though, he can do what he wants, but his actions are transparent; the removal only serves as much as locking up a reporter for knowing something the administration didn’t like her knowing.…"


Conclusions -
Arriving at narrow, civil law conclusions (whereby any thing, circumstance, or undertaking be essentially unlawful if not specifically authorised under some specific statute) then arbitrarily, gratuitously and prejudiciously acting upon them within a Common Law jurisdiction (At which any thing, circumstance, or activity be perfectly lawful unless it is actually proscribed under legislation) may arguably be lawful according to Common Law - thanks be to the very nature of our Common Law.

However our Federal jurisdiction has adopted certain statutes and conventions some of which are binding at law while others underpin legislation to the extent of broadening the focus of our judge made law. (e.g. Discrimination law/UNHCR principles acceptance - common decency, custom, precedent)

A reasonable person advised of the above would find it utterly reprehensible that a person or persons actively soliciting comment, in order to undertake publication of that comment in the public domain (say moderating a forum, blog, or the like) should then exercise more restraint upon the written word than is customarily exercised by agencies of governance within that lawful jurisdiction.

Such a reasonable person with fair understanding of 'cause and effect', of custom and precedent would expect some degree of reasonableness from his peers - if merely  from the standpoint of massaging mutual self-interest.

Yet there is the rub.
As has been exhaustively detailed above - sometimes governments believe they must act in the public interest - to monitor and sometimes suppress certain activity.

Meanwhile decent people perfectly prepared to face the ire of their governments and take whatever consequences come their way are edited, suppressed, censored, and otherwise canned by individuals somehow strategically emplaced amongst these blogs.

Are these small time censors motivated by fear, by greed or mere gratification; the overweening ego of the big frog in the little puddle?

This situation coincidentally mirrors the drive to Statutorily 'incorporate' social and sporting organisations over the last couple of decades.
Perfectly functional, viable and worthy organisations were white-anted, then, by individuals deciding to act in ways de-facto, ultra vires.
The same thing appears to be happening to the net now. Certain individuals apparently just do things because they can while others act with purpose.

It does seem to be the case that the replacement of Common Law mores by the construct of Civil Law and statutes 'attracts' certain mindsets toward autocracy and a Star Chamber approach. (such as has eventuated under enforced incorporation of various and sundry NGOs and the like)
It is generally accepted that Civil/statutory law requires underpinning with a constitution - "a power map delineating normative relationships between the institutions of government and between one citizen and another." (Constitutional Law and Politics - Vernon Bogdanor)

What this nation lacks and our people desperately need is such an adequate 'power map'.

Post experiment activity –
Every attempt has been made to avoid any form of sociological analysis of results and outcomes or to resort to any of that sort of terminology.
  • The entire conduct of this experiment is to assess how people of median towards above average intellect 'feel' after being subject to what they would latterly, correctly surmise as a fair old waste of their time -
  • followed by the nagging feeling that they'd been duped -
  • and once their social justice/fair play relays had kicked in - their need, themselves, not to fall into the trap of suppressing stupidity rather to transcend impulse by actively promoting and mentoring the means by which justice and fair dealing shall be sustained then mentoring the means by which justice and fair dealing shall be sustained.

Then as I promised in 'methodology, item, dot 15 - What pitfalls might confront a person doing this sort of exercise -
There is a tendency to fall foul of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Security scans at conclusion of exercise -
MalWare search gave- zero hits - which either means that I avoided the 'enemy' or that they 'missed' me with heavy calibre stuff.
Whereas 47 nasty little tracking cookies otherwise appeared and needed dealing with.

In closing, things could have been infinitely worse –
the reconnaisance was successful, enough information was attained - a return to base and report made - all with, hopefully, only superficial damage to the vehicle. 
End of document.

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