Return of the Rainbow Report

Simon Hackett (pictured), the founder of Internode, and Neil Gaughan, National Manager, High Tech Crime Operations, Australian Federal Police, join the Rainbow Reporter to discuss Big Data and the threat to your privacy, with James Newburrie and Rob Mitchell, Thu Oct 4 @ 7pm AEST.

Rainbow Reporter Doug Pollard – that’s me – is celebrating more than 10 years of reporting and campaigning. And coming back with a bang! After a 3 month holiday, the long-running GLBTI news and current affairs show, The Rainbow Report, returns to Joy 94.9, Australia’s only full time gay and lesbian radio station 7pm Thursday October 4.

Starting from 7pm it’s an hour about Big Data and the threats to YOUR privacy on the internet from proposed government legislation.

The internet plays an important role in LGBTI lives, connecting people in remote and regional areas with the community, providing sources of support and information. It has played a major role in breaking down isolation and I think we can say without exaggeration, saving lives.

BUT . . . . did you know the government wants to force internet service providers to store all your data for 2 years?

“The new security expansion would mean everything from social networking to emails would be monitored and stored, and intelligence agencies would be given increased access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.The 60 page discussion paper would increase the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD).”

Quite apart from the technical challenges, which will require immense amounts of storage, and new ways to store and interrogate the mass of information held, what happens if, for example, a government is elected with a mandate to recriminalise homosexuality?

Worse, the Australian Federal Police want all the data held indefinitely, and have only accepted the 2 yr limit as a ‘compromise’ (i.e. temporary) solution.

Nicola Roxon has changed her mind and now supports this proposal: sadly she was unavailable this evening. Instead:

Neil Gaughan, National Manager AFP High Tech Crime Operations, talks to us on The Rainbow Report about why he’d prefer to have your data stored for ever

Simon Hackett, founder of Internode, is very much opposed to the governments plans: we ask him why.

We’ll also hear from Nigel Waters of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

On hand to help us to understand the issues and the jargon, I’ll be joined in the studio by IT Security Specialist James Newburrie.

Also on hand, Rob Mitchell, who besides being a well-known GLBTI activist, is also the owner of an IT business.

Will we all need to learn how to protect ourselves online by hiding our identity? Will the openness of the net be replaced by a new darkness in which we must struggle to find each other? What are the implications for the future of GLBTI activism? Is such massive surveillance even possible? And who is going to pay for all this?

Join me at 7pm Thursday in Melbourne on Joy 94.9, stream the show live via the Joy website, or download the free app for your smartphone, also on the site.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)