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Free at last! Or freedom lost? Liberty in the digital age: 2012 Alfred Deakin Lecture

8th October 2012  |  Comments  |  Speeches

We measure the digital age in many ways.

How much data stored and transmitted?

Productivity improvements, savings in labour, savings in freight.

Better access to health and education.

But meeting here in Alfred Deakin’s memory, as political liberals, let us consider the digital age by the most important measure.

Has the Internet made us more free?

Or have we cast ourselves into a digital dungeon?

If individual freedom is, as George Brandis said to you three years ago, not simply one among several competing values but our core political value, then how has freedom fared in the streaming floods of 1s and 0s that are the digital world.

Last week Facebook, a business that didn’t exist eight years ago, announced it had one billion active users, more than a seventh of the world’s population, half of whom use the website every day and collectively upload three hundred million photos to their Facebook pages.

The Facebookers represent half of all the world’s Internet users, three times as many as there are Americans, as many as there are Africans and only a few hundred million fewer than there are Chinese.[1]

Twitter, which is barely six years old, has 100 million active users who send 230 million tweets per day[2] and Google which was incorporated 14 years ago has overtaken Microsoft in market capitalization and has nearly five times the market cap of the mighty News Corporation.

Google alone generates 23% of all US advertising revenue, more than twice that of all print media – second only to the entire television industry which retains 42% of advertising revenues. Five years ago Google’s share was 10% and print’s 20% .[3]

The market value of US new media companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook is more than three times that of the old media companies like Disney, News Corp, Comcast, Time Warner and CBS.

And in Australia the market caps of the three leading listed online advertising companies – Seek, Carsales.Com and Realestate.com.au – is more than twice (at approximately $6 billion) the combined market cap of Fairfax, Seven West Media, Ten Network Holdings and Southern Cross Media.

In the first six months of this year online advertising revenues grew by 29.6%, while magazines and newspapers ad revenues declined by 26% and 11.5% respectively.

The foundations of journalism, the most powerful organs of free speech, the great newspapers themselves are struggling to survive.

Their revenues have plummeted as advertising has moved to the more cost effective platforms of the Internet in general and Google in particular. The broadsheets have been hardest hit because it was the classifieds, their rivers of gold, which have most completely moved to the digital realm.

But broadsheet or tabloid, the newspaper business is under enormous pressure and thousands of journalists here and in other comparable markets have been laid off. The newsrooms of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have less than half the reporters they did a decade ago.

I should observe that newspapers’ problems are not due to lack of readers – they have more of them than ever. And established news brand names online are more trusted than newcomers, let alone tweets and blogs. The sticky point is the diminution of advertising revenues and a continuing reluctance on the part of online readers to pay for the content.[4]

The electronic media, especially free to air television, has held up rather better. But its day of reckoning is coming too. More and more video content is being watched in a non-linear way – recorded and played back (often free of ads) and downloaded directly from the web (regrettably often without payment of a fee to the copyright owner).

Anti-siphoning legislation which ensures major live sporting events must be shown on free to air television is providing a degree of protection to the free to airs, but before too long the sporting bodies, like the AFL and NRL, will be able to sell rights to watch their games direct to consumers via an online app – accessible on any Internet connected device – smart tv, tablet or smartphone.

All of these revolutionary changes have been enabled by the Internet and by more and more devices being connected to it via very fast broadband networks both fixed line and wireless.

But this is not just a story of revenues and wealth shifting from one generation of media moguls (Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes) to another (Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin). That would be remarkable enough.

It is also a story of technology transforming the way we as individuals connect to the various sources of news and information, to governments and business and above all with each other.

Last year half a billion smart phones and one hundred million tablets were sold as against 350 million personal computers. That trend towards wireless, mobile devices is accelerating. By 2015 it is estimated that of 2.7 billion broadband connected devices, more than 2 billion of them will be mobile, wireless devices.

So within a few years the vast majority of people in developed countries and about a third of the entire global population will have a personal mobile device connected to the Internet.

It enables them to do mundane things – shop, send and receive emails, read the news, watch a video, play a game.

And that delivers real economic value to people connected to the Internet.

Research from Deloitte last year found that Australian households benefit to the tune of more than $50bn per year from access to the Internet – in the form of added convenience, such as online banking and bill paying, and access to an increased variety of goods and services and information[5]

But it also enables them to make a movie and upload it to a global audience, to post a comment on Twitter or Youtube, write a blog and alert the world to its contents via the social media platforms.

