Australian consumers are embracing digital commerce, but Australian retailers are failing to build long-term relationships with their customers online, according to new research.

The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.

Revelations about Australia’s alleged spy network in Asia and listening posts in our embassies across the Pacific might be diplomatically awkward. But it doesn’t mean intelligence agencies have “gone rogue”.

The new Coalition Federal Government has reportedly signalled plans to restart long-running talks between the telecommunications and content industries to deal with the issue of Internet piracy, despite the fact that a previous round of talks between the two sides under the previous Labor administration proved pointless.

Sixteen years after the founding of the company during the first dot-com boom, global technology giant Microsoft has finally revealed plans to sell its 50 percent stake in online venture ninemsn, with television partner Nine to take full control of the joint venture.

The electoral fate of Greens Senator and Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam is likely to hang in the balance for some time yet, following confirmation yesterday by the Australian Electoral Commission that it would conduct a partial recount of the Western Australian Senate vote in the Federal Election.

According to a wide-ranging expose on Palantir Technologies published by Crikey, it has become clear that the firm is rapidly growing its operations down under.

Two documents released this week highlight divergent views among the community and politicians.

Documents obtained by the ABC under Freedom of Information laws have shown that then-Labor Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus received a secret briefing on the US National Security Agency's controversial PRISM surveillance program several months before the program was outed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Remember how international media outlets The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica revealed last week that the US National Security Agency had developed the ability to break some commonly used forms of Internet encryption? Scary, huh? Well, what you may not have realised is that Australia’s own intelligence agencies reportedly have access to the technology.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, new revelations coming out of US whistleblower Edwards Snowden have revealed that the Australian Signals Directorate habitually taps undersea fibre-optic cables from Australia.

In this election campaign the major parties are carefully dancing round an elephant in the ballroom. The elephant is big and a bit frightening. Its name is privacy policy.

If you can’t get a satisfactory mobile signal in Martin Place or Collins Street during peak hour, perhaps you should lobby the Sydney or Melbourne city councils, as well as your mobile phone provider.

With just over two weeks to go in the campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party has experienced some unsettling events that suggest it may be unravelling.

WikiLeaks Senate candidate Leslie Cannold quits the party, alleging impropriety in its internal processes.

National broadband player iiNet today revealed it had not implemented the Federal Government’s limited mandatory ISP filtering scheme based on a list of offensive sites supplied by Interpol and had no immediate plans to do so, in a move which appears to represent a total reversal of the ISP's position on the matter and defiance of the Australian Federal Police's wishes.

Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has flatly refused to take part in a live election interview on key technology issues in his portfolio, such as copyright reform, data retention, telecommunications surveillance and Internet piracy, stipulating instead that all questions on the issues must be submitted in writing.

We’ve had #stopthenotes, #suppositories, and #sexappeal to keep us amused, but since the election campaign period began there has been very limited reporting in the mainstream media (MSM) of the electoral relevance of the digital rights issues faced by Australian citizens.

Australia's Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has made an extraordinary public statement that former CIA and NSA operative Edward Snowden and accused WikiLeaks collaborator Bradley Manning are not technically "whistleblowers", claiming that the information they had released publicly related to no wrongdoing by government agencies.

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei severely criticises the ABC for not developing an Android version of its popular iView iOS app.

In its arguments against the NBN, it would seem News Corp Australia’s campaign is less than wholly transparent in representing its own interests.

XKeyscore is an online surveillance tool run by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) that allows analysts to search contents of chats, emails and browsing histories without warrants. Australian experts respond in this article to the issue.

The Federal Government has admitted it has as of yet taken no action to improve the transparency and accountability of the unilateral use by individual departments and agencies of an obscure section of the Telecommunications Act to force telcos and ISPs to block websites suspected of conducting illegal activities.

Bradley Manning’s conviction for espionage marks the closing stages in the US Army private’s personal battle. Yet for Julian Assange, founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks and Australian Senate candidate, Manning is but a casualty in a much grander mission.

Pay TV giant Foxtel has launched an Internet streaming version of its service that will allow those with certain smart TVs, gaming consoles or generic personal computers connected to their TVs to access a large chunk of the company's content through the public Internet, without the normal requirement to have a Foxtel cable or satellite connection.

The Federal Parliament committee examining IT price hikes in Australia has published an extensive report recommending a raft of drastic measures to deal with current practices in the area, which, the report says, are seeing Australians unfairly slugged with price increases of up to 50 percent on key technology goods and services.

The WikiLeaks Party has written to Australia’s Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim formally complaining about the recently revealed news that the telco signed a secret agreement a decade ago with US Government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Justice that provided American law enforcement with access to all of the telco’s traffic passing in and out of the US.

The Federal Attorney-General's Department has refused to release any documents relating to the development of controversial data retention legislation, in a move that follows a pattern of behaviour from the department that has led some onlookers to allege "a pattern of secrecy" at the organisation.

