Law + tech news round-up

So 2016 … it’s been some time between posts.  Since my last round-up,  we’ve had the first #siteblock judgment; the appointment of a new eSafety Commissioner, the Productivity Commission released its report on Intellectual Property Arrangements, and the government is consulting on whether telecommunications data should be accessible for civil litigation. Further afield, the UK passed what has been described as “most invasive surveillance law in democratic history” and the European Court of Justice held that EU member states may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services.

That’s just some of the (relatively) recent law + tech news.  Happy reading …


Productivity Commission re-ignites copyright wars by recommending fair use. | The Conversation |

The Department of Communications also released Ernst & Young’s Cost Benefit Analysis Report on the implementation of a ‘fair use’ exemption to Australian copyright law which is referenced in the Productivity Commission’s final report.

Federal Court orders piracy sites to be blocked. | Crikey |

Blocking access to file-sharing websites won’t stop illegal downloading. | The Conversation |

Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) agrees: we need to fix copyright safe harbours. | ADA |

Prenda Law “copyright trolls” Steele and Hansmeier arrested. | Ars Technica |

2016 – the Copyright Year. | The 1709 Blog |

Event: Get your tickets for ADA Copyright Forum 2017 – Fair Use, Flexibility and Exceptions for Creativity. | ADA |


Google found not to have defamed Melbourne man over online images. | SMH | Judgment:

Brisbane businessman sues Google for $750,000 over defamatory search results. | The Guardian |

Mullet defamation case gets a haircut as Sydney teen suffers setback. | SMH |

Gina Rinehart loses costs case against journalist. | SMH |

Yahoo 7, Krystal Johnson found guilty of contempt over aborted trial. | Herald Sun | 


EU Member States may not impose a general and indiscriminate obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services. | Two Birds |

Paul Bernal on how the UK passed the most invasive surveillance law in democratic history. | InfoLaw Centre |

Senators call pre-census privacy assessments “manifestly inadequate”. | IT News |

New UN resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age: crucial and timely. | Internet Policy Review |

Authorities probing selling of Australian telco customer data by Indian firm. | ZDNet |

Australia’s new facial verification system goes live. | IT News |

Federal Government (again) rejects recommendation to establish a tort of serious invasion of privacy. | Australian Government Response to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Report: Eyes in the Sky: Inquiry into drones and the regulation of air safety and privacy

OAIC tells government to fix its privacy before criminalising data re-identification. | IT News |

The government is considering opening up metadata to civil lawsuits. | IT News |

  • Consultation on access to telecommunications data. Submissions close 27 January 2017. | AGD |
  • Telecommunications security bill to be reviewed by PJCIS. Submissions close 3 February 2017. | APH |


New eSafety Commissioner appointed in expanded role to combat non-consensual sharing of intimate images. | Comms |

Facebook doesn’t tell users everything it really knows about them. | ProPublica |

Terror scanning database for social media raises more questions than answers. | Motherboard |


29 December 2016

Image: by the excellent @nicsuzor   (CC BY 2.0)


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