Recently I met Rob Nixon who has built an audience of millions around the world on YouTube for his brand of simple and high calorie cooking – all delivered from his kitchen in Perth at a minimal cost

The scale of this is astonishing – 72 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube alone every minute. There are nearly 3.4 billion email accounts globally of which a quarter are corporate email accounts[6], sending 145 billion emails back and forth each day. In 2011 the total number of social networking accounts was 2.4 billion and Instant Messaging accounts totaled nearly 2.6 billion[7]

The cost of storing and transmitting data becomes cheaper every year and as a consequence there has never been so much information recorded and stored in an accessible way.

The majority of that information has been created in the last few years, but increasingly it includes the contents of libraries, art galleries, museums and archives with the consequence that by far the majority of mankind’s intellectual creation can be readily searched by anyone with a device connected to the Internet.

Universal accessibility is another revolution. Gone are the days when your indiscretions at University were recorded in a roneo-ed college newsletter of which there is only one (if any) copies left tucked in a filing cabinet at the back of a library. Today that same college newsletter is online, accessible by the whole world now and forever.

These technologies are changing the world, not always for the better, but profoundly none the less. And above all they are giving a voice, a megaphone indeed, to the individual actor of a kind never known on a global scale before.

And we see almost every day examples of that power.

Mitt Romney speaking to a $50,000 a plate Republican fundraiser says he doesn’t have to worry about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay tax. He was not counting on the smartphone recording his speech and then posting it on Youtube.

Nor was the Chinese Government expecting their efforts to, literally, cover up a train crash to be exposed by thousands of pictures and videos posted on China’s equivalent of twitter.

And then of course there is Alan Jones – just when you thought he had already exhausted the reservoir of abuse he reserves for Julia Gillard he outdid himself, and we learned about it because of another smartphone.

More importantly perhaps the avalanche of condemnation which followed was delivered by thousands of Australians expressing their views online, especially via Twitter and Facebook making it very difficult for Jones’ friends and supporters in the media and politics to brush that outburst off as just another example of “Alan being Alan.”

Thousands of Australians spoke for themselves, unedited, unmediated, via the social media. The names and email addresses of Jones’ advertisers were circulated via the social media so that they could be urged directly to stop advertising on his program. And it worked. The main stream media felt they had to react, in a sense the popular outrage evident in the social media liberated them to say what they really thought.

And the consequence has been without precedent. His advertisers have walked away. His Mercedes Benz has been recalled. The management of 2GB have announced his show will be run henceforth without any advertisements at all. For the first time Alan will have something in common with the ABC.

Mr Jones has sought to lead “people’s revolts” for many years. But this was indeed a popular revolt against vicious and destructive public discourse. And while the thousands of tweets would not have affected Mr Jones’ sunny equanimity, they had a marked impact on his advertisers.

This should not go unremarked by those, like Julia Gillard, who want greater regulation of newspapers.

Earlier this year the Finkelstein review proposed a new statutory, publicly-funded news media regulator which would define and uphold standards of ‘fairness’ and ‘accuracy’, and have powers to order content ‘withdrawn’ or corrections published.

I have opposed this proposal as an unwarranted increase in government control over all media and an unprecedented expansion of that control over the unlicensed realms of newspapers and the Internet in particular.

The Gillard Government is plainly wounded by the hammering it has received at the hands of the News Ltd tabloids and wanted to take advantage of the News of the World scandal (which happily has no counterpart in this country) to impose new regulation on the newspaper industry which is of course dominated by News Ltd with 65% of total metropolitan and national daily circulation.

The dominance of News Ltd in newspapers was established in 1986 when Paul Keating allowed Murdoch to take over the Herald & Weekly Times. But in the intervening 26 years the slice of the total news media pie constituted by newspapers has become smaller and smaller.

And I should note in this context another misguided Labor proposal to rein in the media – to provide that media acquisitions, currently subject to clear black letter trade practices and cross media ownership rules, to become subject to a public interest test. This is a concept so ambiguous it is readily open to interpretation in a very partisan political way.

Another point of objection I raised was that it was naïve to imagine that a statutory regulator would make newspapers more benign. After all the Sydney radio shock jocks including Mr Jones, are regulated by ACMA and are regularly investigated and occasionally upbraided for one outrage after another without any noticeable improvement in their discourse.

