Gladys Berejiklian creates Resilience NSW to cover up Incompetence

The first sentence from Gladys Berejiklian’s press release sums up the levels of idiocracy in our three levels of Government. World-Leading means what exactly? When was the last time someone with a brain said that an Australian Government at any level was “World-Leading”, had planned or prepared for anything from a disaster to growth?

This new agency didn’t just pop up overnight yet there is very little information about it, they have hired 150-200 staff at a cost of $30 million just in wages alone but aside from a press release and a few media interviews no information is forthcoming.

The Press Release

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the creation of a new NSW Government agency, Resilience NSW, which will drive world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery approach for the NSW community.

This follows Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ retirement after decades of service in the RFS, including 12 years as its leader.

Ms Berejiklian said NSW is proud of Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ role during the recent bushfire season and for his outstanding service over many decades to the RFS.

“The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters – bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know the next six months will be very difficult but we must already turn our mind to recovery.

“Through Resilience NSW we will re-double our efforts to prevent, prepare and recover from crisis which impact NSW.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of NSW in this vital new role, and to work alongside the leadership of the state’s combat agencies.

“Resilience NSW will lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort. It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“There was never a more important time to make sure that communities devastated by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 are getting the help they need to rebuild and recover.”

NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

The Incompetence of government

The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters – bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian | NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

Without any doubts all of these so called disasters were exacerbated because of a combination of incompetence and lack of planning by the Local, State and Federal Governments. How an additional layer of bureaucracy will fix issues that run deep into other areas of government is beyond idiocracy.

  • Bushfires were so widespread mainly because of cutbacks to the hazard management in NSW.
  • Drought is down to poor planning and the failure to build dams when you have doubled the population in most places of Australia.
  • Flooding is often exacerbated because of poor planning and allowing homes to be built in inappropriate areas, poor maintenance of stormwater and lack of infrastructure to get rid of flood water quickly from built up areas.
  • Covid-19 is a sterling example from the NSW Government given they allowed the Ruby Princess passengers to disembark in the middle of the night with no checks. Of the 2,700 passengers that disembarked, over 700 were infected and at least fifteen have died (at the 8th of April 2020) and these passengers have travelled all over Australia. This was a failure at the Federal Government level as well but nearly all the blame must lie with the State Government who is responsible for health. A criminal investigation is underway but no doubt the people responsible will be promoted or moved sideways into a new agency or department.

The Agencies Mandate

Resilience NSW will lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort. It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level

NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons | NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

Prevention, Preparedness and Recovery

According to Shane Fitzsimmons the new agency will not only be about prevention but also preparedness and recovery.

Prevention

Does this suggest they will be ordering the building of infrastructure such as dams and stormwater infrastructure? What about ordering hazard reduction in forests? And stopping housing development in low lying flood prone areas? If not how will they PREVENT anything from happening?

Given that the departments and agencies already responsible for these areas are supposed to be responsible how does an additional agency identify these areas? Who is responsible for the failures as now there will be multiple departments and agencies responsible and no doubt finger pointing will ensue.

Preparedness

Preparation entails knowledge of the areas that you are responsible for, this new agency is responsible for everything from a Pandemic to Cyber Security to Drought to Flooding to Fire and beyond.

How will it be in a position to ensure preparedness for the local, state and federal governments to respond when required?

Recovery

Recovery is another vast area and this one agency is going to be responsible for all types of recovery from Cyber Attacks, Pandemics, Drought, Floods to Fires and more. How will it be able to recover when local government resources are required? All levels of government already show they cannot work together particularly when different parties are in power in different levels of government.

State, National and International

Further Shane Fitzsimmons said the new agency will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level.

State

This is ok as they are a state government agency but will they have the power to direct councils at the local government level?

National

Will Resilience NSW have the power to order other states and the Federal Government what to do? If not this is just fanciful thinking.

International

Exactly what will a “World-Leading” NSW Agency have to offer other countries let along believe that they will be engaged with overseeing and coordinating emergency management policy, service delivery and “all aspects” of disaster recovery?

Staffing

Staffing is currently 150-200 at the outset. Allowing for all the staffing costs and the numerous senior staff that will be involved and working off the 200 staff figure x $150,000 and you have a cost in wages along of $30,000,000 per annum and this will likely double or triple in the months to come to approach $100 million per annum. Add in office space in the CBD, vehicles, infrastructure and travel and this is becoming a $200 million agency but time will tell as no details have been released.

The team itself is probably about 150 people, less than 200 people at the moment

NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons

Infrastructure

Is the agency Resilience NSW going to outsource it’s infrastructure to cloud providers as required by the NSW Government or run everything in house? Given it’s role includes Cyber attacks on infrastructure, logic would suggest it would run it in house so an attack on the poorly secured infrastructure in Australia would not see it cut off from it’s information.

As usual this information is not available.

Alternatives to the Resilience NSW Agency

There are multiple departments and agencies that should or do perform the roles of the new Resilience NSW Agency.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) leads the NSW public sector to deliver on the NSW Government’s commitments and priorities.

Our mission is to enhance the lives of the people of NSW by driving priorities, brokering outcomes and delivering programs and services.

