Category Archives : News and politics

Fight secret copyright deals: a global TPP teach-in

via Maira Sutton, Global Policy Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Frontier Foundation -

Hi there,

A lot has happened on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) front these past couple months. There was another major leak of a recent draft of the TPP’s Intellectual Property chapter that confirmed that many of the most extreme copyright provisions are still there, and in some cases, have even gotten worse. It also showed that it included some new harmful language on “trade secrets” that could be used to crack down on journalists.

The TPP could be finalized in the coming months, and things are moving fast. That’s why we’d like to invite you to a public, online teach-in to hear representatives from several digital rights groups based in TPP countries share their analysis of the latest leaked text, as well as to lay out the current state of play of the negotiations. We’ll make sure there’s time at the end for users to ask us questions.

When the time comes, we’ll need to be ready to fight this agreement on a global front. So please join us on Nov 19, and help us spread the word about how TPP poses a threat to users’ rights.

When: November 19, 2014, 12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern / 5pm Chile / 7am Australia EST / 9am New Zealand

Where: Google Hangout and streamed on Youtube (link to livestream will be provided here on the day of the event)

Who: Members of the TPP Fair Deal Coalition, including Electronic Frontier Foundation (US), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Consumer NZ (New Zealand), Public Citizen (US)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


P.S. Make sure to check out some of our Fair Deal Coalition partners’ new TPP materials:

Law Society: Privacy in a digital age

Hi All.

The Law Society are hosting an interesting seminar later this month in Sydney and the topic is about privacy in the era of modern technology – a.k.a the digital age.

This is a very timely and appropriate topic for review as we are faced with brand new moral, legal and privacy issues brought forward by the adoption of near-ubiquitous technology in our daily lives.  This is an important topic for a wide audience – technology practitioners, lawyers, consumers and public and private sector employees as well.

Whilst the seminar is likely to be heavily focused on the legal ramifications of technology and recent and upcoming changes to legislation, the presence of Vivienne Thom no doubt provide some interesting insight into the role our intelligence services play within this spectrum of policy.

This isn’t a free seminar, there are costs for members and non-members of the Law Society (see below), but even for those nominal fees, this is an excellent educational opportunity for those handy to the Sydney CBD.

More details follow.

Privacy in a digital age

Drone imaging, data mining, and surveillance by CCTV are ubiquitous. They raise issues of privacy, security, and freedom. Have we given up on privacy as a social norm? How far does the interest in national security extend before our civil rights are infringed?

Angela Merkel has said: “when we do everything that is technologically possible, we damage trust; we sow mistrust. Millions of people who live in undemocratic states are watching very closely to see how the world’s democracies react to threats to their security”.

Join the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Vivienne Thom, the President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Stephen Blanks, and leading privacy lawyer, Gordon Hughes, in conversation with Professor Ben Saul.

Wednesday 30 April 2014
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Venue: The Law Society of New South Wales, Level 3, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney

Members: $66.00
Non-members: $81.00

Registrations: Please complete the online booking form for members or non-members.
Contact us for further information.

About the presenters:

Ben Saul – Facilitator

Dr Ben Saul is Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney. He is a barrister whose cases have included the Israel security wall, Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, the Balibo Five war crimes inquest, security deportee Sheikh Mansour Leghaei, and 50 refugees indefinitely detained for security reasons. Ben is internationally recognised as an expert on global counter-terrorism law, human rights, the law of war, and international crimes. He has taught law at Oxford, the Hague Academy of International Law and in China, India, Nepal and Cambodia, and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.  

Vivienne Thom – Panelist

Dr Vivienne Thom is the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. In this role she reviews the activities of the six intelligence and security agencies, conducts inquiries, either self-initiated or at the request of government and investigates complaints about the agencies. Vivienne has broad experience in public administration in a number of senior executive positions. She has been Deputy Ombudsman with responsibility for the oversight of law enforcement, immigration, taxation and defence agencies. Prior to that appointment she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint and previously, Commissioner of Patents at IP Australia.

Stephen Blanks – Panelist

Stephen Blanks joined the NSW Council for Civil Liberties in 1993 and became President in October 2013. He has given evidence to several parliamentary inquiries concerning privacy, including the 2012 Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Inquiry relating to data retention. Stephen was admitted as a solicitor in 1985, and is an accredited specialist in commercial litigation. His small legal practice, located in Rozelle, Sydney, focuses mainly on litigation and commercial transactions. He appears frequently in the media commenting on issues involving privacy and technology.

Gordon Hughes – Panelist

Dr Gordon Hughes is a partner with Ashurst, practising in the area of information technology law, data protection law, electronic commerce, privacy and intellectual property rights. Gordon has authored leading texts on IT contracts and privacy law, and advised on e-commerce, procurement and data protection issues across the private and public sectors. Gordon has served as president of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Law Council of Australia and Lawasia. In 2010 he was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. He is an Adjunct Professor, and a part time member of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The day we fight back!

The Day We Fight Back
February 11th 2014.


An international day of action has been called for tomorrow against mass surveillance. If you can join, please add your support to this cause.
We are calling for adoption of the necessary and proportionate principles of oversight and privacy protection.

More information at: or the international site:

Podcast: here