Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
PAYBACK TIME! | Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Forums | About
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Iran, Missiles and the SIS 4 December 2003 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Please support the sponsor
Sponsor's Message
Everyone has been asking me "what about the SIS?"

Well, as a result of the information published on the Net about my X-Jet project, I've had quite a few contacts from interested parties in foreign countries.

While many of these have been from the USA and Western Europe, some have been from countries which are, shall we say, a not aligned with our own political or religious beliefs.

One such contact was from an Iranian aerospace/missile company that made very serious inquiries about investing in the development of the X-Jet technology.

On receiving this email I thought to myself "Hmmm… Iran. It's not Iraq but it's probably not a country I'd be allowed to export military technology to is it?"

So I rang the Trade & Industry (T&I) department (now called Trade & Enterprise) to ask. The person I spoke to didn't have an immediate answer but said they'd check up for me.

When they returned my call I was told that there would be "no problem" in me accepting investment dollars from Iran and sharing the results of my R&D, even though it did have military application


The Aardvark PC-Based Digital
Entertainment Centre Project

Yes, at last, this feature has been updated again! (31 Mar 2003)

At that stage I could have simply proceeded to strike a deal and probably pocket a nice sum of money for myself, while enjoying the many benefits that would flow from having a well-funded partner in the venture.

However, I still felt uneasy about the fact that this was Iran we were talking about - surely, given the current War against Terror and the connections that had been made by some between Iran and terrorist groups, this would not be the right thing to do.

So, figuring that they might be interested in this communication and the adviceI had received from T&I, I contacted the SIS who promptly arrived on my doorstep without even asking for a map or directions. Funny that - everyone else who visited always needed directions the first time. These guys are good!

Readers Say

Got something to say about today's column, or want to see what others think?  Visit The Forums

Have Your Say

For obvious reasons, I'm not going to provide too much detail about my conversations with the SIS but suffice to say they were very interested in this company and their proposals. They also advised that, even though T&I may have thought it was okay to export such technology, it was most certainly not a sensible thing to do.

So there we go - I could have quite legitimately gone ahead and worked to struck a deal with the Iranians, and - since the X-Jet information could easily have been transferred over the Net without ringing any alarm bells, nobody would have been any the wiser. By not worring about the "bigger picture", I could have paid the money the IRD was hounding me for in full and everyone would have been happy.

So, did I do the right thing?

If my current situation is anything to go by, clearly I did not. The government obviously believes that such selfless attitudes count for nothing. Although every citizen is expected to do "the honourable thing", there are no points gained for actually doing so.

But the Iranian approach wasn't the only one I received. I have since had emails from Pakistan, Lebanon, China and other countries, all of which have sought to obtain details of the X-Jet project and some of which have involved seemingly genuine offers of not insignificant payment for such information.

Then, just a few weeks ago, a gentleman who was definitely not of Kiwi origin, arrived on my doorstep in the early evening. He asked many questions about my engines and, in particular, the cruise missile project.

The most interesting thing about his visit was that he'd obviously gone to a lot of trouble to track me down. I've only been here a matter of weeks, I'm not in the phone book, not on the electoral role, and only a handful of others knew my address. I can't see why any normal person would go to such lengths just to find me. Maybe he was just an enthusiast -- I don't know. Maybe was also from the SIS -- but I don't think so.

After at least an hour of discussion, and because I was feeling pretty crook at the time, I invited the guy to come back and see me at another time, arranging to meet him that weekend. He never showed - rather odd considering all the hard work he must have done to find me in the first place and the level of interest he had. Maybe it was because I made it clear that I wasn't interested in the mercenary-type offers I'd already received.

Until it became very apparent that the government wasn't going to lift a finger to help me in my battle with the IRD (and may have even been pleased that they could get me out of their hair), I had been quite happy to provide the SIS with whatever information they might request or that I felt might be useful to them. Indeed, we'd already organised another meeting to discuss new information that has come into my possession.

The SIS have said they'd still very much like to meet with me again. I'm afraid however, that my policy has now changed. As far as I'm concerned, I am no longer prepared to act as an unpaid worker in the service of a government that has screwed me so badly.

The sad fact is, that even if I wished to continue assisting the SIS in this way, the events of the past few months have effectively crippled my ability to do so. Okay, perhaps my contributions were tiny and, in the bigger picture, of little value - I don't know. What I do know however is that I believed I was doing the "right thing" by putting my country's interests ahead of my own. My mistake.

I guess the most significant thing I've learnt from all this is that the government does not run a goodwill ledger. Nothing you, I, or anyone else does to help the country, its people, its economy, or our commitments to intelligence partners, will earn any credit should you ever find yourself in need of the government's help.

That is indeed a very sad state of affairs, and can only be a disincentive to other folks like myself who normally place great store by "doing the right thing" and considering "the greater good" when making choices and decisions which may affect others.

As a footnote to the information I have presented so far, I'd like you to review (perhaps again) the following information, in the context of my case:

Tomorrow I'll tell you where I go from here, what happens now to the X-Jet IP, and I'll ask just a few key questions that really need answers.

