Talking Stratfor hack on Perth radio 6PR

So there I was, having a quiet drink late on Friday night, chatting on Twitter with Crikey’s Bernard Keane and journalist Gabriella Lahti about the Stratfor hack, when who should poke his head over the parapet but Jason Jordan, who was about to present 6PR’s Nightline

Long story short, less than half an hour later I’m live on air chatting about the whole thing, including who Anonymous are and what their motives might be, and what might happen next.

Thanks to technical difficulties my end I couldn’t record 6PR’s audio stream, and there wasn’t time to sort that out before we went live. So this audio was recorded my end, and that means I sound just fine on my quality microphone and the radio station is at the other end of the phone.

I’ve left in a bit of my conversation with the producer before and after so you can experience The Magic of Radio. Technically that’s a breach of the NSW Surveillance Devices Act 2007 because I didn’t seek permission first but, like, shut up.

Yes, it really was just two seconds from me getting ready to being live on air.

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The audio is ©2011 Radio 6PR Perth Pty Ltd, but since they don’t archive these interviews I reckon it’s fair enough putting it here provided you just listen to it and I link back to 6PR and encourage you to listen. If you’re in Perth. Or if you want to stream it.

Talking Stratfor hack on ABC TV’s “7.30”

I was interviewed for ABC TV’s current affairs program 7.30 yesterday about Anonymous’ hack of Stratfor. The story was Hack attack reveals Australians’ credit card details.

Interestingly, they chose to focus on the “liberation” of the credit card numbers and how it affected the Australian victims.

They didn’t use any of the material we recorded on who the various victims might be, what the still-to-come publication of some 2.7 million of Stratfor’s internal emails might reveal, and the effect that could have on both Stratfor and the individuals who’ve been feeding them information.

Indeed, this article by Barrett Brown makes it clear that those emails and other internal documents were the real target, not the credit card numbers. Anonymous is trying to give the impression that there’s some powerful stuff in there, but we’ll see.

I guess when you’ve only got six minutes and have to start with “Who is Anonymous?” and “Who is Stratfor?” then there’s not really enough time to get to “This is really a follow-up to Anonymous’ hack of HBGary Federal earlier in the year.”

Careful viewers will notice that reporter Sara Everingham described me as someone who “goes by the name Stilgherrian”, which is a bit of an oops but something that seemed to cause more distress to my Twitter followers than me.

Since some people have asked, I might as well tell you that the interview was shot in a spare office at the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters — rather different from the outdoor shot the last time I was on 7.30.

And despite the story being written and voiced by Sara Everingham, I was actually interviewed by Sarah Dingle. Ah, the Magic of Television!

The video in the story is Flash, so it won’t work on your iDevice. But there’s also an MP4 version of the video.

Talking Stratfor hack and more on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide

I was scheduled to talk about the year 2011 in technology on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide this morning, but with the news that Malcolm Turnbull’s credit card details were exposed in the Stratfor hack that too was on the agenda.

The original plan was to cover the kinds of issues raised in my 2011 tech wrap for Crikey and the Patch Monday podcast episodes 2011: the year in security and 2011: IT’s year of consolidation.

We also covered computer support for the electoral roll and computerised voting, since Senator Cory Bernardi had raised the subject of people casting multiple votes and how only a handful of alleged cases had been prosecuted.

While I supported the idea of an online electoral roll, I spoke against online voting. I’ve written about that before at ABC’s The Drum, Electronic voting a threat to democracy.

The regular presenters were on holidays, so the host was William Goodings.

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The audio is ©2011 dmgRadio Australia, but here it is ‘cos it hasn’t been posted on the radio station’s website. Besides, this is a reasonable plug.

[Update 0910: Link added to article on electronic voting.]

Psywar in Iran

Crikey logo

“This is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media,” says Clay Shirky, professor at New York University and author of the book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. And what’s had the greatest impact? “It’s Twitter,” says Shirky.

So starts my piece in Crikey yesterday, We’re all wearing green for Iran now, apparently.

The article covers two main points.

One, this isn’t really the first time demonstrations have been organised or teargas reported via Twitter. Try Bangkok in October 2008. Try Chişinău in April 2009. And as Business Week pointed out, A Twitter revolution? Hardly.

Two, people are changing their avatars green to “support democracy in Iran” based on very little information. And as commenter Rena Zurawel claimed:

Whether it is a Rose Revolution in Georgia, or Orange Revolution in the Ukraine or a Green revolution in Iran — the source and inspiration is exactly the same: $70 million decided by the Congress to spend on so called “democratic changes in Iran”.

That last point intrigued me, so I poked around a bit.

I found this 2008 report from STRATFOR Global Intelligence: Geopolitical Diary: Iran, Psywar and the Hersh Article which is reproduced in full over the jump.

Continue reading “Psywar in Iran”