Brickbat: Throw Some More Rights on the Barbie


The Australian legislature has passed a law allowing the police to hack the devices of anyone targeted as part of an investigation. Under the law, cops can take over that person's social media accounts, and copy, delete, add to or modify data, all without that person's knowledge or consent. Cops won't have to get a judge to sign off on these warrants. Rather, they will go to an administrative review panel. Supporters say the new law will make it easier for police to combat terrorism and child exploitation

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  1. Supporters say the new law will make it easier for police to combat terrorism and child exploitation…

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  2. Americans have this view of Australia as being like a caricature of Texas but that’s really just the interior and West (and Road Warrior), which are very sparsely populated.

    The majority of Australia today is the same sort of nosy pussy as Canada, and votes for the same nanny state socialist dreck.

    1. Australia is worse than Canada.

      Australia wasn’t founded by convicts, it was founded by jailers. And it shows today.

    2. The majority of Australia today is the same sort of nosy pussy as Canada, and votes for the same nanny state socialist dreck.

      If the Opera House isn’t a tell, I don’t know what is.

  3. I actually have fewer procedural problems with this bad law than one might expect.

    People have this coddled view of privacy rights that is just completely incongruous with reality. Your social media profile is wholly owned by a multinational corporation who has to make nice with most if not all world governments in order to operate. They can and will do whatever they want to it. This is just one such government asking for a turn with the whip.

    So yeah, it’s a bad law, but it’s abusing your rights only as much as Zuckerberg does for fun.

    1. Zuckerberg does not have a gun nor power of arrest. The government does.

      1. This is a true, plain and simple observation. SOME conservatives around here ignore it! MarxistMammaryBahnFuhrer, for example, will deny that, and tell you that Zuckerberg is a state-owned “corporatist”, so it is a GOOD idea for Government Almighty to micromanage (own) FaceBoooooo property!!!!

      2. And since this law does not empower government use of guns or arrests that’s irrelevant.

        The law lets law enforcement “modify and delete data, take over accounts and spy on Australians in networks suspected of committing crimes.”

        So, various things the social media platform itself can do and does already. It’s the digital equivalent of a law permitting the authorities to go through your dry cleaning at the dry clearner’s.

        Creepy and invasive sure, but also a pile of your dirty laundry you literally gave to a third party with no guarantees as to its privacy.

        1. Wrong!

          All laws are ultimately done at the point of a gun. Whether said gun is pointed at you or some CEO doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, rights are being lost by someone who values their life more than something else.

          1. So your objection is that there’s a law, not its features… wrong isn’t the right word for what you’re saying – absurd irrelevance, maybe?

            The point I made is that the “rights” at issue (control over a social media profile referring to you) was never yours. It always belonged to Facebook. That government is now saying it’s going to borrow Facebook’s power over that profile. Your claimed rights in this matter continue to be nonexistent, so the state power complaint is irrelevant, as concerns your rights.

            1. A right is a moral claim to freedom of action. Power at gunpoint is the time derivative of how fast the wielder can kill people. Anyone who values their own life tends to seek ways to repeal violent laws, starting with the most violent of them. Right now that’s about 1 American out of 30.

      3. Funny how the same people who acknowledge the fact that the police are an instrument of violence acting on behalf of malicious cowards will defend the malicious cowards. It’s almost like they don’t want the police to go away as much as they want some of that sweet senes of moral righteousness for themselves.

        1. No, they want the police to shoot or beat the shit out of their enemies like the Jan 6th protestors

    2. Zuckerberg doesn’t use my profile to troll drig gangs.

      1. Probably not specifically (either as to you or the purpose), but I bet social networks use individual profiles to goose their advertising algorithm in exactly the same way.

        It’s the government getting a turn with the social network’s existing capabilities.

  4. I get the part about monitoring a suspect’s account, but not the parts about adding or changing data. Wouldn’t even the dumbest pedophile tend to notice something like that? “Hey, who made all these friend requests to Mrs. Smith’s third grade class? And I never checked in at Chuck E. Cheese.”

    1. What I don’t understand is how adding, deleting, or changing material from the target of an investigation is supposed to help the investigation. It’s not like plans for a heist or something would be arranged via social media, so there’s no chance to direct the crooks into a trap. Why would you ever, in the process of investigating someone, want to alter that person’s public persona? And if it were a covert investigation, surely the target would realize hir content had been altered, so goodbye cover.