Even if Mr Jones had made his remarks about the Prime Minister’s late father on air, I doubt if ACMA would have found a breach of the code. Mr Jones has frequently urged the Prime Minister be thrown out to sea in a chaff bag and no breach of the code was found.

But in this case the effective response to Mr Jones was not regulation, or less media freedom, but rather the use by thousands of people of the enhanced freedom afforded them by the social media.

Mr Jones has complained that he has been the victim of social media bullying saying that “ if it happened anywhere else in society, this kind of bullying or harassment or intimidation or threatening conduct, the police would be called in.”

But it is difficult not to believe that he is getting a dose of his own medicine. After all Mr Jones has waged more than a few onslaughts against individuals and businesses and encouraged more than a few email campaigns of his own.

As George Megalogenis observed on twitter today – “We all agree, don’t regulate the media. But why do you want to regulate the masses?”[8]

Mr Jones believes his association with certain products will encourage people to buy them. But if other people take the view that an association with Mr Jones will lead them not to buy those products, why are they not able to tell the advertiser of their view and encourage others to do the same?

Is people power the antidote to media bullies?

SMS and instant messages were powerful enough in years past, but the reach and functionality of the smartphone connected to social media networks has enabled opposition political movements even in the most repressive societies to mobilize and challenge and in some cases, ultimately, overthrow the Government.

The impact of these technologies have been particularly profound in China where despite extensive Internet censorship the Government is now no longer in complete control of the means of self expression. Citizens unhappy with local officials can, and frequently do, take their case online. A decade ago they would have had little chance of their concerns being published in a local newspaper.

As Geoff Raby reminded us last week, there would have been no prospect of the excruciatingly embarrassing Bo Xi Lai saga and related leadership struggles being so widely reported and debated within China in a pre-smartphone era.

So have we reached a nirvana for freedom of speech – with everyone a publisher via their smartphone, a platform so compelling that even the greatest newspaper mogul of all time, Rupert Murdoch, has become a tweep!

One of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, has campaigned against “trolling” – the publication of abusive, often anonymous, remarks in the social media. They are reprehensible, and I share the Telegraph’s concern, but I wonder if the best response is not to treat anonymous abuse with the contempt it reserves and for those of us who contribute to the public discourse under our own names to raise the quality of our contributions rather than embark on a rhetorical and vitriolic arms race with people who do not even have the courage to sign their own name.

Some have suggested that anonymous blogs and tweets should be banned. That is certainly the policy in China. Alfred Deakin however would likely not approve, after all for years he wrote an anonymous column about Australian politics for the London Morning Post, even while Prime Minister, commenting on and occasionally criticizing his own performance.

Let me now turn to the issue of privacy. Australia, like the UK and the United States, and unlike many European countries does not have a comprehensive law of privacy. There are elaborate regulations relating to the use of and access to personal information, such as credit records, held both by private companies and governments. There are also laws prohibiting the recording of private conversations or intercepting telecommunications.

But in our robust democratic tradition we have very few limitations on the way in which the media, or any third party, can intrude into our private lives or private moments.

So let us consider another most profound way in which the digital age has transformed our world.

For all of human history until today, the natural order of things has been to forget. We have had to make an effort to remember – whether it is painting on the walls of a cave, writing a diary, transcribing the proceedings of a parliament. [9]

And when we remember things we often transform them. We push unhappy memories aside and remember the happy ones.

Lucy and I lived together in Oxford for nearly a year. I have no doubt the weather was as regularly grey and gloomy in 1980 as it usually is. But my memory of Oxford with Lucy is only full of sunshine. And not just the blissful sunshine of young love.

Almost all of the photographs we took and dutifully pasted in our album were taken on one, the only one, blue skied, sunshining day. When I think of our time in Oxford the images that come to mind are that handful of snapshots.

And one reason for that rather selective record of our time in Oxford was that in those days film was expensive as was developing the prints. Today the cost of shooting a thousand photos is no more than shooting one, and the cost of storage, whether on your own hard drive or in the cloud is negligible.

So now as it is so cheap and effortless to remember and we live more and more of our lives online, how can we forget? For millions of years the frailty of human memory has deleted recollections, but the digital brain that is the Internet never forgets.

You had forgotten being drunk and stupid at a party at university – so had everyone else by the way. But someone took some pictures, put them on Facebook, tagged you and now years later they are turned up in a search by your would-be employer.

