The App

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Cromwell started the topic in Saturday, 18 Apr 2020 at 8:24pm

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 5:56pm

Andy I accept your list as accurate. The government cannot be trusted but the public service can to a much greater degree and this app has already been reviewed by an independent security organisation. The government have also committed to releasing the source code. As you point out surveillance in Australia is expanding by stealth. This is not stealth. This is high profile and obvious. Why risk it? And I have a lot of faith in the average public servant. I believe the vast majority are highly ethical and would not be involved in some sort of covert surveillance carried out in direct contradiction to the legislation approving it. You mention witness K as one whistle blower, there are plenty of others. For Morrison to be caught out on this after having his credibility shredded in the bushfire crisis woud be the end of his career. There is no way he will take that risk for such minimal benefit.

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velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:02pm
AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:19pm

Christ almighty Indo, that list is documented fact, there's nothing paranoid or made up about it.

PAY ATTENTION.

And Chromewell, when you do the "you don't want the app so therefore you're smearing doctors and teachers" schtick, well that's about as juvenile as you can go.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:18pm

Cromwell, as I said before, that "independent" organisation is $50 million under the thumb of government funding.

As I've said before, this app is most likely legit and nothing to worry about but why would I take anybody's word for it?

Nothing is foolproof, everything is hackable and once the penny drops with how data can be otherwise applied, it's too late, it's all over.

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:22pm

Ha ha its seriously funny you guys claiming not to be paranoid.

You are both super paranoid, it's an app on your phone for god's sake that is designed for one thing only, to give us more information on transmission of the virus.

But in your minds the bigger plan is all these other crazy things.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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stunet commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:44pm

I once signed up for a survey using an almost dormant email account. Just a survey, nothing more, yet in time that account was being spammed by all manner of people.

Sure, public/private, government/commerical, but anyone who thinks greater awareness of citizenry wont be harnessed by government is a poor student of history.

At the same time, many - not all - of the people opposing the app would gladly sacrifice their deepest secrets to Cambridge Analytica if it meant posting photos of Tarquin's 7th birthday on Facebook.

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Fliplid commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:47pm

The list AndyM put up covers a lot of things you would find in an authoritarian regime not a free democracy. Some like the airport stop and search might be deemed relatively minor, prosecuting, or at least trying to, journalists and a media outlet for highlighting illegal activity is a serious attack on freedom of speech and the right to know.

There are many instances of obstruction and deception by the coalition when responding to legitimate freedom of information requests, and an absolute disregard for due process and honesty in many issues. Whether or not the app is benign is beside the point. I don’t think the coalition have earned public trust by their actions so far

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:49pm

Thank Christ somebody gets it.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:51pm

"And the 2019 CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration that tracks fundamental freedoms in 196 countries, has downgraded Australia from an “open” country to one where civil space has “narrowed”, citing new laws to expand government surveillance, prosecution of whistleblowers, and raids on media organisations."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/07/australias-civil-rights-ra...

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JQ commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 6:52pm

Indo, I don't think you are being fair here.

For one, most of us don't share your love of authoritarianism.

And lets be clear, the app is designed to keep track of who you are within bluetooth signal of for greater than a pre-determined period of time. That is what it's designed for. That information will allegedly be used for the tracing of viral transmission.

While I have the utmost of trust and faith in our scientists and healthcare professionals, I have absolutely zero trust in our government. Look at Andy's list, now tell me, which of these events is false? Which of these did not happen?

For me to download this app, it would have to be completely divorced from our government. The government has shown, repeatedly, that it is not trustworthy. It has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to safeguard Australians privacy (refer Andy's list), to be honest about what the data it collects will be used for (again, Andy's list), or even if that data will be stored securely (and again, Andy's list).

I may not agree with Andy's conclusion of it all, and I don't think our government is watching all of us, or out to trample our freedoms. But what I cannot abide by is willingly giving the government the tools of oppression. This app, combined with the existing metadata retention laws and other spying laws are terrifying in their potential as tools for oppression. This stuff would have been the Stasi's wet dream.

For you to be so blase about this stuff is either deliberately malicious or just pure ignorance on your behalf. I suspect the second, your posts on this forum have demonstrated that you have a poor understanding of technology and privacy concerns surrounding it. I feel if you properly understood the issues at play, you wouldn't be so lax about it, even given your fondness of authoritarianism.

