Submission to consultation on a new Online Safety Act

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has been asked to run a public consultation over a new Online Safety Act to improve Australia’s online safety regulatory framework. The proposed reforms follow a 2018 review of online safety legislation which recommended the replacement of the existing framework with a single Online Safety Act. Digital Rights Watch provided our …

Breach of trust shows metadata retention scheme must be repealed

Image: Brian Klug

Digital security advocates have expressed outrage at revelations that Australian law enforcement agencies have been potentially abusing mandatory metadata retention laws and receiving data explicitly excluded from the legislation. “It is incredibly worrying to hear that government agencies have been receiving extensive details of Australians’ web history with no oversight or accountability, potentially undermining the already minor protections that were …

Ban facial recognition surveillance

You are being tracked. On every street, in every park, as you sit at the train station or walk to work. Surveillance using face recognition technologies is on the rise, all across Australia. It’s being used by local councils, corporations, government departments and telecommunication companies – all without you even noticing. And it’s time that we reign in. Help us …

Valentine’s Day CryptoBars

Keep your privates private and share your love securely … come spend Valentine’s eve with loveable nerds who will help you secure your stuff! Get on down to one of the CryptoBars happening around the country! We’ll kick off the evening with drinks and pizza, followed by short talks, then a relaxed hour in which you can learn from friendly …

Online disinformation risks public confusion about the cause of Australia’s bushfires

Digital rights experts have expressed deep concern at emerging evidence that suggests there is an intentional disinformation campaign creating confusion around the cause of Australia’s tragic bushfires. “It is disappointing that during one of Australia’s most tragic disasters, social media platforms are being used to create confusion about the causes of the fires,” said Digital Rights Watch Chair Tim Singleton …

Australian Human Rights Award Finalist

Digital Rights Watch considers it an honour to be a finalist in this year’s Human Rights Community Organisation Award. This is an important recognition of the need for solid digital rights protections in this country. The defence of human rights in this country is, sadly, becoming incredibly important. The reality is that our rights have consistently been compromised by successive …

Open Letter to Law Enforcement in the U.S., UK, and Australia: Weak Encryption Puts Billions of Internet Users at Risk

Pic: iStock.com/fatido

Today, Digital Rights Watch joined 101 other signatories in releasing an open letter to law enforcement officials in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia expressing grave concerns with the countries’ recent statements about encryption. These officials penned a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on October 4, 2019 asking Facebook to delay the implementation of end-to-end encryption across its messaging …

Help Stop the Sale of DOT ORG

It was recently revealed that the nonprofit that owns the .ORG domain registry was planning to sell it to a private equity firm, Ethos Capital. This could impact the millions of individuals and organizations that have a .ORG website, subjecting them to potential censorship and leaving the door open for price increases on domain registration and renewals. The .ORG top-level …

Major amendments to encryption laws are a step in the right direction

A coalition of human rights organisations, telecommunication industry and technology companies have today commented on the proposed amendments to the TOLA (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, tabled today in the Senate by Senator Kristina Kenneally. “It’s welcome to see the introduction today of Labor’s proposed amendments to these deeply flawed laws – a long-overdue edit to this fundamentally bad legislation,” …

It’s Time to Throw Off Our Digital Chains

Discussions about digital privacy often evoke images of whistle-blowers, journalists, and intelligence agencies. But beyond this, it can sometimes feel as though the business model of corporate data mining presents few negative consequences in our daily lives. The omniscient machinery of state surveillance is rarely an issue visited upon us personally. Amazon, Google, and Facebook are overwhelmingly convenient, well-designed platforms …

What is happening to Journalism & Julian Assange?

Wed 4 December, 6.30 pm Victorian State Library – Village Roadshow Theatrette on La Trobe St Kristinn Hrafnsson – Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks Suelette Dreyfus – technology researcher, journalist, and writer Julian Burnside QC – part of Assange’s legal team Lizzie O’Shea – lawyer, writer, broadcaster Recent raids on broadcasters, journalists and whistleblowers in Australia for precisely the kind …

Police drones on public beaches are a gross privacy violation

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

Privacy experts have hit out at reports that Victorian Police plan to operate camera surveillance drones on public beaches over the upcoming holiday period. “This is a gross violation of privacy for anyone visiting a Victorian beach over the summer break,” said Digital Rights Watch chair Tim Singleton Norton. The 2017 Guidelines to Surveillance and Privacy in the Victorian Public …

Data Detox Kit

Everyday steps from Tactical Technical Collective that you can take to control your digital privacy, security, and wellbeing in ways that feel right to you.

Local governments need to act to protect the privacy of their citizens

Australian Cities For Digital Rights

Digital Rights Watch has launched a new campaign targeting Australian local governments over their use of surveillance technology, data collection and privacy invasion. “We are seeing a real-world effect of technology creep on our privacy rights in Australian cities through the rapid expansion of surveillance technology in public spaces – often those directly managed by local government authorities,” said Tom …

Aaron Schwartz Day CryptoBars

We have an exciting line-up of speakers (see below). We’ll kick off the evening with drinks and pizza, followed by short talks from the speakers, then a relaxed hour in which attendees can move between “bars”. At each bar, attendees can get information or advice from friendly nerds on a topic related to keeping their stuff secure and private – …

People have a right to be suspicious of journalists’ self-advocacy, but press freedom is important

Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

You’d be hard pressed to miss this week’s all-out campaign from the media sector on government attacks on press freedom. This remarkable collaborative effort should not be understated – to see Guardian Australia stand alongside the Daily Telegraph with aligned messaging and shared aims is virtually unprecedented in our increasingly polarised media landscape. But without a similarly concerted effort, we …

WhyID: Protecting Our Identity in the Digital Age

Why ID image: Access Now

There is a generalised assumption that certain kinds of digital identity programmes empower users, especially those in marginalised populations, by giving them legal identification and access to public services. Digital identity programmes can provide some of the same benefits to users as conventional identity and can reap the benefits of scalability of technology. However, the scalability of digital identity programmes …