Bradfield Resident

Information. Issues. Insight. Investigation.

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Sun 02 Oct 2011 | Social media data mining, spam and privacy

Posted by bradfieldresident on 2 October 2011

Facebook: one of the major players on the web, and one not generally regarded as an advocate of privacy. It is hard to imagine what they actually do with all the user data. There have been reports that at least some of the company’s offerings violate European data protection laws (eg see Germany: Facebook Like button violates privacy laws).

Facebook is a US-based company (“The company Facebook, Inc. has been established and registered according to the law of the state of Delaware. Registration number: 3835815, Secretary of State, State of Delaware”, maybe registered someplace else in Ireland for financial reasons), arguably free of local Australian regulation. When you use Facebook. you basically do it on the terms of wherever it is registered.

What about Australian businesses using Facebook? Following is a look at some claims made by an Australian company called MyGuestlist offering direct marketing services and software which leverages Facebook (and a whole heap of your personal information) to Australian (and apparently international) clients.

First, an article promoting MyGuestlist’s products and services:

MyGuestlist blog:
4 ways your Facebook fans/friends can now be treated like a real database. (World first!)

And then, Bradfield Resident’s comment, reproduced below.

Hi MyGuestlist,

I’m interested in this notion of “All very legal”. In which jurisdiction(s) are you referring to? The phrasing itself suggests that something dodgy is going on – perhaps legally permissible, if ethically questionable.

I’ve just this evening seen a venue in Sydney using your guestlist feature (which is how I arrived here), but I can’t see a link to terms and conditions, privacy policy or anything like that.

It is also curious that you promote your services as ‘non-spammy’, yet list the many ways to spam people with less effort than ever before. Marketing spin, I’m sure. I’d be interested to hear more about your ‘reputation’ system – [Both Facebook and MyGuestlist, will restrict how you use this particular tool to begin with and will only allow you to post to a larger number of groups/pages/profiles once you increase your reputation.] – one might suppose this works by allowing ‘popular’ (not-so-complained-about) clients to bulk message more. There may be some prickly details on what, in a legal sense, constitutes ‘spam’, but I don’t, for example, see anything on the guestlist page I mentioned earlier that indicates by providing some detail or other that I wish to start receiving SMS messages, wall posts, email, etc., so would, as I’m sure others would, consider any such message to be spam (unsolicited commercial messaging). Of course many people may not care or mind, but that doesn’t change the nature of it.

A search around the ‘net pops up the following from the Australian Government’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy under “Spam” (http://www.dbcde.gov.au/online_safety_and_security/spam): “The Spam Act 2003 prohibits the sending of spam, which is identified as a commercial electronic message sent without the consent of the addressee via email, short message service (SMS), multimedia message service (MMS) or instant messaging. The requirements under the Spam Act apply to all commercial electronic messages, including both bulk and individual messages.”

Beyond spam in particular is a more general privacy concern. It seems that Australia doesn’t yet have especially fair privacy laws (open question: does any country have actually fair privacy laws?), more to the point that privacy laws are currently not particularly protective of individuals, though laws still do exist.

It would seem that the National Privacy Principles apply to this business / activity.

From http://www.privacy.gov.au/law/act/npp : “The National Privacy Principles (NPPs) are the base line privacy standards which some private sector organisations need to comply with in relation to personal information they hold.”

The detail of “some private sector organisations” warrants attention. An unofficial source (Carlson Analytics [correction: Caslon Analytics]) providing a privacy guide proffers, regarding the 2000 Commonwealth privacy legislation:

(http://www.caslon.com.au/austprivacyprofile6.htm) “The Act covers private sector ‘organisations’: an individual, body corporate, partnership, an unincorporated association or a trust.

“That definition embraces:
* businesses (including nonprofit organisations such as sports clubs, charitable organisations and unions) with an annual turnover of more than $3 million
[…]
* organisations that carry on a business that collects or discloses personal information for a benefit, service or advantage (even if their turnover is less than $3 million).”

I suspect MyGuestlist falls into that second listed category, and that some of your clients could fall into the first (especially if they are larger venues, entities which involve multiple venues, or perhaps even large festival organisers or promotion brands).

That same page goes on to indicate what information is covered:

[— Begin quote —]
The Act covers personal information. It has special protection for personal information that is sensitive information.

Personal information is information or an opinion that can identify a person.

Sensitive information is information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record, or health information.

The Privacy Act only applies to information that is recorded in some form. That recording need not involve paper: it can include data in an electronic record.
[— End quote —]

In your article on this page, you write “And to add to all this, the available info we can play around with for the moment are name, age, DOB and gender. Quite soon, you will also be able to filter by likes, interests, occupation, hobbies etc.”

Personal information? Check. Sensitive information? Coming soon, apparently. (I might suppose MyGuestlist is already harvesting this information even if it is not presently available to customers.)