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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:09pm
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shortenism commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:10pm

Thanks for sharing AndyM, I actually sent a request to the Greens Senator down in Tassie and Sean Doherty actually (who is an excellent journalist) to see if they could dig up a list of legislation being introduced during this period. Nothing yet, but I'll be sure to share it here if I get it and its anything not on your list. Can I ask where that come from?

And Flipid, a free democracy is slipping through the fingers of those that had it.. It wasn't that long ago we were all shoulder to shoulder rejecting Equinor. Imagine those scenario's today and in the future.

Wake up Australia.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:17pm

No worries Shorternism, I lifted that list from this Crikey article.

https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/06/12/list-of-evidence-that-australia-is-...

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:21pm

well said JQ

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:24pm

Indo it's kinda funny that the places with the highest level of trust in government are authoritarian.

shortenism's picture
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shortenism commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:30pm

Got it, thanks

Cromwell's picture
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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:36pm

So, thinking about this in a slightly different way, I assume that for most of those saying they will not use the app, it is a matter of principle, and that the government, even if it had all their contact data, would have no reason to take an interest in it. The other possibility concerns those whose data might be of some interest to the government because they are investigative journalists, involved in disruptive protests or whatever. If that is in fact the case then the best tactic to avoid suspicion would be to download the app and turn your phone off when in touch with people you would prefer the government not to know about, but given that at least 40% of the popukation will probably not download it, that would be a safe option also.
In the other case, in which you are confident that your data is of no interest or value to the government, you are putting a tokenistic act of principle ahead of commnity health. You personally have nothing to lose from using the app. I was going to call it virtue signalling but really it's worse than that. It is placing your pride in your principles above the health of the most vulnerable people in the community.

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:45pm

you're really effective at marshalling rational arguments to sway people on the fence Laurie.
Not.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:52pm

Haha, that self-confessed appeal to emotion (™) is actually pathological isn't it??

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shortenism commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 7:58pm

Cromwell, you are a long way off track. If people genuinely thought this app was in the best interest of the most vulnerable people in the community then i'm sure people would sign up to it. But people are potentially a bit sharper than you (not sure where you have been hiding) and can see like blind Freddy can where this path leads and its nothing to do with looking after each other.. Maybe you need to go back and re-read / watch some of the posts and links throughout this site. Treat it as a free opportunity to wise up and genuinely help the people in your community.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:05pm

You guys are going way off topic.

Apart some conspiracy theories of what the app supposably leads too

Can you give a few examples of how you think the app itself could be misused???

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:09pm

Just read your post above Cromwell 100% agree

Especially this bit

"In the other case, in which you are confident that your data is of no interest or value to the government, you are putting a tokenistic act of principle ahead of commnity health. You personally have nothing to lose from using the app. I was going to call it virtue signalling but really it's worse than that. It is placing your pride in your principles above the health of the most vulnerable people in the community."

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:14pm

The Blind leading the Dreaming.

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mikehunt207 commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:25pm

Why the hard sell anyhow cromwell;? You are free to download the app , divulge any data / information that you like, there,s millions like you with their facebook / instagram / tik tok whatever already, and if you want to be an advocate for freedom of information for the government (that have a history of fucking up with peoples data and privacy) app to do with what they like under the guise of virus tracking go for it.
Just because you are paranoid doesn,t mean they arn,t watching you...

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:31pm

For the record, I don't think the app is consciously being constructed as a Trojan Horse, I just think we should be very careful considering this government's track record.

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JQ commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:32pm

Very telling that both Indo & Cromwell consider opposition to the use of this app to be a moral failing and resort to appeals to emotion to sandbag that view.

Pretty flimsy stuff fellas.

Perhaps the coalition should think about these things before they squander the trust of the public. I think an article by John Hewson published in The Guardian recently is quite applicable here.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/22/coronavirus-is-a-d...

"Given the systemic failure of governments around the world to anticipate and address these great risks, and a consequent decline in public trust and disdain for truth, transparency and accountability in politics and some media, we feel there is an urgent need for sweeping political reform, including new ways to confront corruption by vested interests and the influence they exert over governments."