We support the NSW Premier and Ministers by:

– carrying out a coordinated policy, project and reform agenda that boosts the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of NSW
– partnering with NSW Government agencies, as well as the private, not-for-profit and academic sectors, to ensure that services are delivered on time, within budget and to the community’s expectations
– coordinating the initiatives of Ministers and their agencies to achieve the government’s targets
– managing the passage of government legislation
– supporting the delivery of major projects
– coordinating and planning significant state events
– working with the federal government and other state and territory governments on national reforms.

About the Department | Department of Premier and Cabinet Website

The Minister for Emergency Services

What exactly does the Office of Emergency Management do?

Looking at the OEM it appears that they do everything the his new agency is going to do and more. They already have a minister responsible (even if he did take a European holiday in the middle of the bush fires in NSW).


St​ate Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC)

This section is directly from the Office of Emergency Management Website on the 7th of April 2020.

When an emergency occurs that is not under the control of a Combat Agency (as defined in the State Emergency Management Plan​), the State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON) assumes control. The SEOCON is supported in this role by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC).

The SEOC has the necessary staff and communications equipment to control the emergency operation. When an emergency occurs that is under the control of a Combat Agency the SEOC may support that agency in controlling the emergency.

Roles of the State​ Emergency Operations Centre

The main roles of the SEOC during an emergency operation are:

  • To control the emergency operation
  • To plan for the ongoing emergency operation
  • To plan acquire and allocate resources
  • To provide public information about the emergency operation.

In addition to this operational role, the SEOC collects, stores and disseminates information to support emergency operations.​


NSW Emergency Management Arrangements

This section is directly from the Office of Emergency Management Website on the 7th of April 2020.

​The community of New South Wales lives with a variety of natural and technological hazards. The more common hazards are floods, severe storms, and bushfires but other events such as exotic animal disease, major aircraft crashes and earthquakes are possible.

Most incidents are handled using standard procedures, however, if an event requires a significant and coordinated response, then this is termed an emergency.

The New South Wales Government acknowledges the inevitable nature of emergencies and their social, economic and environmental consequences. Accordingly, it recognises the need for a co-ordinated response by all agencies having roles or responsibilities in such emergencies.

A number of Acts of Parliament set out the duties and responsibilities of the emergency services. The State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 (as Amended) is the Act that provides the legislative basis for co-ordination of emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations.

The Act provides for:

  • the preparation of the Emergency Management Plan (EMPLAN) and subordinate plans to ensure a co-ordinated response for necessary operations;
  • the establishment of Emergency Management Committees at State, Regional and Local Government levels; and
  • arrangements for controlling emergency operations.

The State Emergency Management Plan​​

The key element of emergency management planning in NSW is the Emergency Management Plan (EMPLAN). The objective of EMPLAN is to ensure a co-ordinated response by all agencies having responsibilities and functions in emergencies.

EM​PL​AN

  • identifies the combat agency primarily responsible for responding to the emergency;
  • specifies the tasks to be performed by all agencies in the event of an emergency;
  • provides for the co-ordination of the activities of other agencies in support of the combat agencies; and
  • specifies the responsibilities of the Minister and the State, Region, or Local Emergency Operations Controller.

Planning below State level​​

An important principle of Emergency Planning in NSW is that local communities have a greater insight into the needs and resources of their support of the wider community. Accordingly, EMPLAN devolves control and co-ordination of emergency operations and the responsibility for preparedness, response and recovery to the lowest possible level but lays out a structure by which these resources may be augmented by Region and State resources if the Local level resources cannot cope.

Combat agen​cies

A combat agency is the agency with the specific expertise and equipment to deal with the effects of designated hazards. The agency responsible for each major hazard is designated in EMPLAN.

Animal Health Emergency
NSW Agriculture 

Aviation Emergency
Emergency Operations Controller 

Bushfire
NSW Rural Fire Service 

Fire (Urban)
Fire and Rescue NSW 

Flood Storm, Tempest
NSW State Emergency Service 

Hazardous Materials
Land based: Fire and Rescue NSW
State waters: NSW Maritime and NSW Port Corporations
Inland waters: Fire and Rescue NSW 

Marine Oil Spill
NSW Maritime and NSW Port Corporations

Sub-Plans: planning for specific hazards

A Sub-Plan is a plan developed to counter a specific hazard, where the planning required is either more specialised or more detailed than that provided for in EMPLAN.

The following Sub-Plans have been produced:

  • Animal Health Emergency (Exotic Animal Disease)
  • Aviation Emergency
  • Bushfire
  • Flood
  • Hawkesbury/Nepean Flood Emergency
  • Major Structural Collapse
  • Marine Oil & Chemical Spill
  • Storm

Supporting Plans: plan​​ning for a coordinated response

Emergencies can develop to the point where a combat agency requires support, assistance, and advice from other agencies. Displan identifies Functional Areas and requires “Functional Area Supporting Plans” to be produced to ensure appropriate support is provided for the efficient supply of the necessary assistance. The following supporting plans have been developed:

  • Agriculture and Animal Services
  • Disaster Recovery Human Services
  • Engineering Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Health Services
  • Public Information Services
  • Transport Services

Emergency Ma​​​nagement Committees

Emergency Management Committees are established at State, Region, and Local Government levels. The Minister appoints the Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Committee. Regional Emergency Operations Controllers chair the Regional Emergency Management Committees, and Local Government Councils provide chairpersons for the local committees. Membership includes the heads of the Emergency Service organisations at each level and representatives of the functional areas. At state level, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Natural Resources, the Department of Local Government, the Premier’s Department, and Treasury are also represented. Functional areas are not represented at local government level unless their structures extend to that level.

