In an unexpected turn of events, my band had a gig friday. We played with Rachel Maria Cox and Baltic Bar Mitzvah as the last stop on the Vanishing Shapes Hallucinatour. (If you're interested in seeing the photo's I took during Baltics set click here. They all have such pretty faces!). RMC was the saddest of sad grrrls in the most fabulous way ever, and Baltic was loud and wrakus in only a way they can manage :P
In other news, the Government's Data Retention Scheme kicked in today, and it's making me very angry. This "scheme" is a huge waste of money (because you can get around it by using a VPN Or by using a web browser like Tor ), and a huge invasion of privacy. I highly suggest you give this article written by Scott Ludlam a read. It's basically an introduction on what exactly the ISP's will be required to store, and how to keep your data private.
Also, let it be known that some ISP's are openly unhappy about the new arrangement. IInet immediately springs to mind. They are as transparent as possible with their customers, and released this article talking about their stand on the issue and why keeping your metadata private is important.
The TLDR of the situation is that ISP's (the people that give you the internet) have to retain your meta data for two whole years. Meta data contains a whole host of content, words you have written, web address, location, I.P addresses, images, names (the list goes on!) You can find out SO MUCH STUFF about a person from their metadata. What if it got hacked? what if in the future metadata was made public property? What if the laws change and the ISP's have to hold onto your data for longer?
There are some people that think that because they have "nothing to hide" it doesn't matter how much information the government retains about them. It doesn't matter if you have "nothing to hide", for this is yet another way that the government is controlling it's citizens, and chipping away at our rights. It's the digital equivalent of having a guy follow you around everywhere and go through all of your things. If you wouldn't be comfortable with someone looking through and cataloging literally everything in your house because the government said so, you shouldn't be ok with data retention.
There is a division in Australia and across the globe. There's the political class (those who make the laws and decide "what's best" either through being elected, paying their way in or placing their country under violent control) and there's everyone else. The current set of political class in Australia DO NOT CARE about the "everyone else" (if they did, data retention wouldn't be a thing). They think that "everyone else is either too stupid or too apathetic to care about what they do. They are wrong.
I know that myself and many of my peers feel frustrated and powerless. As far as lawmaking goes, yes we are pretty powerless (except when it comes to elections). We have powers in other ways. We can talk to our family, friends, and even strangers about what's going wrong in politics. We can engage with our local mp's across all level of government. We can spread our opinions across the wires which the government now monitor. (sorry for the cliche) but together we are strong.
(sorry to my readers who aren't Australian - I'm just so exasperated by the political situation in our country. Despite this I can guarantee that you have a similar divide in yours as well. It may not be as pronounced, but it's there.)