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:35pm

So shortenism, where is this app leading that we are not already well down the path toward? CCTV and facial recognition, police raids on journalists and all the other items on Andy’s list........and you are worried about the most highly scrutinised piece of software ever produced, probably by any government anywhere. Nah mate, think of it as the three card trick, look, look, look at this terrible app........while we slip some really nasty stuff by you. The app will perform exactly as the label on the box says it will and it leads nowhere, it’s just a little dead end street off the main highway of surveillance. Nothing wrong with mixing a few metaphors at this time of night.

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:41pm

JQ public health is by its very nature a moral issue. To undermine it is immoral. Does it shock you to consider moral issues? And the appeal to emotion is based on reality. The number of deaths would be reduced by a wide uptake of the app and those most likely to die are those with weakened immune systems such as those receiving cancer treatments as well as the elderly, the homeless etc etc. Easy to dismiss from the comfort of your lounge room!

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:41pm

"most highly scrutinised piece of software ever produced, probably by any government anywhere"

Evidence besides an ABC puff piece please Cromwell.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:43pm

JQ some sort of bill of rights is long overdue.

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JQ commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:44pm

Not so easy to dismiss as an immuno-compromised individual with 2 parents in their late 70's though mate. Not a decision I take lightly.

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JQ commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:46pm

It is long overdue AndyM, how ever this current government are the last people who should be drafting it. It would be even worse than their ideas for a federal ICAC.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 8:58pm

You're right, they wouldn't do it and if they did, you'd wish they hadn't.

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:07pm

Sorry JQ no offence intended.

Gladly Andy

The Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre have studied the app and stated that it is secure and functions as advertised. They are a non-profit organisation used by numerous companies to ensure their cybersecurity. It is in effect a branch of the CSIRO. If you choose to accuse them of following government instructions then you might also explain why the CSIRO has been conducting research that has caused great discomfort to governments over several decades on a wide range of environmental issues. The app is also currently being scrutinised by the Privacy Commissioner. The government has also said it will release the source code. Can you nominate a more thoroughly studied piece of software?
Most people already carry around apps on their phone that have not been subject to any scutiny which collect more information than this one . Google, Facebook and Amazon are the well known ones but there are dozens of others. Anything downloaded for free is almost certainly collecting data.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:09pm

Andrew Wilke is an Australian hero and I don't use that term lightly.

He's sponsored an Australian Bill of Rights bill late last year; must say it's actually the first I've heard of it.

I spose it's barely worth reporting on, isn't it? *rolls eyes*

At the same time it's pretty broad and you wonder how a court would interpret some of it.

At a glance this is the only mention I could see of privacy.

Article 30
Right to protection from arbitrary interference
Every person has the right to:
(a) protection of privacy, family, home and correspondence from arbitrary or unlawful interference

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:17pm

Cromwell we've been through this a few times before, are you struggling a bit?

1. That's the mob who have been given a $50 million government grant

2. They are not "not for profit" they are a private company which I assume means they are listed on the stock exchange

3. They are not "effectively" a branch of the CSIRO, again, they are a public company chaired by former ASIS and ASIO boss David Irvine, and received $50 million in Commonwealth funding in 2018.

You really are a bit of a bullshitter.

I'll ask again, evidence besides an ABC puff piece please Cromwell.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:22pm

You do realise that the government appoints the boss of ASIO don't you?

Then they give his new company $50 million in funding and now we have a spokesperson telling us how very independent said company is.

Very cosy, but I guess that's how business is done at that level.

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:36pm

"The Cyber Security CRC is a not-for-profit company that will deliver outstanding cyber security research that has an impact and solves real world problems
• We are industry-led and university-fueled, with an Australia-wide approach to the ever-changing cyber threat landscape
• The CSCRC aims to connect industry and researchers to develop and potentially commercialise products and services that advance the safety and security of Australia
• Also aims to inspire the next generation of cyber security professionals by offering scholarships through our participating universities and the opportunity to learn from some of the best cyber security researchers in Australia
• We aim to develop and potentially commercialise cutting-edge research and solve real-world problems that will strengthen Australia’s sovereign cyber security capabilities."

I may have over stated the relationship with the CSIRO but they are working together on a variety of projects and CSIRO has been hiring specifically for them. The suggestion that they are corrupt, which is exactly what you imply, is as ridiculous as it is offensive. In addition to government funding they are funded by a variety of companies who use their services. Got any more mud to sling?

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:48pm

Where do you get this not for profit info?