So, how does MyGuestlist (and its customers, in using the MyGuestlist service) address the National Privacy Principles (a plain English summary thereof, below)?

[— Begin quote http://www.privacy.gov.au/materials/types/law/view/6893 —]
NPP 1: collection
Describes what an organisation should do when collecting personal information, including what they can collect, collecting from third parties and, generally, what they should tell individuals about the collection.

NPP 2: use and disclosure
Outlines how organisations may use and disclose individuals’ personal information. If certain conditions are met, an organisation does not always need an individual’s consent to use and disclose personal information. There are rules about direct marketing.

NPPs 3 & 4: information quality and security
An organisation must take steps to ensure the personal information it holds is accurate and up-to-date, and is kept secure from unauthorised use or access.

NPP 5: openness
An organisation must have a policy on how it manages personal information, and make it available to anyone who asks for it.

NPP 6: access and correction
Gives individuals a general right of access to their personal information, and the right to have that information corrected if it is inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date.

NPP 7: identifiers
Generally prevents an organisation from adopting an Australian Government identifier for an individual (e.g. Medicare numbers) as its own.

NPP 8: anonymity
Where possible, organisations must give individuals the opportunity to do business with them without the individual having to identify themselves.

NPP 9: transborder data flows
Outlines how organisations should protect personal information that they transfer outside Australia.

NPP 10: sensitive information
Sensitive information includes information such as health, racial or ethnic background, or criminal record. Higher standards apply to the handling of sensitive information.
[— End quote —]

I suppose NPP 5 is a good place to find out. I am going to suppose MyGuestlist has a policy on how you manage personal information, and I ask you to send a copy of your policy to the email address I’ve listed in the ‘Mail’ field of this web form. Thank you.

I can understand the commercial desire to have more information about customers and I’m not suggesting that it is necessarily improper. I am interested, though, to know if your organisation’s general attitude to privacy is one of it being an inconvenience to the process of making money, or if, as an organisation that essentially exists by dealing in personal information of client customers, you treat the privacy of those customers seriously.

Bradfield Resident

Posted in Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Internet | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tue 08 Jun 10 | To: Child Wise | B.McMenamin quote in SMH article re mandatory internet filtering

Posted by bradfieldresident on 8 June 2010

From: Bradfield Resident
Date: Tuesday 08 June 2010 04:47 (+10)
Subject: B.McMenamin quote in SMH article re mandatory internet filtering
To: Child Wise – Office

Child Wise,

I refer to an article published on the Sydney Morning Herald website:

Filter goes ahead regardless
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/filter-goes-ahead-regardless-20100529-wmg7.html
SARAH WHYTE
May 30, 2010

The article contains the following paragraph:

But Bernadette McMenamin of the child protection group Child Wise said it was 100 per cent behind filtering illegal material. ”Sites are going to be blocked that should be blocked, and it’s absolutely essential every parent is taught about the dangers of the internet.”

Is this an accurate quote and representation of Child Wise’s position?

I note the specification of filtering ‘illegal material’; is that detail part of Child Wise’s particular position, or has it been supposed by SMH? I am inferring from the “Sites are going to be blocked” statement that Child Wise supports the filter being implemented, without restricting it to child abuse material.

I am also concerned by the quote from Ms McMenamin on three separate issues:

1. “Sites are going to be blocked” – from a technical standpoint this is known to be false and any blacklist can only ever be behind in listing any sites that could/’should’ be on the list

2. “should be blocked” – the current definition of “should be blocked”, that is, content that is or would be refused classification, is far broader than many people believe is appropriate; is not well defined (insofar as refused classification is not well defined); is certainly in excess of any child abuse prevention objectives of Child Wise or any other child protection agency; and is subject to arbitrary expansion by this or future governments and possibly even by non-representative groups and organisations.

3. I agree that “every parent is taught about the dangers of the internet”; it is my belief, and a belief held by many, that the implementation mandatory internet filter would likely lead to an actual reduction in the vigilance of parents in both monitoring and educating their children on using the internet, including by parents viewing the need to do so as less important therefore avoiding the necessary (parental) education.

I hope that Ms McMenamin (and Child Wise) are aware of these issues. If you could explain Child Wise’s position, making specific reference to these and any other publicly debated objectioned points to the mandatory filter that you choose to as additional detail, that would be of great interest to me and I imagine also beneficial to Child Wise’s public support for the filter.

