Digital developments from Canberra 29

While nuclear submarines and the Indigenous Voice dominated the news, there’s also news of cybersecurity, Nazis, hypersonics, and more.

Here are the digital developments from Canberra I’ve noticed in the two weeks since the previous edition on 10 March.

  • The biggest news of all has been about the AUKUS nuclear submarine program and the 30-year timeline for the Royal Australian Navy’s future submarine capability. I won’t be listing all that here because it’s getting extensive coverage elsewhere. However it does seem to have crowded out everything else. There’s only so many journalists at work. I might do a separate compilation of stories. The Indigenous Voice to Parliament has also been big news, but that’s outside scope.
  • The Minister for Home Affairs and Australia’s cyber minister Clare O’Neil gave a speech at CyberCon where she said: “I want Australia to be the most cyber secure nation — a cyber-security superpower — by 2030.” Whatever that means.
  • From Senator Michael Cash, the Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023, currently before the Senate.
  • Australian hypersonic drone start-up Hypersonix Launch Systems has been selected by the US military as test-bed.
  • The Department of Defence is still withholding a review of the defence innovation system, despite its findings being clearly “of the public interest”. I’m still not exactly sure how they can do this.
  • “Controversial global consulting giant McKinsey will have a key role in the development of Australia’s cybersecurity strategy, 18 months after the government was widely criticised for using the company to develop its net-zero strategy.”
  • Australia’s FOI backlog: 587 cases remain unresolved more than three years on.
  • From CSIRO, “Leading institutions, domain experts, commercial organisations, and practitioner communities are coming together to enable best practice of responsible AI for Australian businesses.”
  • Which is interesting, because InnovationAus reports that nine months into the Albanese government there’s been little concrete action on AI.

Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Parliament is sitting next week too so there’s bound to be plenty to talk about next Friday.

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[Photo: Australia’s cybersecurity minister Clare O’Neil.]