In This Issue


“Big Tech” is getting a wide ranging DoJ anti-trust investigation

The United States Department of Justice put out a short press release to let us know that their "Antitrust Division is reviewing whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers". It's all very vague and is a separate investigation to the ones it is already doing on Apple and Google. I've lost track of all the US and EU government investigations on Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. Such is life when you have 4.3 trillion US dollars of wealth concentrated within 5 companies.

US Attorney General seems to like Australia’s encryption busting laws

US Attorney General William Barr gave a speech at a university yesterday where he was spouting non-sequiturs like: "warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society", that encryption is "converting the Internet and communications into a law-free zone" making it impossible for law enforcement to "detect and prevent a crime before it occurs" and that lawful backdoor access "can be and must be" done. I wonder how long it'll take until someone in the US government points to the Australian Assistance and Access Act as a positive example of handling the encryption issue?

Two reports about mandatory data retention show how messy it is

The Department of Home Affairs released a report on who's been accessing telco metadata. In the 2018-2019 financial year, there were close to 296,000 access occasions in relation to enforcing criminal laws. The Commonwealth Ombudsman also released a report about the telco metadata program, looking at how access to the metadata is regulated. There's a lot of stuff going on in the report, but a highlight was "116 authorisations for ACT Policing to access metadata over a fortnight in October 2015 were made by an officer without the authorisation to do so". Apparently this was simply an "administrative oversight".

Not News

Look at this ridiculous Raspberry Pi CPU cooler

Planning to push your new Raspberry Pi 4 to the limit? You'll need to attach some sort of cooling solution as the new Pi 4's run pretty warm under normal use and will throttle themselves down after long periods of high activity. The best cooler, as ridiculous as it is, is a mini tower copper heatsink with a fan, just like a desktop PC - but smaller. Look at it, it's ridiculous and won't fit in any decent sized Raspberry Pi case. It works damn well though, getting temps down from 80C down to 40C and even lets you overclock the Pi 4 for even more performance.


🎶 Quiet - Smashing Pumpkins

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​