Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
PAYBACK TIME! | Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Forums | About
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Word of the day: disingenuous 23 October 2003 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Please support the sponsor
Sponsor's Message
As of today, all your secrets now belong to the government and storing them on your computer using hard-encryption might just get you into really big trouble.

But "don't worry," we're told. It's all being done in our own best interests because we're surrounded and infiltrated by terrorists bent on our destruction.

If you believed the excuses for this legislation you'd be thinking that unless the government had given itself the power to extract our DNA and passwords under duress, we'd likely all be blown to smithereens sometime in the near future by some nefarious terrorist.

But hang on, it seems that some aspects of this "Counter-Terrorism Bill" not only apply to terrorist-related activities but even some crimes as comparatively minor as burglary.


The Aardvark PC-Based Digital
Entertainment Centre Project

Yes, at last, this feature has been updated again! (31 Mar 2003)

Yes, if you're suspected (let me say that again SUSPECTED) of being involved in a burglary, the police can use this new legislation to force you to provide a DNA sample.

"Only those with something to hide have anything to fear."

Yes, that's the age-old cry of those who seek to extend the power they have over others. If we believed that trite phrase then we'd all be quite happy to allow our houses to be fitted with microphones and cameras that were monitored 24/7 by the SIS or police. After all, such surveillance would undoubtedly catch a few dullard criminals plotting crimes and the rest of us would have nothing to fear.

Readers Say

Got something to say about today's column, or want to see what others think?  Visit The Forums

Have Your Say

Intelligent people know that these claims are nothing but hogwash.

Every man woman and child has something to fear each time their personal rights and freedoms are eroded in the name of some greater cause.

While our police and judiciary are generally of a very high quality and integrity, there are and will always be those who abuse the trust and power given to them.

Remember Arthur Allan Thomas? The innocent have nothing to fear eh?

Here's some worthwhile reading that we should all keep in the back of our minds when considering the merits of legislation that effectively takes even more power and rights from individuals and hands them to "the system":

And here's something that really confuses me.

As regular readers know, I'm building a cruise missile (more info over at my interesting projects website) to show the world, including NZ's defence and anti-terrorist forces, just how easily this could be done by any evil sod with a chip on their shoulder.

Back in July I submitted a formal request for some space in which to safely test that missile. Obviously, and despite the picture on the front page of the interesting projects site, the issue of safety has always been foremost in my mind and it would be reckless to test this thing in anything but well controlled conditions, far from person or property.

I had thought that, given its commitment to playing a part in the war against terrorism, that the government and/or the armed forces, would have jumped at the chance to participate or at least watch this potential threat being tested and evaluated.

But no -- I received a curt reply that carefully avoided addressing my request and instead answered a question I didn't ask. I simply wanted some assistance to create a safe test environment -- but the Mr Burton told me that the NZ defence forces didn't have the necessary resources to "certify" new weaponry.

Who the hell asked for certification? Not me! Nice move Mark, you dodged the ball like the true politician you are.

So what's going on here?

On the one hand the government is telling us that terrorism is such a huge threat we must give up some of our most important freedoms, yet when offered the opportunity to participate in a project that has gathered global attention and offers to demonstrate the true scale of a very real potential terrorist threat, they say they're not interested.

Does the word disingenuous seem applicable here when it comes to the government's justifications for these new laws?

Of course this apparent hypocrisy is about to be plastered across the world's media as I continue to field several calls a week from globally syndicated news organisations. There are currently quite sizeable contingents of such media already gearing up to come visit and see what I've been up to. It seems that even if our government is totally uninterested in determining the risk potential of home-made cruise missiles, the rest of the world is very keen to find out how dangerous they really are.

I guess our friends in Parliament will just have to watch CNN to find out.

If any Aardvark readers want to share an opinion on today's column or add something, you're invited to chip in and have your say in The Aardvark Forums or, if you prefer, you can contact me directly.

Yes, You Can Donate
Although the very kind folks at iHug continue to generously sponsor the publication of Aardvark, the bills still exceed the income by a fairly significant amount. It is with this in mind therefore that I'm once again soliciting donations from anyone who feels they're getting some value from this daily column and news index. I've gone the PayPal way of accepting donations because the time involved in processing a bunch of little credit-card billings sometimes exceeds the monetary value they represent. Just click on the button to donate whatever you can afford. NOTE: PayPal bills in US dollars so don't accidentally donate twice what you were intending :-)

Contacting Aardvark
The Best of Aardvark Daily I'm always happy to hear from readers, whether they're delivering brickbats, bouquets or news tip-offs. If you'd like to contact me directly, please this form. If you're happy for me to republish your comments then please be sure and select For Publication.