Pay TV giant Foxtel this week blocked those Australians using non-Samsung Android and jailbroken Apple iOS devices from accessing its flagship mobile IPTV streaming app Go, in moves that seem destined to reinforce the company's reputation for setting strong restrictions on how customers can access its content.

Some five months ago, Pirate Party Australia founder Rodney Serkowski made what many would consider to be a fairly standard Freedom of Information request with the Australian Federal Police, relating to data collected through social media channels. The request has been denied in its entirety.

The Federal Attorney-General's Department has been forced to admit that statements it made in May in a Senate Estimates committee hearing that it had not drafted any legislation around the contentious issue of data retention were untrue, in a move which adds to existing questions about the department's integrity and transparency.

Global protests against the PRISM surveillance program operated by the Unites States' National Security Agency are slated to spread to Australia this Saturday, with a broad coalition of political and digital rights groups banding together to hold actions in major cities around Australia from lunchtime.

Consumer watchdog Choice has issued a fiery statement accusing US content giants of giving Australians "a raw deal" when it comes to making television shows and films available in Australia, pointing out that Australians pay substantially more to access the same content and encouraging locals to use technical mechanisms to get around so-called "geo-blocking".

Long-time Australian users of Apple's flagship Macintosh line will be rapt with the news that the Australian Taxation Office has finally launched a version of its e-tax electronic tax return lodgement software which works on Mac OS X.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has published the full text of its official notices to telcos requesting they block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial information, with the documents revealing that both the frequency and breadth of the agency's blocking activities has increased since they began 12 months ago.

Greens Senator and Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam has introduced a wide-ranging amendment bill to Australia's copyright legislation which would see a range of "fair use" and "fair go" stipulations introduced, with the intention of delivering Australian consumers a fairer copyright situation than they currently enjoy.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has on multiple occasions over the past month, involving multiple parties, delayed responding to Freedom of Information requests seeking documents relating to its controversial decision to start unilaterally blocking websites it suspects of fraudulent activity.

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Federal Government had 'shelved' its data retention plans, walking away from the controversial proposal to monitor all Australians' communications. But the reality is the complete opposite: Data retention is still being actively considered as a policy and will shortly return to plague Australia once again.

The Parliamentary Committee examining the Government's controversial national security reforms has recommended that the data retention segments of the reforms go through the committee process once again and criticised the Attorney-General's Department for the cloak of secrecy it has hung around the issue.

The Labor Federal Government has flatly rejected legislation introduced this week that would see Australian law enforcement agencies blocked from obtaining access to telecommunications records without a warrant, stating that such regulations would "critically impede national security and law enforcement investigations".

For those of you wondering just how much access the Australian Government has access to from the US Government's controversial PRISM spying program? Wonder no more. According to The Age, it's bucketloads -- enough that the Government has had to build a new datacentre to contain it.

Australia's Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has made the extraordinary declaration that Australian law enforcement in Australia "would grind to a halt" if police officers and other law enforcement agents were forced to apply for a warrant every time they wanted to access Australians' telecommunications data.

Frustrated that you can't watch Netflix because you've got an Australian IP address? Can't log into Hulu? It's a common problem, and one that many Australians find frustrating. However, due to the magic goodness of the Internet, there are ways around these kinds of headaches.

Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr said over the weekend that he "wouldn't think" Australians had anything to be concerned about in relation to the NSA Internet spy scandal which engulfed the United States last week, despite the fact that the issue appears to exclusively relate to NSA access to foreigners' data on US cloud computing servers.

Several of Australia's most high-profile politicians in the telecommunications portfolio have publicly demanded answers from the governments of the United States and Australia in the wake of news that the US National Security Agency had obtained open access to private data held by US technology giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.

One of the disadvantages of an online IPTV service such as Quickflix is that up until now, you haven't been able to buy distinct television shows through the service to own permanently; users have only been able to get access to the shows they want if they're paying a monthly subscription. However, all this is set to change, according to a media release issued by Quickflix today.

Australia’s corporate regulator - ASIC - has admitted to another incident in which a website blocking request has lead to the inadvertent blocking of thousands of websites.

The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission last week said the regulator would not "apologise" for using an obscure section of the Telecommunications Act to block websites suspected of fraud, and stated that the organisation would continue to use the controversial power to block more sites.

Internet Protocol researcher Geoff Huston analyses the Federal Government's usage of Section 313 notices to block certain websites, with reference to the ongoing issue of how IPv4 addresses are being used on the Internet.

The Federal Government has acknowledged that a third agency, beyond ASIC and the Australian Federal Police, has been using the Telecommunications Act to unilaterally block certain websites, with bureaucrats refusing to disclose which agency was involved, apart from stating that the issue was "a national security matter".

At this point, most Australians who watch Arrested Development have probably resigned themselves to (ahem) obtaining the new season through Channel BitTorrent. But there is one organisation still maintaining the rage: Consumer advocacy group Choice, which has written to Netflix demanding to know what the hell is going on.