Control of op​erations

Where a combat agency is designated in EMPLAN, the head of the Combat Agency controls the operation. Where no combat agency is designated, control of the operation is vested in the Emergency Operations Controller.

At State level the State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON) is appointed by the Governor. Emergency Operations Controllers (who are also Police Officers) are also appointed at Region and Local levels.

Emergency Operations Controllers co-ordinate support or assist in co-ordinating support to a combat agency when requested by the Head of a combat agency.

Summary

What the new Agency does apart from check on other departments and agencies is unknown. Why isn’t this being undertaken by the NSW premier’s department whom surely the responsibility lies that the departments and agencies are doing their job? And what about the Office of Emergency Management that already does what the new agency does and more?

Another agency costing $200 million or more to perform checks that Departments are doing the job they are paid to do is absurd.

This new agency is duplicating the role of the ministers and the heads of these departments and agencies. The Premier should be putting competent people in these positions that are held criminally responsible for failure and as the the Premier of NSW they should also be held responsible for the failures of their departments and agencies.

This is like the changes to government that occur with newly elected politicians that want to be seen to be doing something so they split or merge departments at massive cost and disruption to “save” money or provide “better” services. How many times have Transport and Main Roads been merged and split in Queensland for example.

The Australian States need a core set of Departments like Transport, Main Roads, Education, Emergency Services and Health that are set and cannot be changed, merged or split at the whim of a new government. Each of these departments would be headed by ONE Minister and not multiple like we see now in some states like Queensland for example. Ideally in the future these departments that are working the same in each state would merge to remove the duplication and confusion between states as well as duplicated licensing costs for workers that operate in multiple states.

No doubt the other states will follow quickly with rushed agencies to perform similar tasks and each will want to outdo the others.

Petrol Quality in Australia is at least 13 years behind Europe!

Australia the third world country

Australia has continued it’s backward slide by delaying the move to higher quality petrol until at least 2027. The current levels of sulphur in petrol in Australia was banned in 2009 in Europe.

  • 91 RON regular unleaded – 150ppm (unchanged since 1/1/2005)
  • 95 RON premium unleaded – 50ppm (unchanged since 1/1/2008)
  • 98 RON premium unleaded – 50ppm (unchanged since 1/1/2008)

The petroleum industry claimed that it needed eight years to upgrade the four remaining refineries in Australia at a cost of $979 million or it would have to shut them down. The refineries are located;

  • Brisbane – Caltex
  • Geelong – Viva/Shell
  • Melbourne – Mobile
  • Perth – BP

The delay in moving to low sulphur petrol means increased costs in buying vehicles in Australia as engines need re-calibration and some variants of engine are not available at all due to the costs which run into millions of dollars.

Is Australia really a third world country?

With regards to petrol quality the answer is a resounding yes.

Out of the 36 countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Australia has the worst petrol quality.

Out of 100 countries Australia at the start of 2018 was ranked number 73 after falling three places from the previous year. A number of other countries have since transitioned to lower sulphur so Australia is likely down between 80 and 90 currently.

Maximum Gasoline Sulfur Limits (2018)
More countries are changing over to 50ppm or lower by 2020 so this will leave Australia near the bottom of the top 100. It is likely within a few years that Australia will out of the top 100 list.
Australia is one of the few countries that do not have petrol that matches emission standards!

Lagging behind Europe

Europe adopted new fuel standards way and as usual Australia lagged so far behind, it is likely that with a staged introduction planned in 2027 for the new fuels that we will not be totally on 10ppm fuel until sometime in the 2030’s especially if we allow the fuel companies who rake in huge profits to dictate the change. In fact Europe already has Euro 6.2 and Australia is till thinking about Euro 6 for 2027 onwards.

  • Euro 2 | Europe 1996 | Australia 2003-2004* (8 years behind)
  • Euro 3 | Europe 1996 | Australia 2005-2006* (10 years behind)
  • Euro 4 | Europe 2000 | Australia 2008-2010* (10 years behind)
  • Euro 5 | Europe 2009 | Australia 2013-2016* (7 years behind)
  • Euro 6 | Europe 2014 | Australia 2027+ (13+ years behind)

*European year applies to all vehicles whereas Australia applies the first year to new vehicle models and the second year to all vehicles sold.

Source | Emission Requirements for new petrol passenger cars in Australia and European Emission Standards.

Volkswagen pushing for higher fuel standards and emissions

Volkswagen Australia managing director, Michael Bartsch, has called for Australia’s fuel standards and emissions testing to be dragged into line with the latest European rules, lest we become a “dumping ground” for old engine technology.

Speaking at a briefing in Sydney this week, the executive said our current fuel standards put Australia at risk of becoming a “second-tier” market, and argued the transition to higher-quality, lower-sulphur fuel was as important as the switch from leaded to unleaded petrol.

“We’re becoming outsiders,” Bartsch (pictured below) told journalists. “It won’t be long before vehicles are going to have to be produced purely for these really poor sulphur content countries,” he said, speaking of Australia’s fuel standards.

