Law + tech news round-up

It’s been quite a few weeks between posts …  nevertheless, the copyright bill mentioned in my April post has not yet passed Parliament, but more “piracy” site blocking applications have progressed in the Federal Court. Fairfax’s Michael Bachelard wrote about how our defamation laws stop important Australian stories from being told and the Senate kicked off an Inquiry on Public Interest Journalism.

The AFP admitted that it had accessed telecommunications data without the required journalist information warrant and the Ombudsman released its report on agency access to stored communications and telecommunications data. I also read also some engaging and important stories about technology including on algorithms and bias, and the enduring myth of the hacker boy-band.  That’s just some of the (relatively) recent law + tech news & views.   Happy reading!


Foxtel wants Australia’s biggest ISPs to block 17 sites. | Computerworld |

Australian ISPs to block KickassTorrents. Third successful”siteblock” application. | Computerworld |

Australia’s copyright reform could bring millions of books to the blind. | The Conversation | (Update: This Bill hasn’t yet passed Parliament)

Copyright that makes sense: the campaign to bring fair use to Australia. | Wikimedia |

Copyright troll attorney John Steele disbarred by Illinois Supreme Court. | TorrentFreak |

Australian copyright scandal points to the need for greater oversight of copyright collectives. | Michael Geist |

Further consultation on copyright safe harbour legislation. | Dept of Comms |

Court in Singapore throws out movie piracy case. ISPs not required to hand over subscribers details. | SLW |


Man fined by Swiss court for ‘liking’ defamatory comments on Facebook. | The Guardian |

Free speech the loser in Australia’s defamation bonanza. | SMH |

Michael Bachelard on “the defamation racket: Why some important Australian stories never get told”. | Medium |

US blog defies Amber Harrison court order – refuses to take down documents. | AFR |

2017 World Press Freedom Index – tipping point. | RSF |

Spain’s freedom of speech repression is no joke – Federico López-Terra. | Inforrm |


Opt-out e-health records won’t be deleted. Just made unavailable. | IT News |

“Now that our privacy is worth something, every side of it is being monetized.” | New York Times |

Govt likely to open face verification system to private sector: despite criticism over privacy. | IT News |

Winning the debate on encryption — a 101 guide for politicians: Privacy International | The Medium |

Privacy Commissioner’s guidance on “what is personal information?” in Australia’s Privacy Act. | OAIC |

New draft resources on the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme. Comments welcome until 14 July. | OAIC |

White-hat hackers in Germany argue it’s disturbingly simple to create a ‘dummy eye’ to dupe the Galaxy S8’s biometric security. | ZDNet |

Ombudsman report reveals sloppy record keeping by Customs relating to its use of powers to access telco data & content. | Computerworld |

“Sufficient evidence had not been received to sustain a recommendation that regulations be made to allow civil litigants to access the data”. | AGD |

AFP officer accessed journalist’s call records in metadata breach. | ABC |

In the US, federal agents are using ‘stingrays’ to track & capture undocumented immigrants. | Gizmodo |

Watch: Panel on Digital Privacy today, presented by Liberty Victoria and the Wheeler Centre


Social media platforms need to crack down on terror, Malcolm Turnbull says. | The Age | and Theresa May says the internet must be regulated to prevent terrorism. | CNN |

Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence. | The Guardian |

After the ‘Facebook Files’, the social media giant must be more transparent: Nic Suzor. | The Conversation |

‘A white mask worked better’: why algorithms are not colour blind. | The Guardian |

Using an algorithm to select welfare recipients for drug testing has implications for us all: Ellen Broad. | Medium |

Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report: All the slides (355 of them), plus analysis. | Recode |

The race to build the world’s first sex robot. | The Guardian |

“Ours is a culture fascinated with erasing women from the hacking narrative altogether”  | Engadget |

Tasmanian Tinder revenge porn conman Leigh Abbot jailed for extortion. | ABC |

Hey cyber techbros, smugly yelling ‘patch and back-up’ won’t fix ransomware. | ZDNet |

Inquiry: Future of Public Interest Journalism. Submissions close 15 June. | APH |  and  The newspaper: journalism’s fairweather friend: Jonathan Green. | Overland |

Consultation on civil penalty regime for non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Submissions close 30 June. | Dept of Comms |

Image: cyBER by Matt Copenhaver (CC 2.0)

6 June 2017

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