Hits up 40,649 in the last 7 days to1,666,678 hits from 101,267 unique users. Stats

Is Aussie pollies’ failure to declare cryptocurrency a joke on us?

1st May 2019

Rosie investigates whether Australian politicians should be declaring their Bitcoin along with their other investments.

Introducing Commonwealth Tenders Search

29th Apr 2019

Have you ever wondered which agencies outsource the most and which companies they outsource to?

Budget enshrines neglect of older women

12th Apr 2019

There are interesting lessons for older Australians in the budget data

Taking transparency to a whole new level with open data

9th Apr 2019

A bird's eye view of what can be accomplished with open data for financial and political transparency.

Update and appeal for donations

8th Apr 2019

I have survived the past months solely thanks to your generosity but can I make the important work that I do sustainable in the long term?

Our Most Prolific Corporate Gift Givers

5th Apr 2019

Ever wondered which companies give most often to our federal politicians? Recent analysis of interests data provides answers.

We are all special snowflakes and why it matters

28th Mar 2019

Macquarie university researcher responds to ABS TableBuilder claims.

For better or worse

21st Mar 2019

We need to show Richard Boyle that we have his back.

The hidden wealth of Basic Religious Charities

1st Mar 2019

It's time to remove the reporting exception that allows churches to hide their wealth.

It's Christmas every day for our politicians

28th Jan 2019

Receiving gifts and favours is part and parcel of political life. This cheat-sheet provides a bird's-eye view of gifts and hospitality as it stands today.

Looking back and beyond: Crowd-funding and the kindness of strangers

25th Jan 2019

The truth can have few friends so building and running transparency projects is not for the faint-hearted. Here's the view from the inside.

Australia's migrant labour pains

3rd Dec 2018

Up to one in ten Australian jobs are now performed by temporary workers. This article places this trend into an historical context of exploitation of foreign workers and the wider historical context that has shaped the culture of worker rights.

Defending Your Organisation in the Age of Phishing with Training Courses and Technology

1st Nov 2018

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released their quarterly report on the Notification Data Breaches Scheme earlier this week. Read about what this means for your organisation and what you can do about it.

ABC data journo tracks the domains collecting data from his phone

1st Nov 2018

Liberal party harnesses i360 big data-in time for 2019 federal election

31st Oct 2018

The Koch brothers' i360 data service is now being used by the Liberal Party of Australia. This article looks at the history of the organisation and the implications for our privacy and democracy.

Don't Be the Next Business to Fall Victim to a Data Breach

24th Oct 2018

What is the difference between spam and phishing and why does it matter?

Hit counter installed on The Little Bird

24th Oct 2018

I decided to add a hit counter to the site.

Australia's student housing crisis

19th Oct 2018

Scott Morrison recently re-opened debate about population policy to ease congestion on Australia's fastest growing cities - Sydney and Melbourne. In this article I look at the implications for demand on the low-cost housing market of our large intake of international students which is six times the number of migrants.

Professional Help Needed for Law Firms Still Vulnerable to Phishing Attacks

10th Oct 2018

A significant number of law firms could be exposed to phishing attacks if they have not set up their anti-phishing service correctly. This article introduces the report by Iron Bastion into research on Australia's law firms and explains the vulnerability recently modelled and what to do about it.

Privacy, Media and Politics: What are our Rights?

7th Oct 2018

This article looks at the potential for collusion between the media and political parties, neither of which are covered by the Privacy Act.

PEXA Introduces Multi-Factor Authentication but More Guidance Needed

25th Sep 2018

This article explains the recent hack of the national property lodgement database and the risks to legal firms and their users of using SMS in two-factor authentication.

News Corp derides again! U.S.-owned 'The Australian' tells Sleeping Giant lies

23rd Sep 2018

Anti-racism campaigners Sleeping Oz Giants and their followers on Twitter are subjected to defamatory campaign in The Australian.

Blowing the whistle on whistleblowers

12th Sep 2018

Whistleblowers play an essential and often-overlooked role in the major stories that hold out institutions to account. This article looks at the consequences to whistleblowers and media for recent changes in National Security legislation and includes the 11 point UNESCO evaluation of legislation written by Julie Posetti.