At the moment, local regulations allow 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur in premium unleaded, and 150ppm in regular unleaded petrol. European rules allow a maximum of 10ppm. We’re ranked 70th in the world for fuel quality, largely due to this sulphur content.

Bartsch didn’t pull any punches when addressing this point of view, suggesting the AAA and fuel companies are misleading the public on the issue.

“The fuel companies are pulling wool over people’s eyes, the AAA is pulling wool over people’s eyes as to what the real-world environment is,” he told assembled press.

“We’ll start seeing a lot of options drop off in terms of powertrains and engines that we can get,” he later argued, prompted about the timeline laid out by the AAA.

“What you’ll start seeing is that we’ll start getting lower common denominator products and… we’ll start paying more for the cars, because they’ll start doing special testing and special engine runs, and keeping old model lines alive, and putting old engines down the production line to keep a few markets going,” Bartsch explained.

“How long do you think that’s sustainable for a country that only sells a million cars a year. It’s not sustainable.”

Fuel standards are in the firing line

Volkswagen has said the following which they encouraged their dealers to share with their local member of parliament.

The advent of Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) this year in Europe will, in combination with Australia’s lack of progress in moving toward the Euro 6 emissions regime, impact adversely on car buyers.

As of next year, Australians will no longer be able to access many of the world’s best practice and most efficient cars.

Cars that are fitted with a petrol particulate filter cannot run on Australia’s fuel which has an exceedingly high sulphur content – some 50 parts per million [PULP] as opposed to the European standard of less than 10, the letter continues.

The new Volkswagen 1.4 litre petrol engine cannot be introduced to Australia as it has a petrol particulate filter that requires fuel of 10ppm or lower.

Petrol Particulate Filter

Petrol engined cars with petrol particulate filters required for new European emission controls will not be able to fitted to Australian delivered models because of our third world fuel quality standards.

Whilst they can run in the short term on 50ppm 95 and 98 RON fuel they will be destroyed after one tank of 150ppm 91 RON.

Porsche has joined other Volkswagen Group cars by not bringing petrol particulate filters to Australia because of the poor quality of fuel.

“The majority of petrol sold in Australia is imported, so there is no reason why European standard petrol could not be imported at a negligible costs at the bowser. Surely better fuel quality is in everyone’s interest.”

Volkswagen Group spokesman, Paul Pottinger

Why does it matter?

The most popular fuel in Australia is 91 RON which has 150ppm sulphur which is amongst the dirtiest fuel in the world, this creates sulphur dioxide which creates breathing problems and is the cause of acid rain. High levels of sulphur also increase wear on the engine and don’t burn as efficiently as low sulphur fuels meaning you get less mileage from each tank of fuel costing you more.

Another issue is that this limits the choice of vehicles on the market as some engines are not suitable or require extensive work which lowers their performance.

Further Reading

Stricter Fuel Standards set to bring cleaner cars to Aussie roads

Australia’s Petrol is one of the dirtiest in the world

Australia a dumping ground for old engines

Data cabling in Australia is the most regulated in the World | DIY ILLEGAL!

Australia not content with having the most cumbersome laws for pretty much everything has taken it further and now made it illegal for registered cablers to make patch leads. The draconian laws apply to both homes and business and Australia is the only country in the world where data cabling in the home is illegal unless performed by a registered cabler. Even running a premade telephone cord between rooms using any method of fixing and even under a rug is illegal in Australia and punishable .

DRAFT AUSTRALIAN STANDARD DR AS/CA S008:2019
Requirements for customer cabling products

DRAFT AUSTRALIAN STANDARD DR AS/CA S009:2019
Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring rules)

Imagine using premade data cables and install a patch panel that has RJ45 ports on each side so you can plug all the premade cables in, you would think this would be legal but not in Australia if it is attached to or runs though any part of the building structure. Anything relating to data work is illegal for a homeowner and the new standards are only expanding what you can’t do.

There is more usage of fibre and a logical path forward would be to relax the regulations as there is no risk of interference, injury or death in installing a fibre optic cable but we now have additional regulations around them.

I cannot find anywhere in the world where data cabling is illegal for the homeowner, there are regulations for commercial data cabling in many countries but many still allow some DIY. In Australia it is illegal to perform any data cabling including making patch leads or running a CAT 6 cable between rooms unless you are a licensed cabler.

5.9.2 Connecting cords, patch cords and extension leads
A CABLING PROVIDER shall not make an equipment connecting CORD, PATCH CORD, extension lead or the like using component parts, whether or not such parts meet the requirements of AS/CA S008.
Note: CORDS are required to meet the requirements of AS/CA S008.
Manufacturers are directed to the regulatory obligations for compliance labelling of CORDS.

To summarise this new rule, a registered cabler is no longer able to make a patch lead of any type even when a patch cable may not be readily available. Customer would like a 3.7m telephone patch lead with RJ45 on one and RJ12 on the other, they’ll just have to order a 5m online and wait.

There are many products installed in Australia that require custom patch leads to be made for example where the patch leads are no longer made or take too long to obtain but no matter what the reason we trust a cabler to install all the data cabling throughout the building but there is no trust in making a simple patch lead?

This would apply to any devices connected to a network either wired or wirelessly. Arduino and Raspberry Pi owners connecting to other modules using I2C cables have to have cables manufactured that meet the AS/CA S008 standard and cannot make their own cable.

