Alastair MacGibbon on the Cyber Crime report

While I’ve already given my opinion of the federal parliament’s Cyber Crime report, why not listen to an actual expert opinion?

Last night I spoke with Alastair MacGibbon (pictured) for today’s Patch Monday podcast. We recorded way too much material for the podcast, so here’s the full conversation.

MacGibbon was the founding Director of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, was with the Australian Federal Police for 15 years, he graduated from the FBI’s National Academy in the US, was Head of Trust, Safety & Customer Support for eBay Asia Pacific for four years — in short, he knows his way around this stuff.

We talk through some of the recommendations of the report Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime released last Monday — including MacGibbon’s own somewhat controversial view that we should actively block people’s computers from accessing the internet if their security software isn’t up to scratch.

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[Photo: Alastair MacGibbon speaking at the recent Intelligence Squared debate, Governments should not censor the internet, in a frame grab taken from the ABC TV broadcast.]

4 Replies to “Alastair MacGibbon on the Cyber Crime report”

  1. Interesting point that Alastair MacGibbon can support “a certain amount of anarchy” — which is something I attempted to discuss with Geordie Guy (EFA) in the theaterette at Parliament House last year. “The EFA will never support anarchy” (paraphrased).

    The other point Alistair raises is “harm” which in many lawyers mind’s helps define “criminal behaviour” and separate it from non-criminal activity such as publishing or expressing an opinion or publishing material that isn’t harmful to others.

    Whether “RC” (non CP) material is harmful to others is a contentious point as it isn’t illegal to purchase or possess in New South Wales but is allegedly criminal to sell.

    I hope you make it to the Gaelic Club on the 7th July 6pm.

    I believe some members of the Pirate Party (now registered federally) may be present and seeking interaction with Greens MP (NSW) Lee Rhiannon and Senator Scott Ludlam.

    6pm Wednesday 7th July
    Gaelic Club, 1/64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills

    Join Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, journalist Antony Loewenstein and Lee Rhiannon to discuss internet censorship issues.

    Communications Minister has announced plans to introduce an internet filter which will restrict Australians’ access to the internet and establish a system for widespread government censorship of the internet.

    Senator Ludlam has led the opposition to the filter within the Parliament and Antony Loewenstein has been a prominent campaigner as a journalist and blogger.

    Come and hear them discuss the issues with Greens NSW Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon.

    BTW: I recommend the Guinness — and I’m hoping Lee Rhiannon can shed some light on the recent imprisonment of an adult store retailer based in Oxford Street (Sydney).

    Lee raised this issue in the New South Wales Parliament in March 2010 — as did Peter Breen a few years earlier. (The links are in the NSW Hansard and easily located on-line).


  2. @stilgherrian – I’m disappointed you can’t make the Gaelic Club as it will possibly be an interesting evening (and Guinness is good for you 🙂 )

    Here’s Alastair McGibbon at the IQ Squared debate which took place at Angel Place on May 11th. 2010.

    The debate was sponsored by the St. James Ethics Centre.


  3. (addendum) to Alastair McGibbon’s comments about being unable to purchase videos of rape and non-consenting acts. This isn’t true. I did so and took the video(s) to offices in Surry Hills (the “OFLC”) and left it with them under directions of the State Attorney General.

    Their view was somewhat confusing. The video(s) clearly contravened the guidelines but were returned to me by registered mail in 2004.

    On appeal against their decision not to act, the matter was referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Their view was that it isn’t their decision as to whether that was the “correct” thing to do but that it was an option open to the then Director of the OFLC – Mr Des Clark.

    Further correspondence with the then Federal Attorney General (addressed to myself) indicated that he seemingly agreed with the decision of the OFLC.

    Not only has it been possible to purchase videos of rape and non-consenting sex but it is also legal to own and purchase them.

    Just my two cents worth….


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