#NoAnonymousSledging – Time to clean up the Internet?

By LAURIE PATTON | 23 June 2018

It’s time we did something about the ‘keyboard cowards’ who post false and/or defamatory comments on social media.

The Australian newspaper recently reported Kerry Stokes, chairman of Australia’s largest commercial television network, calling for laws “preventing Facebook and other Internet media companies from publishing defamatory and false allegations with impunity”.

The paper notes that Stokes recently mounted a four-year-long defamation case against an online blogger, quoting him saying: “Everyone is vulnerable to nefarious material being published about them… It is time for governments to act to protect their citizens, creating similar laws that traditional publishers and broadcasters comply with every day”. Continue reading “#NoAnonymousSledging – Time to clean up the Internet?”

NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!

By LAURIE PATTON | 22 June 2018

In my opinion, the NBN will not be a completed project until everyone has access to fast, reliable broadband. On that basis the rollout will take us well beyond the current projected deadline of 2020. What’s worse, it will end up having cost more than the original 2009 version and far more than then communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was told to expect when he adopted his so-called multi-technology mix model.

The people who advised the Government back in 2013 are the ones to blame. They recommended using Telstra’s ageing copper (FTTN) network – but even worse, they failed to consider the run-down state of the Telstra and Optus HFC (Pay TV) networks. Optus HFC has been totally abandoned and Telstra HFC is in need of much repair. Both the FTTN and HFC decisions are at the heart of NBN Co’s current dilemma.  Continue reading “NBN: Won’t be finished on time. Simple as that!”

ABC: You can’t privatise an organisation that doesn’t make a profit!

By LAURIE PATTON | 20 June 2018

The ABC earns around $100 million a year from its commercial activities (mainly ABC shops). Its annual operating budget is more than a billion dollars.

The organisation would not exist without the triennial funding provided by taxpayers (not by Treasurer Scott Morrison, who this week ludicrously claimed that he funded the ABC). You can’t privatise a business that doesn’t make a profit. So let’s call the demand from last weekend’s Liberal Party conference for what it really is – effectively a proposal to close the ABC and sell off its assets, the prime of which would be its broadcast spectrum. Continue reading “ABC: You can’t privatise an organisation that doesn’t make a profit!”

Six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution

By JOHN MENADUE | 19 June 2018

There are six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are: the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing budget deficits and debt increases, the threat of climate change and increased carbon pollution, the NBN debacle, hostility to refugees and asylum seekers, and problems with foreign influence and political donations which are producing an anti-Chinese sentiment. Continue reading “Six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution”

The media are finding Chinese under most rocks

By JOHN MENADUE | 13 June 2018

The campaign run by some of our security agencies  and people close to them about the alleged Chinese threat is getting great support from some journalists. The latest is Andrew Greene, the  security and defence reporter at the ABC who breathtakingly reported last week that “A Chinese vessel, believed to be a spy ship, docked next to HMAS Adelaide in Fiji”. Good god!

We have had a lot of such misleading stories in recent weeks. Continue reading “The media are finding Chinese under most rocks”

Ignore driverless cars and we’re rejecting the future

By ANTHONY ALBANESE and ED HUSIC | 12 June 2018

The ever-accelerating pace of change in the 21st century demands that regulators be quick on their feet. Science and technology move so quickly that the moment we’ve settled the regulations governing the latest emerging sector, circumstances change, requiring that we revisit the regulatory framework.

For example, the Internet has developed so quickly over the past two decades that governments have failed to keep pace with emerging problems regarding privacy, bullying and cybercrime.

We should learn from this when it comes to the approach of what will be one of our biggest changes in decades: the emergence of automated vehicles. Continue reading “Ignore driverless cars and we’re rejecting the future”