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Government wants access to Facebook messages

Australian officials are pressing Facebook to give authorities access to read encrypted messages.

Police agencies claim reading selected encrypted messages is similar to wiretaps for phone calls, however, security experts say allowing such access makes messaging insecure for everyone.

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TPG abandons 5G over public concerns

A senior TPG executive has claimed the company scrapped plans for a 5G network following “community pressure” over the health impacts of wireless technology.

Chief Operating Executive Craig Levy has told the Federal Court the company had become nervous about community concerns over its ‘small cell’ network rollout.

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UN calls for overhaul of world trade system

The United Nations has called for an international “green deal” and overhaul of the world’s financial order to ­tackle ‘climate change’ and deliver on the Agenda 2030 plan.

New measures are needed to raise and distribute $2.5 trillion a year to developing countries, says a new UN report, released alongside this week’s climate meeting.

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Cash ban delayed after public backlash

Legislation that would have outlawed cash payments for goods and services exceeding $10,000 has been set aside and referred to a committee until February 2020.

Following a influx of public submissions, the setback of the bill has been described as a “notable victory”, while concerns still remain surrounding the details of the proposed legislative changes.

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Inquiry launched into 5G in Australia

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has commenced a parliament-first inquiry into 5G network technology.

The announcement follows months of public outcry from concerned citizens and community action groups over the rollout of 5G in Australia.

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Concerns raised over national facial recognition

Plans to pass legislation permitting the use of national face-identity matching services has come under criticism by some of Australia’s largest privacy groups.

Civil liberty advocates, including Digital Rights Watch and others, have spoken out against plans to monitor all citizens via advanced biometric CCTV capabilities.

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Regional NSW is running out of water supplies

Parts of regional NSW could run out of water as early as November, with other locations set to follow, as reports predict the “worst-case scenario” for communities with no urgent intervention.

Almost a dozen towns across regional New South Wales and southern Queensland are staring down the battle of a crisis that’s been dubbed “day zero”.

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Australia to deregulate gene-editing techniques

The government will deregulate many new controversial CRISPR gene-editing methods and products, in a move experts say will threaten organic production.

The changes will allow a number of genetically engineered animals, plants and microbes to be introduced into the food chain from October 8.

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Campaign launched against ‘anti-vaxx bubbles’

A new $1 million influence campaign will be launched to combat the rise of ‘anti-vaccination sentiment’ online and to “further promote of the benefits of vaccines”.

The Australian government will team with The Templeton Foundation to begin influencing a number of digital forums across the internet.

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South Australia to lift ban on GM crops

The South Australian government is seeking to lift the state’s long-standing ban on genetically modified (GM) crops beginning next year.

According to proposed changes to an existing moratorium, mainland farmers would be given the freedom to choose to plant for the first time since 2003.

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