Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

Comments Policy: I'm not moderating comments, so keep it sane and go away with the spam. Government officials please read disclaimer at bottom of page.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Media Watch: Evidence of Media Squeamishness At Surveillance State: NBR?

On the NBR (paid) story Spies, Scribes, and Lies, yesterday, I made two comments: the first got past moderation, the second, intriguingly didn’t.

Before starting I will note there may well be a perfectly innocent reason for the non-appearance, which is a disappearance, of the second post: the NBR’s comment moderation policy - one gets the feeling being a rather over-worked techy perhaps low on the pay-scale - is a clumsy nonsense. If you comment on the weekend you can often wait over a day for comments to go up. But putting that possibility aside, because paranoia is a product of, and healthy, in a surveillance state, I’m going to surmise the following.

The NBR story itself was about the on-going GCSB Bill fiasco, and the complete mishandling of the phone records of journalist Andrea Vance; noting that this morning Stuff finally has published a great response from Vance regarding her justifiable anger at how her privacy, and press freedom, has been breached in New Zealand so seriously.

To the article Paul Brislen (Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand) posted the following wise comment:

It's not about who owns [data], it's about who has access to it, the limits on what they can do with it and who they can share it with.

We all give government a tremendous amount of data that is personal in nature. That's only going to increase with government services moving online and it's vital we all know how that data will be used or accessed.

Currently we don't have a strong culture of protecting this data - that has to change if uptake of such services is to be encouraged.

As it is I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they give any govt department information they consider personal in nature as there's just no way to be sure it will be well looked after.

In reply to which my first post was as follows:

Paul, have you tried telling IRD you won't hand over your personal information?

Unfortunately the state via that department forcibly took our privacy long ago, with our property, and no one said ruddy boo.

Upon that post I was reminded of where I live, the surveillance state. On the bottom right-hand side menu NBR run a ‘Most Active’ subscribers box, which shows at any one time which of their business accounts is most actively reading their site: Inland Revenue is always in the top ten, often the top, reader of NBR, and at that time was number one. Remembering my many blog posts on how the Western surveillance state is centred on tax administration, the immense powers of IRD in New Zealand, and how the IR’s throughout the West are now mining social and other media for thought-crimes, I followed my above post up with the second that never made it.

Unfortunately I never took a copy of that post, and I pipped it off quickly so can’t exactly reconstruct, but it was to the effect of noting the irony at how I felt wisely intimidated by even making the above post, given IRD would be mining that site for its content for purposes which as yet no one can confirm to me. (IRD have been through the social media post on this site, as they’ve been through my post just this month of tax evasion versus benefit abuse (look at update 1). Even though I harm no one, even though I do my taxes conservatively, I can’t give my thoughts here regarding the tax surveillance state, without being judged on them by that shock and awe department, and you bet that is intimidating.

And I can understand why NBR would not want their readers reminded that Big Brother was watching over their every comment, either. Indeed, frankly, that ‘Most Active’ box information has cut my commenting on NBR down to virtually nothing. But what better evidence of the harm living in a policed surveillance state, than feeling intimidated posting on often disagreement regarding tax issues, especially the privacy busting powers of IRD – government officials, read my disclaimer at bottom please – and New Zealand’s number one business magazine, perhaps feeling slightly squeamish on this also, evidenced by the non-appearance of my comment.

For all the anonymous posters on NBR, I don’t know, but given IRD’s huge powers, they may well already be picking up identities of those of interest to them – there’s no hiding electronically, that’s why I post under my name. And even if they can’t, now, under what will be the new ‘economic well-being’ excuse for government spying in the GCSB Bill, I’m still thinking IRD will be able to then use the powers of the GCSB: no MP has stated the nay on that one when I’ve brought it up in this blog or on Twitter.

Anyway, paranoia rules our watched and therefore limited lives in the surveillance state: compared to the complete infrastructure of that state already in place, the GCSB Bill is actually just a bit of a side show. We are already in the world where open debate is probably foolish on certain matters; the state so powerful its employees have a culture which simply doesn’t understand privacy issues.

By the way, which is the ‘most active’ reader of NBR this morning as I type this post? Of course: Inland Revenue, they’re mining by 8.01am already. The surveillance state never stops. And you answer for me: what's the difference between the GCSB looking at my metadata, and the IRD looking at all my data?

Quote of the day:

I am that journalist and I'm mad as hell. Anyone who has had their confidential details hacked and shared around has the right to be angry.

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