June 2022

The Impact of Tech on the Future of Work: Opening Remarks to Select Committee

by Peter Lewis

Opening Statement to the NSW Parliament Select Committee on the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in New South Wales Thank you for the invitation to appear today. I do apologise for not appearing in person, but I currently have Covid. I also apologise in advance if I

Introducing ‘Civility’

featuring Peter Lewis

This week’s Burning Platforms will introduce ‘Civility’ – a new collaborative platform designed to create better public engagement. Recorded live 10th June 2022. With our regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch and new panelist: David Swan, Technology Editor at The Australian Special guest:

May 2022

Anthony Albanese’s government must learn from Labor’s last breakup with electoral power

by Peter Lewis

For all the tabloids’ orchestrated pompom waving throughout the election campaign, to their credit Anthony Albanese’s marriage breakup was one place they refused to go. Albanese’s standing as a divorced man in a relatively new relationship is a first for an Australian prime minister, but could also serve as a metaphor for his incoming government

This article is more than 2 months old ‘Second miracle’ or historic win from opposition? No one knows how this election journey will end

by Peter Lewis in The Guardian

On the final manic drive to the ballot box, we approach the national crossroads with justified trepidation: are we heading towards the light or is that another runaway train coming to plough us down? We pollsters and pundits (and we progressives in general) are all experiencing our own form of PTSD after the car crash

April 2022

Deus Ex Machina

featuring Peter Lewis

Humans embrace technology with a child-like optimism, but what are the threats Artificial Intelligence poses our society if its impacts are not thought through? Burning Platforms dives deep into the amorality of AI with a special discussion with Professor Toby Walsh, author of the new book ‘Machines Behaving Badly’. Recorded live 29th April 2022. Regular

Are we addicted to tech?

featuring Peter Lewis

On this week’s burning Platforms we dive deep into digital addiction: are we being played? And what can we do to get ourselves off the bad stuff? Recorded live 14th April 2022 Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch Dan Stinton, Managing

Pandemic tech

featuring Peter Lewis

After turning to new technology in a public health crisis we now face critical questions in what a new surveillance normal looks like. Special guest Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran from Reset joins the panel to ask whether we are ready to learn the lessons of 9/11 before a new tech paradigm takes hold. Recorded live 1st April 2022.

March 2022

The Rise of the Splinternet

featuring Peter Lewis

Our panel and former president of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Paul Twomey will outline how competing models of state control over online communications are challenging the very essence of the internet. Recorded live 18th March 2022. Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea,

The People’s Choice

featuring Peter Lewis

In the last Burning Platforms before the Australian Federal Election we run the rule over the policies being offered up by the major parties. Is it just Coke vs. Pepsi? Or are there bigger ideas at play? Recorded live 13th March 2022. Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology

Research Finds No Evidence of China Interference Campaign on #AusPol Twitter

New research has found no evidence of a major China-backed campaign to influence Australian political discourse on social media, according to the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. The research analysed more than 69,000 tweets from two low-points in Australia-China relations in 2020 and found no evidence the CCP was using bots to shape political

True Lies: Disinformation in an election year

featuring Peter Lewis

As the Federal Election approaches amid heightened geo-political tensions, Burning Platforms looks at a ground-breaking attempt to understand how political actors game the social media algorithms to deliver targeted disinformation. Recorded live March 4th 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch

February 2022

Facebook News Takedown Anniversary and the News Media Bargaining Code

featuring Peter Lewis

We mark 12 months from the Facebook news takedown and review the progress of the News Media Bargaining Code. Has the code achieved its objectives? Who’s missed out? And should it be a global model for managing the relationship between journalism and the platforms. Recorded live on 18th February 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director

Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety

featuring Peter Lewis

While Australians spent the summer searching for RATs, a hastily convened federal government inquiry was holding public hearings about online safety, as the Morrison Government amps up its war with the Big Tech companies. Burning Platforms is back for 2022 to dissect the inquiry with deputy chair Tim Watts MP. Recorded live 4th February 2022.