Taking over the corporate regulators, one IPA appointment at a time

3rd Sep 2018

This article follows on from the article on the OAIC and traces the early years of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission as the Abbott government attempts to abolish the office. The ACNC is the Commonwealth charities regulator responsible for governing the multi-billion dollar charity sector.

Deconstructing the democracy sausage: The risks of e-voting

23rd Aug 2018

This article looks at the privacy and security issues like to arise with attempts to move election voting online or through the use of voting machines.

Abbott and Turnbull: Opening the door on your privacy

14th Aug 2018

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the independent Commonwealth authority charged with governing access to government information and organisations that fall under the Privacy Act. This article traces the early years of the OAIC as it weathers attempts to abolish the office by the Abbott Government.

The 'Data Sharing and Release Act' is coming for your data

7th Aug 2018

This article explains what motivated me to get behind the #CensusFail campaign against the 2016 census. The article explains the history of the governance of administrative data and the changes I saw taking place to allow our data held by government agencies to be linked together into data integration projects to be shared with research and commercial interests.

Cashless Debit Card: Income management and the surveillance state

13th Sep 2017

The Cashless Welfare Card forces each recipient to share their entire purchase history with the government to ensure 'compliance' with the government's new policy of controlling how welfare recipients spend their income. In this article I explain the human rights law that Australia is signatory to and the implications for the government in breaching that law.

Baird unleashes on her audience, revealing right wing bias

For the last two weeks I've been busily building a couple of datasets and developing a site to track ABC panellists, their affiliations and number of appearances.

What it's like being poor in Australia's crazy housing bubble

Most of the debate about housing is framed around the recent realisation that younger middle class people are now worried they may not be able to afford to buy their own houses, shock horror! Contrasted with this view is the story of what the poor (who have never had access to the property market) are faring.

The bumpy road to think tank transparency in Australia

During the week I received a response to my enquiry to the ATO requesting a list of Approved Research Institutes (some of which are think tanks like the IPA) however, as you will see from the respo

Getting to the bottom of the IPA's right to DGR status ABC

If people are going to challenge the activities of the IPA, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the legislation governing its activities. While I do not pretend to be an authority

Ways to support my work

This article explains the different ways people can support my work and their pros and cons for both donor and myself.

Correspondence: IPA on their membership of the Atlas Network

Correspondence with the IPA which they have ignored, seeking to know when they became a member of the Atlas Network.

Correspondence: Andrew Thackrah re IPA

Is the IPA the tail that wags the dog?

This article is also published on Medium and Independent Australia under

AusGov.info - my mid year review

AusGov.info went live in January in time for LinuxConfAu where, despite being so tired I could ba

The hidden inequalities of tax concessions- all the money we do not see

Every year the government releases totals of the revenue 'foregone' to the budget of tax concessions. Early in 2018 I made the first ever open interactive data project using this data. this article explains the data and what it means for the budget and inequality.

State-Fed Funding: Are the states & territories the meat in the sandwich?

The state and territory governments are at the coalface of all the important social problems faced by Australian society. The states are responsible for education, health, policing, emergency ser

Correspondence: ACNC re IPA

Correspondence: NSW Liberals - what IS that $7million from Westpac?

On April 20, I posted the donations made by major banks to the politi

What can open data tell us about Australia's major banks?

Collectively, over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 Australia's major banks earned over $600 billion in income but paid tax on only $1.45 billion (21% of their revenue).

Of that 21% reven

Corporate tax, inequality & bastard banks

Corporate tax is a hot topic in Australia with major corporations lobbying hard for a cut in the tax rate even while the business practices of Australia's banks are revealed to one and all as littl

Correspondence: Institute of Public Affairs

Correspondence with IPA which has been ignored, seeking clarification over claims the organisation would publish a list of donors in 2006 which appears not to have happened.

Show me the money: unravelling the web of Australian charities

The wealth of the various religious denominations active in Australia is a point of interest in the wake of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, yet the tr

Turning the tables on what we know about Australia's powerful people and institutions

For the last four months I have been coding solidly to build the largest financial transparency project that exists in this country. This project is based on work I have done in previous years whic