This morning Parliament wrapped up for 2022, and a whole bunch of important things happened — including the passing of legislation for the National Anti-Corruption Commission and bigger data breach penalties, and an interesting selection of new bills.
Here are the digital developments from Canberra I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 25 November.
- The Director-General of Security, Mike Burgess, has reduced the terrorism threat level from PROBABLE to POSSIBLE.
- Legislation to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission been passed and is now law. This is the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022 and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2022.
- Also passed this week was the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022, which substantially increased the penalties for data breaches.
- The catchily-titled Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Information Disclosure, National Interest and Other Measures) Bill 2022 has been referred to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. Public submissions close 16 January 2023.
- Introduced this week was the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2022.
- Also introduced this week was the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Modernisation) Bill 2022.
- Independent MP Andrew Wilkie introduced the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Loot Boxes) Bill 2022, which would require all computer games that contain a loot box to be classified R 18+ or RC. That latter category is used for things like child sexual abuse material and the promotion of terrorism.
- We have the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Annual Report 2021-22. As InnovationAus reports, “Law enforcement agencies were issued six warrants to covertly monitor and alter suspects’ data last year, marking the first use of controversial hacking powers.”
- “The Tax Office is giving company directors an extra two weeks to apply for its new compulsory director ID program, with around 700,000 yet to sign up ahead of the original deadline on Wednesday.”
- “The Royal Australian Air Force has added the mid-air refuelling capability for a swag of the US Air Force’s frontline combat aircraft, including the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber,” and was “given the opportunity to see the ‘SR-72 Darkstar’ display.”
- I’d missed this one last week: The Attorney-General’s Department will release an issues paper on copyright reformin December.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow.
This was the last session scheduled for 2022. Parliament is scheduled (PDF) to return on Monday 6 February 2023. There may be some committee hearings between now and then, or some action at the departmental level, but I’ll only post one of these once updates enough has accumulated to make it worthwhile.