The 9pm Extra: Talking Tech Policy episode 2, “Replumbing Power”

Johanna Weaver
Johanna Weaver, Director of the Tech Policy Design Centre, ANU (Original photo: Supplied)

The Australian government made many changes to the regulation of the online world during 2021. They were the subject earlier this month when I was a guest on the new podcast Talking Tech Policy from the new Tech Policy Design Centre at the Australian National University.

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Talking about the “Dark Web” on ABC News 24

This morning I was interviewed by ABC News 24 about the “Dark Web”, a term Fairfax news outlets used earlier this week in a story headlined The new underbelly. Since I was at the event in Sydney that triggered the writing of that story, I was happy to tone down some of the hype-scare.

By the “Dark Web” they meant things like Silk Road, a marketplace for all manner of illegality, and the Tor anonymity network that allows Silk Road to hide… somewhere.

I’ll update this post later today to include links to the other things I discussed with presenter Andrew Geoghegan.

If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, you can watch it over on YouTube.

This is a rough copy of the video for now. I’ll upload a better version as soon as it becomes available, though that’ll still have me staring mindlessly into the distance as I’m being introduced. Sigh. The footage is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 78: Screw Klout, give me the food!

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. I’m feeling lazy this weekend, after a fairly intense and sleep-lacking time, so I’ll post this early.



Not a lot in the written-words department this week, but I’m very, very happy with the one piece I did write.

  • Influence without Klout, Technology Spectator, 28 November 2011. All this “social influence measurement” stuff is bullshit as far as I can see, and this article explains why.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday I spoke with ABC Gold Coast about exploding iPhones and some information security tips for the holidays. Alas, I didn’t record it.
  • On Wednesday I spoke with ABC 105.7 Darwin about the Downfall parody internet meme and the like. There isn’t a recording of this one either.
  • On Thursday I was on the ZDNet Live panel discussion Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth.

Corporate Largesse

The Christmas party season has started. Expect this section to expand considerably over the next few weeks.

  • On Wednesday, the guys from Bleeply bought me a cider, and I didn’t have time to return the favour.
  • On Thursday afternoon, the Internet Industry Association hosted a two-hour cruise on Sydney Harbour with food and drink, sponsored by Enex TestLab.
  • On Thursday night, CBS Interactive held their Christmas Party with food and lots of drink. But does that count? I do work for ZDNet Australia, and that’s a CBS masthead.
  • On Friday, Watterson Public Relations held their Christmas Lunch at the South Steyne Floating Restaurant, Darling Harbour.


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Horizon Apartments, Darlinghurst, photographed from Kings Cross. I quite like this building, designed by Harry Seidler. Many disagree.]

media140’s Digital Anonymity panel

The audio of last Thursday’s media140+ panel discussion on Digital Anonymity is now online — and you have a choice of listening.

Panellists were (left to right in the photo) Jessica Hill from ABC Radio current affairs; me; lawyer David Stewart from Wrays; Karalee Evans, senior director & APAC digital strategist from PR firm Text 100; and moderator John Kerrison from Sky News Australia.

Note that I could have embedded playable audio directly into this web page, but why should I give Audioboo and CBS Interactive the ability to track visitors to my website, whether they play the audio or not?

Embedding may be convenient, but that convenience is paid for with the privacy of your website visitors.

[Photo: The media140+ panel discussion as photographed by Neerav Bhatt. Image turned to black and white by me, used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.]

Do we have a right to anonymity online?

The Media140 folks are running a panel discussion in Sydney this Thursday 24 November on Digital Anonymity: Do we have a right to anonymity online?

As Google and Facebook try by force to remove anonymity from the web, is privacy no longer seen as a fundamental right? Will it become a commodified product we will have to purchase? We take a look at the legal, social and media perspectives and ask the question is it really that important?

The moderator is John Kerrison from Sky News Business, and the panel includes Anne Hurley, the interim head of the Internet Industry Association Karalee Evans, senior director & APAC digital strategist, Text 100; Jessica Hill from ABC Radio current affairs; lawyer David Stewart from Wrays; and [coughs] me.

It’s at the Hotel Clarendon, 156 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills. 6.30pm for a 7pm start, $10m admission, and I’m told you’d better book.

Mr Kerrison seems to be taking it very seriously, with scenarios to discuss and all sorts of actual planning. We should be able to derail him pretty quickly, I should imagine.

[Update 22 November: Edited to reflect the change in line-up.]