Monday, April 14, 2008

Without your consent

The Australian government is drafting new legislation to allow employers to read an employee's emails without consent.

The government is saying the legislation is required to protect the internet from cyber attack.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said the legislation was needed because:

"It's unquestionable that it's necessary from time to time for network supervisors to open emails addressed to people to identify viruses and the like …

"There needs to be protocols and guidelines developed so companies can protect their own networks.

I have to wonder what planet Mr McClelland lives on. Any good IT department needs no legislation of this sort as they will already have in place good security protocols to isolate suspect emails and any emails with viruses. A good IT department will also have a means to identify suspicious activity on their network without reading everyone's emails.

The reality is that in fact it is home users and small businesses who are more likely to have compromised computers which are used in Cyber attacks.

Thankfully there is some sensible comments from Dale Clapperton.

Dale Clapperton, the chairman of Electronic Frontiers Australia, a non-profit group concerned with the rights of individual internet users, was unimpressed.

"These new powers will facilitate fishing expeditions into employees' emails and computer use rather than being used to protect critical infrastructure," Mr Clapperton said.

"I'm talking about corporate eavesdropping and witch-hunts … If an employer wanted to bone [sack] someone, they could use these powers."
This proposed legislation follows hot on the heels of the proposed filtering of the internet.

An Island Calling

A new documentary by Annie Goldson relates the 2001 murder of John Scott and Greg Scrivener in Fiji.

The movie explores the relationship of church, the homophobic comments made by the Fijian authorities and the tragic death of two gay men.

It is a documentary well worth watching and if you are in a major centre in New Zealand you will be able to see it at the cinema or wait till later in the year when it will be on TV3.

An Island Calling

News about the murder of John Scott and Gregory Scrivener at their home in Suva, Fiji in 2001