Issue 1479 - Monday 25th October, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Online Privacy and Other Measures) Bill 2021

The Attorney-General has start work on the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Online Privacy and Other Measures) Bill 2021 that aims create an "online Privacy code for social media services, data brokers and other large online platforms operating in Australia". The code will be "co-developed by the Australian Information Commissioner and industry" and will be applicable to social media and "large online platforms" (i.e: the bulk of what we do online. The only hard targets outlined in a media release are "social media platforms will be required to take all reasonable steps to verify their users' age" and that "the code will also require platforms to obtain parental consent for users under the age of 16". Smells to me like a trojan horse for the government's wet dream of an online age verification service, operated by Mastercard. The Bill's explanatory paper gives a bit more insight as to what the government is trying to achieve.

Social Media (Basic Expectations and Defamation) Bill 2021

Another crazy law getting floated by the government that's a bit further along is the Social Media (Basic Expectations and Defamation) Bill 2021, which entered Parliament this morning. I haven't seen any news stories about it yet, but according to the explanatory memoranda, people will be able to make a complaint to the eSafety Commissioner "if they have reason to believe that they are being defamed by material posted on a social media service", which the commissioner will investigate and "issue defamation notices to service providers". The service has 48 hours to remove the content after getting the notice. If they don't, "the end user who posted the material is liable to an action for defamation for publishing the material", as well as the service provider. Absolutely fucken wild, hey?

Yet another Facebook whistleblower

A new Facebook whistleblower has entered the arena. They've given an affidavit to the Washington Post that states Tucker Bounds, Vice President of Communications at Facebook, said regarding Russian interference in the US 2016 elections that it's all "a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks they will move on to something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement and we are fine". The whistleblower also said that "the project to connect people in the 'developing world' had internal messaging that the goal was to give Facebook an impenetrable foothold and become the 'sole source of news' so they could harvest data from untapped markets". All that stuff people thought about Facebook that many dismissed as "nah they're not that bad" is all coming out as absolutely true.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Bulk news drop

Usually this bit doesn't contain news, but because it's such a busy news day, I'll pop in here with a big dump of gear that took place over the weekend:


The End

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