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What limits should there be on tracking in public?

A few weeks ago, former Senator Scott Ludlam highlighted an article about a new CCTV and Wi-Fi system being installed by the City of Darwin council. It made several claims including that there would be virtual fences, facial recognition and, most outlandishly, a social credit system like that found in China. The council was forced to refute these claims, denying that the facial recognition feature would be used, and of course that there would be no social credit system.


Tech Election 2019: The parties' promises Part 2

Information technology is obviously not as vote-a-licious as many other areas of public policy, despite what we in the IT trenches think. The big news since the previous article is of course the release of Labor’s budget, but there aren’t really any surprises in the IT space there. In this article we’re not going to be reviewing whether the numbers stack up or not. Rather, we’re just going to try to untangle where there are intersections with our sector and what they might mean. We’ll avoid items already considered in Part 1.


Tech election 2019 — what the parties are promising

So it is candy time again, where the various parties line up to promise us goodies or scaries. Technology touches on most portfolios in some shape or form and — while we haven’t been able to address all of the portfolios and announcements here — we have taken a look at some of the technology-related policies and announcements from the major parties, and provide our take on what these mean for the information technology sector.


Failure to compute — Australia's IT policy mess continues

We now know that we will have a federal election on 18 May. In our next newsletter, we will look at the tech policies of the major parties — where they vary, where they’re largely aligned, and provide some feedback on those policies. Today, though, we’re going to keep looking backwards at history a little.


Social media — to blame, or just a mirror?

As you are no doubt aware, there was a horrific shooting in Christchurch on 15 March, with 50 dead as a result. Like the New Zealand Prime Minister, we won’t be naming the alleged shooter — but we will absolutely talk about some of the ‘root causes’ being blamed for the atrocity. Politicians, ‘social commentators’ and the mainstream media have started to blame technology and gaming for the radicalisation of the alleged shooter. Yet it has repeatedly been proven in numerous studies that computer gaming (even ‘violent’ games where shooting is the main purpose, or games that allow and even promote violence to either non-player characters or other players) does not cause people to be violent in real life.


Fixing the nbn and the encryption bill

There are two issues that I’d like to provide a quick update on today — the nbn, and the Assistance and Access Bill (2018). As you’re aware, ITPA has spoken strongly on the nbn in the past. We absolutely support the notion that a national broadband network built to deliver access for the nation is a positive concept. It not only allows us to compete on an international stage, but also to deliver critical services and capabilities domestically in an equitable fashion between city and country areas that never would have occurred had the job been left to the private sector. Indeed, some of the arguments against the nbn have been that no private sector company would build such a network due to the risk and lengthy ROI projections attached to it — which is precisely why it needed to …


Why join an organisation like ITPA?

I was recently asked (on Twitter, but that part really isn’t that important), while discussing the Assistance and Access Bill (I’ve written about that particular topic a few times here already), why someone would join ITPA as a financial member. What does a member get back in return for $165 each year (roughly the annual cost of a takeaway coffee per week)?


Key technology issues in an election year

Hi all, and welcome to 2019! For many of us a new year is an opportunity to start afresh — to set goals, and set ourselves on a plan to achieving them. For others, it’s a continuation of the year before — following up on items that weren’t able, for whatever reason, to be finalised in the previous year. For ITPA this year, it’s a bit of both.


Ups and downs in 2018 — here's to 2019!

2018 has been a big year, and quite a mixed bag. We got a new national Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, which was a step forward in ensuring that if an organisation collected and then lost control of your information, they had to tell you about it. The 457 visa scheme was replaced with a ‘Temporary Skills Shortage’ visa — in theory a move in the right direction, but ultimately one that was made with little industry consultation. The jury is still out on whether this will ultimately be a positive for the nation.


Act now — help stop the #AABill dead in its tracks

There have been some new and interesting developments on the Assistance and Access Bill (2018), which I think are important to communicate. Despite a growing list of concerns with the bill as it stands, Prime Minister Morrison and Minister Dutton continue to call for the bill to be passed, with pressure being put on the PJCIS to recommend that it be passed before the end of parliamentary sitting time in 2018. ITPA has joined with a number of other technology industry groups to insist that the PJCIS does not rush to recommend the bill.