This day had to come. Ladies and gentlemen, the science fiction and fantasy worlds so beloved by IT geeks the world around have now gone mainstream. The Guardian's Australian edition reports this morning that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the popular TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin's excellent A Song of Ice and Fire epic series. And what's even more interesting is that the Prime Minister is watching Game of Thrones completely legally.

The Sydney-based law firm which has issued a series of letters to major Australian ISPs seeking details of alleged Internet pirates has previously publicly argued that such a practice was not legally justifiable, and also that content owners such as movie studios should do more to make their content available online legally.

According to Computerworld, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has asked his department what can be done to provide more transparency around the government use of Section 313 notices under the Telecommunications Act (you know, the ones which financial regulator ASIC recently used to unilaterally block a cluster of websites).

It seems that the move by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to unilaterally decide to start blocking websites it deems to have illegal material has outraged basically everyone with any interest in the Internet in Australia. Perhaps one of the most outraged is Chris Berg, a research fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs, a long-time advocate for free speech, and, dare we say it, a thorn in the side of powerful government authorities exceeding their mandate.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission revealed tonight that it had in fact blocked "numerous" websites over the past nine months which it suspected contained illegal material, as fears about the extent of the agency's covert Internet filtering scheme continue to grow.

In a lengthy piece on the ABC’s The Drum website this afternoon, the convenors of the Melbourne Free University site tell their story and argue that the situation with Australian Government website blocking is just not good enough.

News that Federal Government agencies such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have quietly started unilaterally forcing Australian ISPs to block websites suspected of containing illegal material has spurred an extensive round of Freedom of Information requests, as journalists and activists seek to ascertain how widespread the practice is.

The global Electronic Frontiers Foundation has harshly criticised the Federal Government for allowing departments and agencies to unilaterally block websites suspected of containing illegal content, saying that it "beggars belief" that such a system could be in place after the previous mandatory filter policy was defeated.

The Federal Government has confirmed its financial regulator has started requiring Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities, in a move which appears to also open the door for other government agencies to unilaterally block sites they deem questionable in their own portfolios.

Just a very brief message to let y'all know that Greens Senator, Communications Spokesperson and William Gibson fan Scott Ludlam is planning to open up his world to all and sundry this Wednesday night -- 15 May, from 7:30 to 9PM, for a Reddit AMA ('Ask Me Anything') session.

Pay TV giant Foxtel has confirmed reports that it will block the remaining seasons of HBO's popular Game of Thrones series from being offered in Australia hours after the show is released in the US, due to an exclusive deal with the show's producer HBO signed in October last year.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it appears that the limited ISP-based filter which several of Australia’s major ISPs (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone so far) have implemented with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police may have suffered a massive false positive event in early April and wrongly blocked some 1,200 websites, including community group the Melbourne Free University.

An internal review has backed a decision by the Australian Federal Police to prevent the public from ascertaining the identities of ISPs participating in the Federal Government’s voluntary filter scheme for child abuse materials, through supporting the redaction of the ISPs’ details from relevant documents released under Freedom of Information laws.

Oh, dear. It appears as though Australia's new Federal Attorney-General is at least as arrogant as the previous two. An article in the Daily Telegraph published late last week tells us that Mark Dreyfus, who replaced Nicola Roxon in the portfolio in February, refused to turn off his mobile phone in a recent flight and was subsequently met by the AFP when the plane landed.

US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich has published an impassioned statement appealing to Australians to stop breaching the copyright of US cable giant HBO by illegally downloading its popular Game of Thrones television show in record numbers.

The ABC’s 50-year TV partnership with the BBC is at breaking point after a landmark deal between the British broadcaster and pay TV provider Foxtel was announced last week.

Australia’s average Internet speeds have decreased by 23% compared with a year ago, according to the latest quarterly figures from global content distribution network (CDN) giant Akamai.

A high-profile takedown is sure to send shockwaves through the hacker community after the Australian Federal Police arrested a 24-year-old IT worker on a variety of charges that could land him up to 12 years in jail.

You may recall that MacTalk founder and all-round geek Anthony Agius has been conducting something of an experiment to determine whether an Australian Bitcoin miner could make enough money to justify the practice. Well, the results are in: And the answer is: “Most likely not”.

Were you there when Apple’s iTunes Music Store first launched in Australia? I was. It was back in October 2005 and I was a journalist at technology news site ZDNet Australia. At the time it was a huge deal for Australian music fans, who had previously been resorting to naughty platforms such as Napster to get their digital music fix on. Well, things have changed a lot in the IT industry, but the iTunes Music Store is still around and kicking. Now it’s got a new competitor: Google.

Thought you wouldn't be able to vote for Julian Assange's WikiLeaks political party because you don't live in Victoria? Worry not. Come the September Federal Election, voters in NSW and Western Australia will also be able to back the transparency horse, according to an extensive press conference the party's Victorian headquarters held over the weekend.

