Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Short Term Win For Residents: A Win for Voters and Residents Strathfield and Auburn

Mr Shoebridge called the consent orders “a disaster for Mike Baird” and said councils embroiled in court cases with the state government on merger proposals would be scrutinising delegates’ reports particularly closely in the light of this.
“When a government tries to do a job on local communities and cut legal corners and rush through an undemocratic process it is no wonder they trip up,” Mr Shoebridge said. Veteran Journalist of SMH fame now with the Australian: Mark Coultan

Canterbury Bankstown interim general manager Matthew Stewart and newly appointed administrator Richard Colley.(... Canadabay.nsw.gov.au)

A forced merger between Sydney councils Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay has been halted in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court. Strathfield Council challenged the merger in the Land and Environment Court and today the State Government withdrew from the case. The court heard there were legal flaws in the report from the State Government appointed delegate who examined the proposal for merging the councils. Local Government Minister Paul Toole said he expected the delegate to reissue the report.

"Now it's up to the delegate to go back out there, look at this matter and reissue this report," he said. "Once it comes back to me I will look at it in detail before making a final decision."
The Minister could not give a timeframe on when that decision would be, only saying he "expects this to happen very quickly". Canada Bay ... on Our ABC

The state government's push for council amalgamations has suffered a major setback.
The state government's council amalgamation agenda is set to come under more scrutiny after Strathfield Council elected to push on with its case against the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, saying  "serious matters"  had emerged from documents produced by the NSW government. Earlier, the government had agreed to settle the case after conceding a flaw in the Boundaries Commission report on Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay Councils.  The minister described it as a "legal technicality".
Council amalgamations: government push for mergers suffers setback

In a potentially explosive development for the Baird government, the Land and Environment Court has ordered it to provide documents about the role KPMG played in implementing the council amalgamation agenda. Strathfield Council and others are alleging a serious misrepresentation by the Baird government after discovering that KPMG has been involved in devising the merger proposals as early as July 2015 – before the government announced it was proceeding with forced amalgamations – yet it was deemed the independent arbiter of the financial benefits of the mergers.
Council amalgamations Baird government ordered to reveal KPMGs role in mergers

A merger between Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield Councils has been postponed after the Land and Environment Court ruled the NSW government could not rely on the Boundaries Commission’s report to make a merger case.

NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole was forced into an embarrassing climb down today (Tuesday) as the court ordered that he should not to rely on delegate Richard Colley’s report on the merger between the three Sydney Councils. The Minister was also ordered to pay Strathfield Council’s costs. Costs Paid By Residents of the Fragile Castle
Three-council merger postponed; Baird cops court costs

NSW council merger plan suffers setback

Backflipping: Not so long ago, in the land of Clyde. A Castle like Victory  (John Drake and Allan Brzoson) was celebrated  and then ... The law was changed:
The contentious Collex aka Veolia proposal for a waste terminal in western Sydney is again in doubt after the Opposition yesterday withdrew support for legislation overturning a court victory by two residents who opposed the plan.
After a day of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, the Opposition Leader, John Brogden, vowed to oppose the legislation in the NSW upper house and attempt to force it to an upper house committee for further investigation.
Residents Win and Then they Lose

In a judgement last Friday, Justice Neal Bignold found significant environmental (North shore garbage goes west) problems with the development of the Clyde facility. He upheld concerns that transporting waste to the station would have a major impact on air quality around Auburn and that transportation costs l be passed on to Sydney ratepayers. (Government bully-boys attack judiciary)
Justice Bignold congratulated the two plaintiffs, saying they demonstrated an "extraordinary mastery, as essentially lay persons, of the complex issues raised by the proposal in all of its dimensions: scientific, technical, social, environmental and political".
Mr Drake said yesterday: "It shows ordinary people can take on councils and governments and win.". Clyde Waste Terminal (Drake &. Ors; Auburn Council v Minister for Planning and Anor; Collex Pty Ltd ...
But in the year-long court case, reminiscent of the plot of The Castle, residents John Drake and Allan Brzoson scuttled the transfer station, putting Woodlawn's commercial viability in doubt.

CODA: Council assisting the inquiry Paul Bolster said the inquiry would examine several controversial zoning decisions, disappearing council files, why "not one but two" fires struck a property connected to Mr Mehajer's family and "extraordinary largesse" shown to Mr Mehajer in a controversial deal involving a council car park.
But the most striking of the evidence of the day came after it was revealed Mr Francis alleged that cupboards in his home to the value of about $2000 were paid for by Auburn councillor and three-time former mayor Ronney Oueik, who had arranged tradesmen to remodel Mr Francis' kitchen.  "Mr Francis attempted to pay for the [cupboard carpentry] and he refused," Mr Bolster said. "He [Oueik] said to Mr Francis it was a gift and he wanted to help the family." Other tradesmen were paid by Mr Francis, in cash, the inquiry was told. 
Mr Francis, who reported the gift only this year, is at the centre of an ongoing issue relating to a building constructed by a company owned by Mr Oueik, BBC Developments Auburn council coloured pencils used to redraw zoning protocols inquiry told

Cyber security is the biggest risk to the global financial system

Sewer robots and Intel Analystssome are named Luigi...