The Final Instalment: Left with nothing but questions

If any Aardvark readers want to share an opinion on today's column or add something, you're invited to chip in and have your say in The Aardvark Forums or, if you prefer, you can contact me directly.

Yes, You Can Donate
Although the very kind folks at iHug continue to generously sponsor the publication of Aardvark, the bills still exceed the income by a fairly significant amount. It is with this in mind therefore that I'm once again soliciting donations from anyone who feels they're getting some value from this daily column and news index. I've gone the PayPal way of accepting donations because the time involved in processing a bunch of little credit-card billings sometimes exceeds the monetary value they represent. Just click on the button to donate whatever you can afford. NOTE: PayPal bills in US dollars so don't accidentally donate twice what you were intending :-)

Contacting Aardvark
The Best of Aardvark Daily I'm always happy to hear from readers, whether they're delivering brickbats, bouquets or news tip-offs. If you'd like to contact me directly, please this form. If you're happy for me to republish your comments then please be sure and select For Publication.

Other media organisations seeking more information or republication rights are also invited to contact me.


Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Linking Policy
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!


Latest
Security Alerts
New flaws reported in IE 6 (CNet - 1/12/2003)

Mail server flaw opens Exchange to spam
(CNet - 17/11/2003)

Trojan Horse Bedevils Explorer Users (NewsFactor - 6/10/2003)

CERT Issues Warning for OpenSSH Flaw (AtNY - 17/09/2003)

Latest
Virus Alerts
Porn virus targets spam stoppers (BBC - 03/12/2003)

New virus disguised as PayPal e-mail (CNet - 17/11/2003)

New Virus Dresses Up as E-Mail (Wired - 03/11/2003)

New worm poses DoS attack threat (CNet - 03/11/2003)

Bookmark This Page Now!

 

OTHER GREAT TECH SITES
GeekZone (NZL)
SlashDot (USA)

 

MORE NEWS
NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
ZDNet
The Age
Australian IT
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
IT News

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

 

My Jet Engines
Check Out Me And My Jet Engines

Today's Top News Stories


Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window TelstraClear, agent at odds over spam filters
Disagreement has arisen over whether the Brightmail spam-screening system was properly implemented at TelstraClear’s ISP subsidiaries when the service was launched earlier this year...
IDG

Open in New Window Study: Linux thrives in NZ and Australian organisations
Linux continues to gain popularity amongst organisations in Australia and New Zealand where the number using Linux servers has doubled since 1999, according to an IDC study of end users...
IDG

Other

Open in New Window Sexual spam could spark lawsuits
Firms that do not stop explicit unsolicited e-mails from reaching their staff could face legal claims...
BBC

Open in New Window 'Anonymous' P2P users busted in Japan
Japanese police have arrested two users of a supposedly anonymous file-sharing network...
The Register

Open in New Window Sell Your Old Junk on eBay?
The holidays are rolling around, and you've got closets to clean out — plenty of stuff you'd love to put up for sale, but no time or energy to get an auction going on eBay. What do you do?...
ABCNews

Open in New Window Porn virus targets spam stoppers
Anti-spam organisations are coming under attack from a virus written to bombard their websites with junk data...
BBC

Open in New Window How Much Is Privacy Worth?
The Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether the government is automatically on the hook for illegally releasing private data. The feds say individuals must prove harm before claiming compensation...
Wired

Australia

Open in New Window Satellite TV providers fight pirates
Foxtel and Austar are introducing new technology aimed at thwarting the growing piracy of its satellite signal - a practice that some believe is costing the pay television industry more than $40 million a year...
The Age

Open in New Window ACA sets up spam bill enforcement team
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is establishing a "dedicated unit" which will enforce the Spam Act 2003, passed through the Senate yesterday...
ZDNet

Open in New Window Microsoft nets pirate reseller
MICROSOFT has successfully sued a Sydney computer retailer for loading PCs it was selling with illegal copies of Windows...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Telstra targets Net spammers
Under changes to its Acceptable Use Policy, BigPond company will investigate cable and ADSL Internet customers sending more than 20 e-mails in a 10-minute period...
News.com.au

Other

Open in New Window Europe’s Mars probe sends pictures
European space officials on Wednesday showed off the first pictures of Mars sent back by the Mars Express spacecraft as it heads for a Christmas rendezvous with the Red Planet...
MSNBC

Open in New Window Intel accelerates its Celeron shift
With the introduction of an 800MHz chip, the company quietly--and ahead of schedule--begins the transition to a new generation of mobile Celeron processors...
CNet

Open in New Window Firewall Market Expected To Soar
Though firewalls are standard in the enterprise, the capabilities of firewall technology are expected to significantly evolve over the next few years. The latest research from Meta Group projects the firewall market to grow at a 25 percent annual growth rate until 2005, as companies continue to add the technology...
NewsFactor


Looking For More News or Information?

Google
Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2003, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page