Millions of people today converse with their friends online, on Facebook or similar sites, by email, by text message. They are creating a transcript of their lives. So how can they forget the cruel slights of the year before last – the human brain defaults to delete, the digital brain defaults to remember, forever.

How can we forgive, if we cannot forget?

And it is not just information we, or our friends posted, that can come back to haunt us.

Viktor Mayer Schonberger in his book “delete” gives the example of a woman who while a teenager had broken the law and gone to prison. Once released, she got her act together, moved to a different city, found a job, got married, had some kids and established her happy family with her past far behind her. Or so she thought until one day one of her own children’s classmates finds a website with mug shots of former convicts. Before too long a decade as a mother, a trusted employee, a loving wife was swept away. She was once again the ex-convict.

And there is plenty of mundane information recorded too. You may not recall what colour socks you bought last year, or what web pages you downloaded, which movies you ordered – but Google or Amazon or some other great database has a perfect record of everything you have done.

Smartphones are able to determine your location, so every time you access an app, make a call, send an email, every moment someone will know where you are.

Geolocation can be very useful – if you want to find a restaurant near you, or get directions from where you are to somewhere else. The best providers seek explicit consent to access our location. But how long should it be recorded?

Historically when we have been anxious about databases and personal information the concern has been that big brother, in the form of Government, will know all about us and even if the Government is scrupulous and benign some wicked hacker could burrow into their database and find out our medical or tax or employment records.

And this anxiety has a long history. After all the Dutch Government’s thoroughness in collecting personal religious and racial information for the purpose of their census enabled the Nazis to murder a much higher percentage (73%) of Holland’s Jews than those of Belgium (40%) or France (25%)[10].

There is an important lesson to be drawn from this tragedy. Most of our privacy regulations focus on limiting the use of access to data. However this relies on both the trustworthiness of the holder of the information and the continuance of the policy. Whatever privacy policies the Dutch Government may have had to protect against misuse of their database, the Nazi occupiers would have paid them no heed.

While concerns about governments’ access to our private information are well founded, it must be acknowledged that most of the personal information we have committed to the digital world we have chosen to put in the hands of private companies, like Google and Amazon, and shared not with the Government but with the entire world on social media platforms like Facebook and Google.

And the digital record of our lives goes beyond what we have ourselves entered online. Thousands of CCTV cameras record us going about our business, in many bars and hotels they will not only record us dancing or smooching but what drinks we buy. How long does Starbucks know where you had a coffee and what kind of muffin you bought to accompany it? And if that is not enough, anyone with a camera, almost certainly in their smartphone, can take a picture or a movie of us and post it somewhere online.

The young couple kissing on the park bench are no longer alone in their rapture. The local council probably has them on CCTV and some especially repellent fourteen year olds have placed a record of their passion on www.greatsnogs.com.au[11] whereupon someone will no doubt tag the pictures with their names.

The viral nature of the Internet makes enforcement of privacy or confidentiality laws, even where they exist, almost impossible. The pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge were no doubt taken unlawfully under French law, but once online they cannot practically be restrained.

Now this issue of privacy is central to any discussion of liberty. In our society attempts to introduce a general law of privacy, that would for example prevent the publication of material which relate to a person’s private life and which are unrelated to their fitness for a public office or position,[12] have always foundered. We have preferred to set the balance in favour of free speech and a free press and there is little or no restraint on the publication of private material, be they nude pictures or salacious text messages, other than the restraint and decency of would be publishers.

But rather than re-opening that particular can of worms, let us consider whether there should be any limits to the ability of third parties to retain information about us.

For how long should there be a record of our web browsing? Or of our emails? If we choose to delete our browsing history or emails or tweets or Facebook entries – should they not be deleted everywhere and not just on our own computer?

As a matter of principle I believe the answer must be yes – if I am lawfully entitled to burn copies of the letters I have written to you and the letters you have sent me in return, why can I not do the same to my emails. If I can throw my diary and my photo album in the bin, why can I not delete my Facebook page?

Well I can, can’t I?

But is a deleted email really deleted? How do we know the web page we thought we had deleted has not been cached somewhere. How can we be sure the embarrassing photo has not been copied, the stupid blog post or tweet captured in a screen shot.

