Hits up 2,187 in the last 7 days to1,628,216 hits from 95,313 unique users. Stats




Defending Your Organisation in the Age of Phishing with Training Courses and Technology


1st Nov 2018

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released their quarterly report on the Notification Data Breaches Scheme earlier this week. Read about what this means for your organisation and what you can do about it.


ABC data journo tracks the domains collecting data from his phone


1st Nov 2018


Liberal party harnesses i360 big data-in time for 2019 federal election


31st Oct 2018

The Koch brothers' i360 data service is now being used by the Liberal Party of Australia. This article looks at the history of the organisation and the implications for our privacy and democracy.


Don't Be the Next Business to Fall Victim to a Data Breach


24th Oct 2018

What is the difference between spam and phishing and why does it matter?


Hit counter installed on The Little Bird


24th Oct 2018

I decided to add a hit counter to the site.


Australia's student housing crisis


19th Oct 2018

Scott Morrison recently re-opened debate about population policy to ease congestion on Australia's fastest growing cities - Sydney and Melbourne. In this article I look at the implications for demand on the low-cost housing market of our large intake of international students which is six times the number of migrants.


Professional Help Needed for Law Firms Still Vulnerable to Phishing Attacks


10th Oct 2018

A significant number of law firms could be exposed to phishing attacks if they have not set up their anti-phishing service correctly. This article introduces the report by Iron Bastion into research on Australia's law firms and explains the vulnerability recently modelled and what to do about it.


Privacy, Media and Politics: What are our Rights?


7th Oct 2018

This article looks at the potential for collusion between the media and political parties, neither of which are covered by the Privacy Act.


PEXA Introduces Multi-Factor Authentication but More Guidance Needed


25th Sep 2018

This article explains the recent hack of the national property lodgement database and the risks to legal firms and their users of using SMS in two-factor authentication.


News Corp derides again! U.S.-owned 'The Australian' tells Sleeping Giant lies


23rd Sep 2018

Anti-racism campaigners Sleeping Oz Giants and their followers on Twitter are subjected to defamatory campaign in The Australian.


Blowing the whistle on whistleblowers


12th Sep 2018

Whistleblowers play an essential and often-overlooked role in the major stories that hold out institutions to account. This article looks at the consequences to whistleblowers and media for recent changes in National Security legislation and includes the 11 point UNESCO evaluation of legislation written by Julie Posetti.


Taking over the corporate regulators, one IPA appointment at a time


3rd Sep 2018

This article follows on from the article on the OAIC and traces the early years of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission as the Abbott government attempts to abolish the office. The ACNC is the Commonwealth charities regulator responsible for governing the multi-billion dollar charity sector.


Deconstructing the democracy sausage: The risks of e-voting


23rd Aug 2018

This article looks at the privacy and security issues like to arise with attempts to move election voting online or through the use of voting machines.


Abbott and Turnbull: Opening the door on your privacy


14th Aug 2018

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the independent Commonwealth authority charged with governing access to government information and organisations that fall under the Privacy Act. This article traces the early years of the OAIC as it weathers attempts to abolish the office by the Abbott Government.


The 'Data Sharing and Release Act' is coming for your data


7th Aug 2018

This article explains what motivated me to get behind the #CensusFail campaign against the 2016 census. The article explains the history of the governance of administrative data and the changes I saw taking place to allow our data held by government agencies to be linked together into data integration projects to be shared with research and commercial interests.


Cashless Debit Card: Income management and the surveillance state


13th Sep 2017

The Cashless Welfare Card forces each recipient to share their entire purchase history with the government to ensure 'compliance' with the government's new policy of controlling how welfare recipients spend their income. In this article I explain the human rights law that Australia is signatory to and the implications for the government in breaching that law.


Baird unleashes on her audience, revealing right wing bias


For the last two weeks I've been busily building a couple of datasets and developing a site to track ABC panellists, their affiliations and number of appearances.


What it's like being poor in Australia's crazy housing bubble


Most of the debate about housing is framed around the recent realisation that younger middle class people are now worried they may not be able to afford to buy their own houses, shock horror! Contrasted with this view is the story of what the poor (who have never had access to the property market) are faring.


The bumpy road to think tank transparency in Australia


During the week I received a response to my enquiry to the ATO requesting a list of Approved Research Institutes (some of which are think tanks like the IPA) however, as you will see from the respo


Getting to the bottom of the IPA's right to DGR status ABC


If people are going to challenge the activities of the IPA, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the legislation governing its activities. While I do not pretend to be an authority


Ways to support my work


This article explains the different ways people can support my work and their pros and cons for both donor and myself.


Correspondence: IPA on their membership of the Atlas Network


Correspondence with the IPA which they have ignored, seeking to know when they became a member of the Atlas Network.


Correspondence: Andrew Thackrah re IPA



Is the IPA the tail that wags the dog?


This article is also published on Medium and Independent Australia under


AusGov.info - my mid year review


AusGov.info went live in January in time for LinuxConfAu where, despite being so tired I could ba


The hidden inequalities of tax concessions- all the money we do not see


Every year the government releases totals of the revenue 'foregone' to the budget of tax concessions. Early in 2018 I made the first ever open interactive data project using this data. this article explains the data and what it means for the budget and inequality.


State-Fed Funding: Are the states & territories the meat in the sandwich?


The state and territory governments are at the coalface of all the important social problems faced by Australian society. The states are responsible for education, health, policing, emergency ser


Correspondence: ACNC re IPA



Correspondence: NSW Liberals - what IS that $7million from Westpac?


On April 20, I posted the donations made by major banks to the politi


What can open data tell us about Australia's major banks?


Collectively, over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 Australia's major banks earned over $600 billion in income but paid tax on only $1.45 billion (21% of their revenue).

Of that 21% reven


Corporate tax, inequality & bastard banks


Corporate tax is a hot topic in Australia with major corporations lobbying hard for a cut in the tax rate even while the business practices of Australia's banks are revealed to one and all as littl


Correspondence: Institute of Public Affairs


Correspondence with IPA which has been ignored, seeking clarification over claims the organisation would publish a list of donors in 2006 which appears not to have happened.


Show me the money: unravelling the web of Australian charities


The wealth of the various religious denominations active in Australia is a point of interest in the wake of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, yet the tr


Turning the tables on what we know about Australia's powerful people and institutions


For the last four months I have been coding solidly to build the largest financial transparency project that exists in this country. This project is based on work I have done in previous years whic