CCTV installers who run cable between the Network Video Recorder (NVR) and terminate each end with a RJ45 plug to connect the NVR direct to the camera will also be illegal and the only way to legally do this would be to create a pigtail so RJ45 on the camera end and fit a patch panel at the NVR end adding extra cost and complexity to installs which are passed on to consumers.

However only a registered data cabler can replace a CCTV camera installed in this manner and the same applies to a WiFi access point installed on a ceiling, if the cable is terminated to a plug it is illegal for anyone who is not a registered cabler to change the WiFi access point or camera and even to unplug or plug it in.

The rules, laws and regulations in Australia for many industries are only there to protect the industry, they have nothing to do with safety but everything to do with increasing costs and protecting certain jobs.

Logically there would be guidelines for home wiring that give homeowners advice, guidance and examples on how to run cabling in a safe manner and legalise data cabling by the homeowner. Education is the key not draconian laws and regulations that make no sense and that are ignored by many.

Many homeowners are going to do their own data cabling work regardless of the laws but at the moment they cannot get information on how to run the cable in a safe manner because to access the standards that give this information costs hundreds of dollars.

If the NBN can’t enforce their data cablers to install as per the existing rules and the ACMA won’t enforce the rules, why even have them?

Internet Censorship in Australia and New Zealand, who decides?

Who is blocking and why?

In the aftermath of the Christchurch attack there has been a disturbing trend from the government and large corporations to censor by making threats and actively blocking access to websites. This includes the extensive blacklisting of many websites that have tens of thousands of users from Australia and New Zealand all because there maybe a link to a video or the manifesto. Interestingly the website that first broadcast the video to millions of people Facebook is not blocked, nor is YouTube but it is OK to block smaller sites as they don’t have the resources to take action against government and large corporations.

Mainstream media are also distorting facts in order to create news.

This article is not about the attack and I am not offering an opinion on the contents or links to websites, nor the video itself, nor the manifesto but this is about the increasing issue of Internet Censorship in Australia and New Zealand.

A number of ISPs in Australia and New Zealand are blocking access to websites that they have deemed to promote material or discussion relating to the Christchuch attack and the New Zealand Government are threatening long jail terms for people distributing copies of the video.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google) are platforms and aggregators which means they collect content from various sources and display or link to this content. Traditional media on the other hand are publishers and have control over what they write and publish.

There is currently a move to hold news aggregators to a higher standard then news publishers by monitoring and censoring the material on these platforms. The West has long been critical of many countries for suppression and censorship of the media but now this free speech which is part of the Western world is under attack from our own governments and large corporations who are using tragedies such as Christchurch to make a power grab in order to control what we can view and read online.

Websites blocked include

I don’t know what many of these sites are, I’ve heard of some but it’s irrelevant as to the content or my personal views as if they contain legal content they should not be blocked by large corporations or government.

To show how ridiculous these blocks are 4chan.org has no content relating to the attack but is blocked, Archive.fo and Archive.is are websites that archive content, Bitchute.com has never hosted the video, Dissenter.com is a service that allows you to post comments on websites like Disqus.com, KiwiFarms.net criticised the New Zealand Government, Liveleak.com never hosted the video, Mega.nz is a file sharing service used by business and individuals for private sharing of files, Rainews is an Italian news site, Ren.tv is independent federal TV in Russia, Sejmlog.pl is a news outlet in Poland and ZeroHedge.com is a news site that published a few excerpts from the manifesto and used them in articles.

None of these websites has a right to put forward their argument, no right to a trial, to the right to be innocent until proven guilty and all because a few companies wanted to take the law into their own hands and do what they decided was the the right thing to do.

The websites that did share, host and distribute the video and manifesto are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google) but they are not on the list, see further down for my thoughts as to why. The Daily Mail in the UK published the full manifesto and defied requests to remove it and they are not on the blocked list. The UK’s Mail Online showed edited video and they had the full manifesto available, they are also not blocked and neither is the Sun and Daily Mirror which both ran edited footage. [source]

  • 4chan.org
  • 4channel.org
  • 8ch.net
  • 8chan.org
  • anonfile.com
  • ar15.com
  • archive.fo
  • archive.is
  • bestgore.com
  • betsysbiblechat.com
  • bishopikediblog.com
  • bitchute.com | Alternative to YouTube
  • blazingcatfur.ca
  • cdn-03.minfil.com
  • d.tube | Alternative to YouTube
  • dailystormer.name
  • darkweb.tokyo
  • deathaddict.co
  • dissenter.com | Allows comments to be placed on websites
  • documentcloud.org
  • encyclopediadramatica.rs | Wiki that discusses current events and topics
  • endchan.xyz
  • filedropped.com
  • files-uploader.xyz.pw
  • finanzaonline.com
  • hollywoodlanews.com
  • ilfoglio.it
  • kaotic.com
  • kiwifarms.net | Internet forum
  • liveleak.com | Alternative to YouTube
  • livestreamfails.com
  • looksim.net
  • lulz.com
  • mega.co.nz and mega.nz | File sharing site
  • mixtape.moe
  • orgishforums.com
  • rainews.it | Italian State TV
  • ren.tv | Russian independent TV channel
  • rgho.st
  • sejmlog.pl | Polish news site
  • seomarket.orgmx.com
  • toreentz2.eu
  • up.ey.md
  • uploadfiles.io | Anonymous file sharing
  • voat.co
  • wickersoft.com
  • zerohedge.com | Independent news site

The companies involved in these blocking are

  • 2degrees
  • Optus Australia
  • Optus NZ
  • Spark
  • Telstra
  • Vocus
  • Vodafone NZ

Apparently the large corporations now want to act as censor so they can push their opinion on what can and can’t be viewed. Where does this stop once you start down this path? Does Spark block access to someone running in an election because they don’t agree with them? Does Telstra block access to an organisation because they don’t agree with them?

