Issue 1556 - Monday 28th February, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Heaps of tech related stuff happening around the Ukraine-Russia war

ACCC wants to extend ACL to digital platforms in latest discussion paper

The ACCC has published a discussion paper titled "Updating Competition and Consumer Law For Digital Platform Services". The aim here is to beef up our old friend, the Competition and Consumer Act, which sets out Australian Consumer Law, to better handle digital platforms. Some ideas the ACCC is floating include, "legislative prohibitions and obligations; codes of practice; giving a legislative authority rule-making powers; pro-competition or pro-consumer measures, if the inquiry identifies harm to either; and third-party data access regimes". This stuff would apply to all kinds of things like Telegram and Whatsapp, along with the usual suspects of Facebook, Google and Twitter.

UK's Online Safety Bill tells social media companies to filter out users that aren't real-world ID verified

The UK is forging ahead with an Online Safety Bill (where have I heard that name before???) and make it so "the biggest social media platforms will be legally required to offer ways for users to verify their own identities and control who can interact with them, including being able to block anyone who has not verified their identity or anonymous accounts". Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms might have to "ask users to verify their profile picture to ensure it is a true likeness, use two-factor authentication where a prompt is sent to a user's mobile phone to verify them or require a government-issued ID in order to create an account". Kinda creating two internets - an imaginary one where everyone uses their real name, ID and picture that's safe, and an anonymous one that's full of filth.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Ericsson busted again paying bribes, this time to ISIS in Iraq

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists got their hands on documents from an internal review of giant telco infrastructure company Ericsson's activities in Iraq. These documents how "tens of millions of dollars in suspicious payments over nearly a decade to sustain its business in Iraq, financing slush funds, trips abroad for defense officials and payoffs through middlemen to corporate executives and possibly terrorists". The report also revealed similar dodgy tactics in Lebanon, Spain, Portugal and Egypt, which are all new to the public and in addition to the bribes paid in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait that got it into deep shit with the US DoJ back in 2019.


The End

📻 Bullet in the Head - Rage Against the Machine

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

💬 Checked out the paid subscriber only forum? It's a tidy little place to discuss tech with like minded Aussies.

👋 Forums not your thing? The Sizzle has a Slack group you can procrastinate in and chat with other nerds bored at work.

💳 Paid subscriber looking to manage your billing info or change email address? Visit the customer portal.

📚 Browse The Sizzle Archive. A few issues are missing and it's not searchable, but it's better than nothing.

Affiliate Links

Fastmail. Email where you are the customer, not the product. Loads of features, smooth no-nonsense web interface, plus calendar and contact hosting. They've been around for 20 years and I've been a customer for over 10. Use this link and get 10% off your first year and I get around 30c/month you remain a customer.

Aussie Broadband. Great customer service and responsive to community needs (they have an "unofficial" Discord, they publish their CVC!). I've been a customer since 2017 and don't plan on going anywhere. Use my referral code (1001031) to get $50 credit when signing up for an NBN plan and I get $50 credit towards my next bill.

Vultr. All my Australian-based hosting needs (3x VPSes) are handled by Vultr. Easy to use admin interface, automatic backups, built-in firewall, custom ISO support and reasonable prices. Sign up with my link and score $100 credit. I get $25 credit if you're active for 30+ days and spend at least $25.

Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land

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.