Monthly Archives: December 2009

Genetic information disclosed

A recent amendment to Australia’s Privacy Act will allow health practitioners to now disclose genetic information to their patient’s genetic relatives.

Genetic conditions aren’t necessarily an imminent threat so doctor’s have been unable to inform genetic relatives of their patient’s condition.

Australian Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis said that the amendments will give families choices if their relative has a serious genetic condition.

“They could take some action if they wanted to, to try and reduce any harm if they also have that genetic condition themselves.”

Information will only be able to be disclosed by doctors under the Privacy Act in accordance with the guidelines.

Doctors aren’t permitted to disclose genetic information to non-genetic relatives including husbands and wives or where there is no threat to the genetic relative.

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Glowing thieves caught out

Queensland is the second state to introduce a new crime control product called DNA Guardian.

DNA Guardian is a spray that is activated by intruder alarms or shop staff and leaves a type of “DNA” mist on the offender.

The spray is detectable under UV light for up to six weeks.

DNA Guardian technical director and inventor, Andrew Taft said after the success and support of it’s implementation in South Australia, businesses were keen to roll it out here.

“Queensland was one of the first states that had a lot of inquiries because these Jewellers associations have been so supportive,” said Mr Taft.

“The president of the Jewellers Association has got one in his store in Adelaide and of course they talk to their colleagues interstate.

“In Queensland we get a lot of people, especially on the Gold Coast saying ‘Please bring the product up here first’. Hence the reason why Queensland was has been the second state we’ve started to roll this out in.”

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ISP filter to slow National Broadband Network

The proposed national Internet Service Provider (ISP) filter will combine a mandatory framework and a much wider scope of content – the first of its kind in the democratic world Google Australia Head of Policy, Iarla Flynn reports.

The scale of the filter will reduce the speed of broadband Internet.

According to ISP engineer Mark Newton, the effects of the filter were only tested on the standard residential connection of 8 megabits per second and at this rate the internet speed was unaffected.

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Free Cervical Cancer Vaccination Ends Friday

The free Cervical Cancer vaccination provided to women under the age of twenty seven will end on Friday.

Women that have undergone their first round of treatment are advised to book their second and third injections.

The cost of the three injections after Friday will total $450.

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QCCL Objects to Web Filter

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has come back at the government after the trial of the proposed Internet filter proved it was ineffective.

The filter is designed to keep harmful material out of sight of the public, however Council President Michael Cope says a competent computer user can overcome the barriers the filter provides, rendering the filter pointless.

Mr Cope says the protection of children from harmful material needs to remain in the hands of parents.

“We accept entirely that children shouldn’t be exposed to this material but as we say, we see that that is primarily the responsibility of parents,”

The QCCL president also suggested that the use of ‘blacklists’ is an inappropriate method of control.

“There’s potential for this list to be wrong or to be abused or to be increased in the future, which is the real issue,” he said.

He also suggests the filter will isolate web pages that are harmless, such as information on euthanasia and animal care.

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Christmas Island in Need of Attention

Amnesty International has condemned the government’s immigration practices, alleging that illegal asylum seekers on Christmas Island are receiving unfair treatment.

Amnesty says detention centres on Christmas Island are at capacity and some immigrants are now being housed in tents.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, insists all detainees are provided with health care

parallel to the care that permanent residents receive.

He also maintains children on Christmas Island are housed in low-security construction camps, not detention centres, and are given adequate recreational facilities, in line with the Rudd Government’s policies.

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Mike Gooda Appointed ATSI Social Justice Commissioner

Mike Gooda has been named as the new ATSI Social Justice Commissioner.

Mr Gooda will take up the position in February, following his work as chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Attorney General, Robert McLelland says Mr Gooda will make a valuable contribution to the work of the commission in his new role, protecting and promoting human rights.

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