Optus

This information was just sent in from LULZ.com who have posted this information on twitter and I have added it to the list above to keep a list of all the sites that have been targeted. The drawback is that other ISPs could use this information to block as well but we need to accept that this is the future and find ways around large corporation and government attempts to censor especially in Australia when we look at the new encryption laws.

Email sent to Optus Staff
The attached blocked site list

Spark

Simon Moutter the CEO of Spark has even gone as far as to claim this is to protect the children and vulnerable people from these awful images but what about all the other awful images on the internet including from other attacks? This is a parental responsibility to censor what their children see, not that of a large corporation who want to force their opinion on their customers.

What is hate material? Something you disagree with? Who would define hate material for private organisations to censor or are they left to choose what they censor themselves? Helen Clark (former Prime Minister of NZ) and Simon Moutter seem willing to be the judge that hate material is anything they don’t like.

Simon Moutter | CEO Spark | Twitter | 15/03/2019 at 14:55
Simon Moutter | CEO Spark | Twitter | 16/03/2019 at 03:22
Simon Moutter | CEO Spark | Twitter | 16/03/2019 at 03:29
Simon Moutter | CEO Spark | Twitter | 16/03/2019 at 08:19

Telstra

Telstra News | Telstra Corporation | Twitter | 18/03/2019 at 16:19

Open letter from Spark, Vodafone NZ and 2degrees

The brainiacs at Spark, Vodafone NZ and 2degrees sent an open letter on the 20th of March 2019 to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google in a weak attempt to justify their actions and to no doubt try and use the attack in Christchurch for pushing their agenda. I’ve only posted the key points. The full letter will be posted in another article.

You may be aware that on the afternoon of Friday 15 March, three of New Zealand’s largest broadband providers, Vodafone NZ, Spark and 2degrees, took the unprecedented step to jointly identify and suspend access to web sites that were hosting video footage taken by the gunman related to the horrific terrorism incident in Christchurch.

They fail to mention that they are now blocking sites for

  • Criticism of the New Zealand Government
  • Open discussion about the Christchurch attack
  • Quoting parts of the manifesto
  • Legitimate news sites
  • The entire Russian Federal TV network
  • And even news sites in other languages

That didn’t take long to expand what they are blocking, what next? Any sites that are critical of them? Where do they stop and why do they believe that it is their job as an internet provider to block access to information online? Why are they keeping the list of sites they are blocking a secret instead of posting them online? This lack of transparency is in stark contrast to what they are demanding from others.

You pay for internet access, not someone to decide what websites you can and can’t visit. These ISPs are not your parents, nor your guardian and this stand they are taking is a slippery slope that won’t just end at terrorism but whatever they feel like blocking. Would you allow your electricity provider to decide how and when you can use power, or your telephone provider to tell you who you can and can’t call? So why allow your internet provider to decide what you can and can’t view on the internet.

We acknowledge that in some circumstances access to legitimate content may have been prevented, and that this raises questions about censorship. For that we apologise to our customers. This is all the more reason why an urgent and broader discussion is required.

This is utter bollocks! They have blocked entire websites that contain thousands of different discussions, hundreds of thousands of videos and all because they may have found an uncensored discussion or a link to a video on another site or in some cases where the website was critical of the New Zealand government.

We call on Facebook, Twitter and Google, whose platforms carry so much content, to be a part of an urgent discussion at an industry and New Zealand Government level on an enduring solution to this issue.

This is the bit that shows how hypocritical these three are. The three social media providers who were the first ones to carry this video and spread it are the ones you haven’t blocked. You have instead penalised dozens and dozens of websites that have done nothing wrong and have nothing to do with New Zealand. This is the problem when villages let their idiots get together.

The reason they didn’t target Facebook, Twitter and Google is simple. It would not only cost the three ISPs customers who would leave in droves but the social media companies would have these ISPs in a courtroom before the ink had dried on their signatures. They target smaller websites who don’t have the capability to fight back, just like a bully would do when picking their next victim.

Already there are AI techniques that we believe can be used to identify content such as this video, in the same way that copyright infringements can be identified. These must be prioritised as a matter of urgency.

You believe or you know? There is a difference. I wish there was AI out there to stop fools from posting on the internet and I wouldn’t have to read this ridiculous rant from three people that have no idea what they are talking about. YouTube struggles to stop copyrighted material from being posted, so how will some magical system be able to work out that a terrorist attack is taking place from a video upload?

We have laws in place for drug smuggling but it happens all the time. We have customs officers to screen packages coming but most drugs still make it through. So how will you stop people from posting video, unless you force the platform to check every video before it is uploaded and have someone monitor all live video. Who is going to pay for this and is this yet another case of a few isolated examples being used to ruin what is a working system?

