“What Race Is Islam?” Racist Asks. “What Race Is Dickhead?” Australian Lawmaker Replies.

“What race is dickhead?”

Source: “What Race Is Islam?” Racist Asks. “What Race Is Dickhead?” Australian Lawmaker Replies.

Australia’s National Rape Hotline Run By Insurance Company, Who Demands All Sorts Of Private Info | Techdirt

Over the past year, Medibank changed how the service was run, having the first line of people responding to calls doing more of a triage effort to figure out who really needs to talk to a counselor and who can just be pointed to information. Medibank claimed this was to better serve callers’ needs — and to enable more people to reach a counselor, but there have been lots of concerns about this.And it came to a head a few weeks ago, when RDSVA, whose contract with 1800Respect was up, announced that it was leaving the program entirely, in part because part of the new contract demands from Medibank would have involved having to hand over all of the confidential notes it had on callers.

Source: Australia’s National Rape Hotline Run By Insurance Company, Who Demands All Sorts Of Private Info | Techdirt

How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet


Americans pay by far the highest prices in the world for most prescription drugs, and of course big pharma would like to keep it that way.

Source: How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet

Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Allow Researchers To Check E-Voting Software | Techdirt

In Australia, for example, e-voting is being used for the elections to the country’s Senate, but the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has refused to release the relevant software, despite a Senate motion and a freedom of information request. Being able to examine the code is a fundamental requirement, since there is no way of knowing what “black box” e-voting systems are doing with the votes that are entered.

Source: Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Allow Researchers To Check E-Voting Software | Techdirt

Just Because Australia Won Its Plain Packaging Case Against Philip Morris Doesn’t Mean Corporate Sovereignty Isn’t A Threat | Techdirt

the dismissal of the case on procedural grounds means that we will never get a ruling on the substance of Philip Morris’ claims. As such, the award contributes nothing to the bigger debate about the conflict between investment protection and public policy.

Source: Just Because Australia Won Its Plain Packaging Case Against Philip Morris Doesn’t Mean Corporate Sovereignty Isn’t A Threat | Techdirt

Dotcom: Copyright Charges Not Enough For Extradition – TorrentFreak

As Kim Dotcom’s extradition defense enters its second day, the court has heard that none of the 13 charges against the Megaupload founder are enough to extradite him to the United States. The U.S. is characterizing the alleged offenses as extraditable fraud but Dotcom’s team believes that copyright violations can not be prosecuted as such.

Source: Dotcom: Copyright Charges Not Enough For Extradition – TorrentFreak

Rightscorp Granted Australian Patent to Chase Pirates – TorrentFreak

Rightscorp has been awarded a patent by the Australian Patent Office which should protect it from competitors looking to muscle in on its business model Down Under. The patent protects a system which helps Rightscorp identify repeat infringers, individuals it is now targeting in the United States with settlement demands and lawsuits.

Source: Rightscorp Granted Australian Patent to Chase Pirates – TorrentFreak

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Ken Ham, an Australian young-Earth creationist, says he is on the verge of proving that dinosaurs and humans coexisted only a couple of thousand years ago.

According to a report on news.com.au, Ham – along with a Dr David Menton – declared that he will soon publish “world-changing” evidence disproving that dinosaurs were present on the earth over 65 million years ago.

“It is understood Mr Ham will claim that a bunch of donated Edmontosaurus bones are only a few thousand years old, based on the fact that they still contain remnants of bone marrow,” the Australian news site said.

Soft tissue has been known to survive in fossils in particular circumstances, and those circumstances are also by now well understood.

Despite this, news.com.au notes, the “young Earth creationists quickly claimed [their] discovery as evidence that dinosaur fossils were not millions of years old after all, while established scientists familiar with the study of these bones say that it showed, instead, a misunderstanding about how decay works”.

Last year, a public debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye brought the former enough attention and money to commence building his Ark Encounter, a Noah’s Ark and creationism-inspired theme park in Kentucky, which would compliment his existing Creation Museum.

“Ken Ham routinely dismisses findings of palaeontologists, geologists, and other scientists who look at evidence to determine what Earth must have been like before recorded history,” news.com.au explained. “Mr Ham has asserted that scientists cannot claim to have proof of their theories if they weren’t there at the time to observe those theories in action.”

However, the site continues that “in a new post on the pro-creationism website Answers In Genesis, Ken Ham now asserts that Dr David Menton can indeed look at fossilised dinosaur bones and determine things that happened before either of them was born — as long as it supports his own ideas.”

Link (The Register)

NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones

The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals.

The surveillance project was launched by a joint electronic eavesdropping unit called the Network Tradecraft Advancement Team, which includes spies from each of the countries in the “Five Eyes” alliance — the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

The top-secret document, obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was published Wednesday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept. The document outlines a series of tactics that the NSA and its counterparts in the Five Eyes were working on during workshops held in Australia and Canada between November 2011 and February 2012.

The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google. (Google declined to comment for this story. Samsung said it would not be commenting “at this time.”)

As part of a pilot project codenamed IRRITANT HORN, the agencies were developing a method to hack and hijack phone users’ connections to app stores so that they would be able to send malicious “implants” to targeted devices. The implants could then be used to collect data from the phones without their users noticing.

Previous disclosures from the Snowden files have shown agencies in the Five Eyes alliance designed spyware for iPhones and Android smartphones, enabling them to infect targeted phones and grab emails, texts, web history, call records, videos, photos and other files stored on them. But methods used by the agencies to get the spyware onto phones in the first place have remained unclear.

The newly published document shows how the agencies wanted to “exploit” app store servers — using them to launch so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks to infect phones with the implants. A man-in-the-middle attack is a technique in which hackers place themselves between computers as they are communicating with each other; it is a tactic sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people. In this instance, the method would have allowed the surveillance agencies to modify the content of data packets passing between targeted smartphones and the app servers while an app was being downloaded or updated, inserting spyware that would be covertly sent to the phones.

Link (The Intercept)