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Australian government hiring guardians of retained metadata

posted onNovember 5, 2015
by l33tdawg

The metadata retention scheme dreamed up by Australia's federal government may be stalled and in a shambles, but the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security isn't waiting for things to go wrong: it's recruiting specialists to watch over the scheme.

Turned up by Crikey (which Tweeted it as a search for “contractors”, which it's clearly not*), a job ad seeks “telecommunications intelligence analysts” with experience handling metadata.

Researcher says Australian parliaments have failed to protect privacy for 14 years

posted onAugust 25, 2015
by l33tdawg

Long-time – and by now somewhat despondent – privacy advocate Roger Clarke says successive Australian governments have ignored the privacy impacts of nearly every national security measure passed by parliament since 2001.

In this analysis of 72 items of legislation, Clarke finds only around 10 per cent received the normal parliamentary privacy scrutiny.

Australia to capture biometrics at the border under new law

posted onAugust 19, 2015
by l33tdawg

Australia's Parliament has passed a law that will make it possible to collect biometric data, from citizens and visitors alike, at the nation's borders.

The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015, an amendment to the Migration Act of 1958, is explained as an effort to “streamline seven existing personal identifier collection powers into a broad, discretionary power to collect one or more personal identifiers from non-citizens, and citizens at the border.”

Linux Australia calls for password change after server breach

posted onApril 7, 2015
by l33tdawg

The president of open-source software user group Linux Australia has called on registered attendees of the organisation's conferences for the past three years to change their passwords after it was discovered that the server hosting its conference management system had been breached.

According to Linux Australia president Joshua Hesketh, the breach was discovered after a large number of error reporting emails were sent on March 22 by the server hosting the Zookeepr conference management systems for a number of Linux Australia's conferences.

Feds ponder jamming journo comms in Australian Parliament

posted onApril 7, 2015
by l33tdawg

Canberra's appetite for security theatre could soon see comms blackouts in Parliament House as a response to terrorist threats.

The proposal emerged by way of a briefing with the president of the press gallery, David Speers, who told Fairfax Media it's part of a plan to ramp up parliamentary security.

As well as armed Australian Federal Police (AFP) patrols of the press gallery's office space in parliament, Speers said the plan includes jamming “telephone and internet links in the event of a terrorist threat” or some other un-named variety of security incident.

Australian online voting system may have FREAK bug

posted onMarch 24, 2015
by l33tdawg

Next weekend, voters in the Australian State of New South Wales go to the polls to elect a new government. Some have already cast their votes online, with a system that may be running the FREAK bug.

So say Vanessa Teague and J. Alex Halderman, respectively a research fellow in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at at the University of Melbourne and an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan and director of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society.

Australia's New Controls On Sensitive Research Likely To Drive Academics Overseas

posted onJanuary 21, 2015
by l33tdawg

While the world is laughing at UK PM David Cameron for his pledge to ban encryption, Australia is on the way to implementing legislation that could feasibly have a similar effect.

Moreover, the little-debated Defence Trade Control Act (DTCA) is already law - it's just that the criminal sanctions it imposes for sending knowledge offshore without a license are being phased in, and don't come into force until May 2015.

Australian law enforcement tracking Bitcoin use on black market

posted onDecember 3, 2014
by l33tdawg

Australia's national criminal intelligence agency is tracking the use of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin on online black markets as part of its new 'Project Longstrike' operation.

The Australian Crime Commission's executive director of strategy and specialist capability, Judy Lind, today revealed the agency is now monitoring Bitcoin-enabled crime after spending the last two years building technologies capable of tracing Bitcoin transactions.

Australia mandates cloud use by government agencies

posted onOctober 9, 2014
by l33tdawg

Australia's Department of Finance has updated its Cloud Policy to say “... agencies now must adopt cloud”.

Those italics are the Department's, and it also has some qualifications for the edict, namely that cloud should only be adopted “where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money.”