For the most serious types of content, such as terrorist content, more onerous requirements should apply, such as proposed in Europe, including take down within a specified period, proactive measures and fines for failure to do so. Consumers have the right to be protected whether using services funded by money or data.

What happens when three village idiots get together? .

So they claim they want to take content down within a period of time but they were quite willing to block websites immediately without notifying their paying customers or the websites involved. They have blocked news websites, news TV channels and even sites that have said they will not allow the video to be posted. They’re quite happy to be the one deciding what you access on the internet and they do this with impunity and no regard for the rights of that website, service or their customer.

If the New Zealand Government had any balls they would order the ISPs to stop their illegal activities immediately.

Who is supporting the censorship and why?

There have been thousands of instances of all manner of serious crimes and terrorist activities being uploaded and shared on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google) so why all of a sudden are all these companies and groups demanding that this stop?

New Zealand Investment Funds demand censorship

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation, Government Superannuation Fund Authority, National Provident Fund and Kiwi Wealth have called on Facebook, Google and Twitter to take action or they will pull their investments from these companies.

They are also calling on other New Zealand and global investors to join them in seeking to control what material is posted online and the censorship of that content. No doubt if someone is critical of the New Zealand Investment Funds they will also demand that the social media companies remove it.

Yet another example of why control over censorship and the media must never be allowed to fall to large corporations. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund holds $170 million in Facebook stocks.

Full Statement | NEW ZEALAND INVESTMENT FUNDS, WITH COMBINED ASSETS OF MORE THAN NZ$90 BILLION, ADD THEIR WEIGHT TO CALLS FOR FACEBOOK, GOOGLE AND TWITTER TO TAKE ACTION

Australian Ethical grabs a pitchfork and joins the crowd

Australian Ethical is now considering divesting in it’s $8 million of Facebook stocks.

Full Statement | Australian Ethical mulls Facebook divestment

News Limited Lies and why LULZ.com was banned

News Limited are spreading fake news with their article by Marnie O’Neill titled “Website Kiwi Farms refuses to surrender data linked to accused Christchurch terrorist Brendan Tarrant” and their headline is “A notorious web forum has refused requests to surrender data from posts about the accused NZ terrorist, instead unleashing a profane rant.”

But what is the truth? Here is the actual request from New Zealand Police taken from the LULZ website.

At around the time of the shooting there were a number of posts and links posted on kiwifarms.net relating to the shooting and TARRANT

We would like to preserve any posts and technical data including IP addresses, email addresses etc linked to these posts pending a formal legal request .

Part of an email from New Zealand Police to administrator of Kiwi Farms

This is as good as an example as any as to why censorship shouldn’t be allowed to be run by large organisations or the government. The News Limited article is a blatant distortion of the truth and LULZ.com has been banned by various ISPs in Australia and New Zealand because it published the facts.

The police wanting to collect identifiable data from a website where discussions are taken place is the real story however the poorly written and researched News Limited article only seems to only want to attack the people involved instead of looking at the facts.

ABC Australia Censorship

It’s not just News Limited distorting the truth but Australia’s ABC is once again involved in pushing their own agenda. Compare the coverage of recent attacks.

Christchurch attack | 50 killed

ABC refused to use footage of the attack and instead used some still footage from outside the mosques.

But we weren’t his target audience. All the evidence suggests this was a horrific, cold-blooded, terrorist attack aimed not at the audiences of traditional news organisations but at reaching and triggering atomised and often extreme online audiences.

ABC were quick to point that this attacker was supported online but in the following two attacks they made no mention of the support for those attackers.

Nice attack | 86 killed and Berlin Christmas market attack | 12 killed

The ABC showed graphic photos and videos of these attacks along with descriptions. Footage of the trucks hitting pedestrians is shown which includes footage from social media. Phones and video posted on social media are discussed in their articles not condemned.

All of these attacks were terrorism, all involved mass casualties but when you have media outlets like the ABC offering such a biased coverage you can understand why censorship is so dangerous. If the media cannot report on the facts and instead twist and distort the news to suit their own agenda the public have to be able to look at the facts and make up their own mind.

The Australian Government shows why we are so behind the rest of the world!

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the problem is easy to fix, maybe we should give him a keyboard, a Facebook logon and get him to slap together this AI system to detect violence in Live Streams! Because clearly an algorithm to detect hate content being uploaded on a live stream is the same as displaying an ad on your smartphone based on your browsing history. Is it any wonder why Australia is one of the most backwards countries in the world when we have leaders saying such stupid things.

If they can write an algorithm to make sure that the ads they want you to see can appear on your mobile phone, then I’m quite confident they can write an algorithm to screen out hate content on social media platforms

The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison | 19th of March 2019

And to further show how backwards we are “He has penned a letter to the chair of June’s G20 summit in Osaka, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling for the issue of social media governance to be added to the top of the agenda.”

The Greens of course have really excelled this time with their desire to have companies like Facebook become public owned like essential infrastructure but he clearly forgot that Australia’s essential infrastructure has all been sold off!

“Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale said social media had become essential infrastructure and a debate was needed about public ownership of these organisations.”

