Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian)

Wentworth Falls NSW AU

The below is an off-site archive of all tweets posted by @stilgherrian ever

December 7th, 2012

Yes, fleeing the CBD was a wise choice.

via Plume for Android

I have escaped from the conference, which kinda gurgled to a close.

via Plume for Android

Merritt says that there’s demonstrated antagonism between government and media, but no demonstrated general misbehaviour by the media.

via Janetter for Mac

Merritt ays ALRC’s recommendation has nothing on public interest defence and the like.

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However he says in response to a Q that it’d be premature to go to a law without the courts developing framework for public interest etc.

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Damn. Was screwing around with the bloody Wi-Fi and missed a key comment as McClelland wrapped.

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… which results, essentially, in a list of cases and what McLelland thinks of each one. This would’ve been better at the original time.

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The Wi-Fi has been dodgy so my tweets have been slow coming, but McClelland has just been going through recent privacy events…

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McLelland read the entire chunk of text from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on freedom of speech and expression…

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McLelland notes that a statute on privacy has potential for “a chilling effect” on freedom of speech and freedom of political expression.

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RT @philipargy: I proposed it in 1975! [A tort of privacy? Well, Sir, looks like it shall come to pass!]

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McLelland cites the words used to describe privacy from the NSW Surveillance Devices Act. He’s really seeing what formulas we have.

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The broad thrust of McLeland’s citations is that the courts have been slowly developing a framework for breach of confidence law.

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Uhoh. McClelland is citing some cases with names I don’t recognise and therefore I don’t know how to spell. I shall fail you here, folks.

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McLelland notes that his student son has already been studying “the developing tort of privacy”, so sounds like it’ll happen.

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Oh, Robert McClelland did make it. He’s up now. He’s a former attorney-general.

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Merritt echoes concerns raised earlier that the tort could lead to “judicial over-reach”.

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Merritt says he might support the statutory privacy tort of there was also a statutory right to freedom of speech, but that’s not there.

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Merritt seems to be arguing for privacy actions to happen under human rights law (like Canada) or breach of confidence (like UK). Yes?

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The existence of these broadcast privacy breaches point not to the need for a statutory tort but better implementation of current regs.

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Points to recent Romanian hack of credit card data. A tort of privacy would have done nothing to stop that.

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The broadcast media are already regulated, yet those incidents still happened.

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Notes that some of the more egregious privacy incidents of late have been the electronic media: MSW minister gay sauna, quad bike death etc.

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Merritt isn’t fan of the tort of privacy law. A “dangerous overreaction to what can best be described as cultural cringe,” he says.

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Lead speaker for this session is Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor, @australian

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And we’re back for the final session of “Privacy in the 21st Century” law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer… One hour to go!

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That kicked off into rather odd argument that I couldn’t tweet ‘cos my Wi-Fi died. And now it’s afternoon tea time. I’ll write it up later.

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Mark Day doesn’t think it’s useful to divide people according to whether they think deeply or not.

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And now we hear nothing from GetUp!, says Disney. Launches into rant agains the shallow quick-click mentality.

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Disney on GetUp!: Wanted a statutory authority ‘cos it was an easy message to sell, not because it was their choice for a good solution.

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Disney on social media campaign: These people often ‘know nothing about what they’re talking about” and… I can’t reproduce the whole rant!

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Disney doubts that the effect of the campaign on Alan Jones will be anything but ephemeral.

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The default for the entirety of human history until just recently, says Turnbull, was for things to be forgotten. Now it’s all remembered.

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The biggest threat to privacy on social media is people’s own actions, says Turnbull.

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“That is a reach that is really starting to challenge the mainstream media,” says Turnbull.

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Turnbull notes social media provides everyone with a megaphone. A tweet can be RT’d and go viral, potential to reach millions in minutes.

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… but were expressing their democratic right to deliver a message to advertisers, and that was “remarkably effective”.

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Turnbull notes that the social media campaign against Alan Jones was presumably from people who were not in Jones’ audience…

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Turnbull’s reply (I think) is that it’s relative, and that his comments weren’t meantto suggest ACMA be shut down and replaced this way.

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Question from the floor to Turnbull, on the difference between an effective social media campaign and vigilantism.

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chrisberg way too much freedom of speech people

via Twitter Web Client (retweeted on 3:01 PM, Dec 7th, 2012 via Janetter for Mac)

Turnbull points to the (bad) example of the US giving freedom of speech powers to corporations, implications for political campaigns.

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Turnbull rebuts: Lenin said that freedom is so precious it must be rationed.

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Disney: There are some people in this country with too much freedom of speech at the moment.

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Julian Disney outlines the limits to and balances applying to freedom of speech. Website comments get a mention.