It says in the ABC article that they're a public company and the following is a quote from their website:

"We are a public company limited by guarantee with 24 Participant members. We will invest $AU50 million Australian Commonwealth Government funding, and additional Participant funding over seven years to 2025 in our key impact areas."

https://www.cybersecuritycrc.org.au/#about

Haha, if you want to be offended, knock yourself out snowflake!
You poor delicate wee poppet!

Big difference between being corrupt and not biting the hand that feeds you.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:49pm

" over stated the relationship with the CSIRO "

Mate keep it up, it's a slow night at my place :)

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Cromwell commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 9:53pm

Sharpen up your research Andy. It is a non for profit company. And as for biting the hand that feeds you the CSIRO has been doing it for years because every government in the world beyond a few tinpot dictatorships knows that undermining scientific integrity very quickly turns into a national disaster. So what about the Privacy Commissioner? Not trustworthy either? And the source code? You don’t think there are several thousand analysts who would love to take them down? And back to the insults, just when you were going so well. A bit pathetic really.

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AndyM commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 10:08pm

"It is a non for profit company"

Where does it say this?

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Horas commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 10:44pm

"COVID-19 .A pandemic or a surveillance and bankers dream?

Who really is winning the COVID-19 stakes?
Certainly not the mums and dads.

Perfect timing or just a coincidence?
I'll leave you to work that out for yourselves "
-Anthony.T.Hicks

Horas

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Horas commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 10:51pm

"Anyone who trusts a government with anything,anywhere,is simply naive "

-Horas

Horas

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birdfood commented Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 11:22pm

The meta data retention laws already enable the government to track anyone with a phone, no app required. Someone challenged me on the this data not being interesting but if you actually play around with the visualisation you can pretty clearly see where Will is located at different times of day of the data capture period.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-16/metadata-retention-privacy-phone-...

It's pretty frustrating to see how much passion there is against this app on the grounds of tracking and yet no one is talking about these laws that have been in place for years.

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sypkan commented Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 8:07am

looks like amazon could get the contract for data ...yes that amazon...

what could possibly go wrong?

I don't really give a shit about the tracking etc., but, of all the companies you could choose...

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indo-dreaming commented Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 7:53am

"Very telling that both Indo & Cromwell consider opposition to the use of this app to be a moral failing and resort to appeals to emotion to sandbag that view.

Pretty flimsy stuff fellas."

Fact: The app is designed to help minimise or even possibly eradicate the virus from Australia, for it to be successful it needs a decent number of people to use it.

If it's not successful because not enough people download it the true reality of what will happen is uncertain, we may never get a vaccine and we might have further waves/outbreaks of the virus which expect would mean more lockdowns, if this happens we will all be affected again in our personal freedoms as we are now and most of us will be affected in some way financially to some degree be it very slightly or for some losing business, jobs, houses etc.

That is fact.

Flimsy stuff: The app is a gateway to microchipping, social credit system, or some other crazy idea that the government is out to get you in some way.

It's as simple as that.

Personally from what I've seen the app is going to be a complete flop, why?

Because of paranoia

1. Old people often have a fear of technology so are vulnerable to these kind of ideas that you guys are bringing up

2. Christians will have some theory it's the first step to the mark of the beast BS

3. A percentage of left leaning people will have theories and paranoia like seen here.

4. A percentage of the right have exactly the same fears

5. Many people will just be lazy and not bother

And that's not going to leave us with much of the population using the app.

Anyway hats off to the government for at least trying to use technology to combat this, because other than lockdowns there really is not many other options.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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sypkan commented Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 8:11am

6. I don't download any apps on my phone whatsoever if they can be possibly avoided

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AndyM commented Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 8:22am

Ok, let's see.

The Department of Home Affairs, which is principally responsible for border protection and national security, ran the tender for the app, rejected local applicants and went with Amazon.

Issuing the contract to Amazon may also mean the Australian data is obtainable by US law enforcement under a 2018 law that allows them to obtain information held by US-registered data companies no matter where in the world that information is held.

The Government has plans to store the decryption keys for the data in the same cloud as the data itself — a practice frowned upon within the industry for such a sensitive cache of public information.

Nothing to see here.

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freeride76 commented Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 8:25am

standard contact tracing is totally fine for the very low levels of virus we have in the community, for now.

I'd much rather see taxpayer money spent on that then giving amazon millions of our dollars for data that we will never get back.