The Daily Blog Watch – 10/11 February 2014

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The Daily Blog Watch – 10/11 February 2014

 

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Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers and on-line satirists…

NZ Left Blogosphere

Tech Liberty features a series of posts on various new spy laws that National enacted last year. Check out their excellent analysis,

As part of our ongoing look at elements of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill (general critique and safe harbours), we now turn to the new offence of causing harm by posting digital communication (section 19). This is a criminal offence and is not related to the rest of the bill with its 10 principles, Approved Agency and quick-fire District Court remedies. It’s quite simple:

(1) A person commits an offence if:

  1. the person posts a digital communication with the intention that it cause harm to a victim; and
  2. posting the communication would cause harm to an ordinary reasonable person in the position of the victim; and
  3. posting the communication causes harm to the victim.

“harm” is defined in the interpretation section as “serious emotional distress”.

Unfortunately this new offence is actually very wide and may well capture many communications that are of immense value to society – or at least shouldn’t be made illegal.

The safe harbour provisions in the Harmful Digital Communications Bill are a serious threat to online freedom of speech in New Zealand.

Anyone can complain to an online content host (someone who has control over a website) that some material submitted by an external user on their site is unlawful, harmful or otherwise objectionable.

The Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill has now passed the third reading in Parliament by a vote of 61 to 59 (National, United Future and ACT voted for it).

See our earlier coverage for more about what’s wrong with the TICS Bill and how it has changed over time.

The bill codifies the government’s assertion that all digital communications (which is increasingly becoming equivalent to “all communications”) must be accessible by government agencies. The limits imposed are minimal and laws such as the GCSB Act override any limits included in TICS anyway.

Labour’s Clare Curran posts on Red Alert that John Key’s new BFF over-reaches in his attack on the ABC,

“Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister, has in recent weeks launched an extraordinary, vicious attack on the ABC, country’s public broadcaster.
Perhaps Abbott believes he can get away with such an attack in his first year of office. It’s been 12 years since I lived in Australia but it would seem to me that attacking one of the country’s most precious institutions is not wise.”

Here in New Zealand, National had tried to strangle our last public broadcaster by freezing it’s funding since 2008. If they could, Key and English would close it down or sell it lock, stock, and barrel to a shopping channel…

Lefthandpalm takes a look at British polls – which is apropos, considering this topic has been well-canvassed in The Daily Blog recently.

On No Right Turn, Savant offers his usual style of brief but insightful commentary,

More on Australia dumping refugees in Nauru. This will be Australia’s “dark period” in this century. Expect apologies from PMs in fifty years.

This has been covered in the last couple of days – the British employ spooks to do shit that, for the rest of us, would either earn an appearance before the Courts, or ostracisation by friends and family. But it appears that in the Orwellian times we live in, governments and their employees can break the law with impunity. (And get well paid for it.)

It turns out that the privatisation of Britain’s Royal Mail is eerily familiar. Just… can’t put my finger on it….

Isn’t it bizarre when we have a headline that democracy is RETURNING to a locality in New Zealand???

Robert Guyton posits,

“Ele Ludemann, Rightwing blogger, National Party stalwart, friend of John and Bill asks: But if it’s not illegal is it cheating?

The answer is remarkably unsurprising.

Open Parachute offers a handy tutorial on How can scientists use social media? In an era of rapid scientific and technological advances, this is every bit as critical as an Instruction Manual for the latest iGizmo, DVD-player-cum-window-washer-cum-catfood-dispenser, and other 21st century gadget. If you can’t caqrry the public with you, they get left behind is a dizzying swirl of technology and science.

QoT offers some more Random recommended reading on Ideologically Impure, as well as a pertinent observation on the de-registration (a-la United Future-style) of the Libertarian Party…

Recently missing-in-action blogger, Marty, is back on mars2earth with Waitangi day night – a poem. Cool… have a read…

On Frankly Speaking, Frank has up-dated the  2014 Ongoing jobless talley, along with additional information and definitions of unemployed. A salient fact to consider, the definition of unemployment;

“…people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:

worked for one hour or more…”

One hour?? Working ONE FUCKING HOUR A WEEK constitutes employment?? No wonder Key, English and other Tories crow with delight when Statistics NZ announces another drop in unemployment. Some poor unemployed sod found an hour a week to work!

