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QANTAS Wants To Monitor Frequent Flyers' Home Internet 163

An anonymous reader writes "Australian Airline QANTAS wants to monitor recording frequent flyers' home internet searching and surfing. QANTAS will pass the data to US marketing partner FreeCause who are not subject to Australian privacy laws. Meanwhile the Australian Attorney-General's Department has been secretly drafting new data retention laws to log Australians' web surfing. The government claims it needs these to fight crime, yet is ignoring corruption by its own public service."
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QANTAS Wants To Monitor Frequent Flyers' Home Internet

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  • Drooling Insanity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:05PM (#44075351)
    The madness must stop.
    • It won't (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:31PM (#44075527)

      The madness must stop.

      Over the next several decades - or maybe as soon as a several years, supposed "free" countries will chip away at their citizen's rights little by little always using "safety" and "security" as the excuse. And there will be plenty of dipshits who buy into it and will keep voting those politicians into office. Until one day, we will all be governed by a pseudo representative government.

      Armed revolt? Ahahahahahaha! See, this time, that has been dealt with. While all the NRA members and others go and quit their jobs to fight the government with their AR-15s with the M4 conversion kits that they paid through the noses for, the banks will foreclose on their homes, their cash will be gone, and what do you think they are going to do for supplies - like ammo?

      Reload? And where the fuck are they going to get the lead? Or the kits to clean their guns? Or the powder?

      And, and bunch of yahoos who spend a day or so at the shooting range pinking away at targets will be no match for a trained army - or ATF agents who are putting down a home grown terrorist cell (That's what they'll be called in the news and you bet your asses that the NSA has got the NRAs member list!)

      What the current President of the NRA doesn't realize is that in the beginning of the US' Revolutionary War, the English were mopping up the colonists because they were a trained army. If it weren't for the French, we'd be like Canada or Australia.

      • by skegg ( 666571 )

        Such a shame you don't know more history. All tyrannical regimes can be brought down.

        Might take 50 years. Might take 200.

        Don't ever lose hope.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I turn 50 this year. I can give it 20 years and then I'm going inside for some lemonade, and the rest of you protesters can just get off of my lawn.

          • Re: It won't (Score:4, Interesting)

            by fnj ( 64210 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @01:56AM (#44076889)

            Good for you, sonny. I haven't seen 50 in almost two decades. I'm never going to be freer than I am now; hell, I'm never going to be AS free as I am now, and that's not saying much; but mercifully I won't have to live with this regimented oppressive shit too much longer. Bunch of pussies.

            At least I have my yesterday. I got to live in the most glorious period of the most glorious place on the earth.

      • Until one day, we will all be governed by a pseudo representative government.

        As near as I can tell we already are - the latest Gallup poll says that only 10% of Americans have confidence in Congress and 80% think that Congress is doing serious damage to our country. Our government is anything but representative of the will of the people.

        • Is this the same populace of which about 50% don't care if their government spying on them?

          But yeah, why do the civilized thing and vote for good representation when you can just wait around until it comes to violence?

        • And yet the incumbents enjoy something like an 80-90% reelection rate. That's the part that I don't understand. If Congress is doing such a lousy job, how do any of them last beyond one term?

          If your representation isn't doing a good job, don't reelect them, people! Do a little bit of research and don't be afraid to vote for an independent or third party candidate. If enough voters do this it won't be a "wasted" vote and maybe, just maybe, we would start towards a Congress that truly works for We the Peopl

          • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

            And yet the incumbents enjoy something like an 80-90% reelection rate. That's the part that I don't understand. If Congress is doing such a lousy job, how do any of them last beyond one term?

            While the actual election is relatively free of corruption, the selection process for candidates is anything but democratic. There are few primaries, and caucuses are easily (and regularly) stacked in a way to exclude participation; most citizens are locked out of the caucus process entirely.

            Both caucuses and primaries

      • by Seumas ( 6865 )

        PRO TIP: Just because you can voice a dissenting opinion and you have 500 channels of television to choose form and more fast food joints than you can imagine doesn't make a country free. Just because you're not being forced to work in labor camps and you don't have to fear for your life if you say you don't like the president doesn't make your country "free".

        Unfortunately, short of those things happening, we keep acting like we're the freest place on earth and we have nothing to worry about.

      • by L. J. Beauregard ( 111334 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @12:31AM (#44076629)

        When tyranny comes to America, the NRA members will not be fighting the government. They will be at the rallies, waving flags and chanting slogans between the Sousa marches.

      • Re:It won't (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @12:43AM (#44076671)

        we'd be like Canada or Australia.

        You missed the bit where this imported prick running QANTAS is sending the data to the US to get around the stricter privacy laws in Australia.

      • by afgam28 ( 48611 )

        Offtopic much? The article is about an opt-in browser toolbar, not unlike the Google or MSN Toolbar. By using it you can earn frequent flyer points. But you don't have to use it, even if you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer member.