Bradfield Resident
Sydney

Tuesday 08 June 2010


Bradfield Resident
bradfieldresident@gmail.com
https://bradfieldresident.wordpress.com

  • Posted in Cyber Safety Plan, Mail Sent, Sydney Morning Herald | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

    Wed 10 Mar 10 | To: Senator Stephen Conroy – Minister for BCDE | Cyber Safety Plan

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 10 March 2010

    [Note: instances of “BDCE” are mistakes, and should be “BCDE” for “Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy”]

    From: […]
    Date: Wednesday 10 March 2010 00:30 (+11)
    Subject: Cyber Safety Plan
    To: Senator Stephen Conroy – Minister for BCDE
    Cc: Tony Smith MP – Shadow Minister for BDCE, Paul Fletcher MP – Member for Bradfield, Senator Scott Ludlam – Australian Greens spokesperson for BDCE

    Senator Conroy,

    from some time before 11:30pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 09 March 2010 I have been trying to access the “cybersafetyplan” page on the DBCDE website, but, as my browser informs me, “The server at www.dbcde.gov.au is taking too long to respond.”

    How often is this website unavailable? Does the department maintain statistics on availability?

    If the content allegedly provided at http://www.dbcde.gov.au/cybersafetyplan is available in document form (printed or electronic), please have someone in your department forward a copy to me.

    I am also interested to know, since it seems the vast majority of people I have spoken to, or hear or read about in the news, object to a mandatory internet filter, who exactly, aside from your department, are actually in favour of and support it. Indeed, given the severe technical limitations of the proposed filter, I would like to know who proposed and drafted it in the first place.

    I am deeply concerned that the filter, if it is implemented, will use a secret list of web sites, and especially that it could be the case that sites or pages that end up on the list – for whatever reason, legitimate or not – might not have any option to be removed from the list, or even be confirmed as to whether on the list or not. As the minister I am sure you are aware that such a system is obviously and easily open to abuse (either now or in the future) by design, not specifically by the good intentions (or not) of any particular people involved. If you or your department have done a thorough analysis of this risk and its implications, and subsequently found that this risk can, to a very high degree of certainty, be removed, please enlighten me with the department’s answer to this dire threat to freedom and democracy. Without a detailed guarantee of transparency and/or protection (by methodology, not just a promise) from these potential abuses, I cannot believe that the proposed filter is anything other than a tool for censorship; the thin end of the wedge, being hardware, software and processes installed at ISPs, as well as legislation, subject to feature creep, if you will, including unreasonable surveillance and spying on ordinary citizens, as well as reducing the possibilities for free and equitable access to communication (in this case via the medium of the internet).

    As a final note, about one hour since finding the DBCDE website unavailable, I find this still to be the case. A federal government department’s website should not be unavailable for this long without a serious excuse in the order of serious internet backbone failure or sustained denial of service attack. It does, however, serve to illustrate that the government would do better trying to improve access to content instead of actively trying to do the opposite.

    [name]

    [address]

    Email: [email]

    Posted in Cyber Safety Plan, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Federal Legislation, Federal MPs, Internet, Mail Sent | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Thu 03 Sep 09 | To: BOC Australia | Making water safe

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 3 September 2009

    From: Bradfield Resident <bradfieldresident@gmail.com>
    Date: Thursday 03 September 2009 17:42 (+10)
    Subject: Making water safe
    To: [BOC contact address]

    BOC,

    in your currently airing television commercial there is a mention that you do something to help make our water safe. Could you please indicate what that is, or how you are involved in water treatement?

    I expect that it involves perhaps the supply of chemicals, such as chlorine, and possibly also plant equipment, advice to governments (Federal, State and local) on treatment procedures, safety, and so on.

    Does BOC have any contract(s) to supply materials for water fluoridation? If so, what can you say about the content and source of these materials?

    Bradfield Resident, NSW
    Thursday 3 September 2009


    Bradfield Resident
    bradfieldresident@gmail.com
    https://bradfieldresident.wordpress.com

    Posted in Mail Sent, TV, Water Fluoridation | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    Thu 27 Aug 09 | To: Sunrise, Seven Network | Swine flu safe? on Wednesday morning (26 August 2009)

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 27 August 2009

    From: Bradfield Resident <bradfieldresident@gmail.com>
    Date: Thursday 27 August 2009 16:52 (+10)
    Subject: Swine flu safe? on Wednesday morning (26 August 2009)
    To: Sunrise <sunrise@seven.com.au>

    Sunrise,

    according to footage shown on Wednesday morning (26 August 2009), the Australian swine flu vaccine manufactured by CSL Biotherapies contains “0.01% w/v Thiomersal, as preservative”. Otherwise known as Thimerosal, Thiomersal is nearly 50% mercury by weight, meaning each 0.5mL dose of the Panvax H1N1 vaccine contains around 25 micrograms of mercury.

    Why was that not mentioned in the segment?

    Why was it not mentioned that, even if the vaccine itself is safe, that the method of delivery in multi-dose vials has a significant risk-factor attached compared to single-dose packaging?