The Australian Federal Police said on Friday afternoon that a 17-year-old youth suspected of being a member of the rogue Internet activist collective 'Anonymous' had appeared in Parramatta Children's Court on charges related to "unauthorised access to computer data".

Personally, I have been somewhat stunned about the incredibly vitriolic reaction which so many readers have responded with, after our article yesterday reporting that Australia, on a per-capita basis, pirates Game of Thrones more than any country in the world.

Netflix's remake of the popular British TV series House of Cards is set to debut in Australia on the on-demand platforms of local pay TV giant Foxtel, the company revealed this morning, as debate continues to swirl about the timeliness of US content releases in Australia.

What could a man like Julian Assange achieve within the orthodox structures of parliament?

How seriously can we take Apple Australia managing director Anthony King's claim that Apple doesn't have anything to do with setting digital content prices in Australia through the company's iTunes store? I guess we're about to find out.

Technology giant Apple has blamed copyright owners such as film and music studios for Australian price hikes on content sold through its iTunes digital store, despite politicians at the Parliament's IT price hike inquiry pointing out to the company that its size as the world's largest company by capitalisation gave it substantial market power.

The Australian Federal Police has revealed that its limited mandatory ISP filtering scheme based on a list of offensive sites supplied by Interpol has not yet been taken up by most of Australia's ISPs, with only Telstra and Optus having implemented the filter so far and a further "large ISP" having flat out refused to comply with the project. chief executive Matt Barrie has published an impassioned article on his LinkedIn profile strongly heavily criticising the Government for its underinvestment in the technology sector, which he said had led to a situation where Australia is devoid of good IT talent and "missing out" on the ongoing industry revolution.

We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options?

Most of Australia's younger generation of Internet-focused media consumers probably think Pay TV giant Foxtel is merely a blast from the past; a mouldering old dinosaur with no tricks left up its sleeve. But if revelations by the company last week are any indication, Foxtel 'gets' the Internet and has exactly the right moves planned to tackle it.

It was only a matter of time. The Australian Communications and Media Authority has cottoned on the fact that online deals retailer Groupon hasn't been as ... honest and diligent about its email newsletter habits as it could have been. Last week the regulator issued a statement strongly cautioning Groupon about its behaviour.

The time has come for the music industry to find common ground with consumers, not do business in spite of them.

It seems virtually everyone's getting on the whole "digital economy" bandwagon these days. The latest cab off the rank is Brisbane, which has appointed a chief digital officer and this week launched its new 'digita strategy'. Nice.

The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour gives a great speech about the Digital Economy and how it's impacting Australia Post.

Kim Dotcom expresses an interest in listing his new Mega business on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Other companies' Australian managing directors exit gracefully, in a carefully stage-managed process which sees a replacement privately sourced almost before the incumbent leaves. But not Google. Google just dumps a new job ad on its country page as the local MD leaves the country.

We don’t pretend to know what goes on in the minds of journalists who work for News Ltd, but sometimes some really quite unexpected views appear in their articles. A perfect example is this (paywalled) article by Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of News Ltd newspaper The Australian backing Labor’s extremely controversial data retention scheme.

The Australian Federal Police has sought to prevent the public from ascertaining the identities of ISPs participating in the Federal Government's voluntary filter scheme for child abuse materials, through redacting the ISPs' details from relevant documents released under Freedom of Information laws.

What would you do if you were a multinational technology vendor who the Federal Government was currently chasing over “double Dutch sandwich” tax avoidance techniques which could have cost Australia hundreds of millions of dollars? You’d probably dispatch your global chief financial officer with some hot new technology to hold private briefings with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

In this brief video filmed at a doorstop press conference last week, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy -- a Senator for Victoria -- gives his reaction to the news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has made an application to register the Wikileaks Party in Australia and will seek election in September as a Senator for Victoria.

The fact is that electoral victory for Julian Assange later this year would be one of those rare political miracles that make life as a citizen worth living. In a country weighed down by sub-standard politicians, sub-standard journalists and sub-standard freedom of information laws, the political triumph would be great. It would breathe badly-needed life into Australian democracy.

The untimely death of US-based Internet entrepreneur and activist Aaron Swartz passed most in the Federal Parliament by without a murmur, but the deep-thinking Ludlam, ever the advocate of the power of the Internet for good (clearly, he’ll never be Attorney-General), paid attention, and gave this landmark speech in the Senate late in the evening on 6 February. We commend it to you in its entirely.

A treasure trove of previously confidential documents pertaining to the Government's data retention policy and released this week under Freedom of Information laws display an astonishing technical ineptitude on the part of the Attorney-General's Department with respect to the controversial project.

Online streaming of radio broadcasts may be a thing of the past after the Full Federal Court yesterday handed down a ruling that will result in radio stations paying higher royalties to the recording industry.

Telstra's online and directories business Sensis hasn't been a great place to work for a while now. Executive departures and job cuts have proven to be pretty much the norm at the once-great home of the White and Yellow Pages empire over the past several years. But according to The Australian, we may not have known quite how bad things were.

