Law + tech news round-up

Federal Parliament is in recess until 8 August so it’s a good time to catch up on some of the news from the past few weeks. In the courts, Foxtel was successful in extending its “#siteblock” orders to block new Pirate Bay mirrors and Rebel Wilson won her defamation claim against the publisher of Woman’s Day & Australian Women’s Weekly.

Australia’s Privacy Commissioner is seeking public comment on its draft resources on notifiable data breaches and the APS Privacy Governance Code. And from the US, I recommend Pro Publica’s investigation into Facebook’s secret censorship rules and the Atlantic’s post on how technology designed for tracking down terrorists is being used to surveil immigrants more than ever before. That’s just some of the recent law + tech news & views. Happy reading!


Should robot artists be given copyright protection? | The Conversation |

Australian ISPs to block new Pirate Bay mirrors.  | Computerworld |

The US government says it wasted millions of dollars dressing the Afghan Army in proprietary camouflage. | Gizmodo |

Job Opportunity: Copyright Officer at the Australian Digital Alliance & Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. | ADA |


Can censoring social media stop extremism? Rebecca Mackinnon | Aspen Ideas |

High Court grants special leave in Trkulja v Google on defamatory capacity and search engine liability (via David Rolph) | Austlii |

NSW chief justice Tom Bathurst warns of ‘worrying’ costs in defamation cases. | SMH |

Sydney surgeon awarded $480k over online defamation by patient. | SMH |

Rebel Wilson wins defamation case against Bauer Media. | SMH |


Australia pushes ahead with plans to pressure tech firms on encryption. | IT News |  83 organisations & individuals sign coalition letter demanding 5 Eyes respect encryption.

“Surveillance of immigrants has long paved the way for surveillance of everyone.” | The Atlantic |

How a company you’ve never heard of sends you letters about your medical condition. | Gizmodo |

Russian malware communicates by leaving comments in Britney Spears’s Instagram account. | Boing Boing |


  • Send your feedback on 4 draft notifiable data breach resources. They cover scope, identifying eligible breaches & more. | OAIC | Comments due by 14 July 2017
  • The Attorney-General’s Department is seeking views on Australia’s possible participation in the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules system. | AGD | Submissions close 27 July 2017
  • The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is seeking public comment on the APS Privacy Governance Code. | OAIC | Comments due by 11 August 2017 (Relevant to those that followed concerns about Centrelink’s robo-debt processes.)

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


Brandis’ telco security reforms given go-ahead. | IT News |

Australia moves a step closer to the East India Cyber Company. | ZDNet |

When a computer program keeps you in jail. | New York Times |

Facebook’s secret censorship rules protect white men from hate speech but not black children. | Pro Publica |

Latvian pair charged over online barbecue, gym equipment sale scam. | Brisbane Times |

Europe has fined Google $2.7 billion for manipulating search results. | Recode |

How an entire nation became Russia’s test lab for cyber war. | Wired |

Grants: Got an idea for research on consumer issues in the telecommunications market? | ACCAN |

Image: by Thomas Hawk  (CC 2.0)

3 July 2017


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