Australia’s largest telco Telstra has pleged to keep the metadata it is required to store on its customers for two years safe after the data retention scheme passed the Senate last night. The Government and the Labor Party united last night to vote through the Coalition’s data retention bill, despite a last-ditch effort by the Greens and several independents to make changes to the bill.
Asustek Computer has launched its second-generation ZenFone smartphone in China with pricing starting at CNY1,299 (US$209) and the device is expected to pose a strong threat to China-based Xiaomi’s flagship product, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News(EDN) report. For 2015, Asustek is looking to ship 25-30 million smartphones worldwide and sell four million units in China to become a top-10 smartphone vendor in the country, the report noted.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has shifted one of its business units to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Azure solutions in one of the first federal government migrations of a full workload to the public cloud. DFAT earlier this week launched its $140 million ‘innovation Xchange’ – an innovation hub designed to propel the department to be more “create, entrepreneurial and innovative” in how Australia delivers international aid.
The federal government is seeking to remove any perceived or actual advantage to Telstra as a result of the information it receives from NBN Co on the network rollout. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked the ACCC to consult with industry on a proposed carrier license condition for NBN Co which would govern the way it provides rollout information to Telstra and retail service providers (RSPs).
Internet service provider TPG has posted strong customer and revenue growth as it works toward taking over rival ISP iiNet. TPG recorded an 18 percent rise in net profit for its first half of fiscal 2015, to $107 million. Its consumer broadband subscriber base grew by 38,000 to reach 786,000, buoyed by the addition of 17,000 customers on TPG’s own fibre-to-the-basement network and wholesale NBN plans, and 21,000 DSL customers.
BENGALURU: Infosys and Accenture have entered the final lap to clinch a Rs 900-crore ($150 million) IT outsourcing contract from Australia-based financial services provider Macquarie Group. The five-year contract will include application development, testing and infrastructure management services (IMS), said sources privy to the development. Macquarie provides banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. It employs more than 13,900 people in 28 countries.
A number of Australia Post’s payments and communications systems have gone offline after scheduled IT upgrades over the weekend had unintended consequences. The organisation is currently working to restore functionality to a number of systems – including EFTPOS and Bank at Post – following the outage. Retail outlets and stores are currently only able to accept cash due to failures with the electronic payments facilities.
NSW’s online voting system iVote has been discovered to contain a critical flaw just days before the state’s citizens head to the polls for the 2015 election. Two university researchers over the weekend revealed that the system’s voting server had loaded code from a third-party website vulnerable to the recently discovered FREAK attack.
Telstra has revealed it has run out of IPv4 internet addresses, prompting warnings that its use of network addressing translation could impact the carrier’s ability to accurately collect customer metadata for the Government’s proposed data retention scheme. Carriers worldwide are being urged to move to the new IPv6 addressing system, which was created to overcome limitations to the quickly dwindling IPv4 address supply. IPv6 can create a theoretically inexhaustible supply of addresses, but it is not interoperable with the older IPv4 protocol.
Australia is pushing legislation to expand the types and amount of biometric data it can collect at immigration checkpoints. The new bill introduced this month would give the Department of Immigration and Border Protection power to collect more data, including from minors, when the need arises because the country faces higher terrorism-related risks. “Recent border and terrorism-related events in Australia and worldwide illustrate the need for measures to strengthen community protection outcomes,” says the outline of the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015.
WASHINGTON – Verizon on March 16 announced that it is expanding its cloud service offerings in Hong Kong, Singapore and Melbourne, three of the largest cities in Asia and hubs of international commerce and finance. Company officials said the new cloud services will facilitate enterprise growth through improvements in memory, storage and network uptime, along with better network flexibility and control.
Police are struggling to cope with and make good use of the vast reservoirs of metadata collected during investigations, according to South Australia’s assistant police commissioner. Addressing Informa’s Police Technology Forum in Canberra this week, assistant commissioner Paul Dickson described the amount of data coming out of certain investigations as “mind-blowing”. “It really is quite an issue for investigators, because they almost have got too much data,” he said.
The federal government’s flagship cybercrime reporting system is due for a revamp just months after launch in the light of modest response numbers and emerging new requirements. Dubbed ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network), the website – run by CrimTrac – was released in November to enable the public to report cases of cybercrime. The $2 million site allows citizens to report a cybercrime via a form that takes 15 minutes to fill out.
The Australian federal government is joining up with state governments to ensure that public datasets are available on the national portal. This month, it announced that South Australian open data will be available on the national portal, while the state portal will also provide access to national datasets. “Users of data.sa.gov.au and data.gov.au will be able to find data resources from either portal using a single search. Now, users of the portals will have over 5,700 datasets and their fingertips,” blogged Allan Barger of the data.gov.au team.
Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) will have access to Telstra’s 4G service by June next year, but may not be able to provide full-speed downloads to customers initially. Telstra yesterday said it was developing a wholesale proposition for its 4G network that will use all its 4G spectrum. This includes the 700MHz spectrum as well as the 1800 and 2600MHz frequency bands, which cover 90 percent of the nation.
Australia’s data centre operators are in a race to scale out their facilities to meet the capacity demands of cloud providers and to prepare for the internet of things. Executives for the largest four operators – Equinix, Global Switch, Digital Realty and NextDC – used a panel discussion at the Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit to discuss the pressure to build at scale while lowering costs. All agreed that data centre operators needed to demonstrate available capacity and their ability to scale in order to be considered a potential host for cloud service nodes.
The federal government is attempting to expand the amount and type of biometric data it collects on Australian citizens and foreigners – including minors – at the country’s airports through new legislation. The Coalition Government had initially attempted to include an expansion to biometric data collection in its ‘foreign fighters’ bill last year. It was knocked back by the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill, which said the collection of additional types of biometric data should by covered under entirely new legislation given the sensitive nature of the information involved.
Australian law enforcement and government agencies are asking for increasingly more data on Facebook users, the latest figures from the social media giant show. In the six months from July to December last year, Australian government agencies requested 36 percent more data on Facebook user accounts than in the previous six month period. Facebook’s latest twice-yearly government requests report reveals it received 829 requests for user data on 933 accounts from Australia. It handed over the data on 69 percent of requests.
Australia mobile customers get some of the best 4G LTE coverage in the world but are receiving less than impressive data speeds, large-scale user research shows. Data from 11 million users across 76 countries collected by wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal during November 2014 and January 2015 showed Spain now leads the data speeds field, with 18 megabits per second on average.
When Telstra’s managed data centre general manager Jon Curry first outlined his master plan for a revamped data centre campus at Clayton in Victoria two years ago, he’d already learned a thing or two about design and construction. Two years on, and with the modernisation and expansion works complete, he has a couple of key learnings to add.