Digital developments from Canberra 22 (and a few from NSW)

Disinformation on social media, government secrecy, and ransomware were on Canberra’s worksheet this week. And in NSW, there was movement on digital ID for alcohol sales and election disinformation.

Here are the digital developments from Canberra I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 20 January.

  • “The federal government has flagged amendments to national security laws to ensure that the near total secrecy that hid the prosecution and imprisonment of a former Australian intelligence officer cannot happen again,” reports the Guardian. As I wrote two weeks ago, “The Albanese Government has commenced a comprehensive and overdue review of Commonwealth secrecy offences.” Check out the official blurb and especially the terms of reference. The final report is due 30 June, but watch out for the consultation timelines before then.
  • “The Australian Communications and Media Authority is set to receive new information-gathering and record-keeping powers, as the scale of online misinformation and disinformation continues to grow,” reports InnovationAus.
  • Also from InnovationAus, “A ransomware taskforce representing 37 likeminded governments and chaired by Australia on Monday commenced operation, aiming to improve global cooperation on disrupting the lucrative cyber crime.”

And since there’s so little from Canberra, here’s some relevant snippets from NSW.

  • “NSW minister for customer service and digital government Victor Dominello has given his strongest hint yet that the state will have a functional digital identity pilot up and running before the March state election, with online alcohol sales again firming as the launch pad for the ambitious project,” reports The Mandarin.
  • Also at The Mandarin, “As Australia’s most populous state gears up for its election in March, the NSW Electoral Commission is running a campaign to inform voters about misinformation.”
  • And finally, “One-time New South Wales Electoral Commission chief information officer Ian Brightwell [says] Digital ID ‘entirely appropriate’ for online voting.”

Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow.

Parliament is scheduled (PDF) to return on Monday 6 February 2023, so I’ll almost certainly have one of these summaries next week.

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[Photo: NSW minister for customer service and digital government Victor Dominello. (Victor Dominello/Twitter; digital processing: Stilgherrian)]