[Linux-aus] Seeking feedback - EFA Citizens Not Suspects campaign

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.it.consulting at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 12:07:35 EST 2013

On 08/06/13 11:06, Linux Australia Secretary wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> From time to time, Linux Australia is approached by various
> organisations to seek support for campaigns or initiatives. Many of
> these fall into the category of grants and sponsorship - cf. the
> recent work we have been doing with the Australian Internet Governance
> Forum and GovHack. In this case, we've been approached to support a
> political campaign being run by Electronic Frontiers Australia called
> 'Citizens not suspects'. We warmly welcome the approach from EFA, and
> now would like to gauge community feedback to help guide our support
> actions.
> The essence of the Citizens not suspects campaign is to oppose, and
> bring to bear political pressure, to reject a number of proposals
> currently before parliament, including;
>   * a proposal for *mandatory retention of data* relating to the
>     internet and telecommunications activity of all Australians for up
>     to two years. This data could include records of your phone calls,
>     your location, the websites you visit, the searches you make and
>     who you send emails to and who you receive them from.
>   *  a proposal to make it a crime to *refuse to provide authorities
>     with passwords* for encrypted communications, which could include
>     your email, as well as your Facebook and other accounts.
>   * a proposal to give ASIO the power to *add, modify or delete files
>     on any computer.*
> *http://www.citizensnotsuspects.org.au/
> *
> Specifically, we are seeking feedback on;
> 1. The level of comfort in the community in taking a specific
> political position against the proposals
As an Australian, an IT professional, and an Open Source proponent I
strongly  support the theme of Citizens Not Suspects. Regrettably my
views on the legality, morality, or workability of mass surveillance are
not representative of all member of LA.

I would be *very uncomfortable* if LA failed to use it's position as an
advocate of Open Source and representative of it's proponents to:-
;clearly state it's views on the workability of mass surveillance (and
the economic and social costs)
;publicise the issues and logistics without prejudice (everyone else is
taking a side - it's  about technological issues, let's ensure we don't
get excluded by politics)
;*use every opportunity to highlight the importance of Open Source
compared to privacy harvesting Closed Source*

> 2. The type and level of support you believe it would be appropriate
> to provide - such as financial, in kind through raising awareness etc,
> utilising the #DataRetention hashtag etc

LA should consider carefully supporting the campaign. There are two main
;1. How the surveillance proposals affect us as individuals -
individuals with a wide range of opinions about terrorism, cyber-crime,
Wikileaks, and duty to the state
;2. How the surveillance proposals may affect Open Source development

With the first point there are only a few areas that all LA members
might all agree on, and I believe it would be wise for LA to take a
purely technological stance (stay out of the politic unless it's about
development) else LA may neuter itself by being labelled as
anti-establishment. EFF and other organisations are better suited to
those purposes.

I suspect the second point is the most important (mandatory?).

Kind regards,
                          Scott Ferguson

Tuttle? His name's Buttle.
There must be some mistake.
Mistake? [Chuckles]
We don't make mistakes.

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