It is official: New rule puts onus on contractors to tighten IT security

Opal Cards Could be Next as Most Sydneysiders are using Credit Card for their bus, ferry or even train journeys ... (Crooks not just honest police officers can tell whether someone is home or not ...) Transport for NSW are currently investigating a security breach to its TrainLink booking system, temporarily closing reservations on the site. While the NSW TrainLink database does not contain sufficient credit card data for it to be used in any transactions, police have still confirmed that some of the information obtained in the breach could be used Transport NSW Data Breach

It is nice to spot new development in cyber security as most Asian nations are building strong capabilities in people and computer skills as well as infrastructure. The strategy, launched by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in April, came with an acknowledgement Australia was prepared to take offensive action to protect the national interest.
Australia's cyber security strategy must be strengthened says national report

Hacker Site Removes 117 Million LinkedIn Passwords After Legal Threat

360 million Myspace accounts and 65 million Tumblr accounts, including email addresses, usernames and passwords have turned up for sale on the darkweb, including the private information of Australian users dating back to both sites' inception. In what may be one of the biggest breaches of all time, Time Inc, the parent company of Myspace, confirmed it was hacked in June 2013, and that the data has only now appeared for sale. "Shortly before the Memorial Day weekend, we became aware that stolen Myspace user login data was being made available in an online hacker forum," the site announced in a blog post
Myspace, Tumblr hacked: Hackers sell 425 million users' data on darkweb 

Australia's three largest listed insurers – QBE, IAG and Suncorp – could share more client data with each other, and their smaller rivals, via a beefed-up fraud prevention bureau in a bid to stem an estimated $2 billion a year in losses.    More sophisticated information sharing is needed between competitors to help thwart scammers and help stem a rise in fraudulent claims that is pushing up premiums for honest consumers.  That is the advice from head of a recent British government insurance fraud taskforce David Hertzell, who is in Australia to address a gathering of industry heavyweights in Sydney on Tuesday on ways to deter fraud. 
UK insurance fraud expert David Hertzell tells IAG, QBE & Suncorp to share data 

Cybersecurity officials from the departments of Homeland Security and Justice are stressing the importance of continued collaboration to keep cyberattacks at bay. "If you get hit, call somebody and start talking" to commercial or federal cybersecurity experts, said Brian Varine, chief of the Justice Security Operations Center. "Sharing information drives up the costs for attackers." He made the remarks at an ISMG Fraud and Breach Prevention Summit on May 18. "It's too bad they got in, but [sharing information] is your revenge," he added. Phyllis Schneck, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate, echoed those sentiments and urged the audience, made up largely of private-sector corporate and IT managers, to help her agency build defenses to protect everyone

Facing the Financial Industry’s Cyber Challenge With Lessons From IT History Irving Wladawsky-Berger, WSJ. I’ve helpfully underlined the bullshit terms; if you hear anybody in your house use them, count the spoons when they leave:
Transforming something as complex as the financial eco system is a tall order, but as any student of IT history can tell you, the emergence of disruptive technologies can bring together key stakeholders. … I finished my remarks to the Commission by noting that the emergence of an innovative disruptive technology can serve as a catalyst to propel change forward by bringing key stakeholders together.
I’m giving high marks for the double-stakeholders/innovative disruptive strength move, as well as the grace notes of “tall order,” and “propel change forward.”

Machine Bias Pro Publica. Just because it’s an algorithm doesn’t mean it won’t be used to screw Slavic or African people....

Tor developers have been working on the next iteration of the Tor network and its underbelly, the Onion routing protocol, in order to create a stronger, harder-to-crack anonymous communications system. To advance the project, the developer team schedules brainstorming and planning meetings at regular intervals. The most recent of these meetings took place last week, in Montreal, Canada. In this session, the team tested the next generation of the Tor network working on top of a revamped Onion protocol. The team says it implemented a new mechanism for generating random numbers, never before seen on the Internet. The Tor Project says it created something it calls "a distributed RNG" (random number generator) that uses two or more computers to create multiple random numbers and then blends these outputs together. The end result is something that's impossible to crack without knowing which computers from a network contributed to the final random number, and which entropy each one used.
Cyber security is the biggest risk facing the financial system, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday, in one of the frankest assessments yet of the threat to Wall Street from digital attacks. Banks around the world have been rattled by a $81 million cyber theft from the Bangladesh central bank that was funneled through SWIFT, a member-owned industry cooperative that handles the bulk of cross-border payment instructions between banks."

Fingerprinting The World’s Hackers via Mas

The House on Monday passed a cybersecurity bill from Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) that aims to help state and local officials battle hackers. Specifically, the bill authorizes the agency to establish a consortium that would provide training to state and local first responders and officials, conduct training and simulation exercises and help states develop information sharing programs.

Audit Finds 'Hostile Probes,' Breaches of Weather Satellite System

Vietnam's Tien Phong Bank said that it interrupted an attempted cyber heist that involved the use of fraudulent SWIFT messages, the same technique at the heart of February's massive theft from the Bangladesh central bank. Hanoi-based TPBank said in a statement late on Sunday in response to inquiries from Reuters that in the fourth quarter of last year it identified suspicious requests through fraudulent SWIFT messages to transfer more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) of funds. 

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has limited some employees’ access to the Swift global interbank messaging service amid questions about security breaches at a pair of Asian banks that used the funds-transfer platform, people familiar with the matter said. 

Publish a “wrong” map of India, face seven years in jail and a huge fine [Hindustan Times; “crore” = 10 million]
“The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today to update privacy rules to prevent broadband Internet access service providers from recording and sharing their customers’ every move online. EFF’s comments are part of the FCC’s rulemaking on consumer privacy and telecommunications services. As broadband providers are uniquely positioned to track every communication and activity—often in real time—the FCC is proposing to update current telecom policy to protect the privacy and security of consumers.

The head of the Association of British Insurers has called on the government to create a database where companies would have to record details of cyber attacks.