In light of the recent changes happening at ASIO in Canberra, I feel compelled to 'give my two cents' on how privacy impacts the arts, and the livelihoods of people working in creative fields of all sorts.
Here are two links explaining recent amendments to National Security policy, which is the tip of a much larger iceberg:
A disappointing response in this discussion is to be told not to be alarmist or to say, "Well, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about", and I feel compelled to express deep categorical opposition to this response, which is dismissive to anyone who has taken the time to understand the broader implications of this event. I don't think the world needs one more unqualified blogger or armchair expert to recycle someone else's expert commentary -- rather, we should be making a stand to support the experts and advocates who have made sacrifices so that the rest of us can continue to live in a safe, civil society which is inclusive of 'democratic rights', free press and other structures that are largely taken for granted.
Any person who has ever had an original idea, worked in research or held a value worth protecting which didn't appeal to popular acceptance understands the need for safeguards, limits of power and self-control over their work. We just can't afford to be apathetic anymore, especially when there are already so many people in the world who are oppressed into silence by the same kinds of policies happening now.
Unfortunately, for those with something of value to say I don't think the solution to this problem will be to "smile more and talk less."
This seems like a great moment to acknowledge the brilliant local artist Ex De Medici, by sharing one of her pretty pictures.