Australian news, and some related international items

Look out: Australia’s National Open Source Intelligence Centre is watching you

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I for one, will be piqued if I am not on  Jody and Amanda Lambden’s list of secret “issue monitoring”.  I know that the big corporations run a list of “hostile websites” – and I am a proud member of that list.

But I didn’t know that Martin Ferguson had couple of pals in my very own home town, watching us evil environmentalists. I’ve been at least 5 years on the job, and I expect to be included. 

It’s only fair, Martin Ferguson. After all, we’re all watching you and your  subservience to the nuclear lobby. – Christina Macpherson

The watchdog’s kennel in clandestine CroydonThe Age, Philip Dorling  January 7, 2012 AN INCONSPICUOUS Melbourne apartment block is home to a monitoring service that keeps watch on environment groups at the request of the federal government. The National Open Source Intelligence Centre, a private intelligence company, works under contract for the Australian Federal Police and Federal Attorney-General’s Department to monitor activist websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to provide warning and analysis of protest activity.

Owned jointly by Croydon couple Jody and Amanda Lambden, NOSIC has been operating since 1999. It aims to provide law enforcement agencies and other private clients with internet monitoring and analysis directed at groups engaged in
”radical activism, criminal (terrorist) activity or unlawful behaviour”.

Services provided by NOSIC include ”issue monitoring”, ”tactical intelligence”, ”threat analysis” and ”trend analysis and
forecasting focus on emerging patterns and trends in activism”. NOSIC has been engaged on contract by the AFP and the
Attorney-General’s Department since at least 2003. From 2006 to 2008, it was paid $184,800…..

NOSIC’s website does not identify its director, Mr Lambden, and provides no phone number or business address.
However, corporate records list the company’s principal place of business as a residential apartment block on Hewish Road, Croydon….
Federal security sources told The Saturday Age that NOSIC provided a ”cost-effective service” that ”frees AFP analysts from spending time chasing publicly available information”.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, civil liberties | | 1 Comment

Martin Ferguson pushing for increased surveillance of environmental activists

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, condemned the surveillance, saying it was “intolerable that the federal Labor government is spying on conservation groups” and wanting to “criminalise political protest”……

AFP spies targeting green activists SMH, Philip Dorling January 7, 2012 THE Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, has secretly pushed for increased surveillance by federal police intelligence officers of environmental activists who have been protesting peacefully at coal-fired power stations and coal export facilities. Continue reading

January 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | | 1 Comment

Australia should welcome climate change refugees from the Pacific islands

Australia is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, per head of population.  The consequences of global warming already mean extreme climate events here in Australia.

But  low-lying Pacific islands pay the greatest price of global warming – the complete loss of their homeland. Yet these Pacific islanders are among the least causers of greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s a staggering injustice.  Already, Australia has a reputation for treating asylum seekers like criminals.  We had better shape up to responsibilities, and not become a global pariah –  Australia should welcome climate change refugees from the Pacific. – Christina Macpherson

Maldives warns of climate refugees, The Age, Ben Doherty, January 7, 2012 THE president of what could be the first country in the world lost to rising sea levels has urged Australia to prepare for a wave of climate refugees. Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed’s government is considering Australia as a new home if the archipelago disappears into the ocean.
”I think it’s really quite necessary for Australians and for every rich country to understand that this is unlike any other thing that’s happened before,” Mr Nasheed told The Saturday Age.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a sea level rise of up to 59 centimetres over the next century, a level that would inundate most of the Maldives’ inhabited atolls. Low-lying Pacific island nations, such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, would also face being flooded…..
Fourteen islands in the Maldives have already been abandoned because of massive erosion by the sea. Mr Nasheed described Australia’s decision to adopt a carbon tax from 2012 as a ”brave move forward”.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | 2 Comments