Monday, 27 November 2023A while back, the eSafety Commissioner declined to register the proposed Industry Codes that I’ve previously written about. Now, they’ve announced a set of Industry Standards that, after a comment period, will likely be law.
Wednesday, 1 November 2023There are lots of ways to view what Internet standards bodies like the IETF and W3C do. They are horizontal agreements between competitors as well as mission-driven public-good charities. One might believe they’re the homes of innovation that brought us the Internet and the Web, or that they’re boring, ineffective and slow committee talking shops. Some see them as vibrant, diverse communities, while others believe they’re completely dominated by big tech.
Sunday, 19 February 2023I’m fascinated by the Metaverse. Not because I want to use that steaming pile of legless avatars, but because it’s the latest prominent attempt to establish a new platform. As Mark Zuckerberg said in internal emails about it:
Thursday, 5 January 2023In the last decade or so, it’s become increasingly apparent that the Internet is going to be subject to more legal regulation. Because it’s a global network, this is tricky; fragmentation risk grows if regulation isn’t consistent between jurisdictions. And of course, there are all the other pitfalls of regulation — it’s difficult to agree on societal goals, much less change working systems to meet those goals without ill effect.
Sunday, 11 September 2022There are many potential criticisms of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth)1. While my own concerns are mostly about whether there are appropriate checks and balances on the eSafety Commissioner’s powers, I will give credit where due; the current Commissioner’s implementation of it has – so far – demonstrated nuance and thoughtful balancing of the legislation’s goals with the preservation and enhancement of the unique properties that make the Internet so valuable to society. See, eg, ‘Explainer: The Online Safety Bill’, Digital Rights Watch. ↩
Monday, 29 June 2020The 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) https://www.zdnet.com/article/whats-actually-in-australias-encryption-laws-everything-you-need-to-know/. ↩ Explanatory Memorandum, Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth), 2 . ↩
Tuesday, 11 June 2019The introduction of encrypted DNS is a natural step in the process of securing the Internet, but it has brought a considerable amount of controversy, because it removes a means of control for network operators -- including not only enterprises but also schools and parents. The solution is to move control of these services to the endpoints of communication -- for example, the users’ computers -- but doing so has its own challenges.