Cybersecurity a shadow war?

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “ASIO’s mislaid plans hardly a Chinese cybersecurity attack” (yesterday). “So, more of the same corporate media reporting of cybersecurity,” bemoans Bernard Keane and returns fire with more of the same netizen nuttiness.  According to Keane, the hack of the plans of the ASIO building isn’t “theft”: it’s just a case of “copying”. The fault lies mainly with the carelessness of the government. The hacker was merely “trying doors to see what was unlocked”, and the information should probably have been publicly available anyway.

Well, if I was a spy, I would want Keane on my jury! But of course there will be no trial. This coup was launched by the Chinese (or perhaps the Americans, according to Keane) from the comfort and legal security of their own home. Of course, espionage is as old as the hills, but now you can spy out the lie of the land from behind a desk. Yes, Canberra, we do have a problem.

Peter Matters writes: Whether before or after IT, the spy game always impressed me as resembling the games boys play behind the shelter shed — except for the tragic difference that people may lose their lives in the process.

LPG and social pleading

Beryce Nelson writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday). If 97% of Australia’s taxis run on LPG, have significantly reduced vehicle emissions and lower rates of engine wear, why doesn’t the federal government and opposition commit to finishing what was started over a decade ago and agree to a target of 10% of all Australian vehicles using LPG by 2018? We could possibly put some life back into the local car industry and meet all of our emission reduction obligations in one hit.

If the UK government and other northern hemisphere countries can do it and some major cities run their entire bus services on it, what is wrong with us? We certainly have the gas supplies.

Political donations slush fund

John Richardson writes: Re. “Political donation ‘shame’: watered down, and comes with a price” (yesterday). Little risk of an efficiency dividend here …