Author Archive

William Rooks

William Rooks is a Master’s candidate at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University.
William’s research focuses on security issues in the Asia-Pacific. He works in the Australian defence industry.

Recent revelations about the alleged misuse of the personal data of millions of Facebook users have dominated international headlines. Reportedly, Cambridge Analytica exploited loopholes in Facebook’s privacy settings to create psychometric profiles for targeted political influence campaigns. Thus far, available evidence suggests that the firm was active all over the globe, but not directly involved in Australian politics. So, why has the Cambridge Analytica scandal got alarm bells ringing, on the opposite side of the world, in Canberra? To understand the significance these events for Australia, one must understand our geopolitical position in the Pacific. Australia has long thought of itself as the United States’ younger sibling. In 2003, US President George Bush memorably labelled Australia America’s “deputy sheriff” and …