Crusading Internet activist Julian Assange has delivered on his promises to run for Australian political office in the upcoming Federal Election in September, reportedly registering the WikiLeaks Party in Australia yesterday and flagging his intention to become a Senator representing Victoria.

The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements themselves were not misleading and deceptive? No! Everyone agrees that they were. Rather, the decision clarifies the law for publishers, including those using the internet.

The nation's largest telco Telstra claimed over the weekend that BitTorrent-style peer to peer traffic on its network was "not time-critical" and so could be slowed on its network "without significant consumer detriment", in an extensive statement defending highly controversial plans to trial several new network management practices.

Telstra's plans to kick off a trial that will see it throttle some peer to peer services on its ADSL broadband network have been met with an outraged reaction from its customers, with many instantly threatening to cancel their services and take their business elsewhere if the trial goes ahead.

Search giant Google has won a High Court case against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in which the regulator had alleged that Google breached the law by displaying misleading or deceptive advertisements on its search results pages.

Australia's two most recent Attorneys-General distinguished themselves during their tenure by demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the dynamics of the modern Internet; seeking to monitor, control and contain it at all costs. Now they've both announced plans to quit politics. Will our next chief lawmaker do any better?

Julian Assange's mum has confirmed he will run for the Australian Senate in this year's Federal Election, claiming that he will be "awesome".

Why doesn't Australia have enough confidence in ourselves without these father figures looking on? I just don't know.

Many of you will be aware that earlier this month one of the Internet's brightest young stars, Aaron Swartz, was tragically lost. And due to his global influence, a number of Australian writers have penned pieces discussing the themes of his life.

The Australian branch of digital freedom political group the Pirate Party today confirmed it had successfully registered as a political party to contest the upcoming 2013 Federal Election, overcoming registration issues which had prevented it from contesting the 2010 election as a party.

Kim Dotcom flags plans to host some servers for his new Mega venture in Australia.

Publishing giant News Ltd has revealed plans to sell its online search and directories business TrueLocal to Telstra’s Sensis division, subject to approval from the competition regulator.

Some of the more high-profile members of Australia’s Internet community are currently waging something of a war against Stephen Conroy's big red cybersafety button through filing Freedom of Information requests about it, presumably to demonstrate the Government’s ineptitude in implementing the project.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has singled out social network Twitter for not yet signing up to the Federal Government's new complaints handling process for major social networking sites, in a speech this morning pointing out that rival companies such as Facebook and Google had already done so.

Thought it was only Australia’s major political parties which had ferocious internal political struggles? Think again. According to a lengthy blog post by Pirate Party Australia press officer Mozart Palmer, the local division of the Pirate Party is having branglings so bad with its European parent that some think it should secede altogether.

Australian online technology activist Asher Wolf slams elements of the hackersphere which she says have been demonstrating sexism.

The New South Wales State Government has flagged plans to amend court security legislation to ban the use of devices such as smartphones and tablets to communicate events inside courtrooms to those outside, in a move that could squash see a trend towards using Twitter to report court events live.

Late last week Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop tweeted that she was visiting Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, and confirmed that the company was planning to open an Australian office.

The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security's report on the package of National Security Inquiry reforms has already been delayed to the extent that it is unlikely that any associated legislation will reach Parliament before the next Federal Election.

Evidence has emerged that the Federal Attorney-General’s Department may have breached Freedom of Information regulations in delaying the release of documents which will enhance the transparency of its discussions with the telecommunications industry over the controversial National Security Inquiry proposal.

It's been in the works for a while, but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has finally come right out and confirmed that he's definitely forming an Australian Wikileaks political party with the intention of backing his bid to run for the Senate in 2013.

Remember how a coalition of most of Australia’s major ISPs proposed a scheme about a year ago which would see Australians issued with warning and educational notices if they were caught pirating content online? The one which could have seen users’ details handed over to the copyright lobby with a subpoena? Well, it’s looking increasingly like the scheme is dead in the water.

It's hard to be surprised by this move, given Qantas' on-again, off-again relationship with in-flight Internet access, but one can't help but be disappointed. Australian Business Traveller reports this morning that Australia's premiere airline has exited a trial of in-flight Internet running since March this year.

Ailing IPTV and online DVD rental business Quickflix has revealed plans to sack one third of its workforce and initiate a plethora of other restructuring moves as it struggles to keep its trouble-plagued business afloat.

Estimates are that Google last year received about $1 billion in advertising revenue from Australia. Despite that, it paid little Australian income tax. John Passant looks at what could be done to rectify this situation.

VISA and Mastercard appear to still be relying on outdated comments by Australia's Federal Government to block the ability of Wikileaks to take donations.

Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you. Or perhaps they haven’t been able to hold your sustained attention. So why should you care now?

Today Victoria's’s Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips has gone into bat for technology giants such as Google, defending the search giant against the Federal Government’s attempts to make it pay a fair level of tax in Australia.

