With the benefit of hindsight, that would be a scary outcome.
Last week I likened the present broadband revolution to the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th to early 19th century.  Each revolution has resulted in both positive and negative disruptions in our society.

In the positive, the industrial revolution increased the average wealth of individuals. One of the touted benefits of the broadband revolution is economic growth which, I believe, will realise increases in individual wealth.

In the negative, the industrial revolution changed the way people thought about everything from economics to the ways governments should work.  The broadband revolution is again changing the way we think about economics and governments.

Nicky Hagar’s book “Dirty Politics” is a graphic exposé of changes to the way the current government works.  It updates some of the practices exposed in his earlier book “The Hollow Men”, for the broadband age.

ScaryThe National Party’s tactic of using bloggers to denigrate its political adversaries whilst John Key maintains his vote-catching air of geniality, is unconscionable manipulation. To retain the power and influence of being the government, National appears to be more about using underhand tactics than about developing good policy.  With four weeks to the election, it has still not released its ICT policies.

Those tactics are enabled by the anonymity of the Internet and the ease with which web servers can be hacked to compromise confidentiality and the privacy of personal information.

Are these issues of anonymity, confidentiality and privacy covered in the ICT policies of the main political parties?

All the parties, except for National, have clear policies around reviewing the Privacy Act and incorporating privacy protection in to a new ‘Digital Bill of Rights’ or “Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill”.

Would such ‘Rights’ have prevented the damaging disclosures of the past week?

The devil will be in the detail but when it is published, hopefully not.

The public good coming from Nicky Hagar’s disclosure of the hacked emails ought to be a moderating factor when the new Bills are drafted.

But if a National Government is returned next month, it appears more likely that any new laws around personal privacy, data confidentiality and anonymity, will further protect the nefarious actions of John Key’s people.

With the benefit of hindsight, that would be a scary outcome.