Facebook and surveillance

I received this email from a colleague today. He’s asked me not to use his name. It’s not paranoia, just a precaution.

I very much like the idea of the police or employers trowelling Facebook and similar to gather Evidence.

As this On line social networking craze escalates, one will be regarded with suspicion if/when one Does Not have a Facebook site orequivalent. What’s wrong with you? What have you got to hide? I get looked at weirdly because I don’t use a mobile phone.

It’s like being pulled over by the police for something – suspectedof running a red light, or just a routine road side breathalisertest, they call up your Record, and find nothing. Zip.

NOT having a police record is almost as suspicious as having anordinary police record of a few speeding fines, parking fines, andthe like, over several years, which we all tend to accumulate.

If you don’t have a police record (like I don’t) you’re under suspicion because you’re extra clever at hiding your activities, yousee.

Some interesting stuff in the SMH at the weekend –

Cyberspace is the new toilet wall

Say goodbye to that quaint notion: privacy

My friend goes on…

I particularly like the Other Uses being made of these things byemployers gathering Evidece on their actual, past, and prospectiveemployees.

As we all know, when pulled over by the police for a random breathtest, or when attending at a police station on other, entirelybenign, matters, when they look us up on their databases and find wehave no entries – not even a speeding or parking fine, which we allaccumulate over time – the police get extremely suspicious, becauseNOT having a record is almost as suspicious as having a substantialrecord. What have we got to hide? And why and how are we so cleverthat we are able to successfully hide our activities?

Meanwhile, we came across this Memo or Brochure which, we assume, isto be handed out to people coming to Australia from overseas who areof Muslim appearance.

We found it here, at The Road to Surfdom

Department of Immigration, Citizenship and Protection of the
Population from Islamo-fascists

Congratulations on your decision to visit Australia as adoctor/student/other professional/comforter to terrorist suspect heldin detention. As a democratic freedom-loving people we are preparedto tolerate you coming to our young and free country despite the extraordinary times in which we live.

Since you were misguided enough to have been born into the Muslim faith – not that there’s anything wrong with that, there are somemoderate Muslims in Australia although the place would be a lotbetter off if only their leaders would run prime-time televisioncommercials every day telling normal Australians how repelled they
are by the atrocities committed by members of the Muslim community -but anyways, since it’s hard to tell a moderate Muslim from one whohates us for our freedoms and harbours a secret rage to launch jihad
on innocent Westerners like us, the Department has provided some helpful hints to help make your stay in Australia a pleasant one.

1) When you land in Australia, make a true confession in writing to the immigration authorities of all associations you have ever hadwith anybody who is now or ever has been or may possibly be at some
time in the future:
a) A terrorist;
b) An associate of terrorists;
c) A person who may reasonably be suspected by the Minister of either
(a) or (b).

2) As soon as you arrive in Australia, contact the Australian FederalPolice and make a written statement, omitting no detail howeverslight, outlining all activities that you have, or any person withwhom you have associated has, engaged in, or considered engaging in,or may at some time in the future engage in or consider engaging in,with regard to any of the following:
a) Gardening, or any similar activity, or any activity that theMinister might regard as similar, which involves or may involve the use of fertiliser;
b) The purchase of petrol, LPG, kerosene, natural gas, methylated spirits (unless purchased for immediate consumption), or any other hydrocarbon product;
c) The acquisition by any means of nails, screws, one and two cent pieces or any other shrapnel-like objects.

3) Lodge with the AFP copies of all your bank statements, tax returns and other financial records for the last 20 years, with full explanations for all transactions. Provide full particulars of all contacts with funny foreign names.

4) Do not communicate with friends or family in other countries. Communication with people in other countries is normally a sign of terrorist tendencies.

5) While in Australia, do not use email, instant messaging, voice over internet protocol or other elaborate means of communication. It would be advisable to restrict your communications to landline-based telephony which can be monitored by The Authorities for your own protection.

6) For your own protection, keep a daily diary detailing what you did and why. Be sure to wear a voice recorder and transcribe allconversations before you go to bed each night.

7) Transcriptions of conversations and other records should be kept in a hand-written A4 ‘Spirax’-type notebook, writing on one side of the paper only. Avoid the use of personal computers and other electronic devices as they take a long time for The Authorities to examine should it be necessary to detain you during your stay.

(8) Plan your journeys carefully, being sure to stay at least one (1) kilometre distant from power stations, buildings of more than two storeys, airports, secret ASIO facilities and any other building or
structure that could conceivably be a terrorist target.

9) Do not travel on or around September 11, October 1, October 12, July 7 or any other anniversary of a date upon which people of your ilk visited death and destruction upon innocent Westerners. In fact it might be sensible to remain quietly at your temporary residence during those months.

10) Do not take photographs, make sketches or stare for more than three seconds at any building, structure or public place that might be a terrorist target. Actually it would be prudent to leave your camera at home along with your laptop, Blackberry, iPod, GPS thingy and other suspicious electronic devices (just make sure none of your cousins can get their hands on them).

11) Under no circumstances should you take flying lessons, download flying instructions from the intertubes, befriend pilots, borrow a hang-glider or rent DVDs featuring aeroplanes.

12) Before leaving for Australia, you should destroy any mobile telephones, fax machines or other devices capable of transmitting messages. Terrorists are desperate to get their hands on such things.

Please note that following these guidelines is necessary but not sufficient and you should do, or refrain from doing, or refrain from associating with any person who does or refrains from doing, any act or omission that the Minister considers (either before or after the event) to be an act or omission likely to have the effect of
encouraging, endorsing, facilitating or failing to reduce the chances of a terrorist event. Alternatively you can go some place like Iraq for all we care.

We regret any minor inconvenience that these measures might cause you but they are necessary to combat the frequent, appalling terrorist atrocities to which Australia has been subjected for many years, resulting in the deaths of three people in 1978.

Enjoy your stay in Australia and come back soon to throw another tabbouli on the barbie!

2 Responses to Facebook and surveillance

  1. ps2 emulator

    Really nice site you have here. I’ve been reading for a while but this post made me want to say 2 thumbs up. Keep up the great work.

  2. Tio says:

    Good post. I like your blog. I have just done a post on google that I would like to share with your readers and I think it taps into some of the privacy issues that your article deals with. I think blogging is about communication and collectively trying to raise public awareness. We need more people like yourself in this age of ignorance and darkness. Keep up the good work!

    To see the story clickhere..

    Thanks!

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