The Australian Government has outlined a series of new legislative initiatives with which it will attempt to protect its corporate tax base and rein in the tax minimisation strategies of corporations such as search giant Google, which expects to pay just $74,000 in corporate income tax for the 2011 calendar year in Australia, despite making an estimated $1 billion in local revenue.

Confused about what the hell this whole "Click Frenzy" online retail phenomenon thing that we've all been reading about over the past several weeks was all about? Join the club: I'm a paid-up member. Maybe I didn't get the original press release. Thankfully, local IT geek and Delimiter reader Dawnstar (not his real name) has posted several epic rants and deconstructions of legendary proportions on his blog to explain it to y'all, complete with SPAM Act illegality, journalist/public relations/marketing love-ins and a health dose of sarcasm.

Online DVD rental and Internet media company Quickflix this week revealed a series of senior leadership losses including the representative of investor HBO, as the company continues to burn through cash and seek further funding to continue its operations.

The Pirate Party of Australia today confirmed it would continue fighting to have key documents associated with the Government’s controversial data retention and surveillance package released to the public, flagging plans to appeal a decision by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department to block the release of the documents under Freedom of Information laws.

In the wake of the death of Labor’s controversial Internet filtering policy, the Opposition has proposed creating a new Federal commissioner to coordinate a national approach to protecting Australian childrens’ safety online, with powers that would include forcing social media providers such as Facebook and Twitter to take down objectionable content.

National broadband provider iiNet and its subsidiary Internode have pledged to implement the limited child abuse Internet filtering scheme adopted as policy last week by the Federal Government, noting they had received independent legal advice advising them to comply with a new "compulsory" request by police to do so.

Australian free market thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs has accused the Federal Government of relying on an “obscure” section of telecommunications law in a way that was never intended to implement its new limited Internet filtering scheme, and warned of the potential for scope creep under the scheme.

A quick search of accommodation crowdsourcing website Airbnb reveals that it’s been operating in Australia for a while (or at least taking bookings and accommodation advertisements from Australians), but the US-based startup hasn’t previously had an official presence Down Under. Until now.

With half the worlds population now connected by mobile phone and even short periods of time disconnected from the global network leaving many with withdrawal symptoms, the next stage of human evolution is approaching fast and if you're having trouble keeping up, look to nature.

Today is the nine month anniversary of the publication of the Classification Review, which readers may remembers as the key document which would guide the development of Labor's infamous mandatory Internet filter policy.

Welcome to the IPTV club, Paul Budde. The well-known Australian telecommunications analyst revealed on his blog this morning that his household recently terminated its Foxtel service.

Tiger Airways is likely to face further damage to its reputation, after joining a growing list of big corporations being fined for breaching the Spam Act.

The ongoing National Security Inquiry has dislodged quite a few stones from the bottom of the paranoia well. One aspect that took my interest in particular is the relationship between data retention and mobile or cellular telephone data.

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a major speech arguing that government regulation is not the solution to societal challenges posed by the onset of new technology such as the Internet, in contrast to what he said was the Federal Government’s “command and control” approach to the medium.

The big question is whether digital mail is a solution looking for a problem that hasn’t already been solved. Here, I am not convinced. The technology to achieve a digital mailbox using ordinary email with digital signatures and encryption has been around for a very long time.

The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has rejected a request by the Pirate Party of Australia to release draft legislation associated with the Government’s controversial data retention and surveillance proposal, with the department stating that public interest factors did not outweigh the need to keep the material private as it was still being deliberated on.

The Australian branch of global search giant Google has written to the nation’s Privacy Commissioner admitting that it had found yet more examples of undeleted data which its Street View cards had collected over the past several years as they brushed past Australian Wi-Fi networks, in what marks Google’s third attempt so far to delete the illicit data it collected.

No doubt there are some red faces at Melbourne-based web hosting and IT services firm Melbourne IT this morning, after the company admitted a human error by one of its staff yesterday resulted in an outage which took down the URL shortening service used by global social networking company Twitter.

news: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hailed knowledge and the technologies used to create and share it as being the key factor determining Australia's future economic success -- even beyond the resources sector -- as she met with key figures from Australia's technology sector and set in place key 'Digital Economy' strategies for the nation's future.

video Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is threatening to sue Julia Gillard for defamation, following the Prime Minister's comments in late 2010 that Wikileaks' publication of US diplomatic cables was "illegal" (the Australian Federal Police subsequently found nothing to charge him with under Australian law).

The issue of whether the Python-iView app infringes copyright, particularly it’s download feature, hinges on a number of specific sections of the Copyright Act and a concept of “vigilante interoperability”.

Imagine a world where you can only consume culture from government-approved sources, months after its widely publicised release overseas, in low definition, with long term lease agreements where you can never purchase a copy to own, only to borrow and use within a specific set of technologically locked parameters. Where the freedom to share or own copies of cultural works has finally been stamped out and middlemen are free to charge what they like for mediocre services and innovation is locked in a box then dropped into an ocean abyss.

