So many cybers this week! Cybersecurity. Cybersafety. More cybersafety! Cyber surveillance. Also, whistleblowers, corruption, and more on government AI.
Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 17 November.
- On Wednesday we finally got the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy. You can also read minister Clare O’Neil’s press release. I’d link to some of the commentary here but I’m lazy.
- Australia to deploy roving teams of cyber experts across Pacific as online threats grow.
- Labor to reconsider mandatory data retention laws for companies in light of major hacks, which is amusing because so many experts told them this would happen if they collected so much data.
- Australia sets whole-of-government zero trust target. Some might say they already… yeah the jokes write themselves.
- On Monday the eSafety Commissioner released draft industry standards to “tackle online child sexual abuse and pro-terror material”. One assumes the final member of the Standard Online Danger Trio, international drug trafficking, is harder to turn into a protect-the-kiddies story in this context. “The draft standards cover Designated Internet Services, including apps, websites, and file and photo storage services; and Relevant Electronic Services, covering a range of messaging services as well as online dating services and gaming.” Submissions close 22 December, I think (it says “open for 31 days”).
- Also this week, the Department of Communications opened a consultation on the Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Amendment Determination 2023. Since the BOSE Determination first commenced in January 2022 the online environment has continued to rapidly evolve, presenting new challenges — including developments related to generative artificial intelligence (AI),” the department writes, so we can look forward to more magic on the internet. Submissions close 16 February 2024.
- Always fun to check the stats, the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 Annual Report 2022-23 (PDF).
- Labor and the Coalition teamed up to retrospectively authorise ‘unlawful’ use of material gathered by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Apparently there was quite a rush to do this for some reason.
- “A radical shake-up of the multi-billion-dollar-a-year tech-skills labour hire market supplying the Australian Public Service (APS) is on the cards, with recruitment agencies set to be forced to disclose their margins to candidates in a suite of measures designed to knock out supplier price gaming,” reports The Mandarin.
- Also at The Mandarin, that APS trial of Microsoft AI announced last week is invitation-only.
- Report critical of big four consultancies was censored by Australian government agency, academic claims, reports the Guardian. “Peter Carey tells inquiry he was asked by Accounting Standards Board to omit details because partners from PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY sat on the board.”
- Meanwhile, “Federal government promising greater protections for journalists and whistleblowers, in response to wide ranging review of secrecy laws,” writes the ABC. Here’s the press release and the final report of the Review of Secrecy Provisions.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow.
Both houses of parliament return on Monday 27 November for what are currently planned to be the final two weeks of parliament for the year.
Here’s the draft legislative program for the Senate. The Identity Verification Services Bill 2023 and related legislation is up, as well as the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023, and the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2022.
Update 26 November 2023: We now have the draft program for the House of Reps as well, which includes the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023.
[Photo: Australia’s home affairs and cybersecurity minister Clare O’Neil.]