You just have enough people who can monitor this stuff and make sure it gets taken down quickly

Richard Di Natale | Leaders of the Greens party | 19th of March 2019

Brilliant idea Dick but 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single MINUTE. How do you propose that that have enough people to watch 18,000 minutes uploaded each minute given this goes on 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Just to have enough staff to cover a 24 hour period if going to need over 72,000 people and this doesn’t take into account time off or weekends so lets say 150,000 just to watch videos on YouTube alone and they currently have 3-4000 employees.

“Labor leader Bill Shorten echoed Mr Morrison’s sentiment that the answer lied in programming.”

I do not believe it is beyond the technological capacity for some of the richest, largest, most powerful, cleverest, most sophisticated businesses in the world, not to be able to better monitor the material before they publish it

Bill Shorten | Leader of the Labor party | 19th of March 2019

There is no better demonstration on why Australia has no future when our three leaders can be so utterly stupid.

Source of the stupidity | Scott Morrison wants crackdown on social media companies after sharing of Christchurch shootings footage

Censorship Police

New Zealand Police – 10 years for possession

New Zealand police have warned that just having, viewing or sharing the video from the attack can lead to a maximum jail term of 10 years. This post was removed before I could screenshot it so this image is from Nick Monroe on Twitter.

New Zealand police ask you to upload video of the attack but if you didn’t film the video you face being arrested for distributing objectionable material. So does this also mean that if you report a crime that you are not a party to that you face being charged with that crime?


Police have arrested a man on the 17th of March 2019 in relation to offences relating to distribute or possess an objectionable publication. It is not clear as to details of his crime.

More arrests have been made and most have been refused bail until their next appearance in April.

44 year old Philip Neville Arps | 18 year old supressed name

Woman arrested for posting comments on her Facebook page!

New Zealand Police have even arrested people for their fashion!

Some workplaces have fired employees for viewing or sharing the video which raises the question of where is the line drawn? The live footage of 9/11 with people jumping to their deaths for example was broadcast on the internet and TV and is still available on YouTube.

This video that was broadcast live over the internet to millions of people can now see those same people facing 10 years in prison or 14 years if they shared a copy? Who decides what is objectionable and how is the average person supposed to understand that New Zealand is one of the most censored countries in the world with laws that can apply retrospectively once the chief censor has classified a video!

The pattern has been an established one: the state will always — always — use a crisis, real or invented, to enhance its political muscle. Most of the time, this is done at the cost of individual liberties.

Nazarul Islam | Probing censorship, clamped on Christchurch fallout | 22nd of March 2019

Classification of the video

Classification of the video was not performed until the 19th of March but this only applied to the full video, if it has been edited in any way or reduced in length it has to be reclassified.

The Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has called on Facebook to share the names of everyone who shared the video with police.

The Chief Censor David Shanks has said that the official classification is retrospective so police and enforcement agencies can prosecute for sharing or viewing.

Facebook’s VP for global policy Monika Bickert said they would not normally share account details unless there was an imminent threat of violence.

On Saturday the 23rd of March 2019 the 75 page manifesto has been classified as objectionable because the chief censor David Shanks believes that it promotes murder and terrorism.

Possessing, sharing or downloading the document or the contents of it is now a criminal offence under New Zealand law. Shanks has asked anyone who sees it to report it and if you have a copy or a printout delete or destroy it.

If you didn’t know the material was objectionable and you were found in possession of it, a maximum fine of $10,000 could apply, If you knew the content was objectionable and were found in possession of it – the legal test here is ‘knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the publication is objectionable’ – a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment could apply.

Deputy Chief Censor Jared Mullen, 19th of March 2019

In the case of the Christchurch clip, the situation has been complicated by Google-owned YouTube’s decision to allow edited versions of the footage.

We have not classified any edited versions of the video, but we are working to support the DIA’s’ Digital Safety Unit who are providing advice to media organisations to support a lawful and principled approach to reporting on this matter.

Chief Censor David Shanks, 19th of March 2019

source

Censorship in New Zealand

Censorship is rife in New Zealand and this ranges from books being banned and the New Zealand International Film Festival is the only one in the world that has to pay to have all its films classified.

Ways to get around the censorship

Like the Australian Government website blocks these are performed at a DNS level so circumnavigating this is reasonably easy at the moment.

I’m not 100% sure on the legality of VPN’s in Australia as there have been questions around their use since the Australian Government introduced laws to force companies that encrypt data to provide them the key to access your data.

I’ll put together a better guide later on but in the meantime you can do this a few ways.

Change the DNS in your router

In the router configuration change the DNS settings from your ISPs to Google and/or Clouflares

  • Google DNS | Primary 8.8.8.8 | secondary 8.8.4.4
  • Cloudflare DNS | Primary 1.1.1.1 | secondary 1.0.0.1

Use a VPN | Virtual Private Network

Use a VPN from outside Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes countries, these are countries that collect and share surveillance data and they record your activities online

  • Five Eyes includes many agencies inside Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Nine Eyes includes the countries above but adds Denmark, France, Netherlands and Norway.
  • Fourteen Eyes adds Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

This list is not exhaustive but these are VPNs located outside of the Fourteen eyes.

ExpressVPN | British Virgin Islands
Perfect Privacy | Switzerland
NordVPN | Panama
VPNArea | Bulgaria
VPN.ac | Romania
VyprVPN | Switzerland