    I have written more at https://bradfieldresident.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/sunrise-channel-7-swine-flu-vaccine-safe/

    Bradfield Resident
    Thursday 27 August 2009


    Bradfield Resident
    bradfieldresident@gmail.com
    https://bradfieldresident.wordpress.com

    Posted in CSL Biotherapies, Mail Sent, Pandemic A(H1N1)v 2009, Thimerosal/ Thiomersal/ Thimersol/ Merthiolate, TV, Vaccines | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    Wed 26 Aug 09 | Sunrise (Channel 7) | Swine flu vaccine safe?

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 27 August 2009

    Sunrise Video Segment

    On Wednesday morning there was a segment on Channel 7’s Sunrise program about the swine flu vaccine ordered by the Australian Government. Sunrise host Melissa Doyle spoke with Professor Robert Booy.

    Video: Swine flu vaccine safe?
    http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/?autoplay_id=15225357

    During the segment, there are several clips showing what appears to be the actual vaccine produced by CSL Biotherapies. One of these clips is a closeup of a vial of vaccine, from which can be made out, as the vial is rotated:

    Panvax® H1N1 Vaccine (split ..

    H1N1 Pandemic influenza
    Multi-dose vial

    Each 0.5 mL dose contains:
    sub-units of A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) …
    15 µg haemagglutinin,
    0.01% w/v Thiomersal, as preservative

    For intramuscular injection

    Store at 2°C to 8°C. Do not freeze

    10 mL

    Interesting details here are that it is a multi-dose vial, and that it contains Thiomersal as a preservative (the agent to counter contamination when the vial is used multiple times for multiple people). Thiomersal, otherwise known as Thimerosal, is about 49.6% mercury by weight, which means each 0.5 mL shot of this vaccine is likely to contain around 25 µg of mercury, or around the amount supposedly found in “8 ounces” (around 220g) of commercially fished fish (see Mercury in Vaccines).

    Injecting a substance directly into the bloodstream is certainly different to ingesting that substance, but it is not clear if this small amount of mercury (which apparently metabolises as ethylmercury, not the “more dangerous” methylmercury), on its own, is of particular concern. In the US, children are subjected to a barrage of vaccines – dozens, in fact – so whilst a single dose is perhaps not a lot, one should consider the effects of bioaccumulation of a large number of doses (as well as exposure to mercury from other sources, including food and the environment).

    What other potentially (or known-to-be) harmful substances, besides this mercury, is in the vaccine?

    Meanwhile, Business Spectator carried a story from Reuters on Tuesday (CSL starts US swine flu vaccine trial), which states

    “The clinical trials of CSL’s candidate vaccine will be the first to use a thimerosal-free formulation of the H1N1 vaccine antigen.”

    Some people object to the use of thimerosal, which is a mercury-based preservative. US health officials say there is no evidence to support persistent beliefs that thimerosal causes autism, but companies have removed it from most vaccines anyway.

    It is possible (if not likely) that, supposing this story is not mistaken about the trial vaccine not containing “thimerosal”, that this particular vaccine is packaged in single-dose vials. It raises the question as to why a no-thimerosal vaccine could not be used for the Australian supply. Of course it is possible that the order fulfillment to both the US and Australia could be different to the vaccine(s) tested in each country – raising an even further risk of the vaccine eventually used being different to the vaccine tested in each location.

    Thimerosal was apparently banned in Russia from children’s vaccines nearly 30 years ago, after a Russian study found ethylmercury exposure led to brain damage, and thimerosal is apparently also banned in Denmark, Austria, Great Britain and the Scandanavian countries (source: The great thimerosal cover-up: Mercury, vaccines, autism and your child’s health).

    Segment Transcript

    (Transcript by Bradfield Resident; report errors/omissions to bradfieldresident@gmail.com)

    Time (indicated on video) at start of segment: 7:12am.

    Melissa Doyle: Well is the swine flu vaccine safe? More than half of GP’s surveyed in the UK will refuse it for themselves, because trials have been rushed [1]. Now, our government has ordered 21 million doses of the vaccine. They’ll be given to 4 million at-risk people first, next month. Well so far 132 people have died from swine flu in Australia – that’s compared to 50 deaths in a normal flu season [2] – and we are being warned that a second wave of infections could hit by Christmas. Well, infectious diseases expert, Professor Robert Booy, joins us now, he’s from Westmead Children’s Hospital. Good morning to you.

    Panvax® H1N1 Vaccine packaging

    Panvax® H1N1 Vaccine packaging

    Professor Robert Booy: Good morning.

    Mel: The testing of the swine flu vaccine: has a not enough been done? Has it been rushed through?

    Booy: Not at all. We’ve got experience with making a vaccine exactly the same as this for 40 years [3], and every year we have about a 5 month period in which we change from one type to another because the strain has changed a little bit. Same thing this year: we’ve had 5 months [4], we’ve made a new vaccine, so it’s hardly any different to what we normally do [5].

    Mel: So why then are these doctors in the UK – half of them saying they don’t wanna take it, because to us, sort of mere mortals – we(‘ve) have no medical knowledge – and if a doctor says, “I don’t wanna take it,” then, of course, we’re gonna go, “oh, my gosh.”

