Talking technology on ABC 720 Perth, episode the second

ABC logoThe hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment inspired many of the talking points on today’s “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth.

Did North Korea hack Sony? Or was it hackers-for-hire employed by North Korea? Or was it someone else who hired hackers and paid them to look like they were working for North Korea? At this stage nobody knows. But whoever did the hack, it is not “cyberwar”.

Sony is also trying to take legal action against people publishing links to the stolen material, which is surely going to trigger the Streisand Effect — which I explained.

We spoke about how Sony’s computer networks were shut down, leading to working like it’s an office from ten years ago, but with added paranoia.

And we also spoke about the Pew Research Center report, as described in the Fairfax press, which suggested that living a public life online would be the new default by the year 2025. Privacy will be considered a luxury.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Google and forgetting on ABC 666 Canberra

ABC logoFollowing a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Google has instituted a system to enable “the right to be forgotten” — and they’ve been flooded with requests.

More than 12,000 requests for certain pages to be removed from Google’s search results were received in the first 24 hours — that’s an average of seven per second — and it’s still unclear how they’ll all be dealt with.

In any event, it won’t work.

I discussed some of the issues with Genevieve Jacobs on ABC 666 Canberra this morning, including the case of Michael Trkulja, the Melbourne man who successfully sued both Google and Yahoo! for a total of around $500,000 — but who has yet to pay his lawyer — and the wonders of the Streisand Effect.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 27

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets — very late this week because I just couldn’t be arsed doing blog posts while I was in San Francisco. But here’s the summary of last week. On Wednesday. So I’ll refund your goddam subscription fees.



  • Patch Monday episode 68, “Wikileaks: the survival lessons”. A panel discussion with network engineer Mark Newton — he described WikiLeaks as “a bespoke cloud-based CDN [content distribution network] that is enabled by the Streisand Effect” — information security specialist Crispin Harris, and platform architect Benno Rice.

Media Appearances

None. What wrong with you people?

Corporate Largesse

Where do you start? This week was all about me travelling to San Francisco as a guest of So they paid my airfares, accommodation, food and drink throughout the event, and “networking functions” at the W Hotel and the Palace Hotel. Plus they gave me a Flip HD video camera, a scarf, a t-shirt, a universal power plug thingy and a can of whipped cream. Don’t ask.


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: A comparison of real American men with the idealised version portrayed in advertising in a storefront on Market St, San Francisco.]

Crikey: ACMA’s blacklist just got read all over

Crikey logo

I’m in Crikey again today with an 800-word essay about the leaking of a secret Internet censorship blacklist — exactly what I’d predicted only on Wednesday.

The article is free to read, but here’s a flavour:

Dear Government, look, I hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so. On Wednesday. The more you try to hide your controversial Internet blacklist, the bigger you make it, the bigger the incentive for someone to leak it.

For money. For political advantage. For the sheer bloody fun of sticking it to The Man. And, yes, maybe someone might even leak it because they’re one of that tiny number of sick bastards who get off on child pornography…

American bank robber “Slick” Willie Sutton was (probably apocryphally) asked why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is.” ACMA compiles a virtual bank vault of nasty websites and hands the keys to the makers of filter software and from there, it’s planned, every ISP in Australia — including many low-margin businesses which, let’s face it, don’t have the security procedures of an ASIO or an MI5. As yesterday’s leak to whisteblower website Wikileaks proves.

I go on to analyse the leaked list — I judge it “a pretty shit piece of work” — and drop in a few thoughts from Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. Enjoy.

I’ll post my 5-minute interview with Senator Ludlam tomorrow morning.