      1. Because, (1) fucking with people is fun, and (2) as more speech becomes illegal, planting key words means easier prosecution.

        1. Perhaps I am more optimistic than is warranted, but if they courts behave in the way I am accustomed, then any hint that they planted or altered anything will grossly sabotage their case.

          The primary benefit to the “edit” permissions in my mind would be that they could hijack the accounts of drug dealers that they had arrested and set up sting deals rather than go through the trouble of getting a warrant or their own undercover work.

      2. Because you want to use that profile to insert and informant into the group. US law enforcement has done this already.

        1. In the US, that requires a court order.

      3. That implies it’s about investigating; my guess is it’s about leverage. I’d be surprised if the law doesn’t allow them to create a social media profile and friend all your associates in the event you have the temerity to not have an account.

      4. They have to be able to plant fake evidence on the target’s social media accounts.

      5. I assume it’s to serve as a honeypot for others. Your account still looks like you, but it’s enticing the other people in your… Facebook child pornography ring… to incriminate themselves.

        The government isn’t known for the effective targeting of its laws.

  5. First, they disarmed them…

  6. Slightly off topic, but same hemisphere, and I haven’t seen Reason pick up on it yet: after one lone jihadi stabbed some people in a New Zealand supermarket, much pants-wetting and pearl-clutching was done, and now you can’t buy kitchen knives in supermarkets (and probably most other stores in the next few days). Worst part is it wasn’t even the work of that bitch Ardern…these people decided on their own to be a bunch of spineless pussies and it was the stores themselves that pulled them off the shelf.

    1. Look for “anti-stabbing” knives. No point; they look like someone welded a vertical dull slab to the tip so they are no good for stabbing. Last I heard, from friends who were in Scotland as piping tourists, thye had to show their passports to buy the little knives which go in socks, and even professional chefs can’t buy pointy knives.

      1. And potential stabbers have never heard of grinding wheels or even ‘asphalt and lots of spare time’.

        1. Ghost knives! There needs to be a law banning those!

          1. What about pointy sticks?

            1. Is this a reference to Jeremy Spike, the communist anarchist sent to infiltrate the LP and alienate most of our voters?

      2. Knives that go in socks? Sounds like a useful approach for Reason comments.

      3. When they tried that in Britain, criminals moved on to sharpened bicycle spokes, which produce even more gruesome injuries.

      4. As an American, I have to say these “anti-stabbing” knives are horrifically racist as you cannot carve a watermelon with one.

        1. I can see another BLM riot in 3-2-1……….

    2. Just following the logical extremes. You you blame the weapon of implement, malefactors will use the next most useful thing they can find. Then you “have” to “do something” about those horrid knives, hammers, crow bars [I can’t even; who really needs one of those?].

      1. “Then you “have” to “do something” about those horrid knives, hammers, crow bars”, pointy sticks, rocks, fists…..

    3. So if someone gets strangled with a pearl necklace, do they clutch their pearls or take them off?

    4. That’s not a knife. This is a knife.

  7. “Supporters say the new law will make it easier for police…”

    When you read the history of causes and events that lead to the American Revolution, it is replete with things like unfair taxation, government intrusion, lack of due process…we’re coming full circle, are we not?

  8. Australia has gone full circle.
    It began as a prison colony and returned to a prison colony.
    No one leaves, no one enters without government permission.
    The little toddler tyrants who proclaim loudly, “it’s for your own good,” will be happy if the lock downs never end.It has nothing to do with people’s health. It’s all about power and control.
    The people of Australia might as well have elected Joe Stalin or Mao.
    At least the truckers are trying to do something about it.

  9. That will make it easier for redneck Aussie cops to practise terrorism all right. Bad news for Texas girl-bullying cowards is that the Mexican Suprema Corte finally read the 1972 LP platform and struck down all state laws criminalizing abortions. Mexico is now more like Canada and many U.S. states. Piedras Negras is a 4-hour drive from Austin, where the Roe v Wade legal team defeated Republican Comstockism. Mexico is also full of ex-pats and interpreters eager as Buzz Lightyear to escort the señoritas to economical clinics.

    1. It looks like it will only apply to abortions carried out within 12 weeks.
      Afterwards, they may have to travel to the Capitol where terminating a life has been determined legal with no age restrictions.

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