Will the long tail of the internet be docked by the fastidious imposition of GST to online purchases?

Sydney Morning Herald correspondent Philip Dorling has uncovered the fact that the US has designated Wikileaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange an official target.

Australian universities need to adapt their education models or face becoming irrelevant, says Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

This inquiry, and any proposals that stem from it, should be looked at very closely and any expansion of powers of the state put forward should be fought.

According to the ABC and a plethora of other media outlets reporting from parliamentary hearings yesterday Australia's friendly police want data retention laws extended to cover a period lasting ... forever.

Online retail promises or threatens to greatly change how Australians buy and sell over the next few years. However it works out, I hope that Gerry Harvey is around a fair bit longer, saying things to provoke and amuse us.

Half a dozen of Roxon’s fiercest critics have started mailing the Labor Senator copies of George Orwell’s iconic book 1984.

Over the past several weeks Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has publicly compared the Federal Government’s controversial data retention proposal to a similar system enacted in Europe. But the truth is that Europe’s data protection bureaucrat has heavily criticised the scheme, and a number of countries have struck it down as being unconstitutional.

news Global social networking site Twitter has agreed to closer cooperation with Australian law enforcement authorities, including handing over users’ IP addresses in certain...

Nicola Roxon has publicly linked the religious protests held in Sydney last week over a YouTube video and the issue of cyber-bullying to the Federal Government's wide-ranging packaging of surveillance and data retention measures, in what the Federal Attorney-General stated was "a lot of different trends coming together".

Yesterday's Daily Telegraph features a call to action – an Internet petition to stop trolling (the media definition of any offensive or deliberately hurtful behaviour online, not the traditional definition). This is both terrible journalism and falling for a trap.

A legal decision which forced Optus to shut down its time shifting service TV Now may eventually lead to reform of existing copyright law to cater for cloud technology.

Like history repeating, the Australian Government just keeps on coming up with disturbing new ways it wants to control and censor the Internet. Here's five ways the current controversial data retention proposal is similar to its predecessor in infamy: Senator Conroy's mandatory ISP-based Internet filter, which was shot down in flames in 2010.

The High Court has knocked back Optus' request to appeal its lost case against sporting groups the NRL, AFL and rival telco Telstra over Optus' TV Now cloud TV recording service, spelling the end of the ongoing legal action on the issue.

Following the ABC’s announcement that they will be streaming timely content from the new series of Dr Who, I applaud the broadcaster for moving with public demand and technological advancements.

The granting of political asylum by the Ecuadorian government to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange puts pressure back on the Australian government to act, says leading QC and human rights advocate, Julian Burnside.

The chief executive of the Australian division of publisher News Limited has given a major speech slamming what he described as "copyright kleptomaniacs" supporting "scumbag theft", arguing that Internet piracy was undermining the business case for the creation of great cultural works like never before.

Is Whirlpool or the Financial Review more accurate when it comes to reporting on the National Broadband Network? Two Canberra journalism professors analyse the situation.

Australians are constantly finding themselves in trouble overseas and turning to their government for assistance. But there is a limit to what Australia is legally required to do.

The UK Government has reportedly threatened to send law enforcement resources into Ecuador's embassy in London to retrieve Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as the stakes and tension regarding the Australian citizen's legal situation in the country continue to rise day by day.

Australian citizen and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will shortly be granted asylum in Ecuador, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Two of Australia's most hyped Internet startups have shut their doors just six months after launching or taking investment, in a sign of how quickly events move in the rapidly evolving local technology ecosystem.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the current AG Nicola Roxon may have come to see the light on the unpopularity of her department's current wide-reaching surveillance package currently before the Federal Parliament's Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

Australia's Privacy Commissioner has written to search giant Google requesting it provide several forms of evidence -- including confirmation by an independent third party -- that all of the payload data its Street View cars had collected over the past several years as they brushed past Wi-Fi networks on their journeys around Australia had actually been deleted.

The Australian division of digital rights movement the Pirate Party has launched an online petition through which it is collecting support from Australians who object to the wide-ranging new tranche of surveillance and data retention powers currently being proposed by the Labor Federal Government.

There appears to be an assumption within the broader intellectual property industries that members of Pirate Parties are just whiny brats who “want everything for free.” They consider us uneducated idiots who have not really given any thought into what we advocate. I find this odd.

We are in a new phase online where the blind are leading the blind, trying to find a path towards a more secure and regulated internet that enshrines our right to privacy.

Search giant Google this week revealed it has not yet deleted all of the payload data its Streetview cars had collected over the past several years as they brushed past Wi-Fi networks on their journeys around Australia, contrary to a statement in May 2011 that the data had been deleted.

The loose knit group of Internet activists known as 'Anonymous' over the weekend published some 3.5 gigabytes of data sourced from Australian telco AAPT, in protest against a wide-ranging package of surveillance and data retention reforms currently proposed by the Federal Government.