Put another way, if we have the right to record something, and it is of a private quality unlike company or financial records which must be retained, should we not have the right to delete it?[13]

And how far should a right to delete go? Just like we cannot delete an email or a letter we have sent to someone else, how can we delete the photograph we posted on line which was then copied by another? How can we have a right to be digitally forgotten without impinging on others’ right of free speech?

This issue has been brought into sharp focus by the Attorney-General’s vague but at face value far-reaching plan to expand data interception, mandatory data retention, and government access to private digital information.

And the most striking proposed expansion of government power over private data is the least clearly explained. These are amendments which provide for what is described as: “tailored data retention periods for up to 2 years for parts of a data set, with specific timeframes taking into account agency priorities, and privacy and cost impacts.” [14]

Internet companies will apparently be required to store parts of everyone’s data, although there is no clarity as to which material will be kept or why.

In fact there is little clarity; period. A recent letter from Nicola Roxon to the Herald-Sun bemoaning its coverage of the data retention issue provided more information about this measure than a 61-page discussion paper released by her department.

While the purported intent is that only metadata – data about data – will be available to law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, there is no explanation of how metadata will be distinguished from data (the two are often commingled, as in the ‘subject’ line of emails), why both would not be readily available once a message has been handed over and decrypted, and indeed how readily in an IP world it is possible to keep a record of the time, date, size, sender, receiver and possibly subject of an email without also retaining the contents.

Nor has there been an explanation of what costs and benefits have been estimated for this sweeping and intrusive new power, how these were arrived at, what (if any) cost was ascribed to its chilling effect on free speech, and whether any gains in national security or law enforcement asserted as justification for the changes will be monitored and verified should they be enacted.

ASIO’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry considering the discussion paper argues that the type of information it seeks is not very different from what it has hitherto been able to obtain from telcos who retain details of telephone calls (but not the content) for the purpose of billing. In an IP world where charging is done on the basis of total bandwidth utilization, ASIO argues these details are not required by the telcos or web companies and so they can be deleted.

The German Federal Constitutional Court has recently struck down a similar data retention law noting that “meta-data” may be used to draw conclusions about not simply the content of the messages, but the social and political affiliations, personal preferences, inclinations and weaknesses of the individual concerned.[15]

Leaving aside the central issue of the right to privacy, there are formidable practical objections. The carriers, including Telstra, have argued that the cost of complying with a new data retention regime would be very considerable with the consequence of higher charges for their customers.

And what is to happen with data stored offshore? Google hosts much, if not most, of the relevant data for Australians. But none of it is hosted in Australia. Much of our voice and video calls occur now over IP services, like Skype or Google Chat. Is their customer metadata stored in Australia? Almost certainly not.

Google currently permanently deletes emails or Youtube videos from their server once the customer deletes it. Search logs are rendered anonymous after nine months. It would be utterly impractical, and possibly unlawful, for Google to discriminate against customers from Australia and treat them differently from any others.

And finally – why do we imagine that the criminals of the greatest concern to our security agencies will not be able to use any of numerous available means to anonymise their communications or indeed choose new services that are not captured by legislated data retention rules?

Without wanting to pre-empt the conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee, I must record my very grave misgivings about the proposal. It seems to be heading in precisely the wrong direction. Surely as we reflect on the consequences of the digital shift from a default of forgetting to one of perpetual memory we should be seeking to restore as far as possible the individual’s right not simply to their privacy but to having the right to delete that which they have created in the same way as can be done in the analogue world.

Now this data retention proposal is only the latest effort by the Gillard Government to restrain freedom of speech.

They started in 2007 with a commitment to a mandatory national Internet filter: the so-called ‘clean feed.”

The plan required ISPs to block access to a Government-determined blacklist of websites. The list itself would be kept secret to protect us all.

The policy was claimed to be directed at eliminating online child pornography and there is no debate about the need to protect children from inappropriate material and indeed to protect them from child molesters who recruit and groom their victims online.

But the proposal, which remains Labor policy, was a thoroughly bad idea.

Not only would it have slowed Internet access for all sites, but the black list inevitably made many errors. In 2009 Wikileaks revealed a trial list blocked websites for Queensland small businesses that included a dentist, tuck shop consultant and operator of boarding kennels. [16]

Moreover, the purveyors of child pornography are adept enough to change IP addresses frequently and distribute their material on peer to peer networks.

And not only would the filter have been ineffective but to make it worse it would have created a false sense of security in parents whose close engagement with and personal responsibility for their children is the only effective way of protecting young people online.