    Booy: Well, there’s a wrong perception out there that the disease is mild. When people actually see the, the duality, the double-truth, that there’s a lot of people get it mildly, but we cannot predict that small number, but an important small number, who will get it severely, and it’s not just in people with an underlying medic.. medical condition. So, people need to get better informed, including doctors. [6]

    Panvax® H1N1 Vaccine vial closeup showing label

    Panvax® H1N1 Vaccine vial closeup showing label

    Mel: So how do you.. what, what are we gonna to do, I mean, if people are worried and they hear this – and particularly if pregnant women are at risk – and if you’re pregnant you don’t, I mean, you know, most women skip coffee and alcohol, so you’re hardly gonna go and have a vaccine that might have a risk.

    Booy: Well, ah, this, ah, virus is a threat not only to the pregnant mother but also to the baby, and so when pregnant mums think about that, not only their health but their baby’s health, they’ll think, well, “this is something worth having.” [7]

    Mel: Well then, if I spin it ’round, what’s the worst that can happen; if you have the vaccine, and, if there are some problems with it, that it’s not a hundred percent safe – I’m not saying it isn’t, but – what’s the worst that can happen to you? What are some of the risks or the side-effects that you might get?

    Booy: Sure. Well it’s fairly common to get a sore arm, some swelling and redness, but the rare things that can happen, probably in the order of one in a million, is you can get a form of paralysis, where the, the hands and the legs stop working, and you usually recover from that but not always. So that’s one thing that people worry about, but that’s a one-in-a-million risk, compared with the one-in-a-thousand risk or greater of getting a very serious side-effect from the disease. [8]

    Mel: So, I guess, just to conclude on that, where do we go, I mean if we’re hearing stats out of the UK of doctors saying, at this stage, “no,” how do we make an informed decision if the vaccine’s about to come on the market in a couple of weeks?

    Booy: Well everyone should research this for themselves, seek the very best information…

    Mel: But where from? Where from? I mean, with all due respect, I’ve got no idea. Where would I start? [9]

    Booy: Well, I, I work at the National Centre for Immunisation Research, we have a website; the Government Department of Health has a very good website; there are websites in the United States that are providing very up-to-the-date information; the Center for Diseases Control – all of those are very worthwhile places to go to. [Finishes smiling] [10]

    Mel: Okay, so they’re all being a little unnecessarily worried. Quick question before we finish: [11] a piggery in southern Queensland has been placed under quarantine, um, they’re saying that the pigs’ve – that the disease is spreading through pigs. So, does this mean then that there is any risk at all to us eating pork?

    Booy: (yeah) The way that pork is presented, the way that we get pork from the shop, there’s absolutely no risk. It’s actually the pigs who are at risk from us, ‘coz so many of us are infected, and so few of them have been infected, so they’re the ones who should be worried.

    Mel: Okay, so you’re telling me this morning, “pork’s safe, the vaccine’s safe, it’s all gonna be okay?”

    Booy: Well, I think so, I mean all vaccines have risks, and you have to weigh those things up, but the risks from the vaccine are far less than the risks from the disease. [12]

    Mel: Alright. Professor, thank-you so much for that; ‘ppreciate your time this morning.

    Notes and comments

    [1] Results of a Healthcare Republic poll released on Monday showed 29% of the 216 (UK?) GPs who responded said they “would not opt to receive the swine flu vaccine”, and 29% were not sure if they would. Today Healthcare Republic reported on a survey conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong of “over 8,500 doctors, nurses and allied health professionals working in Hong Kong”, which found that “only 47.9% of respondents said that they would be willing to be vaccinated against swine flu.”

    [2] It is not clear where the “50 deaths in a normal flu season” statistic comes from. According to the Australian influenza report for 18-24 July from the Department of Health and Ageing,

    There are difficulties estimating the number of deaths due to influenza in Australia. Deaths coded as being due to laboratory confirmed influenza are known to underestimate the true number. Influenza may not be listed on the death certificate if it wasn’t recognised as the underlying cause. Coding of pneumonia and influenza provides an additional measure, although this will overestimate the number of deaths, as it will include other causes of pneumonia.

    The median number of annual deaths in Australia, for the years 2001 to 2006, from influenza and pneumonia is 3,089. Forty Australians who died had laboratory diagnosed influenza. In 2007 (the latest year for which data has been released) there were 2,623 deaths attributed to influenza and pneumonia as the underlying cause of death. In 2007, influenza and pneumonia was the 13th leading cause of death in Australia (Source: ABS, Causes of Death 2007). Mortality figures are likely to be an underestimate due to inherent difficulties in assigning causes of death and therefore appropriate ICD codes. ABS mortality data are released two years in arrears.

