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CYBER BEAT

Rita Mac 

Cyber Security expert

&

Malcolm Crompton

Former E Safety Commissioner

 

WEEKLY PODCAST

 

Our hosts, cybersecurity consultant Rita Mac & former Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton, weave a tightly crafted, vibrant and informative 15 minute weekly podcast Cyberbeat to lead discussions on all issues related to digital rights in the rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

One of the key messages out of NetThing2020 was the fundamental infrastructure of the internet is now a serious threat to democracy.  Digital rights groups, public servants, academics, industry leaders, journalists and grassroots activists all agreed this is a crisis that is rapidly escalating and out of control.  They spoke extensively about the exploitative corporate mode of obtaining advertising revenue without regard for human rights, and how that puts every single Australian not only at risk from cyber incidents but also at risk of being caught up in “behaviour modification at scale” practices as revenue makers for the likes of FB and Google.   The internet has become radically weaponised into a vast surveillance apparatus used by Governments, social media companies, search engines, etc.

Within the context of Cyberbeat: The Podcast we examine our exposure, collectively and individually now the internet has changed the way we live and work; a juggernaut that has evolved without any safeguards or regulations in place.   Ginger Gorman writes in her book Troll Hunting “It’s dangerous to fool yourself into believing the online world is ‘virtual’ and the person behind the keyboard can’t inflict real-life harm”.  More than ever it is critical to be able to discern which are the voices we need to listen to and trust.  The absence of a Bill of Rights is now blindingly evident.

As we address these issues we feature news headlines from around the world and interviews with a diverse range of credible experts including voices from industry, civil society, grassroots communities and government with a focus on regional Australia.

Cyberbeat is not only an industry watchdog like the ABC’s Media Watch, it’s a platform to share ideas and innovations for a better, more sustainable, ethical, inclusive technology development focused on digital rights, information privacy, cybersecurity, mass surveillance and AI ethics.  

As we reimagine our digital future against the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian neo-capitalist structure we look at the challenges presented with a whole systems approach knowing how this conversation will ripple out into all areas where sovereignty is being explored and sought.  With the proliferation of businesses reinventing themselves from this liminal space post COVID and migrating to online platforms online security and clarity around those issues has become a priority.

Broadcast:  BayFM 99.9 Byron Bay.    Wednesdays.  10 am.  Dur: 15 mins

THE CYBER SENSE INITIATIVE

A technology & art innovation collaborative project


A collective of diverse, informed voices united in a growing movement for ethical technology and data sovereignty for the purpose of envisaging our digital future.

Our aim is to build digital and real world private and public spaces that are built around a knowledge base of collective information and produce projects that communicate this quickly and effectively with the people.

Genuine, authentic, uncompromised spaces to share ideas, solutions, concerns, experiences bound together by common values will allow us to transition into this new paradigm with ease and grace.


The COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s rush to push out their surveillance solution in the form of the CovidSafe application has highlighted a dire, dystopian future predicted in George Orwell’s novel, 1984.   We are now faced with the reality of that fictitious story as the State exerts excessive control upon the population above and beyond reasonable measures all people expect under these extraordinary times we are living through.

What has been deeply highlighted as a consequence is the lack of safeguards against our democracy as we slide into tyrannical rule.

Australia, unlike other Western democracies, does not have an enforceable federal human rights framework, nor does Australian law recognise a tort for serious invasions of privacy.  

Without a human rights framework and strong values, oversight and accountability to hold our democracy in ‘check’, our technology future is on a slippery side as we have seen evidenced in Robodebt, the Metadata Retention Act, Access and Assistance Bill, and other initiatives that highlight how vulnerable we are as a consequence.

Our focus will be to examine the mechanisms deployed through cyberspace intentionally designed to compromise our privacy and communicate our findings through comprehensive, innovative multi-platform art projects that deliver without compromise on truth or the need for influence by any vested interests.


The epic power and control the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook wield is dangerous.  Amazon’s record in privacy abuses is staggering and needs to be understood in terms of aggressive profit-driven strategies that are dependant upon exploiting customers personal information.   For example, everyday people are beginning to express their concerns about being bombarded with shoe related sales advertising following on from a simple online search for shoes.  

Amazon has created a surveillance product; a voice activated personal assistant that has been able to infiltrate people’s most private spaces.

   “It’s extremely hard to do … convincing people to just deploy something like this in their home - it’s a brilliant trick”. Meredith Whittaker, co-director of the AI Now Institute at NYU.  “Alexa is one more way for Amazon to gather extremely valuable data.”

The mega tech has received backlash from employees over the ‘company marketing its facial recognition for use by Immigration and Customs Enforcement expressing major concerns about the use of artificial intelligence by law enforcement.

The manipulation of the population at this crucial time in history is a matter of great urgency if we value freedom, liberation and aspire to peace.

Our democracy is being hijacked by Corporate interests and Governments acquiescing to lobbyists; the collusion forcing the Australian technology industry out.  

Many of us recognise the urgency of acting now to ensure our digital future is in alignment with our values.

We look forward to building a hub of deep, rich voices that comprises our democratic, multi-cultural, unique society and honours the shared values that bind us together and exploring the ways this creatively filters out into the world to positively transform and affect our culture.

The time is now.



KEY ISSUES

The challenges of securing Australian data in the current climate
Digital sovereignty
Digital Privacy erosion of rights
Human Rights in Cyberspace
Lack of legal framework for Human Rights in Australia
Surveillance capitalism
Uninformed public
Lack of discussion on the effects of emerging technologies on Human Rights
Monoculture and the lack of diversity
The business activity arena quietly invading our private spaces
Ignoring voices from civil society and grassroots communities
Lack of government expertise
The factors undermining Australian technology businesses ability to grow in the current marketplace
Government and multi-national alliances