Issue 1355 - Friday 30th April, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Ombudsman found that almost every ACT police request for telco location data was unlawful

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has found less than 1% of the 1713 ACT police requests for location based telecommunications data were lawful between 2015 and 2019. The vast, vast majority of requests for telcos to give police location info on a suspect phone were done without approval, with approval asked for after the fact. Even the requests that followed the application rules were approved within minutes, which the ombudsman reckons is a sign that nobody gave it any proper consideration as to whether the request was valid or not. I don't think I need to explain why this is A Bad Thing.

EU passes law making internet companies remove terrorist content within 1hr of notification

The EU has passed a law forcing internet companies to "remove or disable access to flagged terrorist content" within 1 hour of being notified by authorities or be penalised. Unlike previous suggestions for this kinda thing, educational, journalistic, artistic or research related content isn't impacted and the internet companies (i.e: Facebook & Twitter) "will not have a general obligation to monitor or filter content". Will be interesting to see how this works in practice - like the linked Verge article highlights, would "authoritarian regimes, like those in Poland and Hungary" use this law "to silence their critics abroad by issuing removal orders beyond their borders"?

Adelaide man arrested for replacing official check-in QR codes with fake ones

An Adelaide man got busted placing fake QR codes over official state government check-in QR codes. Police reckon he slapped at least two fake QR codes - one at a bakery and another at a greengrocer. They aren't saying what the fake QR codes did when people who scanned them, but he was charged with "two counts of obstructing operations related to COVID-19 under the state's Emergency Management Act". A judge let him out on bail on the condition he doesn't visit those two businesses or "carry any loose QR labels". My bet, considering it's a 51-year old man who got arrested, is the QR codes went to some sort of anti-vax/COVID is a hoax conspiracy theory nonsense he saw on YouTube or Facebook.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Tom from MySpace got rich and then left us alone, thank you Tom

Tom Anderson fleeced Rupert Murdoch of US$580m back in 2005, selling MySpace at its peak to News Corp who ended up selling it to someone else for a paltry US$35m. After cashing out, Tom fucked off and was never heard from again. Old mate is simply enjoying life being filthy rich. He hasn't got into cryptocurrency or NFTs, isn't a venture capitalist or a business consultant or whatever charlatan activities the Silicon Valley set are into. By selling MySpace when he did, Tom also dodged the bullet of right-wing nutbags infiltrating social media and all the bullshit Zuck and Dorsey have had to deal with since.


The End

📻 Street Spirit (Fade Out) - Radiohead

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

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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.‚Äč