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Tech alliance unites to condemn new anti-encryption bill

Technology giants and human rights groups have formed an alliance to fight the Australian government’s new encryption bill.

Calling themselves the ‘Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet’, the group consists of industry, consumer and human rights groups, who are criticising the government for attempting to pass legislation that threatens the digital security of Australians.

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Victoria set to introduce new “gender equality bill”

The Victorian government has released details of new draft legislation this week that describes changes to the public sector that will force departments to introduce radical new policies to meet “gender quotas and targets”.

The new plan will include a requirement to develop and provide regular reporting with a ‘Gender Equality Action Plan’ and a 50/50 employee representation quota for most areas of business.

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Parents opt-out of classroom technology amid privacy concerns

Australians have long moved past worrying about whether digital technology has a place in education, with schools, colleges and universities now replete with a catalogue of digital devices, systems and applications.

Because of this ubiquity, educational uses of technology tend to escape critical scrutiny and questioning, and most remain unaware of major privacy concerns raised when exploring how your children’s personal information is collected, stored and used at school.

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‘Privacy nightmare’: Concerns over new anti-encryption bill

The Australian government has released details of a new telecommunications bill that grants agencies new powers to access encrypted communications data, including enhancing the obligations of companies to provide assistance and new warrants to covertly obtain evidence directly from devices.

In the following piece, Ethan Nash breaks down the legislation, including historical and technical contexts, details of both major schedules in the drafted legislation, and reasons for concerns associated with the broadened power scope granted.

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Facial recognition technology to stay following Commonwealth Games

Queensland Government officials have announced that facial recognition technology introduced for security during the 2018 Commonwealth Games will remain in place indefinitely, but won’t say what future use they have in mind for the biometric system.

Civil liberty campaigners say the refusal to release plans for the installed software amounts to a ‘disturbing development in mass surveillance’, with privacy advocates concerned about how the technology will be used in conjunction with the new national facial recognition program.

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‘Genderbread Person’: Brisbane high school using banned gender theory resource

A Brisbane school is using a banned educational resource that encourages students to think of gender as a spectrum, rather than a strictly defined binary.

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Diversity Council launches campaign to stop “non-inclusive language” at work

Workplace ‘diversity consultants’ are charging Australian companies up to $1800 an hour to warn employees about the dangers of using “non-inclusive” language such as “mum” and “guys”.

It has been revealed the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) has been charging companies $3600 for a two-hour program delivered by “experienced DCA staff and consultants” to educate companies about “the power of words” at work.

The move is all part of the new #WordsAtWork campaign launched by the DCA, which aims to “spark a conversation about how even seemingly innocuous language can exclude minority groups”.

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Australian mother publishes book exposing dangers of vaccines

An Australian mother has published a book detailing the dangers of vaccinations, revealing new information about subversive aspects of vaccines into the public arena, while shining a spotlight on how propaganda, consensus science and fraudulent information has sold a corporate product as safe.

Agnotology in Vaccines, a new book published by mother-of-four Pixie Seymour, exposes an extensive list of names and joins the dots of the vaccine industry in Australia and around the world – attempting to “end a culture of ignorance by lifting the lid on the foul practice that is agnotology in vaccines”.

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Government could allow private firms access to facial recognition data

The federal government is considering allowing private companies to use its national facial recognition database for a fee, documents released under Freedom of Information laws have revealed.

The partially redacted documents released this week show that the Attorney General’s Department is in discussions with major telecommunications companies about pilot programs for private sector use of the new national facial recognition system in 2018.

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Details of new Australian national facial recognition system

The Australian government has unveiled new details surrounding highly controversial changes to ‘anti-terrorism’ measures this week, including the introduction of a new national facial recognition system, following the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra last month.

The changes, outlined in draft documents released this week, describe the use of new ‘federated identity ecosystems’ (or ‘identity federations’) to share information between authorised agencies, including the introduction of a new ‘trust framework’ system to replace traditional legal processes.

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