    Cause of death data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics under Diseases of the Respiratory System (J00-J99) for 2007 shows:

    Cause of Death and ICD Code Males Females Persons
    Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18) 1160 1463 2623
    Influenza due to identified influenza virus (J10) 9 11 20
    Influenza, virus not identified (J11) 20 34 54
    Bacterial pneumonia, not elsewhere classified (J15) 43 27 70
    Pneumonia, organism unspecified (J18) 1070 1374 2444

    So it seems the number of deaths due to influenza in 2007 was at least 74 persons (J10+J11), and it is expected this is a significant under-reporting. It is not clear what sort of estimate between this number and the “influenza and pneumonia” total (2623 persons), which is clearly an overestimate. The Sunrise quoted figure of “50”, however, does not appear to be particularly reasonable.

    [3] Who does Booy mean by “we” here (Australia? CSL? Vaccine manufacturers generally?), and what does he mean by 40 years experience making exactly the same kind of vaccine? Surely production techniques have changed in 40 years, and one would expect, too, the resulting product.

    [4] Which 5 months is Booy referring to here? Is that to the production of a trial vaccine, or to the completion of trials and commencement of general use? When is it starting? According to the CDC (Outbreak of Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection – Mexico, March-April 2009), “The first of the 97 patients reported onset of illness (any symptom) on March 17” – that is, the outbreak started in Mexico in mid-March. Supposedly no-one knew about it before then. That was only just 5 months ago this month. At what point had “we” (again, is this Australia, CSL, or the vaccine manufacturers of the world generally) decided to mass-produce a vaccine specially for it? It is believed that the WHO went to pandemic level 6 well before it was made public knowledge, but was not until some time in April.

    From CSL’s website (Our expert Dr Michael Greenberg answers questions about the H1N1 Influenza Virus Vaccine), posted at an unknown date:

    Three virus isolates taken from infected patients have been sent to CSL:

    A/Mexico/4108/2009 E1(4/26/09)
    A/California/07/2009 E2(4/26/09)
    A/California/08/2009 E2(4/26/09)

    These viruses re currently arriving on site for processing. We anticipate further isolates will be sent to us as they become available.

    The vial label in the footage shown on Sunrise shows “A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)” which seems to match the second isolate listed on the CSL website, and which suggests the sample is from near the end of April, which would make “5 months” at least the 26th of September 2009. Perhaps this is what is meant.

    [5] What is the difference? Why are we so sure that the “usual” vaccine is safe in the first place?

    [6] This appears to be a misleading statement. On one hand Booy says “we cannot predict”, but on the other goes on to talk of the prediction of the people “who will get it severely”, insinuating that the “small” number will be somehow drastic (“an important small number”), even though the observed outcomes so far have predominantly been mild, and also, in Australia, predominantly affecting people with underlying medical conditions – alarmist reports have been made elsewhere that cases have been predominately in people without existing underlying medical conditions, which, on the evidence in Australia at least, is distorted hype (if not purely alarmist propaganda).

    [7] This appears to be a pure appeal to the emotion of “protecting the baby”, failing to mention flipside that if the vaccine is dangerous for the mother, it is also dangerous for the baby. In fact, it is possibly more dangerous for the baby (as are the examples of caffeine and alcohol).

    [8] Booy has only pretended to answer the question. Firstly, he did not answer what is the worst that could happen? The worst that could happen is death. In the US in 1976, “about 500 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), resulting in death from severe pulmonary complications for 25 people, were probably caused by an immunopathological reaction to the 1976 [swine flu] vaccine” (source: 1976 swine flu outbreak). Secondly, aside from the really minor effects (a sore arm) and that one supposedly one-in-a-million chance bad effect, he didn’t mention anything. Are these really the only side-effects caused by (flu) vaccines? What happens if you encounter the real flu before your “immunisation” has taken effect? For that matter, how long should that take? If people need to have two shots, what is the situation between shots?

    [9] Reality check: according to her profile, Melissa Doyle is a university-educated journalist, has been a news anchor for a Prime televisions 6pm news and a political correspondent for Seven Network, among other roles. She is likely surrounded by people who have direct access to news feeds, politicians, scientists and all sorts of public figures, and yet she has “no idea” how to find information… This is the point where you should realise you are watching an infomercial, and this is just part of the script. The two main possibilities here are that Melissa Doyle is a completely incompetent airhead (does not journalism require an ability to source information?), or she is playing the fool to manipulate the audience.

    [10] Here is the part where you are basically told who to trust. Of course the first port of call is to the website for one of Booy’s own organisations. Observe that grants into the hundreds of thousands of dollars are awarded for research that Booy conducts, so it cannot be said that he does not have a financial motive in the whole vaccination / immunisation story. It should be noted here that vaccination and immunisation are not the same thing – vaccines are administered ostensibly to provide immunisation, but vaccines do not provide “immunity” from disease. They have in the past been used to actually spread disease, and still do today. See, for example, Mutant Polio Virus Spreads in Nigeria, 14 August 2009:

    Nigeria and most other poor nations use an oral polio vaccine because it’s cheaper, easier, and protects entire communities.