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That was far from the only thing Mark Day said, but I only came back into the room towards the end of his comments.

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Mark Day said quite bluntly, if you put stuff on Facebook then you can’t complain if it ends up in the media should you become newsworthy.

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Skipped a bit there, sorry. Had to pay attention to something else.

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Disney’s final point is that you need the “rules” (whatever they are) to drill down into quite specific details and standards.

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Disney has said “guaranteed membership” and “guaranteed funding” several times now. I think we get the point, Sir!

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Disney says Leveson’s main incentive is quick, easy arbitration, but he’s not sure that’s enough. Useful, though.

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Disney acknowledges that the publishers significantly improved this year.

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Disney: Need to have guaranteed membership of all these significant publishers and guaranteed adequate funding.

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Disney: Crucial that we don’t overestimate the capacity of bodies like the Press Council. Not big enough, not independent enough.

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So @TurnbullMalcolm finishes, joins panel: Julian Disney, Press Council; Mark Day, @australian; Angelene Falk, Office Aust Info Commissioner

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If publisher decided to fight it instead, that they didn’t offer an apology initially would be taken into account when fixing costs.

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That process would be an incentive for publishers to get mistakes corrected quickly and properly, says Turnbull.

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That remedy would only be available to published who were members of a press council or adhere to some equivalent industry code.

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Turnbul proposal: Aside from malice, if publishers on receiving a complaint publish an adequate and timely apology, would be end of claim.

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Turnbull says defamation laws are “hopelessly inadequate”. “Everything about the way defamation works is wrong.”

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“I’m not persuaded of the need for a privacy law in Australia, even if as a public figure I’d be a beneficiary of it,” says Turnbull.

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Turnbull says the big challenge is defining “privacy”. “The definition is a very difficult one.”

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RT @kimogrady1: @stilgherrian is ‘Corny’ a quote? [No, just my error rate climbs when I type fast. That was, of course, “Conroy”.]

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Turnbull agrees with David Cameron that any new “press council” like organisation should not be defined by statute.

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Turnbull notes that it was a Twitter campaign that got Alan Jones, i.e. more freedom, the freedom of Twitter, that worked, not regulation.

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Says that the word in Canberra is that Corny took a package to cabinet but it didn’t get through.

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Turnbull is disappointed that Conroy hasn’t presented a package of media reforms for him to respond to.

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Turnbull outlines the usual media landscape: Fewer journos, more output expected, 24/7 news cycle with continuous updating etc etc.

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Focus should be on answer that are least costly, most efficient, least intrusive.

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The question should be whether the same result can be achieved without regulation or with a less onerous regulation.

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RT @latikambourke: @gths @stilgherrian where’s his hat? [True. I have no hat.]

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RT @gths: I see @stilgherrian is filling in for @latikambourke today ;) [Because we’re quite interchangeable?]

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I might skip over some of Turnbull’s more unsubtle party-political digs.

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“I need a lot of persuading that the answer is less freedom.”

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“Is Conroy’s foreshadowed regime [about] intimidating the media?”

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“Politicians and those with power have a vested interest in a quiescent media.”

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We should always be wary of politicians calling for regulation of the media, says Turnbull, ‘cos they want a comfortable echo chamber.

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Turnbull says when he worked in Fleet Street in the 70s the consensus was that all the bad behaviour in newspapers was brought by Rupert.

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Turnbull is an avowed internationalist. Australia shouldn’t be parochial […] Thankfully Australia hasn’t had to deal with a Leveson event.

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First speaker this afternoon, @TurnbullMalcolm. I believe you may have heard of him.

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And we’re back after lunch. “Privacy in the 2st Century”. law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer… ACMA chair Chair Chapman is moderating.

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In that, Albrechtsen points out that we really need to discuss what this “privacy” is that we’re trying to protect. Echoes Leveson.

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Albrechtsen thinks politicians deserve more privacy than they currently get.

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Albrechtsen says decent people behave decently [and presumably vice versa?] whether there are codes or not.

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There’s been a discussion of how effective codes of practice are in preventing privacy outrages. Not sure there was any clear consensus.

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Warren appreciates the media’s ability “to catch and kill its own”.

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Chris Warren rejects the idea that it’s that careless.

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John Hatzistergos asks if in a tort-of-privacy world whether paying the fines would just be another cost-of-business line item.

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Field notes that despite journalists causing her problems, journalists (not lawyers or anyone else were also those who listed and helped.

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Much of this is the predictable lines of argument, but Mary-Ellen Field just stood up in the audience and is kicking off.

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“Let’s not try to crack a nut with a sledgehammer,” says Albrechtsen. Also reminded us that Greens talked about the “hate media”.