On The Left Estate, Will Mathews describes Key in a manner we are all familiar with by now; What An Idiot,

“However, after a high profile meeting with Tony Abbott last week, Key has yet again not let us down on his track record of totally letting us down. After the meeting, Key emerged to announce that he and Abbott had developed some sort of weird man love, but no progress had been made on the serious issues facing New Zealanders. As he rightly should, Cunliffe questioned the lack of progress. Key’s reply:

“What an idiot. I’m sorry, but I mean, the guy goes in there and says ‘Why don’t you get better rights for New Zealanders?’ forgetting he was part of the government that signed New Zealand up for this.”

I think that this tells us several things about our Prime Minister. Firstly, as Cunliffe has pointed out, he wasn’t a Minister in the Labour Government when Australia stripped New Zealanders of entitlements. That’s not so important however.”

Secondly, it tells us that after 5 years of government, the National Party are still obsessed with the Fifth Labour Government.

Generation Zero is promoting Cycling: Click here to Tell Auckland Transport that we need Separated Cycleways,

“Cycling can be fun, healthy, cheap, and it reduces carbon pollution and traffic congestion. More and more Aucklanders want to cycle, be it for work, sport or just to explore this great city.  But with our infrastructure cycling can be quite dangerous. The best way to protect cyclists and make them feel safe is to have separated cycleways. People who use their bikes need to be separated from cars, trucks and buses.”

Eugenie Sage on Frogblog reports that  Water quality will get worse under Government’s policy proposals,

“New Zealanders want our rivers, lakes and streams to be clean and safe for swimming and to support healthy fisheries. They don’t want them to be the equivalent of urban or farm drains.

The Government’s response to public submissions on its proposed national objectives framework (NOF) and amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFW) is critical to the future health of our rivers, lakes and aquifers.”

Considering that National has ‘watered down’ (geddit? WATERED down!) nearly every environmental law we have in this country; allowed dairying and agriculture to escape the ETS; and withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocols – it’s hardly surprising that this government will turn our rivers and lakes into a giant shit-pond. What else would one expect from a capitalist-oriented government??

On the Other Green Blog, Gareth Hughes sounds off on how Kiwi families know power price rises are unfair,

Kiwi families know that something is wrong with National’s electricity market when power prices keep rising even as demand falls, and no electricity company-sponsored report will trick them into thinking otherwise…

Business New Zealand today released a report by Sapere Research Group, which advised on National’s 2010 electricity reforms. The report brushes over the past two decades of rapid electricity price rises and attacks the Greens-Labour NZ Power plan, which would reduce power prices by $300 a year for every household by cutting the excessive profits of electricity companies. The electricity companies are all members of Business New Zealand’s Major Companies Group.

On The Daily Blog, The Standard’s editor,  Lynn Prentice does a doozy of a job on right wing, National/Act apparatchik, Jordan Williams: running the shell game,

“Jordan Williams got quoted extensively by the idiot media on friday as a result of a APNZ newswire. As a spokesperson for the self appointed “Taxpayer’s Union” he has placed himself into the idiot level with this statement on the Auckland city council ordered audit of the Mayoral office.”

And from The Standard,

Rob Salmond highlights John Key’s naivety in politics. It isn’t hard because he is a poor amateur and largely unskilled.  Our Prime Minister thinks the plurality (largest single) party has some form of moral authority to govern.

Something that doesn’t seem to have hit the newspapers here, but may turn out to have been significantly affecting little ol’ NZ is a growing forex scandal, mainly in the UK (as the centre of forex trading).

The boss of the UK’s financial regulator has said the the allegations of rate-fixing are “every bit as bad” as the Libor scandal, that caused $US6bn in fines to be handed to banks – which probably still didn’t measure up to their cheating (2 US govt banks estimated they lost $3bn between them as a side-effect).

New Zealand has the 9th most traded currency in the world, despite our small size.  Why?  We’re a very open stable economy, with strict rules, few surprises, and we’re small and very manipulatable.


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Blogpost of the Day

In the light of revelations of dirty tricks by Britain’s GCHQ,  The Paepae’s  Peter Aranyi poses this question, Does anyone else think this spy agency ‘Discredit a target’ strategy might have been used against Julian Assange?

“…ask yourself if Julian Assange might have been a ‘target’.”

Bloody Hell!

 

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Alternative View

From NZ First Youth, comes this interesting look at Waitangi Day, and how Curwen Rollinson sees issues on the Past and Future of our national day – Ernest Renan and Waitangi Day

You may  or may not agree with his conclusions – but it’s notable because of his obvious attempt to make some sense of it all.

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Thought for the Day

GOD

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~ Joe Blogger,

“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks,  & Moa-whisperer

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Only for the purposes of Electoral Act 1993 and the Broadcasting Act 1989 everything on this page is: Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.