Category Archives: Editgate cyber war
Biased edits were made to the Occupy Melbourne Wikipedia page, it was discovered the IP addresses that were used for the edits came from Melbourne City Council (MCC) the same organization that harassed the OM protests during the occupation in City Square, Treasury gardens and Flagstaff gardens. The exact identity of the person who made the edits has never been discovered.
Well that’s probably a better headline for the story than The Age selected. It really sucks when some great investigative journalism is buried under a bland almost non event headline.
I think our headline is a better reflection of the facts and would certainly draw more attention, I mean you guys want to sell more news papers and subscriptions right?
Actually the next story is related and if you actually aded the headlines together, it actually becomes a better headline, but still doesn’t quite connect the dots for the would be reader.
Now the first story is exclusive, but then again editgate cyberwar was also.
So in case you have read too much of The Age this month or are other wise stuck behind a paywall/firewall here are the stories sans images.
WorkSafe pays law firms bonuses to minimise victims’ payouts
Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker
Victoria’s work safety authority is paying lawyers millions of dollars in confidential bonuses to minimise payouts in compensation cases brought by alleged victims of workplace accidents.
In at least one case, a firm representing the authority received more than $1 million in bonuses over 12 months on top of legal fees.
The bonuses are paid out by WorkSafe Victoria, which receives its funding from fees paid by Victorian businesses. The bonus scheme has provoked debate inside the legal community because of the potential it will encourage firms to cut corners in order to maximise their bonus payouts, or devise other strategies that may not be in the best interest of victims or the scheme.
But defenders of the bonus system say it encourages lawyers to deal with cases more efficiently and prevents rorting of the state’s workers’ compensation scheme.
Leaked files from law firm Lander & Rogers reveal that it has made about $5 million in WorkSafe bonuses over five years by minimising payouts to alleged Victorian victims of workplace accidents. The biggest yearly bonus payout to the firm was $1.2 million in 2010.
The leaked files also show that the legal firm encourages its lawyers to offer ”entertainment” to WorkSafe Victoria executives at the tennis, musicals and barristers’ functions. A well-placed source said that at least two senior WorkSafe staff had attended events paid for by the Melbourne firm.
The leaked Lander & Rogers files show one strategy proposed by the firm involves creating closer ties, or becoming ”relationship partners” with lawyers representing workplace accident victims via ”targeted plaintiff firm strategies”.
Lawyers who support the incentive scheme argue it encourages law firms to deal with cases in a fair and timely fashion.
They say that maintaining professional relationships with plaintiff firms also leads to fairer outcomes by reducing legal hostilities that can lead to unnecessary litigation.
In defending the bonus scheme, a WorkSafe spokesman said that the extra payouts were offered because the fees defence firms get paid for handling WorkSafe cases ”are significantly less than standard commercial rates”. ”Performance incentives are designed to preserve and protect the interests of the scheme and the amount paid in [bonuses in] 2012-13 represents 0.3 per cent of the total benefits paid to injured Victorian workers last year,” the spokesman said.
Internal Lander & Rogers figures from 2011 show its WorkSafe department made almost $4 million in profit, most of which is later distributed to the firm’s partners. The law firm’s WorkSafe lawyers also generated bigger profit margins – up to 35 per cent – than lawyers from any other section of Lander & Rogers.
The WorkSafe spokesman also said the bonuses were only awarded if law firms ”meet a range of performance criteria, which includes achieving a timely outcome for injured workers’ claims for compensation and reducing the use of the courts”. WorkSafe declined to answer questions on the total in bonuses it paid law firms or how many gifts WorkSafe staff received.
”WorkSafe adheres to the criteria set out in the gifts, benefits and hospitality policy framework 2012 issued by the Public Sector Standards Commissioner and expects all employees to comply with the policy,” the spokesman said.
In response to questions about its bonuses and gift-giving policy, a Lander & Rogers spokesman said: ”Like other firms who provide legal services to WorkSafe, Lander & Rogers is eligible to receive performance incentives where it meets certain criteria, which include helping to ensure timely resolution of injured workers’ claims.
”We maintain professional working relationships with all plaintiff firms and other stakeholders in the workers compensation scheme and always work in the best interest of WorkSafe.”
The law firm threatened Fairfax Media with legal action if it published details from its leaked files.
In other developments linked to the management of WorkSafe cases, it is understood that some defence firms have reduced the hiring of private detectives who conduct surveillance on allegedly injured workers. The practice of conducting surveillance on workers has recently drawn the ire of several Victorian judges because it is viewed as expensive and intrusive.
But several lawyers who spoke to Fairfax Media said that surveillance was a critical tool to prevent rorting.
Disabled Victorians to miss out on disability insurance scheme
Up to 900,000 disabled Victorians will not qualify for the national disability insurance scheme and the state government needs to increase funding to the sector to meet growing demand, the peak body for the sector says.
