All the news is from Canberra this week. With a new Prime Minister there's been renewed calls to sack Senator Stephen Conroy as minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and replace him with Senator Kate Lundy.
In this week's Patch Monday podcast, Gizmodo Australia editor Nick Broughall explains why the publication is now actively campaigning for the change, and Crikey's Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane looks at the political realities.
In other news, a parliamentary report on cybercrime recommends making security software mandatory before connecting to the internet.
Meanwhile, the Federal Parliament released its report into cybercrime, "Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime". One of the more controversial recommendations is that Australians should be required to install approved antivirus and firewall software before their internet service provider allows them to connect. This is effectively an extension of the Internet Industry Association's new icode policy for dealing with infected computers, otherwise known as zombies.
Security consultant Alastair MacGibbon from the Internet Safety Institute would go further. He'd actively block users from accessing the internet unless their security software was up-to-date, restricting them to a walled garden until they sorted out the problem.
MacGibbon was director of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre for 15 years and eBay Asia Pacific's head of Trust, Safety & Customer Support for for four years. In a passionate conversation, he says mandatory security checks for computers are no more a violation of your rights than requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.
Patch Monday also includes Stilgherrian's idiosyncratic look of the week's IT news headlines.
To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.
For further listening, you can access extended interviews with the guests in this week's episode.
- Bernard Keane reflects on our recent communications ministers and provides even more political details for the tragics.
- Alastair MacGibbon discusses other cybercrime report recommendations, including the creation of an Office of Online Security with a Cyber Security Coordinator in the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet, and an online crime reporting facility.
Running time: 32 minutes, 53 seconds