The Aussie government is pushing a Five Eyes agenda. Australia seems to have become a proxy war in the ongoing assault on privacy. They are to the Surveillance Wars what Yemen is to the Saudi-Iran ideological conflict. It is always a good idea to vary the cast but in reality they are May acolytes. A testing ground.
The amount of nonsense emanating from the encryption debate Down Under though is astonishing. If you have not been keeping up to speed with some of the recent comments down under then here is a quick recap for you:
- The George Brandis metadata interview;
- George again (36th Attorney-General for Australia) and the summary of his “over a cuppa” conversation with the GCHQ chappie on the feasibility of reading messages sent by platforms implementing end to end encryption such as WhatsApp and Signal – “Last Wednesday I met with the chief cryptographer at GCHQ … And he assured me that this was feasible.”;
- Malcolm Turnbull (the Prime Minister) and his alternative theory on the exceptional laws that govern Australian reality “Well, the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only laws that applies in Australia is the law of Australia”;
- And a much more eloquent articulation by Troy Hunt of the whole phenomenon “Firstly, a quick apology from Australia: we’re sorry. Look, our Prime Minister and Attorney General didn’t try to launch us onto the World Encryption Comedy Stage but unfortunately, here we are.“
In an effort to find something of the same equivalence on the stupidity index as 1-3 above I chose to google “Harry Potter and places where the laws of mathematics do not apply, excluding Australia and Hogwarts”.
One of the things that I found in the search results was the perfectly reasonably comment by a HP fan on a Reddit forum that “Gamp’s Laws of Transfiguration and the Fundamental Laws of Magic spring to mind, they’re pretty much what you can and can’t do with magic. They’re a lot like Newton’s Laws in that they both deal with nature.”
This guy really meant it and so did the other guys he was chatting with. They all really, really believed or rather really, really wanted to believe that it was all real and true and factual.
Just like Brandis and Turnbull believe.
Totally lost in a universe of their own creation where mathematics and people work differently.
And then I found a scholarly dissertation by Shevaun Donelli O’Connell of Indiana University of Pennsylvania titled “Harry Potter and the Order of the Metatext: A Study of Nonfiction Fan Compositions and Disciplinary Writing
” which said on P.24 that “I already knew that Harry Potter was an important part of my relationships with my family and friends, but increasingly I realized that Harry Potter metaphors and analogies were working their way into my thinking and teaching about writing.“.
And there it was. The struggle is real. It seems many, many people are having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality.
Christ help us when VRSNs arrive on the scene.