Metadata and privacy

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Think you can’t learn much from metadata? Guess this film plot and think again” (yesterday).  What is all the fuss about? For the last ten years or longer, any government has had the capacity to find out anything they wanted to find out, legally or otherwise. We, for better or worse get used to living in the electronic age. Our democratic security does now rest entirely with the public media’s ability to kick up a stink.

On ICAC and cover-ups

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Crown prosecutor dismisses Catholic cover-up as ICAC ‘witchhunt’ begins” (yesterday). Alex Mitchell’s article on the ICAC investigation of prosecutor Margaret Cunneen in NSW (Monday) is an over-heated farrago of innuendo, gossip, and speculation. It adds nothing substantial to the story. To cap it off, Mitchell starts by describing ICAC and Cunneen “untouchables” who are “highly revered”. In fact, ICAC has been criticised since it was set up, and the article itself details criticisms of Cunneen regarding her report into child sexual abuse. She has also come under scrutiny for her association with disgraced detective, Roger Rogerson. None of this appears to be relevant to the investigation underway, but as background information Mitchell’s introduction is highly misleading, particularly to readers outside NSW.

Palmer’s model isn’t one to copy

Luke Helbling writes: Re. “The decline — and fall? — of the Palmer United Party” (yesterday). The Australian political landscape could certainly do with some more parties with divergent views so people have some actual choice in supporting candidates that represent their interests, rather than the interests of the huge corporations that have bought and paid for the Laberal/Libour party. However these “someone’s name” (Palmer, Katter etc) populist parties are little more than ego vehicles and lobby groups for their own narrow vested interests. They do not represent a genuine alternative for Australian democracy.

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Peter Fray
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