    But it is made from a live polio virus – albeit weakened – which carries a small risk of causing polio for every million or so doses given. In even rarer instances, the virus in the vaccine can mutate into a deadlier version that ignites new outbreaks.

    The vaccine used in the United States and other Western nations is given in shots, which use a killed virus that cannot cause polio.

    So when WHO officials discovered a polio outbreak in Nigeria was sparked by the polio vaccine itself, they assumed it would be easier to stop than a natural “wild” virus.

    They were wrong.

    In 2007, health experts reported that amid Nigeria’s ongoing outbreak of wild polio viruses, 69 children had also been paralyzed in a new outbreak caused by the mutation of a vaccine’s virus.

    Back then, WHO said the vaccine-linked outbreak would be swiftly overcome – yet two years later, cases continue to mount. They have since identified polio cases linked to the vaccine dating back as far as 2005.

    This suggestion that vaccines administered by shots are safer is also of concern; earlier this year, Baxter International “accidentally” delivered 72kg of vaccine material “unintentionally” and “unknowingly” contaminated with an extremely deadly, live avian bird influenza virus to some 18 countries across Europe from a Baxter facility in Austria.

    [11] After Booy delivers the list of places to look for “trusted” information, Mel here, fairly quietly, dismisses all the audience’s fears about the swine flu vaccine as a little bit of silliness and very quickly moves on to change the subject before the viewer really has a chance to think about it. The gap between the sentences was incredibly short, and shows us that Mel isn’t the incompetent airhead who wouldn’t know where to look for information. The remainder of the segment distracts the audience from thinking about the possible dangers of the flu vaccine to instead have some sympathy for the poor pigs who should be afraid of us making them sick.

    [12] Yep, everthing’s gonna be alright. Please do check it for yourself (you do know how to check for yourself, don’t you? I told you where to look just a minute ago). And finishing off, just reminding you that the risks of the disease are much worse than the risks of the vaccine, even though I didn’t really explain what they are.

    Seriously, though, please do some personal research. Bradfield Resident doesn’t know the answers, but knows there are a lot of questions. When it comes to the “hard science”, it really is hard (perhaps impossible) to know what to believe, who to trust, how to interpret it and so on. Science, however, is not the only angle you should be researching. Vaccines have a history that involves people, corporations, governments and lots of money. Vaccines being used to cause illness is a very plausible scenario – some of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world are pharmecutical companies… They need customers, and lots of them.

    Bradfield Resident
    Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 August 2009

    Posted in Baxter International, Commentary, CSL Biotherapies, Pandemic A(H1N1)v 2009, Swine Flu 1976, Thimerosal/ Thiomersal/ Thimersol/ Merthiolate, TV, Vaccines | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

    Australian TV segment on water fluoridation

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 21 August 2009


    25 March 2008 – Today Tonight – Fluoride

    A rather unexpected source of information about water fluoridation in Australia – the Today Tonight program. This segment has dentist Dr Andrew Harms, past President of the Dental Association of South Australia, and previous fluoridation supporter, speaking out against water fluoridation.

    TT presenter: “..more than a thousand scientists and medical professionals from across the world have banded together to warn us that even in its most diluted form, fluoride is still a poison and can harm your health.”

    Dr Paul Connett Ph.D: “In Australia, your health authorities – in any state or the Federal health authorities – have never done health studies on fluoride, only on teeth, none of the other tissues, and so they’re flying blind.”

    Posted in Australian Dental Association, TV, Water Fluoridation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Fri 21 Aug 09 | To: The Border Mail | Fed up to back teeth with crisis article

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 21 August 2009

    From: Bradfield Resident <bradfieldresident@gmail.com>
    Date: Friday 21 August 2009 00:02 (+10)
    Subject: Fed up to back teeth with crisis article
    To: The Border Mail <bmm@bordermail.com.au>

    I am writing to express concern at the content of John Conroy’s 18 August article “Fed up to back teeth with ‘crisis'” (http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/news/general/fed-up-to-back-teeth-with-crisis/1598723.aspx). I understand that the article is about a forum for which Professor Anthony Blinkhorn was the keynote speaker, but I think it is inappropriate to present his words as scientific truth.

    A single example of increase in dental care after removal of fluoridation is proffered to suggest dental care costs always increase, which is absolutely not the case.

    “It strengthens dental enamel on a daily basis” has never, to my knowledge, been proven. In fact it has been shown that water fluoridation weakens teeth and bones.

    “He said 95 per cent of people in NSW drank water with fluoride added and did not protest,” is hardly an argument, besides which is it not true. I am a resident of NSW, and I protest. The reason most people haven’t protested is because flouridation has been in place virtually unquestioned for many years, and most people are under the non-proven belief that it is good for your teeth and the non-proven belief that it is harmless.