Other media organisations seeking more information or republication rights are also invited to contact me.


Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Linking Policy
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!


Latest
Security Alerts
Trojan Horse Bedevils Explorer Users (NewsFactor - 6/10/2003)

CERT Issues Warning for OpenSSH Flaw (AtNY - 17/09/2003)

fix for DB2 Linux security flaw (CNet - 17/09/2003)

Windows flaws allow PC takeover
(CNet - 11/09/2003)

Latest
Virus Alerts
'Kill Bill' Trojan
(TheReg - 17/10/2003)

New Worm Targets E-Mail, P2P  (NewsFactor - 21/09/2003)

New virus preys on old IE flaw (CNet - 19/09/2003)

Internet E-Mail Worm Targets Tony Blair (Reuters - 4/09/2003)

Bookmark This Page Now!

 

OTHER GREAT TECH SITES
GeekZone (NZL)
SlashDot (USA)

 

MORE NEWS
NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
ZDNet
The Age
Australian IT
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
IT News

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

 

My Jet Engines
Check Out Me And My Jet Engines

Today's Top News Stories


Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window Terrorism law passes with computer search measure intact
Parliament has passed the Counter-Terrorism Bill, along with its contentious clause compelling IT staff and computer users to provide law-enforcement officers with computer and network passwords...
IDG

Open in New Window Thais to put NZ net access in orbit
Thai firm Shin Satellite is to invest $15 million on an Auckland-based satellite system that promises to provide fast internet access anywhere in New Zealand...
NZ Herald

Other

Open in New Window Airlines, Hotels Said Cheated by Fake Web Sites
The United Nations trademark and copyright agency WIPO on Wednesday revealed the existence of a raft of fake Web addresses which divert customers of airlines, hotels and car hire firms to a site selling cheap travel deals...
Reuters

Open in New Window Top Linux ISVs Crash Microsoft's Outlook 2003, Exchange 2003 Party
It was Microsoft's party, but two Linux ISVs tried to steal the spotlight this week by unveiling e-mail software optimized for Windows-based Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003...
CRN

Open in New Window Apple tweaks iTunes for Windows
The computer maker plans on Wednesday to release an updated version of its iTunes program intended to fix bugs encountered by some Windows users...
CNet

Open in New Window Pricey Pumps Hinder Hydrogen Cars
Hydrogen-powered cars make advances in efficiency and reliability, but researchers fear the biggest roadblock -- making and distributing fuel -- won't be overcome any time soon...
Wired

Open in New Window Feds to Fight Digital TV Piracy
Regulators in coming weeks will adopt strict limits on sending digital television programs over the Internet to avoid the problems now plaguing the music industry...
Wired

Australia

Open in New Window Music piracy war unleashed
THE Australian music industry has dramatically escalated the war on internet music piracy by launching a federal prosecution of an internet service provider...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Over 55,000 complaints to telecom ombudsman
More than 55,000 complaints were made to the telecommunications industry ombudsman last year, a 10 per cent drop compared to the previous year...
The Age

Open in New Window AU search engine takes aim at Google
An Australian company plans to tackle Google's stranglehold on the domestic Web searching market...
ZDNet

Other

Open in New Window California brothers win $4.3 million award against X10
Three California brothers were awarded $4.3 million, and stand to win more in punitive damages, after accusing Seattle-based X10 Wireless Technology of trying to bully them out of business...
AP

Open in New Window Suit filed over violent video game
A $246 million lawsuit was filed against the designer, marketer and a retailer of the video game series “Grand Theft Auto” by the families of two people shot by teenagers apparently inspired by the game...
MSNBC

Open in New Window Police start 'safe surfing' drive
Children are to be taught ways of avoiding getting into dangerous situations in internet chatrooms by a new police campaign...
BBC

Open in New Window Europe Slaps Microsoft Again
Dealing yet another blow to Microsoft, the European Commission has offered an extensive road map to guide governments toward open-source software and away from proprietary technology...
NewsFactor


Looking For More News or Information?

Google
Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2003, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page