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Issue #1745      August 24, 2016

Dingo

In respect to last week’s Guardian front page on the privacy invasion of the census rollout, Dingo thought it appropriate to make one observation. Experts from tech companies and cyber security advisors warned the government of the dangers inherent in the government’s online census plan. Here’s one of them, James Turner, a cyber security advisor with the company IBRS. “Leading up to the night [of the census], spokespeople from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and some politicians were making impossible claims, guaranteeing perfect security. Claims of being able to deliver perfect security, guaranteeing no data breaches and no data misuse, are simply not credible. Many of us in the cyber security industry were vocal with our concerns. Additionally, many privacy experts were very concerned about the ABS starting what amounts to a longitudinal study of individuals by retaining people’s names.”

While we watch the rise-and-rise of a billionaire property developer towards the US presidency, we should keep in mind that US politics has always had an open door to fascists and their ideology. At the end of WW2 many members of Nazi Germany’s hierarchy were given a home, a highly paid job (mostly in weapons development and production) and in many cases a comfortable retirement pension. One such was munitions baron Alfried Krupp. Joining the Nazi party in 1938, during the war he became head of a weapons empire. His factories covered 15 square kilometres and “employed” 160,000 workers, many of them concentration camp slave labour. At the end of the war he was tried as a war criminal and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. But in 1951, John J McCloy, the US High Commissioner, commuted the sentence and returned to Herr Krump what had been his. By 1959 the Krupp corporation’s sales had risen to over a billion dollars.

It is safe to assume that there is general support by the public for Labor’s call for a royal commission into the big four banks and their profit gouging, reinforced last week by the Commonwealth Bank’s announcement that they expect to unveil a record profit of $9.5 billion. A most telling comment came – as it sometimes does – from the cartoon accompanying a piece in The Age newspaper, with a bank executive who is being handed a sack of $9.5 billion exclaiming “Now that’s what I call a royal commission.”

The sudden death in Britain of the Duke of Westminster last week at the age of 64 may not have shaken your world, but keep in mind they’re our royal family. By inheriting his father’s fortune – around $14 billion – the 25 year old new duke has become the third richest person in the UK and the 68th in the world. Hugh was born into great wealth and brought up in the surroundings of the 4,400 hectare Eaton Hall family estate. Anyone for a republic?

Next article – Culture & Life – Lies, damned lies and propaganda

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