Posts by Mark Foster

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to Luke Williamson,

    The Labour Party I love(d) and have voted for all my life are terrified of putting up any policy that might offend Auckland homeowners because it might make them unelectable.

    This terrifies me.
    I'm in the center-left and I watched the results of the last General Election with trepidation, and then despair.

    I will freely admit that a large reason that I recently moved to Wellington area was that Auckland was becoming non-viable due to cost-of-living (chiefly rent). (That and the Job I wanted was in Wellington). I'm earning a decent wage but i'm not in a DINKy household and I am instead supporting my wife and two children on my own - it's only recently i've had sufficient income to even opt-in to Kiwisaver. So i'm very much part of 'Generation Rent', it could be 5-10 years or more before I may even have a deposit and then I may be looking at being mortgaged beyond retirement age.

    It's gotten to the stage where I avoid media coverage of the housing situation in Auckland because it's all negative, it's all depressing, and no-one in a position to effect change seems to care. I am an Aucklander, friends and family are there and I would like to be able to go home at some point in the future, but this seems impossible, at least until my children are supporting themselves.

    'Majority Rules' seems farcical when that majority is crazy-slim (or non existent except for confidence-and-supply) and you have a large minority being disadvantaged severely, but no-one who sees it for what it is, has the critical mass to effect change. And when a large enough portion of the electorate find the current situation to their advantage, nothing will change?

    I don't know how to fix it. And I can't just go to another country, because that's expensive and because i'll wind up moving somewhere with another set of problems, different, but just as bad. It makes me even sadder that NZ has just become the lesser-of-all-the-evils now, instead of a place where I truly see a prosperous future.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2015 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    If one wants to focus on the letter of what was said by Una Jagose, then fine (and i'll be looking forward to seeing what comes out of all of this). But I wanted to flag that many of the items ripped out of website terms-of-use etc from various agencies, will be generic references to IDS/IPS type behaviors that are likely already-in-place, and likely also have nothing to do with Cortex, so assumptions should not be made.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2015 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I think you can be fairly certain that if you send an email to or that your email is going to pass through several different checks - the usual antispam and antivirus checks and perhaps also some keyword checks for various things that are legitimate to their need to protect themselves and the data that sits within their walled gardens.

    A very brief review of the Gower interview sees Cortex described like any reasonably intelligent IDS/IPS system. So why wouldn't agencies employ one of these if it happens to be looked after by the people charged by the govt, to protect critical infrastructure?

    I would ask if you know much about how IDS/IPS systems work? By design you can see everything. In practice it's putting 'everything' through filters that will pick out behaviors known to be suspicious and flag these for attention. The vast majority of the stuff that is techncially seen - so thus has to be disclaimed that way - will never have human eyes cast upon it. I fear paranoia does us a disservice.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2015 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex,

    Almost all of these generic 'you may be monitored' clauses (including the ones from NZDF and such) may simply refer to internal monitoring capabilities from within their security departments. The presence of a generic statement is not a tie to the GCSB.

    I suspect those related to agencies who routinely handle classified material may be in another class, but consider that for the ISP's and Telco's etc - many of them have internal IA capabilities who may need to monitor their services (and be disclaimed as such) to be effective. Or have I missed something?

    Auckland • Since Oct 2015 • 4 posts Report