A National Disability Services submission to the state budget says that while DisabilityCare Australia is a tremendous opportunity to help 100,000 Victorians with a serious or permanent disability, hundreds of thousands more will require help. People with non-permanent or moderate to mild disability will not necessarily qualify for the scheme.
The organisation’s submission says there are about 1 million Victorians with a disability, including 338,200 with a profound or severe disability.
”This suggests that some 900,000 Victorians with a disability won’t qualify for the NDIS and will still require access to mainstream services such as transport, housing, education, health, justice and mental health,” it says.
NDS Victoria state manager James O’Brien said the state government had a role to play building a strong disability sector able to make the transition to the scheme.
”The NDIS won’t be the panacea for all, and we need a whole-of-government approach to ensure that mainstream services are accessible for all Victorians with a disability,” he said.
The Napthine government is also urged to lift annual investment to disability services by $900 million over the next five years. The group argues that with the government’s forecast surplus of $2.5 billion in 2016-17, the fiscal environment would allow the government to do so.
The submission outlines how demand continues to outweigh investment in the sector – it says while funding for the sector increased by 7.5 per cent last year, on the back of the trial of the national disability insurance scheme in Barwon, demand for services grew by 10 per cent. ”The real cost of providing disability services continues to escalate and government indexation fails to keep pace,” it says.
The submission says there should be more public-sector procurement from accredited disability organisations. It also wants the government to build more inclusive public spaces.
Building the capacity of the sector also requires more workers and NDS warns demand will rapidly outstrip supply unless action is taken now. The establishment of the scheme will require 25,000 workers by 2020; currently, there are just 12,000 in Victoria. ”This poses a huge challenge,” the submission says.
The government has welcomed the submission from NDS but will not comment on the budget ahead of its release in May.
So what does all of this mean?
Some great journalism, but journalists sometime can’t really say what they think for a variety of reasons, such is the sad state of our ‘deMOCKracy’. Fortunately we can say what ever we like as long as we feel its true.
The WorkSafe Premiums you are being forced to pay for has now become a slush fund for lawyers and government bureaucrats.
The levy you are being forced to pay for NDIS is just becoming a federal government slush fund.
Denise Cosgrove is embezzling (stealing) money paid by the Victorian tax payer, worst of all she’s using it to bribe lawyers into robbing WorkSafe claimants. She’s only been in the role of CEO for 12 months. This con artist really moves fast.
What a flash back for us, A government attempting to change public perception for its own purposes.
Real time information about ‘anonymous’ Wikipedia edits is now available.
Very interesting, nice find BoingBoing!
The modern day cover up is too easily exposed, because you cant ever really delete anything from Wikipedia.
Today’s Wikipedia catch is Tom Waterhouse.
In February Fairfax reported that Occupy Melbourne’s official Wikipedia page was edited twice by a person using a City of Melbourne computer to remove contentious words in the lead-up to the re-election of lord mayor Robert Doyle last year.
However we would like to be recognized as the original source of MCC Occupy Melbourne edits story rather than the oblique ( self ) reference to Fairfax media.
We released it to BoingBoing, where The Age (Fairfax Media) picked it up.
But the question remains what happened to Richard Fosters Melbourne City Council internal investigation into who made the edits?
It’s now almost 3 months later and still no answers.
Clearly none of these people have heard about the Streisand effect.
A rose by another name could smell as sweet?
A number with other digits could smell as rotten?
It’s been just over a month since the editgate cyber war story broke out. The story first ran here, then picked up by boingboing, then the Age, then others.
MCC promised an investigation http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/melbourne-council-computer-made-controversial-edits-to-wikipedia-page-20130220-2eqsa.html to find out who did the Occupy Melbourne Wikipedia page edits. Any competent organization could have clarified beyond doubt what happened with their own IP address.
They could have shown what that IP address was normally used for:
If it was a library computer they would have had video footage of the user.
If it was a staff member they would know exactly who it was.
With the amount of time passed MCC has effectively admitted its guilt.
This clearly shows that:
MCC makes big promises when under attack, and then later on just scurries away to hide in a corner and hopes everyone forgets (and if they don’t forget, just edit history).
Robert Doyle: Guilty as charged.
The page itself:
So what has happened to the Wikipedia page in that time, well after a bit of edit ‘to and fro’ a Wikipedia editor ‘Amadscientist’ rolled in and basically junked the whole article.
Wikipedia stand on the neutral point of view (POV) principle. Wikipedia always demands sources from POV. But raises a curious question who had a neutral point of view? The main stream media who are often cited as sources clearly didn’t have a neutral POV, they were (and still are) simply a PR machine for the governments, corporates and banks that hand them press releases to regurgitate. THE very same Governments, corporates and banks we were protesting against. The typical activist won’t give their name to be referenced. This leaves exactly zero people with knowledge unbiased enough to make a meaningful statement.
We complained about 2 significant edits on a Wikipedia page: Wikipedia deletes most of the page.
