A gamer in Melbourne has had his assets frozen in connection with a cheat for Grand Theft Auto Online, raising questions about the reach of copyright law and the policing of online civility.
This is a cracking read & raises so many great discussion points around the reach of copyright, cheating in online games, profiting from selling cheat-enabling software and the stifling of the mod-ing community out of fear of legal action.
Spend the five minutes to read through, it’s an incredibly well written piece and well worth it.
Released on behalf of the US, UK, Canada & NZ the Australian government has decided it will carry the torch for thinly veiled threats to tech companies whom they want to:
…create customized solutions, tailored to their individual system architectures that are capable of meeting lawful access requirements.
Now they’ve also begun warning that there could be repercussions for failing to provide the access their after essentially saying they’ll just make up laws to enforce it:
…we may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions,”
It’s interesting that Australia’s essentially falling on the sword here on behalf of everyone else, or more precisely the US & UK. Perhaps pumping out press-releases “down under” come under less global scrutiny, perhaps its a pat on the back for standing up and telling the world we have no respect for the laws of mathematics. Either way they refuse to call it a back door, ignore the gross misuse and abuse by government employees of existing systems, let alone this new one and play down the huge privacy implications every citizen is affected by.
TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have announced that they will proceed with their merger to form a telecommunications giant that they say will have an enterprise value of approximately AU$15 billion.
Under the legislation, tech companies would have to: remove protections on devices; give law enforcement agencies the design specs of their devices; install software on a device when asked; provide access to devices; and help agencies build their own systems.
The draft legislation was introduced by cyber security minister Angus Taylor and is open for submissions until September 10th. The sitting government is aiming to have it introduced by years end but will struggle to do so given its sensitive nature in affectively removing an individuals right to privacy and thus likely being submitted to a committee for review.
Under the legislation companies who do the right thing will be compensated for their time, however for those that don’t, expect a fine of up to a lazy A$10m.
For individuals, failing to unlock your device or decrypt any information requested by the powers that be, you’ll face a A$500k fine or a lazy 5 years in jail for “simple offences” or 10 years for crimes deemed “serious”.
Cricket Australia has sacked a female employee after she campaigned for abortion reform on social media, telling the woman that concerns she had insulted the Tasmanian government were central to her dismissal.
Due to the closure of the last publicly run abortion clinic in Tasmania Angela Williamson, whom was working as the manager of public policy & government relations for Cricket Australia, was forced to travel to Melbourne for a termination.
The mother of three had criticised the Tasmanian government in a series of tweets beginning in January of 2018 and was told they’d “damaged [her] relationship with the government”.
Cricket Australia has confirmed that the matter is now in the hands of each party’s legal teams and has made a statement saying that whilst they “respect an individual’s right to their opinion” they expect “employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organisation’s policies.”
Personally, my takeaway from the statement is that Cricket Australia doesn’t believe women should have publicly available local options for pregnancy terminations in the state of Tasmania.
Australia, as an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get fast, free delivery, great entertainment, exclusive early access to deals and more.
Amazon’s Prime service launched in Australia a couple of months ago. For A$59/year you get access to their video service, faster shipping & access to thousands of Kindle books, comics and more.
For a change, Prime is actually cheaper in Aus than in the US, but now that we’re geoblocked to Amazon Australia’s paltry reduced offerings there’s justification for it being less.
Regardless, Prime Day is a 36 hour long shopping spree exclusive to Prime members beginning July 16th. In previous years pricing for Amazon hardware has been heavily reduced along with a myriad of specials across many third party products too.
While no details have been made public around exactly what deals you can expect, you can hedge your bets and sign up for a 30 day free trial of Prime to cover you through Prime Day this year.
…it is believed that the breach also captured name, address, email and date of birth information provided by electors when applying for an express vote at the recent State and Legislative Council elections.
In case you haven’t heard online form creator “Typeform” had an extreme data breach recently where a “partial backup” of their data fell into the wrong hands.
The file contained details from a range of Typeform clients that are now being informed on a daily basis.
Tasmania’s electoral commission (TEC) appears to be another of those clients using five forms on their website collecting a variety of data including sensitive private information when applying for an express vote.
The TEC believe this breach affects approximately 4000 voters and is reviewing it’s data collection methods and use of third party services.
The federal opposition wants to create its own NBN service guarantee that would see NBN Co fined every time contractors missed appointments or made installation errors.
Labor’s argument is that right now retail providers of internet and communication services are held accountable by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) whence the NBN reports to no one.
This is true but it’s also a little skewed. Retail providers aren’t fined for missing appointments at the moment. They never have been and more often than not customers grit their teeth and bare it with many not even know the TIO exists.
Referring issues to the TIO is a process that anyone can do and I encourage those hitting road blocks with a telco to do so however it doesn’t result in instant fining either.
While I’m the first in line to pile shit on the Liberal MTM NBN, Labor’s announcement here is a bit of smoke designed to capture disgruntled voters and likely to implemented in a way that isn’t as black and white – if at all.
NBN Co is adamant its CEO did not blame online gamers for causing congestion on fixed wireless.
Yeah but you did mate.
Days before Bill Morrow specifically identified gamers as being heavy users of the NBN that in turn are causing congestion and issues for other users on the network.
In a statement to a parliamentary hearing Mr Morrow said “While people are gaming it is a high bandwidth requirement that is a steady streaming process”.
As the NBN PR team are now all too painfully aware, gaming uses little to no bandwidth in comparison to the average Netflix user and have been heavily back peddling since.
Today in a statement from NBN Co the company suggests that Morrow merely used them as an example of a “heavy user” and not the root cause in contrast to his specific remarks.
In the same hearing Morrow is quoted as saying a few more gems stating that, “No-one designs a network to where everybody uses it at the same exact time” and falling back to innovations such as the iPhone as being something no one could predict in the failing network.
Ironically “innovation” was the catch-cry of the currently elected government who’s switch to a multi-technology-mix ensures building a network for today and NOT tomorrow, effectively predicting the endorsement of the CEO’s sentiment.