According to journalist Tom Arup writing in The Age, Julian Assange -- the Australian founder of the whistleblower website Wikileaks -- says he had his passport taken away from him at the Melbourne Airport for fifteen minutes because "it was looking worn" and was later told by customs officials that the passport was about to be cancelled. Assange said half an hour after his passport was returned, he was approached by an Australian Federal Police officer who searched one of his bags and asked him about his criminal record relating to computer hacking offences in 1991. The incident has raised questions over whether the Australian government's actions were retaliation for Wikileaks' publishing a confidential blacklist of websites to be banned by the Australian government's proposed internet filter.
Cecilia Kang from Post Tech at the The Washington Post writes that Google has deleted the private data the company inadvertently collected last week in Ireland off of unprotected, or unencrypted, Wi-Fi networks at homes, while compiling photos for its Street View Application location-based services. An independent third party corroborated the deletion. German officials blasted Google, saying the practice, even if in error, was illegal. Now, California-based Consumer Watchdog has filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking an investigation on how the practice affected consumers. According to Google, the company has been proactive by searching for other potential instances of the practice in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, and selected European countries, places where Street View is in most widespread usage.
The Age, an Australian newspaper, reports that Australia's biggest technology companies led by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, along with communications academics and many lobby groups, have delivered a withering critique of the government's plans to censor the internet. According to the article, the Australian government intends to force ISPs to implement a set of filters that will block a blacklist of "refused classification" websites for all Australians on a mandatory basis. The goal is to make the Internet a safer place for children, but critics argue that the scope of blocked content is too broad and would legitimate sites inaccessible, while the process of adding sites to the blacklist could be subject to government abuse.