In episode 78, We discuss the amended Internet safety laws aimed at protecting children online. The proposal includes age verification for services with adult content and raises concerns about transparency and data collection. Tech Minister Paul Scully defends the bill but understands the need for flexibility.
Plus, we unveil the latest news from Virgin Galactic as their rocket plane Unity takes off for commercial operations.
The episode kicks off with a discussion on the amended Internet safety laws proposed by the government, aimed at better protecting children online. While the bill requires age verification for services publishing or allowing pornographic content, concerns have been raised by the Digital Rights Group regarding transparency and data collection. Tech Minister Paul Scully defends the legislation, acknowledging its imperfections but asserting its flexibility. Proposed amendments for age checking technologies such as facial recognition and official ID verification have sparked worries among digital rights campaigners about privacy and the collection of children's biometric data. The bill grants powers to the communications regulator Ofcom, allowing them to penalise tech companies and block access to certain websites.
Moving on, the podcast explores the recent developments in Canadian legislation that requires tech giants like Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) to pay for news. In response, these companies have decided to block Canadian news, raising concerns about the impact on media organisations supporting the bill. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket plane Unity takes centre stage as it begins its commercial operations. Unity's successful first mission enabled three Italians to carry out experiments in weightless conditions. Sir Richard is now ready to send hundreds of ticket holders on space-bound journeys.
Meta (Facebook) also makes headlines with the launch of their $7.99 per month virtual reality (VR) subscription service. Subscribers gain access to new games each month, although Meta's VR unit has suffered a significant $4 billion loss. The podcast moves on to discuss BT's investigation following a major disruption to the UK's emergency call services.
Moreover, Twitter now requires users to sign in to view tweets, leading to criticism from Elon Musk who considers it a temporary emergency measure. The move has annoyed users without Twitter accounts, while Musk intends to take legal action against those who stole Tesla's data. Twitter itself has implemented measures to win back advertisers and increase subscription revenue, including charging for access to its application program interface (API).
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