Thursday, October 13, 2022

How Palantir will steal the NHS


Since the Optus data breach, Australia is desperate for cybersecurity professionals. You could become one without a university degree

The Curious Fate of Citizen Snowden’s Archive SpyTalk

Are You The General Of Carl von Clausewitz’s Dreams? Take This Quiz To Find Out! Defector

ATO commissioner Chris Jordan is refusing to rule out a third term as head of the Tax Office when his second term ends in April 2024. Mr Jordan, 68, signalled in 2019 that he would not seek a third term but the ATO declined to confirm this in response to questions in the wake of an interview with him last month.

 Tax chief refuses to rule out third term

Is The Everest a better race than the Melbourne Cup?

Why Do the Chinese Commies Have Their Own Police Station in New York?

They  seer and the seen: Surveying Palantir’s surveillance platform (h/t Andrew Iliadis)

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE NOMENKLATURA: Investigation into congressional stock trading reveals massive corruption red flags. “‘From 2019 to 2021, 183 current senators or representatives reported a trade of a stock or another financial asset by themselves or an immediate family member,’ the Times reports . ‘More than half of them sat on congressional committees that potentially gave them insight into the companies whose shares they reported buying or selling.’ The Times investigation also revealed that ‘44 of the 50 members of Congress who were most active in the markets bought or sold securities in companies over which their committee assignments could give them some degree of knowledge or influence.’”

The UN Secretary General António Guterres announced his readiness today to support a UN convention on tax that would overhaul century-old global tax rules. The backing from the UN’s highest ranking officer kicks open the door for negotiations among members states to begin following two years of rapidly growing momentum among governments, international bodies and rights campaigners for a UN tax convention. Economists and campaigners from around the world have welcomed the news, saying the intervention “couldn’t come at a more urgent time”.

Miranda Stewart (Melbourne), Tax and Government in the 21st Century (Miranda Stewart (Melbourne) ed., Cambridge University Press 2022):

With an accessible style and clear structure, Miranda Stewart explains how taxation finances government in the twenty-first century, exploring tax law in its historical, economic, and social context. Today, democratic tax states face an array of challenges, including the changing nature of work, the digitalisation and globalisation of the economy, and rebuilding after the fiscal crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stewart demonstrates the centrality of taxation for government budgets and explains key tax principles of equity, efficiency and administration. Presenting examples from a wide range of jurisdictions and international developments, Stewart shows how tax policy and law operate in our everyday lives, ranging from family and working life to taxing multinational enterprises in the global digital economy. Employing an interdisciplinary approach to the history and future of taxation law and policy, this is a valuable resource for legal scholars, practitioners and policy makers.


Miranda Stewart's outstanding book is unique in providing a broad overview of taxation in the 21st century, with an emphasis on how tax shapes the relationship between a democratic state and its citizens. It should be read not just by tax specialists but by anyone who is interested in the crucial challenges globalization poses to maintaining sovereignty, democracy and the social insurance safety net.
Reuven S. Avi-Yonah — Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law, University of Michigan

National Law Review:

  • “As You Sow and the National Confectioners Association released a report on August 18, 2022 that determines the predominant sources of lead and cadmium in chocolate products and how best to reduce these levels.  
  • A multi-disciplinary panel of four experts have been investigating the matter for three years.  The report is part of the 2018 settlement agreement reached in As You Sow v. Trader Joe’s, in which the plaintiff alleged that numerous chocolate makers failed to warn the public about levels of lead and cadmium in their products, therefore violating California’s Proposition 65.
  • The report concludes that cadmium can be found in cacao and chocolate due to its presence in tropical soils where it is harvested.  Cadmium contaminates the roots of the plant, where it is then deposited into the nibs of the cacao beans.  The experts concluded a short term solution would be to mix high and low-cadmium cacao beans, whereas long-term reductions could be achieved by changing soil compositions or cacao genetics.
  • The investigation found that lead contaminates the outer shells of the cacao beans, rather than through the roots.  The sticky coating of the outer shells allows lead particles from soil, dust, and power plant air pollution to stick to the cacao beans as they are dried and fermented in open air.  The investigation revealed that, where feasible, minimizing soil contact and optimizing contaminant removal during the cleaning, roasting, and shell removal stages should help reduce lead contamination…”