December 2021

The Public Square Project book launch

featuring Peter Lewis

Held at The Australia Institute’s Politics in the Pub event, we launch the Centre for Responsible Technology’s new book ‘The Public Square Project’. Western democracy has always been anchored by the idea of a public space where people gather to share ideas, mediate difference and make sense of the world. When Facebook blocked Australian users

Whatever happened to the free web?

featuring Dan Stinton, Lizzie O'Shea and Peter Lewis

The internet promised new ways to challenge power and privilege, so how has it become a tool to promote division and entrench despots? Join us as we dive deep with special guest Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch into the ways tech platforms have become wilful partners in oppression around the globe. Regular panellists: Peter

The Public Square Project: Reimagining Our Digital Future

A new book from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology, published by MUP and released today, The Public Square Project: Reimagining Our Digital Future explores a new blueprint for a more democratic digital space, and re-examines the idea of a public space where people gather to share ideas, mediate difference and make sense of

November 2021

Amazon’s Big Friday a Black Day for Worker Rights

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible technology today called on Amazon to mark its global marketing day, Black Friday, by ditching patents to increase the surveillance of its workers. According to an analysis by UNI Global, Amazon currently have patents on a range of technologies that will erode workplace privacy including: Augmented reality headsets that

What’s the go with DuckDuckGo?

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea and Dan Stinton

The dominance of Google’s data-hungry search engine is under the spotlight in Australia, with live inquiries on its role in the Ad-tech industry and anti-competitive deals which embed the search engine in smart devices. But DuckDuckGo has proven that you can build a search engine that’s not based on user surveillance. In this week’s Burning

Can technology really save the planet?

featuring Peter Lewis and Lizzie O'Shea

As the world’s leaders debate the future of the planet, technology is being put forward as the solution to the earth’s climate woes. But will smart energy networks, AI and Bitcoin really save us? As part of the annual NetThing internet governance conference, this week’s Burning Platforms dives deep into the environmental impacts of technology. Regular panellists: Peter

October 2021

Platforms vs. Nation-States

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea and Dan Stinton

Platforms are acting like nation-states and governments are trying to become platforms, but are they both getting it wrong? The idea of the ’platform’ has come to dominate our notion of the internet – that there are corporate networks that we stand on to support us in accessing cyberspace. Governments are employing the same construct

Privacy isn’t boring: Online Privacy in Australia

featuring Peter Lewis and Lizzie O'Shea

With a review of the Privacy Act expected soon, and the Facebook whistleblower revealing Facebook’s privacy breaches among other things, we take a deep dive into the legal frameworks for entrenching digital data rights into Australian law. From informed consent to data matching and security, is the traditional approach to privacy applicable to the online

Facial Recognition for Home Quarantine is a Recipe for Privacy Disaster

State governments trialling home quarantine need to take active steps to ensure they are not crossing a new frontier in the surveillance of citizens by using Facial Recognition Technology, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. This follows reports that in several states police have accessed COVID check-in data to undertake routine law enforcement activities.

Facebook Should Face Royal Commission into its Online Harms

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has backed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s proposal for a high-level review of the public health impacts of Facebook’s business model, calling for a Royal Commission into the company’s impact on Australian users. Evidence from an internal whistleblower to the US Senate this week has exposed how Facebook’s leadership

The algorithms that rule Australia

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea, Dan Stinton and Jordan Guiao

Welcome to Burning Platforms. A new fortnightly podcast unpacks the latest developments in technology from around the world. This fortnight we explore algorithms that rule Australia, how we are increasingly outsourcing policy and governance to algorithms. We will look at how facial recognition, robo-planning and robo-welfare are entering our policy environments. This and more in

September 2021

Government Must Now Act on ACCC Call to Regulate Google’s Advertising Power

The Federal Government should move urgently to implement the recommendations of a new ACCC report into the monopoly dominance of Google in the advertising. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology said understanding and regulating the hidden power of Google to collect and combine user data from multiple sources was a critical piece in addressing the

Privacy concerns cast shadow over vaccination passports

The lack of a clear blueprint for vaccination ‘passports’ that addresses public concerns around safety and security risks is undermining the implementation of vaccine mandates, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. With vaccine passports for international travel reportedly just weeks away, there appears to have been little focus on the way a digital

May 2021

Artificial intelligence must enshrine fairness

by Peter Lewis in The Australian

The Human Rights Commission’s call for a pause on the development of Facial Recognition Technology and the placing of guardrails around the development of other AI products could be the kickstart the Australian tech sector desperately needs. While Australia plays perpetual catch-up with the tech superpowers of the US and China, scrounging for government support

Majority of Australians Support Limits on Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Technology in Australia

The key measures in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Human Rights and Technology’ report released Thursday are strongly endorsed by the Australian public, according to new research. A poll of 1,100 Australians conducted by Essential Research for the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology finds majority support for the key measures recommended in the report:

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