        FYI, when people are talking about a browser toolbar, and you launch into a paranoid rant about "rights", "armed revolt", terrorists, the NRA and NSA, it makes you sound like a nutjob. This makes it harder to get people to listen to you later if you want to talk about real issues like

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Every hour of every day is a good time to stand against tyranny and oppression. Granted it's not directly related to the particular story under discussion.

      • If it weren't for the French, we'd be like Canada or Australia.

        Yep, those frogs have a lot to answer for...

        • by memnock ( 466995 )

          Like helping the British colonies in the New World circa 1776 helping win independence from the U.K.

      • Re:It won't (Score:4, Insightful)

        by YukariHirai ( 2674609 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @05:40AM (#44077411)

        If it weren't for the French, we'd be like Canada or Australia.

        It seems to me like you'd be better off if you were more like Canada or Australia. Australia certainly has better protections for its citizens in many areas than the US does, and by all accounts the same is true for Canada.

        And sure, this is an Australian company doing a shitty thing, but the truth is that companies everywhere try anything and everything they think they can get away with. And remember, they're sending the data to the US to be processed because the fuckery they want to do is legal in the US but not Australia.

      • . If it weren't for the French, we'd be like Canada or Australia.

        You mean, we will have free universal single payer healthcare system? Hooray!

    • The madness must stop.

      Have you considered not installing the toolbar?

      That way the madness doesn't start. Or if you have already installed it, you could, just maybe, uninstall it?

      Qantas wants frequent flyers to install a toolbar on their web browser that records their internet searches and web browsing activity for "marketing targeted and relevant products, services and offers".

      In return for surrendering personal search data, which Qantas will tie to its customers' frequent flyer membership, it plans to award users up to 150 Qantas frequent flyer points a month. []

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Aussies do not have free speech ""Some of us may presume that because we live in a liberal democracy like Australia, certain personal freedoms are a given "like free speech" Additionally, we presume that many Australians would be familiar with the US Constitution and specifically the First Amendment which states; "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press", and we’re going to also guess (again for efficacy) that some people may believe that we here in Australia also e
      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        Not that many places do have guaranteed freedom of speech, and those like the US who OSTENSIBLY do (ha!) find that it is getting to be more and more of a joke. What they do is invent the crime of "hate", corrupt the courts to accept that absurdity of a concept as a valid legal principle, and characterize speech they don't like as "hate speech". Nobody is in "favor" of hate, right?

      • Talk to Aussies and you find they hate their government and think politicians are lying cheating scumbags with their snouts in the trough, but if you criticize them you can be charged by sedition laws by John Howard:

        I'm not sure why John Howard would want to though, given that neither he nor the party he led (past tense) are in government currently.

    • by memnock ( 466995 )

      The summary confounds 2 stories. The QANTAS story, at face value anyway, has nothing to do with the Australian govt. wanting to draft surveillance legislation.

      While they both deal with Internet surveillance, QANTAS is a commercial entity that people can choose to ignore. It is up front about what it is doing.

      The govt. on the other hand, while ostensibly public, obscures its activities by using hundreds of pages of documents to legislate laws that will hide behind "security" to keep its citizens in the dark.

  • Worst Summary Ever (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:11PM (#44075393)

    Thanks Timothy for posting the most horribly written, inaccurate and misleading summary ever. You should be ashamed for this clickbait trolling. Anybody who reads the fucking article will see your summary has little connection to the truth.

    No wonder slashdot is such a toilet bowl now.

    • +1
      Timothy sucks

    • What was inaccurate about it? It sounds to me like Qantas desires to track everything the users of this toolbar does and send it to a third party. Just like every other toolbar.

      In 1999 a company cold-called me to ask me to sign up for some program to watch all internet use on my newfangled cable internet in return for cash. The telemarketer seemed genuinely confused when I laughed in her face, she said she really could not understand why someone would would have a problem having everything they do online tr

    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      No wonder slashdot is such a toilet bowl now.

      Every community needs a toilet bowl. It keeps things sanitary.

      What's weird about /. these days is that the toilet seems to be just inside of the front door, inviting any and all to shit in it. And it doesn't flush; indeed, it hasn't worked for quite some time.

      So welcome to Slashdot. Watch your step.

    • Mind if I copy this for next time?
  • ... if the NSA offered a custom search/tool bar, some people would install it. I mean, besides the one with the Google brand name on it.