The most objectionable aspect of the clean feed, however, is its premise that the Government has the right to stop individuals accessing an arbitrarily chosen and unreviewable selection of content.

At first Labor claimed the list was limited to child pornography and sexually violent content, but Wikileaks revealed it extended to online gaming, YouTube and Wikipedia links, information about euthanasia, and sites operated by both fringe and mainstream religions, not to speak of many legitimate sites included in error.

No matter what view one takes of objectionable material, the filter would represent a profound weakening of online liberty in Australia.

Last year, during the uprisings across the Arab world, Senator Conroy dismissed the notion of the Internet being cut off as it was in Egypt: “…Australia’s a vibrant democracy, where the government doesn’t control the Internet…”

That statement was only true because thanks to the opposition of the Coalition and the Greens he has been unable to get his mandatory filter legislation through the Senate.

Let me conclude this lecture on a more positive note.

As you can see while there are real threats to our freedom in the digital world, the opportunities for greater freedom of expression, greater access to knowledge and information far outweigh the risks. The glass is much more than half full.

While I believe the best thing Government can do is to enable freedom of speech and communication, the reality of an entire nation connected to the Internet offers enormous possibilities for Government better to engage with the public and business.

There are many simple and inexpensive measures we will undertake in Government that will save money both for government and the people and businesses it serves.

We will ensure that all Australian individuals and businesses are offered by the Government what I have called a free electronic pigeonhole. This would be a permanent and unique address – for volunteers – to which would be sent all communications from Government. We would seek the collaboration of State and Local Governments so that they were included in the scheme.

Over time this would evolve into a personalized all of Government portal for every person and every firm which chose to participate, able to be accessed from any device.

The savings to Government are obvious. Data storage is very cheap. The processing and delivery of hard copy correspondence is extremely expensive.

The savings for individuals and firms are equally self evident. Institutionalising electronic communications saves time and money; ensuring that all communications go to one unique destination means that they cannot go astray. If people change address, no matter, their correspondence will still be there.

Overall, while some Government departments have done very well online, it is fair to say that Government is well behind business in engaging with its customers in the digital realm.

We mean to change that.

While the hardware and software of the Internet are indispensable, the scarcest and most valuable resource has never been technology, but technological imagination.

And that imagination is always present, waiting to be released by a change of culture which never says “not invented here” and is thoroughly liberal, always skeptical of established ways of doing things, thoroughly non-deferential, and open to change.

Just as the digital world has opened up new avenues for every form of freedom, so too it is freedom itself, our core value as liberals, which will continue to liberate the imagination.

It will ensure the digital world is, if not the best of all possible worlds, at least a world where more of us can speak out in our own voice, unmediated by others, dream our own dreams, undirected by governments, and claim more than any generation before us, our birthright as free men and free women.

[1] “Facebook nears a Billion members” by Ian Paul PC World April 24 2012
[2] “Dissecting Twitter” accessed at www.thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/09/13/dissecting-twitter/ on October 2 2012

[3] For these and other current Internet statistics see Henry Blodget’s “State of the Internet: 2012” found at his online newspaper www.BusinessInsider.com

[4] See the October 1 2012 Pew Report on the Future of Mobile News accessed here: http://www.journalism.org/sites/journalism.org/files/Futureofmobilenews%20_final1.pdf

[5] Connected Continent, Deloitte Access Economics, August 2011

[6] Email Statistics Report 2011-2015, The Radicati Group Inc accessed at www.radicati.com

[7] ibid

[8] Tweeted by @gmegalogenis at 10:19 am, 8 October 2012

[9] For an excellent exposition of this issue see “Delete” by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger 2009

[10] “Delete” 2009 by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger p.141

[11] Not as far as I know a real website!!

[12] For one of the earliest and best discussions of a right to privacy see Warren & Brandeis “The Right to Privacy” Harvard Law Review December 15, 1890

[13] Of course there are many circumstances where there is a public interest in retaining information – company and financial records for example.

[14] Attorney-General’s Department – Equipping Australia Against Emerging & Evolving Threats’ – Discussion Paper, Canberra, July 2012, p.10.

[15] Cited in the Electronic Frontiers submission dated 20 August 2012 to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry into potential reforms of national security legislation.

[16] Asher Moses – ‘Dentist, tuckshop cited on web blacklist’ – Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2009: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/dentist-tuckshop-cited-on-web-blacklist-20090615-ca9x.html

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