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 …

Tools for More Secure Activism

CounterAct encourages the progressive and radical movements on the Australian continent to get better at digital privacy and security

You’re up for a human rights award!

Digital Rights Watch has just been announced as a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Award.

We’ve got some amazing news to share with you. Digital Rights Watch has just been announced as a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Award. The Human Rights Awards is the pinnacle of human rights recognition in Australia. Each year the Human Rights Commission recognises the outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations in promoting and protecting human rights and freedoms. …

Open Letter: Facebook’s End-to-End Encryption Plans

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg, OPEN LETTER: FACEBOOK’S END-TO-END SECURITY PLANS The organizations below write today to encourage you, in no uncertain terms, to continue increasing the end-to-end security across Facebook’s messaging services. We have seen requests from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australian governments asking you to suspend these plans “until [Facebook] can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce public safety”. …

Australian digital rights organisations defend encryption

Image: CC Licensed Flickr user ijclark

Digital Rights Watch and Access Now have expressed deep concerns about attempts by members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to convince Facebook to abandon its plan to introduce end-to-end encryption in its messaging services.  “End-to-end encryption is like a lock on a door. It is a basic requirement for security in any form of online communication in the digital …

Attorney General having discretion over prosecutions will do virtually nothing for press freedom

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Digital Rights Watch has criticised a recent move by the Australian Government to allow Ministerial decisions over the prosecution of journalists. “Australia already lags behind when it comes to press freedom. We are the only democracy on the planet that has not enshrined the right to a free press in our constitution or a charter of rights,” said Digital Rights …

Breaking: press freedom in Australia

In June 2019, the Australian Federal Police raided the ABC and the home of a journalist from the Daily Telegraph. These alarming raids were undertaken because of journalists doing their jobs reporting on national security issues in the public interest, in part enabled by whistleblowers inside government agencies. This was just the latest step in what has been a steady …

Major privacy concerns around national facial recognition database

CC Licensed image from Flickr User Jay Phagan

Digital Rights Watch have welcomed a move by the Victorian Government to control federal agency access to driver’s license photographs uploaded to the national facial recognition database. “There is a severe lack of strong oversight mechanisms and general enforcement for human rights and civil liberties in this country, which results in the public being understandably wary about giving government more …

INSLM Review of the Assistance & Access Act

Pic: iStock.com/fatido

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence & Security (PJCIS) has referred the Assistance & Access Act 2018 (TOLA) for review by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. This review will specifically consider whether the Act achieves an appropriate balance: whether the Act contains sufficient safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals and remains proportionate and necessary. Digital Rights Watch and …

Invisible handcuffs

Copyright Eric Carter/The Baffler

The regulation of technology capitalism is now a mainstream topic of discussion. Privacy scandals such as the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, the rise of right-wing extremism, and the diminishing quality of public spaces in the digital age have generated sufficient public outcry such that the Overton window is wide open. Aspirants for the Oval Office, like Senator Elizabeth …

Global coalition warns against internet shutdowns in Hong Kong

After months of pro-democracy protests in the streets of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, leader of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government, has finally withdrawn the proposed extradition law that sparked them. But as Bloomberg reports, that’s not likely to stop the protests. Lam has not relented on key demands of the protesters, and is refusing to investigate police violence. As …

Privacy advocates welcome ACCC report into loyalty reward schemes

Privacy advocate group Digital Rights Watch today welcomed a report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on customer loyalty cards, which called into question the privacy protections provided to consumers under such schemes. “The data protection elements of consumer loyalty schemes has always been of great concern to us, and so it’s welcoming to see such a strong statement …

Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Submission inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Digital Rights Watch and Blueprint for Free Speech provided a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Submission inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. Read the full submission here.

Internet shutdowns in West Papua are within Australia’s responsibility

Internet shutdowns in West Papua are within Australia’s responsibility

Following reports that internet access has been shut down in West Papua, Digital Rights Watch has called for urgent intervention from the Australian government. “There is a serious lack of quality information about the ongoing unrest in West Papua because the Indonesian authorities have blocked internet connectivity to the province,” said Digital Rights Watch Chair Tim Singleton Norton. “To witness …