Garry Linnell: All credit card, no sense, if you support this government cash crackdownGarry Linnell: All credit card, no sense, if you support this government cash crackdown

They were wearing dark clothes and sunglasses when they walked into our home with a canvas bag containing more than $15,000 in cash.

It was time to make the deal.

We tried some small talk, but their English was terrible and they didn’t like to make eye contact.

Garry Linnell was director of News and Current Affairs for the Nine network in the mid-2000s. He has also been editorial director for Fairfax and is a former editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Bulletin magazine

Newsagents’ pre-emptive strike against lotto credit card banNewsagents’ pre-emptive strike against lotto credit card ban

The newsagents’ peak body says lotto is “extremely low harm” and “very different to other forms of gambling”. CREDIT: KATE GERAGHTY

Newsagents have launched a pre-emptive strike on a potential new crackdown on the use of credit cards for gambling which could also ban the purchase of lottery tickets and scratchies on credit.

The Australian Banking Association is considering new recommendations for financial institutions to minimise their role “gambling related harm” which could lead to tough new restrictions on using lines of credit for online gambling.

By Rob Harris | March 5, 2020


ANZ tries to defuse screen scraping time bombANZ tries to defuse screen scraping time bomb

Proposes data access hierarchy based on sensitivity.

The ANZ Banking Group has moved to defuse escalating hostility between the big banks and angry Australian fintechs amid accusations that incumbent institutions are using the issue of customer data security to smother competition by challengers.

As debate continues to rage over whether regulators should ban the increasingly common industry practice of screen scraping to onboard customers, ANZ’s chief data officer Emma Gray has proposed a system of different data sensitivity levels combined with trusted intermediaries to act as data or ‘insight’ brokers.

By Julian Bajkowski Mar 3 2020


Over 100 million VPN users at risk of being hacked from vulnerabilityOver 100 million VPN users at risk of being hacked from vulnerability

A popular tool designed to give users added safety and privacy online could be doing just the opposite.After analysing the top free virtual private networks (VPN) available for download in the Google Play store, security researchers found several popular apps containing critical vulnerabilities.VPNs give users online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection, with the technology masking their internet protocol (IP) and offering encrypted connections safer than traditional Wi-Fi hotspots.

The software has also recently seen a surge in popularity for the ability to circumnavigate geo-blocking, meaning users can access content usually reserved for a different geographical location.


Digital Rights Watch accuses successive governments of ‘bipartisan contempt’ for the rights of its citizensDigital Rights Watch accuses successive governments of ‘bipartisan contempt’ for the rights of its citizens

An organisation that aims to protect the digital rights of Australians has released a timeline showing the “bipartisan contempt” successive governments have had for the privacy of its citizens, accusing them of dragging the country into a “police state”.

Digital Rights Watch (DRW) is a registered charity operating for the “general community in Australia”, according to its filings with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

The organisation has published the timeline on its website, beginning with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre as a catalyst for the growth of government surveillance on its own citizens.

Through the remainder of the Howard years, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd ALP, and the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Coalition, the organisation highlights more than 20 events and legislations that have had a negative impact on the digital rights of Australians.

DRW said the “bipartisan contempt for human rights continues to drag Australia into a police state”.

“It’s appalling to see the breadth of legislation that has been passed over the past 20 years, all of which has had a devastating impact on the human rights of everyday Australians,” said DRW chair Lizzie O’Shea.

“What we have seen is that successive governments of both major parties have been steadily eroding the protections of our fundamental human rights.”

She said most Australians wouldn’t be aware of how far the “legislative agenda” extends, “nor that it was a bipartisan responsibility”.

Ms O’Shea highlighted Labor’s December 2018 support for a Coalition move to compel tech companies “to break the security of their own products so that Australians can be spied on” as an example.

“On top of this, (Home Affairs minister) Peter Dutton is now floating the idea of expanding the mandate of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) so they can spy on citizens. These agencies have an insatiable appetite for power, and no matter how drastic the reforms, they always want more,” she said. .


The FOI Act (Australia)The FOI Act (Australia)

Individuals have the right to access documents from Australian Government ministers and most Australian Government agencies under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). 

The FOI Act also applies to Norfolk Island public sector agencies and official documents of Norfolk Island ministers.

Freedom of information

The FOI functions include the oversight of the operation of the FOI Act and review of decisions made by agencies and ministers under that Act. If you are dissatisfied with the result of an FOI request, you may ask us to review it.