mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames


Thursday, 18 February 2021

No news is... a sign of a stagnating Internet

Today, Facebook shut off the news in Australia – all of it, and much more besides. For example, when I tried to post a link to this blog entry on Facebook, they responded:

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Monday, 29 June 2020

What limits legal access to cloud data in Australia?

The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 20181 has proven controversial both before and after passage,2 with considerable debate about its industry assistance framework and its potential for systemically weakening encryption on the Internet - a framing emphasised by the explanatory memorandum which introduced the legislation as ‘measures to better deal with the challenges posed by ubiquitous encryption.’3 Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth). ↩ See, eg, Stilgherrian, ‘What’s actually in Australia’s encryption laws? Everything you need to know’ ZDNet (online, 10 December 2018) ↩ Explanatory Memorandum, Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth), 2 [1]. ↩

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Eight #aabill Predictions

As I write this, the Australian Senate is in the final stages of passing the Assistance and Access Bill 2018 (with some but not all amendments).

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Australian Assistance and Access Bill 2018: Amendments

In a great hurry, Australia’s house of representatives today passed the controversial Assistance and Access Bill 2018. However, there were some last-minute amendments slipped in. Currently, it’s being debated in the Senate.

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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Do you Trust Australia? Part Four

On 20 August, I went to Canberra to participate in an Internet Society experts' panel on encryption.

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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Do you Trust Australia? Part Three

Not that long ago, the US government attempted to compel Microsoft to reveal a customer's data that was located in Ireland.

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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Do you Trust Australia? Part Two

After a couple of sleeps, I think my concerns about the proposed Assistance and Access Bill 2018 have crystallised.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Do you Trust Australia?

This morning, the Australian Department of Home Affairs released the Assistance and Access Bill 2018 for consultation.

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Dissecting Australia's Proposed Data Retention Law

Much has been written about the societal impact of Australia’s proposed data retention laws (see some examples here and here) which I won’t repeat. However, they are quite interesting — and worrisome — from a more technical perspective.

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Monday, 19 October 2009

Working with the US on Education

Dear Ms. Gillard,

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Thursday, 13 August 2009


Although I’m a bit concerned to see so many references to “Web 2.0”, it’s very exciting to see Australia talking about opening up government.

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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Vic Schools Mashup

For the somewhat limited audience of parents looking at neighbourhoods and schools in Victoria, Australia, I present the Victorian Schools / Google Maps Mashup. Note that there are two pages; one for secondary schools, one for primaries.

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Monday, 7 May 2007

Australia != America

We were… refreshingly reminded that we’re not in Kansas (or even California) any more while watching The Daily Show on TV tonight, and this commercial came on;

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Monday, 12 February 2007

Things to Remember when Moving Country

It’s always more expensive than you plan.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Week Two in Victoria

I say “Victoria,” not Melbourne, because we’re currently staying in Forest Hill, courtesy of Roger and Marg, who are on holiday.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Connectivity in .au - Help!

So, no that we have a place to live, there are a few choices;

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Sunday, 24 December 2006

Week One in Melbourne

It’s Christmas Eve, and Charlie and I have been on the ground in Melbourne for a week. So far, we’ve got a new mobile phone (sweet), checked in with his school, and looked at a lot of apartments, trying to find somewhere to live for a few months while we house-hunt. Not quite as fast as I’d like, but not too shabby. Meanwhile, most of our possessions are about two months behind us, somewhere between San Francisco and Singapore.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Seven Year Itch

In a nutshell: After a lot of angst, back-and-forth, and false starts, we’re moving back to Melbourne next month, seven years and a few days after we arrived in San Francisco. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows us well, although many of our Australian friends have expressed that they won’t really believe it until we step off the plane.

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Sunday, 26 March 2006

Workers of the World, Untie

A few snippets from the day;

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Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Where have the Professional Journalists Gone?

Like a blogger trying to pump up their buzz, the New York Times declares;

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Friday, 1 July 2005

(Statistical) Information Wants to Be Free

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced that as of today, their online publications and tables are now free to download, instead of requiring an account and a per-download charge, as before.

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Sunday, 15 May 2005

Effects of Australian Tax Cuts

Last week, the Australian government announced a new budget. It included a number of tax cuts that were even more ambitious than expected.

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Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Notes on Generational Accounting

Social Security represents a pact between generations—a financial and social commitment among people of all ages. — US Social Security Administration

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Sunday, 10 April 2005

Tempest in a Teacup, Counterclockwise*

Those who have been preoccupied by Two Funerals and a Wedding may have missed news of a developing diplomatic crisis in Australia.

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Wednesday, 5 January 2005


Since the W3C Web Services Addressing Working Group is visiting my (sort of) home town in a couple of weeks, I’ve updated the Opinionated Guide to Melbourne that I sometimes give to people by e-mail and put it on the Web.

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Friday, 17 December 2004

Tufte would be Proud

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a very cool SVG-based animated population pyramid ( non-SVG preview) that very nicely visualises the change in that country’s population over time. While the pyramid technique is fairly common, the addition of a fourth dimension — time — and the ability to track a cohort through it really brings the data to life. Try the “highlight surplus of males or females” feature to see when you’ve got the least competition.

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Friday, 5 November 2004


For some reason, people are considering a change, such as this one. Might I make another suggestion [pdf].

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Sunday, 19 September 2004


If you’re wondering where the promised travel stories from Melbourne got to, you’ll have to wait a bit longer; other events overtook me.

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Wednesday, 8 September 2004

And now for something completely different: Roadblog!

I’m typing this from the Red Carpet Club in San Francisco International Airport, about to depart on a snap vacation to Melbourne.

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Monday, 2 August 2004

The Age Gets RSS Feeds

Melbourne’s The Age now has RSS feeds available — hooray! I’ve been scraping them and bugging the staff for a while, so it’s nice to see that Fairfax (now “Fairfax Digital” instead of “f2”… whatever) finally get it.

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Friday, 14 February 2003

Australia thinks twice

Word is that somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 Melbournians got out of bed yesterday and decided to give a peice of their minds to the government. Good thing, too; you can argue as much as you like about whether America should be invading Iraq, but Australia has no business there whatsoever; they can barely mind their own back yard.

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