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Albrechtsen actually says she agrees with much of what @SenatorLudlam says, but thinks we need caution in implementing tort of privacy.

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Panel now. Two speakers plus Janet Albrechtsen from @australian and Chris Warren, Federal Secretary, Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance.

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Ah, here’s @j_hutch report on the latest telephone intercept figures. google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j…

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Notes that Privacy Act hasn’t been updated “dozens and dozens of times”, unlike ASIO Act and Telecommunications Intercept and Access Act.

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Oh, the TIA intercept annual report is out? @SenatorLudlam says warrantless metadata requests was over 300k in the last financial year.

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@_LeonieGSmith Yeah I should’ve settled on a hashtag, but I don’t know if anyone else is even tweeting from here.

via Janetter for Mac in reply to LeonieGSmith

… by which he means things like pervasive low-level surveillance through social networks, mobile phone use, potential ISP data retention.

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While he supports ALRC recommendation of the tort of privacy, @SenatorLudlam doesn’t think that’s going to solve incremental privacy loss…

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When we tick that little box, says @SenatorLudlam, we might be giving away rights we didn’t even know we had.

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“It’s sometimes overstated by the Facebooks and Google’s of the world that privacy is for pedophlies.” [Now who said that last bit?]

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Reminder that first batch of privacy laws passed parliament last week, implementing ~half of ALRC’s recommendations.

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RT @TimdeSousa: conversation about the problem is how we encourage the legislature to fix it. [Don’t disagree. I’m just using a news lens.]

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Brown is speaking passionately about the effect media intrusion has on the victims of crime, families etc. But there’s nothing new here.

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Kicking off this session, a late substitution: Howard Brown, Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL).

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The “Privacy in the 21st Century” symposium is continuing. law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer… And I’m here all day, yes.

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Me at @crikey_news: “‘Trial by Google’ the new threat to privacy, Leveson warns” crikey.com.au/2012/12/07/tri…

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Taking notes, sorry, there’ll be a gap in tweets for the moment. You can ready my stuff later. ;)

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“If privacy is no longer a social norm [as Zuckerberg says], then anyone can say anyting about anyone else.” But we’ve been here before.

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Skipping from 19th century directly to the 21st, and quotes a few “luminaries” such as mark Zuckerberg on the “privacy is dead” meme.

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These new technologies meant that gossip and comment were no longer confined to a few individuals or a limited social circle. [Familiar?]

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“The penny press was only the start.” Then came the telephone, and then wiretap technology. They the early Kodak cameras.

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Compares rise of gossip on the internet with the UK’s “penny press” of the 1800s. “They were tabloids, and people loved them.”

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“I treat the report as a judgement, and a judgement must speak for itself.”

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Leveson makes it clear that he’s not going to be talking about his report to the UK PM. “The report can and must speak for itself.”

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Currently being introduced, at length, The Right Honourable Lord Justice Brian Leveson. Here we go.

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And we’re already 5 minutes behind schedule.

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He’s finally mentioned the internet.

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Currently in a lengthy intro from Prof Michael Fraser AM, Director, Communications Law Centre UTS. He reckons we need this tort of privacy.

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For those who came in late, I’m covering “Privacy in the 21st Century” all day. law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer…

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@19bk69 Yes, there was a welcome to country, but I took that as read.

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Lengthy welcome, listing all the honourables and professors.

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No electricity at the media tables.

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Robert McClelland scratched, replaced with Howard Brown (who?).

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They’ve distributed a paper program, which I’m told is more up to date than the one on the conference website.

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No 4G or 3G reception in the Shangri-La Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Trying the hotel’s free Wi-Fi.

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Oddly enough, there seems quite a bit of interest in what Justice Lord Leveson has to say.

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Negotiating with editors. From a hotel foyer.

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Suddenly noticing a stain on my supposedly clean pants.

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The caramel cheesecake is spurious.

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Emergency caramel cheesecake, $6 instagr.am/p/S6Lvs0CFjE/

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@SnarkyPlatypus Le foie est une chose étrange et merveilleuse. Contrairement à cette semaine, comme un concept général. Bon chance!

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@SnarkyPlatypus Bonjour. Je suis heureux au-delà de la croyance que c’est vendredi. Et vous ?

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Hmmm… I think I might be being a bit optimistic about that 0720 train.

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Mobile: Walk to Hurstville station; 0720 train to Central; train to Circular Quay; walk to Shangri-La Hotel. Deal with emails en route.

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Fri plan: Cover “Privacy in the 21st Century” law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer… all day; in between, sort the “Patch Monday” recording time mess; TGIF.

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Fri plan, draft: Cover “Privacy in the 21st Century” law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/confer… all day; in between, sort “Patch Monday” record time mess; TGIF.

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