Transcript: Hacking and irrational actors in Redfern

Back in February I spoke at the “Freedom of Information? panel held in Redfern by Recordkeeping Roundtable. I’ve previously posted the audio of my contribution. Here’s a transcript.

Recordkeeping Roundtable’s website has the raw transcript as supplied, but I’ve decided to edit it up a little to make it more readable. Enjoy.

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Talking hacking and irrational actors in Redfern

The Recordkeeping Roundtable panel “Freedom of Information?” held on 29 February was recorded, and here’s the audio.

The promo, as I told you earlier said:

In a connected world where information sharing is easier and has more impact than ever before, is the current framework of FOI, information security, privacy and archives laws and practices delivering the information society needs in a timely and appropriate way? This panel discussion will be about:

  • assessing the effectiveness of current information access and security laws and methods — are they hopelessly broken?
  • the culture of secrecy and withholding by government agencies
  • how technology and activism offer those with the skills and motivation some alternative and very powerful ways to access and reveal information, and
  • what can be done to address the current state of things and move to better ways of making information available when and where it’s needed.

I was the first speaker, talking about the new, disorderly ways of liberating information, using the Anonymous crack of Stratfor as an example. Since then, though, we’ve discovered that the whole thing might have been an FBI sting operation against WikiLeaks!

Recordkeeping Roundtable has posted the audio of the entire event: opening remarks by moderator Cassie Findlay; me; the speech by former diplomat Dr Philip Dorling, who now leads the journalistic pack in FOI stuff; the speech by Tim Robinson, Manager, Archives and Records Management Services at the University of Sydney; and the question and answer session.

Here, though, is a tweaked and slightly less bandwidth-hungry version of my speech.

Play

[The original audio recording by Cassie Findlay was sampled at 44.1kHz. This version has the audio levels compressed and normalised, and re-sampled to 22.050kHz. It’s posted here under a Creative Commons BY-SA license.]

[Update 26 May 2012: A transcript of what I said is now available.]

Visiting Canberra for eCrime Symposium

I’m off to Canberra for a few days next week to cover the 3rd Annual eCrime Symposium, which this year is a two-day event at the University of Canberra.

This event has been steadily growing since it was kicked off by former Australian Federal Police chaps Alastair MacGibbon and Nigel Phair two years ago. On that occasion I filed a story for Crikey, eCrime: the bad guys pwn the internet.

Last year I don’t seem to have filed a written story — I was writing abut the National Broadband Network instead — but I did chat with the FBI’s Will Blevins for a podcast, Cybercrime: the FBI’s worldview.

Those first two events were run under the rubric of the Surete Group, but now Messrs MacGibbon and Phair have formed the Centre for Internet Safety, part of the law school at the University of Canberra, and it’s all rather more special.

This year I’ll be filing for CSO Online. I’m arriving in Canberra on Monday evening 7 November, and will stay in town until just before lunchtime on Thursday 10 November.

[Update 12 November 2011: The articles I wrote about this conference are listed at Weekly Wrap 75: eCrime, Canberra and a dead computer.]

Talking hacker arrests on ABC’s “The World Today”

While I was busy writing an op-ed on the LulzSec vs Murdoch saga this morning — and I’ll post more about that momentarily — I got a phone call from ABC Radio’s lunchtime current affairs program The World Today to comment on the FBI’s arrest of alleged Anonymous-connected hackers overnight.

The story is TransAtlantic arrests target hackers, and if you click through you’ll get both transcript and audio. You’ll hear me, as well as Patrick Gray, presenter of the Risky Business podcast on information security. The reporter is Sarah Dingle.

I’d be interested to know what you think of these arrests.

Patrick reckons they arrested nobodies.

This current batch of arrests will “bring to justice” a bunch of people who made no attempt to conceal their actions because they’re either technically useless or just didn’t care.

They’re “low hanging anons”.

But that won’t stop the mainstream media from portraying this as the establishment striking back at online troublemakers.

I reckon that while that may or may not be true, the computers the FBI has just seized will be handy evidence when it comes to tracking down other culprits. After all, their operational security has hardly been world class.

Weekly Wrap 26

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets and in the media and so on and so forth.

Articles

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 67, “Cybercrime: the FBI’s worldview”. Edited highlights of a presentation to the eCrime Symposium by Will Blevins, the FBI’s assistant legal attaché to Australia for cybercrime issues.
  • A Series of Tubes episode 120. Richard Chirgwin and I have a long chat about the National Broadband Network. Was the business case document worth the wait? Is there a black hole in the NBN financials? What’s the product roadmap? And what about this Points of Interconnect issue?

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Low-grade reindeer is low-grade, taken earlier today at the Broadway Shopping Centre, Sydney.]

Great Techno, and Check My Patch

Deepchild The Solstice begins with a chance pleasure. Extraordinarily fine community broadcaster FBi has just put online the audio and video of “Blackness of the Sea”, a cruisey tune from Deepchild who, as they accurately put it, is “one of Australia’s most respected producers of leftfield dance music”.

Download. Listen. Enjoy. You’ll also see my local patch, because the video was shot in Newtown in Sydney, same postcode as me here in Enmore. I can spot about 50% of the locations so far.