    “We have emotions on one side and science on the other,” neglects the private sector profits on the pro-fluoridation side, the fact that there exists zero high-quality scientific research demonstrating the claimed benefits of water fluoridation (even after some 70 years since it was introduce in the United States), government and health agencies misinterpreting and misrepresenting data from studies such as the York Report (the authors of which have publicly criticised UK health and dental organisations for the conclusions they have drawn), and the fact that there is scientific evidence against the use of fluoride (from all sources including water fluoridation).

    It is the case that most of Europe has rejected water fluoridation, and you will find that they do not have a dental health crisis as a result. In fact it has been shown in numerous cases that flouridated areas can have worse dental health than non-fluoridated areas.

    My understanding is that the science, overall, is uncertain with regards to the efficacy and safety of water fluoridation, though it has been said before in reports that more research needs to be done. Problems will not be found unless someone is looking for them, and it just so happens that the world mostly didn’t consider so much the problems and wasn’t looking for them. Regardless, it has never been proven to be safe, and yet people allow it. Why is it pushed so hard? Because there is a fortune to be made in turning a difficult and expensive to dispose of toxic waste product into a water additive.

    Bradfield Resident, NSW
    Friday 21 August 2009

    Posted in Fluoride, Mail Sent, Newspapers | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Sat 22 Aug: Free film screening – Generation RX – Newtown Neighbourhood Centre

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 20 August 2009

    WeAreChange Australia presents a free film screening in Newtown this weekend. Please visit the original WeAreChange film screening page.

    Bradfield Resident’s event listing for the screening on Facebook.

    We Are Change Sydney Presents: Generation Rx – a film by Kevin Miller

    Map showing location of Newtown Neighbourhood CentreWHEN:
    Saturday, 22 August, 2009
    7:00PM

    WHERE:
    Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
    1 Bedford St.
    Newtown NSW 2042

    ADMISSION FREE, DONATIONS WELCOME

    More Info:
    http://www.generationrxfilm.com

    Generation RX flyer
    Common Radius logo

    For decades, scores of doctors, government officials, journalists, and others have extolled the benefits of psychiatric medicines for children. GENERATION RX presents “the rest of the story” and unveils how this era of unprecedented change in Western culture really occurred – and what price has been paid by our society.

    International award-winning filmmaker Kevin P. Miller (Let Truth Be The Bias, The Promised Land) “delivers a jaw-dropping emotional ride,” and “weaves a terrifying tale of criminal conspiracy, the mass abandonment of medical ethics, and the routine betrayal of an entire generation.” By employing the expertise of internationally respected professionals from the fields of medicine, ethics, journalism, and academia, GENERATION RX investigates collusion between drug companies and their regulatory watchdogs at the FDA and focuses on the powerful stories of real families who followed the advice of their doctors – and faced devastating consequences for doing so.

    GENERATION RX is a film about families who confronted horror and found nowhere to turn for help – and how scores of children have been caught in the vortex of mind-bending drugs at the earliest stages of their growth and development. This powerful documentary also questions whether we have forced millions of children onto pharmaceutical drugs for commercial rather than scientific reasons.

    Ultimately, Generation RX may help parents decide whether the perceived benefits of these medications outweigh the serious risks to children.

    “GENERATION RX is a film that every parent should see,” says Jason Buchanan of ALL MOVIE GUIDE.

    Posted in Events, Film / Documentary, Pharmaceutical Companies, Psychiatry | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

    Thu 13 Aug 09 | To: SMH ReaderLink | Re: Herald Publications: Thank you for contacting ReaderLink

    Posted by bradfieldresident on 13 August 2009

    From: Bradfield NSW<bradfieldnsw@gmail.com>
    Date: Thursday 13 August 2009 22:04 (+10)
    Subject: Re: Herald Publications: Thank you for contacting ReaderLink.
    To: Reader Link <readerlink@smh.com.au>

    Reference: [redacted]

    SMH / Reader Link,

    are you incapable of answering the questions, or willfully ignoring them? The tendency of the corporate media to bury news by ignoring it is appalling.

    You can read my guess as to why the story was removed online. Feel free to comment there.

    Swine flu vaccine trial on kids story disappears from SMH website

    http://bradfieldnsw.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/swine-flu-vaccine-trial-on-kids-story-disappears-from-smh-website/

    Bradfield Resident, NSW
    Thursday 13 August 2009

    Quoted text:
    Tue 11 Aug 09 | To: SMH ReaderLink | Re: Herald Publications: Thank you for contacting ReaderLink

    Note: links to bradfieldnsw.wordpress.com were provided prior to migration to bradfieldresident.wordpress.com

    Posted in Mail Sent, Pandemic A(H1N1)v 2009, Sydney Morning Herald, Vaccines | Leave a Comment »