Troubles I Caused In 2017: The Short List.

With 2017 rapidly coming to an end, I’ve decided to scribble down a few bits and pieces about what I got up to this year. It’s not a conclusive list, just whatever I could remember off the top of my head.

It’s easy to forget that in a year where I was supposed to be “taking it easy” I actually did a whole lot of work.

Anyway, it seems I got up to far more than I initially thought. Here’s the list, in no particular order:

  1. Interviewed food couriers and wrote about the digital gig economy.
  2. Campaigned for months upon end against robodebt.
  3. Interviewed a group of international human rights activists in South East Asia.
  4. Managed to graduate with a certificate from the @Walkley’s @CoderAcademyAu Coding For Journalists scholarship.
  5. Gave a talk on data activism as part of QUT Law’s Pathways to Ethical Data project #QUTGoodData at Thoughtworks.
  6. Gave a talk at Moreland Library, Brunswick about cross-organisational collaborative organising and social media campaigning.
  7. Spoke about the issue of digital rights campaigning on a panel at Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab at QUT.
  8. Guest lectured a class on corporate social media to comms students at Swinburne University.
  9. Interviewed unionists on a picket line at a pink batts factory — they won!
  10. Networked a large group of Australians into working on cross-organisational collaboration on digital rights.
  11. Wrote about the Coalition’s plans to test waste water for traces of drugs.
  12. Consulted with NGOs who traditionally don’t have a background in digital rights issues to bring them onboard the anti-robodebt campaign.
  13. Successfully convinced a group of people to run for the board of @efa_oz.
  14. Did a little short-term corporate freelance comms work and learnt how multi-million dollar companies market AI.
  15. Worked as a political comms officer.
  16. Wrote about suburban food and housing insecurity.
  17. Campaigned on the #EnrolToVote voter mobilisation campaign for the Same Sex Marriage survey.
  18. Wrote about why the Australian government’s e-health plans (MyHealthRecord) are a privacy nightmare.
  19. Campaigned against the Privacy Amendment (Re-identification Offence), legislation that makes it illegal to point out publicly released government datasets aren’t properly de-identified.
  20. Wrote about women’s footy.
  21. Helped to shoot down South Australia’s ‘Lab Rat’ legislation, which would have allowed the S.A. government to grant companies waivers to act outside the law.
  22. Wrote a bunch of articles for Crikey News.
  23. Wrote for the South China Morning Post on the subject of foreign interference in Australia and successfully upset the status quo with a bunch of U.S. think-tankists. Got flooded by a bunch of Chinese bots tweeting at me in Mandarin.
  24. Freelanced for linux.conf.au promoting #LCA2018, their annual conference.
  25. Ran some trolls off the internet.
  26. Chatted with a few excellent government employees whose job title prefixes currently include “Cyber”, “E-” and “Privacy”, about issues including data entropy, diversity in tech, and the role of law enforcement in addressing online abuse.

What’s next?

  • Seek out and collaborate with lawyers, artists, musicians, technologists, government reps and social workers who care about algorithmic justice, personal privacy, government transparency and human rights online and off.
  • Watch more Japanese monster movies.
  • Spend more time out in nature each day, whether at the Botanical garden, the local park or far out in remote country.
  • Be far more ruthless about kicking assholes out of my life.
  • Take more credit for the work I do.