September 2021 Roundup

Identity and Disrupt petition hits 125+k

Last month we shared with you the petition to repeal the Identify and Disrupt Act, and we’re happy to say it’s now hit 125k and counting! While the likelihood of the legislation getting repealed is extremely small, we believe these signatures will help us in overturning the legislation when it’s set to sunset (in 5 years). It also sends a strong signal to the MPs that surveillance is a serious issue that Australians care about—which is something they seem to ignore across the board.

You can head to the ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!) section to catch up with us on the details of the legislation, we’ve done plenty of interviews diving into how it will impact our everyday lives.

You can also read all the details in the explainer on our website. Make sure to SIGN and SHARE the petition to repeal the legislation.

Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) consultation

The eSafety Commissioner’s Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) will outline core and additional expectations for large social media platforms around cyber-bullying, abuse, and unlawful or harmful digital content. These expectations are likely to incentivise broad and proactive monitoring and removal of content. We’re also concerned about their impact on encrypted communications services.

If you’re curious, you can read more about our concerns in this explainer or in our initial submission. Justin Warren from EFA has done an initial exploration into the proposed BOSE for more info, and this Thursday at 6pm AEST we will be joining him to host a workshop on how to write a submission on this topic! We will send a link to join on the night. Submissions are due 12 November.

What Digital Rights Watch has been up to over the past month…

Don’t miss out—mark these upcoming events in your calendar!

  • We are teaming up with Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) to run a special workshop on How to write a submission this Thursday at 6pm AEST. We will be sharing tips and tricks on what to look for in draft legislation or policy documents, and how to write a compelling submission. Stay tuned for the link to join!
  • Don’t forget to register for fortnightly Tech Talks to keep you up to date on all the latest technology, law and human rights news. You can register for the next one (October 8th) or watch back the ones you’ve missed here.
  • Parallels: The Freeplay 2021 Showcase is streaming on October 7, and will highlight some of the most unique, experimental independent games made in Australia. Learn more here
  • The Wheeler Center is hosting Fringe Debate: Break the Internet on October 11 with a range of interdisciplinary artists debating the power of the internet.  
  • The 2021 Australian Digital Inclusion Index is soon to be released, with a launch event on October 15 to discuss the state of digital inclusion in Australia. 
  • Australia’s NetThing will be held online 4-5 November 2021! If you want to hear from tech experts on the latest regulatory challenges, this is the place to be.

On Thursday 30 September we hosted our second event for our Rebalance the Internet Economy project. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Read about the project here.

TL;DR, we think that the internet has immense potential for good, but that the power is all out of balance. We want digital platforms to better serve local creators and communities. This project is about developing a grassroots narrative to co-design policy recommendations for governments and tech companies!

In our first event, EXHIBIT, we considered who is and isn’t able to be visible online. We discussed content moderation, censorship, sex, bodies, and community building. In our latest event, IMAGINE, we started to delve into the relationship between digital platforms and creators, specifically the storytellers. How are digital platforms impacting writers? You’ll have to watch the recording back here to find out! 

Alongside these events we are doing a research survey to gather community experiences and insights to inform our work. If you use digital platforms to create, display, sell, or promote your work—we want to hear from you!