Friday, November 18, 2022

Trust in Characters Who Talk ***** : Shadow Diplomats

The recent Optus data breach has really brought home how vulnerable many businesses and organisations are to attack and the need to evolve our controls as threats arise,“ Hirschhorn said. “We continue to strengthen our safeguards in preparedness for the increased threat.”

Treating data as uranium

Australians trust the Australian Taxation Office and Medicare more than they trust Centrelink and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

That’s according to results from the 2022 Trust in Australian public services report, which found there was a healthy overall trust in and satisfaction with Commonwealth public services.

Trust in public service high, but lowest among community's most vulnerable

At first Dr Mukesh Haikerwal thought it was just the authorities being helpful.
A highly active social media user, he had commented on Twitter about a Sydney Morning Herald article on MyGov, and mentioned he was having his issues with the government services site.
 ‘I was hacked’: GP’s stark warning for colleagues

Political pain comes from ICAC but that’s the price for accountability, says Perrottet

HE COMMITTED SUICIDE, SHOOTING HIMSELF IN THE CHEST FIVE TIMES:  Vadim Boyko, Russian colonel tied to mobilization, dies mysteriously.

The power pendulum is swinging back to employers, isn’t it? TechCrunch

They Want to Kill Libraries: The Last Place in America 

Where You Are a Person, Not a Customer Cory Doctorow, Medium

TIME The Best Inventions of 2022

Every year for over two decades, TIME editors have highlighted the 100 most impactful new products and ideas. This year, in a rapidly shifting world, innovation boomed. So in 2022, for the first time ever, we selected the year’s 200 Best Inventions

To compile the list, we solicited nominations from TIME’s editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process, paying special attention to growing fields—such as the electric vehicle industry, green energy, and the metaverse. We then evaluated each contender on a number of key factors, including originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact. 

The result is a list of 200 groundbreaking inventions (and 50 special mention inventions)—including life-mapping artificial intelligence, diamonds made from excess carbon in the air, and the most powerful telescope ever—that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s 


The regulatory office is not for the faint-hearted ...

Speaking of trust and governance, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has a new and permanent chief in respected lawyer Susan Woodward, who has plenty to police in the world of good deeds and donations 

Acting ACNC Commissioner Deborah Jenkins welcomed the announcement. “The appointment of a new Commissioner brings certainty to the ACNC and the sector,” Ms Jenkins said.

“Everyone at the ACNC looks forward to welcoming Ms Woodward on 12 December, and to working with her throughout her five-year tenure,” she said. Dr Andrew Leigh's media release

Susan Woodward appointed chief of watchdog Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Shadow Diplomats 

ICIJ investigations have long uncovered the illicit or harmful activities of international figures operating at the nexus of power, privilege, and secrecy. Over the years, a little known niche in the global elite has repeatedly surfaced in leaked documents and scattered news reports on wrongdoing and scandal around the world: a type of diplomat known as an honorary consul.

Honorary consuls are largely unregulated volunteer diplomats who work from their home countries to promote the interests of foreign governments — winning them some of the same protections and perks provided to career diplomats.

In fact the Shadow Diplomats investigation, ICIJ worked with ProPublica and 59 media partners to identify at least 500 current and former honorary consuls who have been accused of crimes or embroiled in controversy — exposing the global scale of misuse and exploitation by rogue honorary consuls.

Those alleged crimes include drug and weapons trafficking, murder, fraud, and terrorism financing. Some honoraries were caught exploiting their status for personal gain, abusing their positions to enrich themselves, evading law enforcement, advancing political agendas, or supporting authoritarian regimes.

As ICIJ and media partners chronicled the abuses perpetrated by honorary consuls around the world, patterns started to emerge. The team identified accused operatives from the terrorist group Hezbollah who have had honorary consul status. Other consuls have been sanctioned by the United States and other governments, including members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Today, we’re publishing our first installment of the Shadow Diplomats investigation, with more investigative stories by ICIJ, ProPublica, and 160 journalists in 46 countries to come in the next few weeks.

READ: Accused terror financiers, arms traffickers and drug runners among hundreds of rogue diplomats, global investigation reveals

Stay tuned for more from the Shadow Diplomats investigation in the coming weeks! And please feel free to reply to this email with any questions you might have about honorary consuls.

Thanks for reading!

Asraa Mustufa
ICIJ's digital editor

The world has nine years to prevent climate catastrophe

“A major paper released on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt has started a countdown. At the current rate of global emissions, the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will likely be permanently out of reach in nine years, the study found.  The paper, published on Nov. 11 and written by dozens of leading climatologists, the paper assesses what scientists call the “carbon budget,” which is a way of predicting the amount of warming that will likely be produced by a given volume of emissions. Run in reverse, the calculation tells us how much more we can afford to emit before a certain warming target becomes impossible—just as a personal budget tells you how much more you can spend before you go broke.”

SourceGlobal Carbon Budget 2022, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 4811–4900, 2022