Tagged With government

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In 2020, it might just turn out that the city with the fastest internet in Australia is Adelaide. The city recently put out a tender for expressions of interest for international partners to collaborate on building a fibre network capable of 10Gbps transfer rates, 100 times faster than the current capability of the best possible NBN fibre hook-up. It wants to start and complete the project within the next three years.

Adelaide. Who would have thought it?

4

The recent data-matching debacle that is Centrelink's debt recovery algorithm is likely to affect around 1.5 million Australians, demanding they repay government welfare based on dodgy links to incomplete Australian Tax Office records. It's bad software, rorting the citizens in our society that already have it pretty tough.

But, before you take my word for it, watch this video. It's a totally honest and upfront explanation of the situation.

34

Remember the data retention laws that were introduced late 2015? It forces telcos to retain metadata on mobile and broadband users for at least two years. The data would assist in criminal and terrorism investigations. Now the Government wants to open the data up to be used for civil lawsuits. It called for public to comment on the issue right before Christmas (cheeky bastards) and public comment submissions close January 13.

13

In the normal course of doing business, you'd think that incorrectly issuing bills to the tune of tens of thousands would normally be a cause for concern. That's been the case for at least one single mother this past week, after she received a $24,000 debt notice from Centrelink's automated data matching system (and an order to start paying it back immediately).

But despite increasing concerns about the accuracy and fairness of the process, the federal Department of Human Services is insisting all is well.

52

Yesterday, the first practical application of Australia's site-blocking laws was used to block websites apparently used for illegitimate file sharing of copyrighted materials. The block, which will be implemented within a fortnight by some of Australia's largest ISPs, will prevent Australian users from accessing the sites. In theory, this is a big win for the country's rightsholders. In practice, it is ridiculously easy to get around any block that could be implemented, illustrating how inadequate and poorly conceived the government's site-blocking legislation is.

13

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) website went down for two days due to a storage hardware failure. The hardware was provided by HP Enterprise (HPE) and the fault affected backup systems as well. The ATO is now trying to recover one petabyte of data.

5

Government ministers and senior public servants will be sent to "cyber bootcamp", while chief statistician David Kalisch will effectively be put on probation, following a damning review into the 2016 census debacle by the Prime Minister's cyber security chief.

8

Australian federal police officers and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now have access to citizenship images held by the country's border force watchdogs. It's the first phase of our country's biometric Face Verification Service, which will grow over time and eventually become a digital panopticon with access to visa, passport and drivers licence photographs.

1

Australia's government and key cabinet officials appear to be using over-the-top messaging services like WhatsApp to communicate with each other on their government-issued smartphones despite the app not being sanctioned by the Australian Signals Directorate , possibly presenting a security risk. Attorney-General George Brandis doesn't think it's a big issue and says the communications are "unremarkable" and unclassified, with nothing discussed of public sensitivity that might be at risk.

6

In August this year a dataset containing 30 years worth of Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme information was made available to researchers via The Department of Health's open data portal.

Yesterday the data was removed by the department, following a tip-off from a Melbourne researcher that practitioner details in the data could be decrypted.

46

The rollout of Australia's NBN will abandon almost all of Optus's HFC cable network that it paid $800 million for back in 2011, with up to 700,000 homes around the country instead being connected to the NBN through fibre to the distribution point — a new technology that brings many of the advantages of fibre to the premises to a fibre to the node-style construction method.

17

Many Australians are now anticipating fast internet access at home when the NBN arrives in their neighbourhood. But what about mobile networks?

The next generation of mobile broadband is reportedly heading into incredible speeds, far faster than anything come down wires, with Telstra announcing today that it has tested "one of the world’s first" 5G radio test beds in Melbourne, in conjunction with Ericsson.

13

By the year 2020, CSIRO will spend a million dollars a week on what it calls 'breakthrough science', betting big on risky areas with huge future potential. Six areas of innovation are being targeted for spending that "have the potential to support the reinvention and creation of new industries and new jobs" in Australia, including autonomous manufacturing, robotics and real-time medical and agricultural information transmitted around the nation and the globe.

30

Ken Block makes amazing gymkhana videos. But NSW Police didn't want Ken Block to make this particular gymkhana video — the one you see right up there — in Sydney. So the Hoonigan team went to New York instead, leaving Australia in its dust. Here's the video they made — the video that could have featured the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and all our most famous city's iconic landmarks.

30

"Digital Identity is having the ability for the government to trust that you are who you say you are," is the explanation the Federal Government's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) gives for the establishment of a singular digital profile that will allow you to access various government services.

But trust has to go both ways, and the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) has expressed "serious concern" about federated identity, stating the process has been "seriously deficient" and conducted "in a context of increasing distrust of government" (Census, anyone?).

29

The National Broadband Network released its 2016 yearly results today, showing the rollout "continues to exceed its connection and financial targets". A spokesperson for Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications says this is "the latest evidence of the benefits of the Coalition's faster, more affordable NBN rollout".

13

Around 48 hours after the Census website was pulled after alleged repeated DDoS attacks, and hundreds of thousands of Aussies actually trying to complete the Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Census website came back to life this afternoon. But, in a move that isn't entirely surprising, the site continues to have issues. It's up, it's down, it's up again...