Town council snoops on phones to find litterbugs & unlicensed pet owners

Juha sez, “Wyndham council in the Australian state of Victoria has been spying on residents for three years to find not terrorists, but people who litter and keep unregistered pets, and advertise without permission. Words fail me. If this isn’t a wake-up call for greater privacy protection, I don’t know what is.” READ THE REST

This is interesting because, unlike the US, Australia doesn’t have 4th amendment rights, or a bill of rights in general, and it doesn’t have as much a level of mistrust for government either.

so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of backlash comes from this, and compare it to the US’ approach.

There was a story on BoingBoing, I think, about a guy who set up a cam to find out who was making sweet love to his girlfriend’s bike - or something. Was this an invasion of privacy? If not, why not?

At some point, someone will complain that using your eyes to observe a crime is an invasion of privacy.

Backlash? There won’t be one. The public is fine with a certain amount of snooping, in general.

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OK, if you don’t mind please post your name, email, home and work address, mobile phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security number, usernames and passwords for all of your various account. It’s ok, you can trust me.

And update your pic, the photo is awful.

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Seems like someone is just itching for an infestation of crusty jugglers…

Perhaps we read different articles, but I’d say there’s quite a difference between a citizen setting up a camera to record someone who is trespassing on one’s own property versus a local government mining through metadata to all electronic correspondence to determine petty misdemeanors.

I don’t recall the post, so maybe the camera in the article you mentioned followed the supposed perpetrator around for the next year broadcasting the accused’s location and social circle back to the victim, but I doubt it.

You’re right, I’m sure that claim will be made. I’m sure that claim has been made. But there’s a fundamental difference in scope (length of intrusion, amount of data collected, etc.). Maybe in your world the occupation of 'Security Guard" is the same as “Spy”, but I don’t think most people would agree with that distinction.

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Oh have patience. Rule of Law 'n all.


Just read this - IKEA are designing a refugee shelter, and one of the key considerations was preventing shadows of the occupants being visible at night, for privacy reasons:

Otherwise they prefer to live in darkness, or leave the tent shelters they currently use if they need to use the light.

That tells you a little something about how much people really value privacy. Just a little bit.

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in australia in some part of the country having a small cat can be a dangerous thing for natives small marsupiaus (they KILL them ) because cat in australia are an invasive specie and in australia “invasive specie” is not a funny world you can see something against liberty but i see a “good fight” for natives species

Wait… what? link?

Local councils in the UK do this all the time. Notable examples include spying to make sure that people really live where their children go to school and making sure that trash bins aren’t put out early.

I don’t see how phone meta data is going to help your local council track littering and unlicenced pets.

Yeah, that was also my question when the story broke. Haven’t been able to find any info clarifying it either.

This one?

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I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Wyndham Council aren’t snooping on phone calls made by feral cats.

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