  • Just another... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:16PM (#44075427)
    Just another way the West has fallen into tyranny. But yet, there is comparatively little outrage. The violations of liberty that King George III imposed on the American colonists were minor compared to the crimes that modern presidents have committed. But yet although there will be a posting on websites like /. and will be discussed by liberty-minded bloggers there will be no revolution, there will be no outrage. Isn't it odd how times have changed, when a minor (by today's standard) tax increase sparked a revolution but today's routine violation of individual sovereignty, violation of basic civil liberties and violation of basic economic liberties have created.... a couple of blog posts.
    • Excellent point, King George was infamous for forced toolbar installations. When the users didn't get the tea they were promised in exchange for the installing it, well, the rest is history.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh goodie.. another toolbar - I have so much spare screen real estate left to use up, what else could it possibly be used for

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:29PM (#44075523)
    1) I'm normally pretty shy, but, umm, if I had a VM, it would be okay with me to install the Airline Privacy-Invading Spyware Toolbar in a VM
    2) I would then do nothing on the VM other than search for My Little Pony two or three times a day, probably in the early evening hours.
    3) So that it looks like a trend and not just a rarity in the long tail, encourage other members of the Herd to do likewise
    4) Smile, smile, smile when some overworked jackapple in the airline's marketing department, confused by this spike in the data, paints a rainbow on a Dash-8 because the data mining algorithm says that'll make it 20% cooler.
  • Rip them off. (Score:4, Informative)

    by godel_56 ( 1287256 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:34PM (#44075545)
    I like the "sign up, use it once, than uninstall" to get your "free" 200 points option. That is, if you're already on their bonus point system. :-)
  • but that does not stop corporation from trying to be the first.
  • In the true manner of /. of course I did not RTFA but I can add that if any company needs my home surfing habits then why not, shirley they are entitled to it. I also think that starbucks should have full access to my webcam, McDonalds need to see the inside of my shed and Microsoft (notice I did not use a $ there) really need to know how much toilet tissue I get through every week. Next thing you will be telling me is that the tin foil manufacturers are keeping tabs on just how much I have wrapped around m
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well if you have a lot of data on politicians, you know their dirty secrets, you also know their opponents dirty secrets. There's a deal to be made there, and the law doesn't stop NSA/CIA from using that leverage for political ends [not that a law would stop General Alexander].

    We've lost out democracies. We went to sleep woke up the next day and democracy has gone.

    Look at this:

    "NSA boss wants companies to be immunized from liability if they

    • I wonder then, if a bill requiring all public employee's surfing habits while at work be published regularly, that the whole idea of monitoring web surfing habits will quietly be dropped?

  • *preface: I know you can't send data using entanglement. That isn't what this does. Coments along that bent aren't welcome.

    Recently, experiments have shown that distance isn't a factor for entangled photons, nor is linear time. [] This means that a small device for entangling a few photons with a similar device at a remote host, can permit immdiate knowledge of man in the middle attempts, if the entangled samples are used as a cryptographic feature.

    Basically, it's just another IC that you add to the NIC. When

    • this is quite off-topic, really, but anyway: standard crypto is more than enough for (almost?) all applications, at least for now. what we really need is more people using what we have already. moving right along...

      the problem with your scheme is the "propogated locally" part; note e.g. []. but it doesn't need to be that hard.

      if there is quantum comms but no quantum computer (or other magical crypto-breaking device), you can of course just use classical public-ke

      • I apologize for the highly tangental nature of the OP. It just bothers me greatly that there is such an omnipresent data collection and sieving aparatus actively at work, and that the support for companies to jump into that pool comes directly from governments lusting for such big data.

        (Quantas represents a feast of big data for the AU govt, and just a court order away. It's outsourced costs in action! As such, they have exactly ZERO real motivation to tell quantas to go hump a stump, like they should be do

        • note that although q1 and q4 are entangled outside of time, this is done by centrally preparing two pairs: (q1,q2) and (q3,q4), and measuring (q2,q3). it's not magic: the qubits do need to be transmitted in the first place, just like regular data (except of course the channel is a lot harder to construct, and error correction is more complex).

          growing a one-time pad in the way you describe also requires a "one-way quantum function" which is not an obvious thing (sorry, haven't looked at qc in a while, but it

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          Qantas represents a feast of big data for the AU govt, and just a court order away

          The stuff is being sent to the USA so it's just an intelligence sharing request to the NSA away.

  • Why did this make me think of Israeli after hearing this?

  • Set up a sight with "death to <insert person in power here>" and write a worm that makes that everyone's home page. Once they realize everyone in Canada wants them dead they'll move. On second thought, they might move to the US. We don't need any more of those guys.

  • This is NOT NEW. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @01:53AM (#44076885) Journal

    Qantas has had a form of spyware for years. Over 7 years ago I saw it's first version. It was a horrible crash prone mess. It was a flight search bar with other value add addons. And yes it reported to the mother ship.

    A lot of airlines did the same. So did package delivery companies.

    I work rather closely with large companies that are deploying or have deployed improved analytics tools to track your every click. Big brother exists. An issue is it's not just one big brother.

    Face book for example. Almost every single app is mining your account for information. Very use any of the facebook apps if you must use facebook. Only ever give the minimal amount of information. Remember you are the product.

    If you are dumb enough to ever install a "toolbar" then you get what you asked for. There is no such thing as a free value addon. They will all cost you dearly.

  • by dalias ( 1978986 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @02:01AM (#44076905)
    Browsers need to remove support for toolbars and other features that cater to malware extensions, like they should have done 10 years ago.
  • Then fill up their searches with reservations.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.