Wikipedia currently has a project to ‘clean up’ Occupy related pages. Clean up in this case more closely means clean out. Because of this, the only memory people will have of occupy is gutted articles written using very biased mainstream media cited sources.
Remember Nick Carson with his 11,000 Wikipedia edits? Well about 1,000 of those edits were to his own Wikipedia page. When you edit your own personal page is that like stroking yourself? In the original story he was called to account over his lack of maintenance of the page. It seems has hasn’t heeded the call and still ignores the page. What an awesome contribution to society Nick.
He also claims Occupy Melbourne is dead, still refuses to allow the people fighting for it to have any input, still controls almost all of the media assets, uses the media assets for his own (and his cronies) personal agendas. More about those other agendas in coming articles.
We mention these rogues from time to time here, to make sure their crimes against democracy are not forgotten.
My first thought is what a load of crap, investigate yourself? Melbourne City Council still hasn’t cleared up its involvement in ‘Editgate’ cyber war on Occupy Melbourne’s Wikipedia page. That MCC IP Address is still ‘unknown user’. Three weeks and they cant figure out who used their IP address, it’s pretty simple unless you are trying to hide something. This all just smacks of political spin and posturing in a federal election year. All kind of political hacks come out and look for media coverage to get their name into the public psyche and hopefully attached to something populist without actually doing anything useful. Just wannabes looking for a few column inches in the press, because kissing babies is not that fashionable or edgy. Oh yeah the usual suspects, Nick Carson, Carl Scarce and their cronies and the Greens (watermelon) party.
Investigation? There is a federal court case still in limbo, how about we wait for that before a trite self investigation by MCC, or do we wish to color their thinking, like the OM Wikipedia edits.
I have always thought the policies of Wikipedia were a bit strange. But having seen this ‘Editgate’ saga unfold, they seem unworkable.
They want people with no bias on a topic to write it, the reality is almost everyone has a bias (opinion) on almost anything they know enough about . So effectively no-one is qualified to write anything.
In editing they prefer people with no knowledge of the topic to edit it. So effectively only the clueless are qualified to edit the articles that no-one is properly qualified to write, because they are biased.
In any inevitable dispute about the article, the knowledgeable are attacked for bias, by the impartial who know nothing. So effectively the truth becomes a popularity contest between idiots.
Potential Wikipedia article on the number 4:
4 is a number.
2+2 = 4
No source that 4 exists, recommend deletion of all instances of 4.
2+2 =5 to replace 2+2 =4, reached by consensus amongst editors.
[removed, no source]
2+2 = 5
Worst of all these Wikipedia editors seem to be horrified by the idea that there could be real world consequences for the information they alter. It is almost as if they think they are living in a parallel universe and the information they edit applies to a world they don’t live in. While in most cases the information is so removed from their personal lives they alter data without consequence, but ultimately someone is affected. They are just horrified when it come back to them. “How dare someone make me accountable for what I do!”
A thing like Wikipedia could be a good thing but the mindset of the editors is critical. What kind person wants to read through page after page of text on a computer just to find a correction and score a brownie point? I’d bet not the typical person, I’d hazard a guess not an overly social person in many instances.
Wikipedia is starting to sound like an Orwellian book burning organization with strong Marxist overtones. It was Marxists that caused problems at Occupy Melbourne, just wanting to criticize with no knowledge, criticism about everything except their own Marxist ideology.
Ever notice how many Wikipedia article pages are getting smaller?
The modern day book burning is happening online one word at a time, changing the context of everything.
Wikipedia the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but some animals are more equal than others.
Through some investigations we have discovered the likely originator of the edits on the Wikipedia page of Occupy Melbourne, which mirrored the insidious edits done by Melbourne City Council IP address 188.8.131.52
Introducing Zhou Fang BSc, a self described ‘stubborn arsehole’.
He is one the the least qualified people at Biomathematical Statistics Scotland. While claiming to have PhD his employers seem to have no knowledge of it, did he just bullshit his Facebook friends? Perhaps this inadequacy is the reason he wants to beat his chest on the internet.
Zhou Fang has publicly stated he is available for interview at any time, so why not get in contact? See if he would like to explain why the he edited the Wikipedia Occupy Melbourne page with absolutely no evidence or knowledge of the topic.
work ph: +44 (0)131 650 4897
work fax: +44 (0)131 650 4901
work email: email@example.com
facebook: zhou fang 14
Mobile phone: coming soon!
If you are one of the many people in the world who happen to share the same straw man name of Zhou Fang , maybe you would like to let him know how bad he is making you look.
The real question is why was he even at the page in the first place?
Why were his edits to simply redo exactly what MCC did?
Something stinks here what are the connections?
Now a flurry of edit are occurring on the Wikipedia page with vast chunks of the page disappearing apparently at the hands of senior Wikipedia editors.
Wikipedia editors are breaking their own rules by editing without any facts.