A number of technology media outlets yesterday reported they had spoken to a member of the Anonymous collective of Internet activists, who stated that they had broken into a major Australian ISP and were preparing to release a vast package of internal data to prove that the Federal Government's surveillance and data retention plans weren't secure.

Pirate Party Australia failed a recent attempt to register their Australian Capital Territory branch. But media reports about the issue don't tell the whole story.

One of Australia's peak consumer groups has recommended the Federal Government investigate whether region-coding and charging Australians higher prices for products based on Internet IP address should be banned, in the context of an investigation which has found little justification for average Australian price hikes of 50 percent on technology goods.

Most Australians are unsure whether the Federal Government has provided enough support to Australian citizen and Internet activist Julian Assange during his ongoing legal battles in Europe, a new poll has shown, as the Greens continue to call for further assistance for the Wikileaks founder.

For the second time in two years, Australia's division of the Pirate Party has failed key registration requirements determining its elegibility to contest major elections, with the group noting this week that it had fallen short of required numbers for the Australian Capital Territory's upcoming poll.

At Delimiter we love a good rant, especially if it’s about the tragically flawed understanding which our Federal Government and attendant politicans appear to have about technology. And this one, by network engineer Mark Newton (he’s got form in this area) is a cracker.

Let’s hasten slowly in considering calls to free the state from administrative inconveniences such as warrants and rules of evidence.

The Federal Parliament has kicked off a review of and is seeking public submissions into a wide-reaching package of legislative reforms proposed by the Federal Government which the Greens have slammed as constituting a "systematic erosion of privacy" in Australia.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has modified its highly popular iview streaming video iPad app so that it will function on Apple iPhones, as well as unlocking the streaming ability for the app on 3G networks and revealing that it also has a separate version in the works for Google's rival Android platform.

National broadband provider iiNet has renewed its public attack on the content industry, using a high-profile report published in February to push the argument that the overall global content ecosystem is booming and that content providers should stop trying to stop Internet piracy and instead focus on new business models.

New legislation introduced by the Federal Government to stop multinationals such as Google from transferring profits out of Australia and evading local taxation won't have much effect on the search giant and similar Internet firms, it appears, despite statements by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that they would.

The Australian Greens have issued a broad statement warning Australians that their Internet freedom is being steadily 'eroded', with a wide swathe of government initiatives in areas ranging from surveillance to data retention, to the freedom of expression and privacy set to affect the nation over the coming years.

Online auction house eBay has reportedly handed over the details of thousands of its Australian sellers, as part of an initiative by the Federal Government's Human Services Department (which houses welfare agency Centrelink) to target those it suspects of cheating the welfare system.

Remember those high-handed statements and protests which erupted last week in Australia about the possibility of Australian citizen Julian Assange being extradited from Sweden to the US? Well, it turns out the US actually has no interest in extraditing the Wikileaks founder.

A series of protests will be held around the nation this afternoon to demand the Federal Government protect Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from potential extradition to the United States, despite statements by Foreign Minister Bob Carr to the effect that the Australian Government has done his utmost for the Australian citizen.

Contrary to a number of high-profile news articles published over the past 24 hours, Australia's Privacy Commissioner will not open a new investigation into Google's collection of Wi-Fi data by its Street View vehicles in Australia, following a new report by US regulators into the matter.

Australian author John Birmingham dumps eBook DRM.

We should think carefully about the inevitable alarmist claims regarding FYX and be wary about movie industry calls for new laws that protect their interests at the expense of Australian consumers.

Australia is the nation which most pirates the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones, new analysis released this week has shown, with time delays and cable TV lock-in being the primary culprits believed to be behind the nation's copyright infringing habits.

International technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon may not be paying their fair share of Australian tax, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this week, with local tax laws not having caught up yet with the challenges of the digital environment.

news In the realisation of one of the worst-kept secrets in Australia's new media and technology sectors, Swedish music streaming Spotify has launched locally,...

You might have noticed that at Delimiter we love an epic rant, and as we've previously written, former Internode network engineer Mark Newton has form in this area. Whether it be on the issue of the Internet filter, the National Broadband Network or other topics, Newton is wonderfully unafraid to tell it like it is, and that's one reason we love him (in a platonic sense, of course).

The Federal Government today revealed a wide-reaching program to substantially reform its telecommunications interception and surveillance powers with the aim of bolstering the ability of law enforcement organisations to fight crime, including the introduction of a so-called "data retention" scheme that has attracted a great deal of controversy in Australia under the 'OzLog' banner.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, giant international Internet retailer and cloud computing giant Amazon is considering deploying a distribution centre -- Amazon-speak for giant warehouse filled with goods to ship to customers -- in Australia.

The annual $27-billion boost to Australia’s productivity from internet innovation is at threat from policymakers who would rather restrict online access than embrace it, Google’s Australia boss has warned.

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