technology law

Swiss company provides its users’ personal information

Protonmail, an end-to-end encrypted secure email provider based in Switzerland, was recently obligated by a Swiss Court order to provide a certain class of user’s IP addresses to French police via the transnational Europol law enforcement agency.  This article considers the Australian statutory perspective on obtaining access to ‘encrypted’ data where such information may be contained within end-to-end encrypted communications. [Read more…]

Government surveillance bill passed by Parliament

On 25 August 2021 Federal Parliament passed the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 (Bill).  The Bill modifies various acts, including the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (Cth) (SDA) and the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (CA), to enhance the law enforcement powers of the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission in respect of serious online crime.[1]  The Bill introduces three (3) new warrants:

  • data disruption warrants;
  • network activity warrants; and
  • account takeover warrants.

[Read more…]

Can email trackers be submitted as evidence?

Whether email trackers, read receipts and similar indicators that show an email has been received and, ostensibly, read can be submitted as evidence has not been substantially considered in standing jurisprudence.  This article briefly considers whether, in light of existing case law, email trackers can be submitted as evidence. [Read more…]

Uber breaches Australian privacy laws

The recent decision by the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angele Falk, (Commissioner) in Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Uber Technologies, Inc. & Uber B.V. (Privacy) [2021] AICmr 34 (Uber) has provided further guidance as to exactly who is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) though the ‘Australian link’ set out in subsections 5B(2)-(3) (Australian Link).  A full breakdown of what amounts to an Australian Link can be viewed in another article here.  This article discusses the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) that were breached by Uber and what was decided the ride-sharing entity was to do in response to non-compliance with the Act. [Read more…]

Software royalties and income tax

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently released a draft Taxation Ruling (TR) 2021/D4 (Draft Ruling) which considers whether certain software related royalties may be taxable.  In short, the Draft Ruling provides a much needed, and quite broad, scope for when consideration of computer software will be a royalty for income tax purposes.  This article discusses this broadened scope. [Read more…]

Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth)

In Australia the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) sets the rules for companies that offer or advertise gambling services.  It applies to all online gambling, whether through a website, app or social media platform.  Under the Act, the provision of internet gambling services in Australia is generally prohibited, subject to some exceptions.  The Act empowers the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to investigate complaints, write investigation reports and undertake enforcement and compliance monitoring activities. [Read more…]

Standard form IT procurement contracts – legal issues

Standard form IT procurement agreements are commonly used by businesses which have an established procurement department to standardise the commercial and legal procurement process.  Below we address key terms in standard form IT procurement agreements which suppliers should look out for when presented with one. [Read more…]

What is in a network access agreement?

Network access agreements are agreements between licenced carriers in which a carrier (First Carrier) gives another carrier (Second Carrier) access to its network, which the Second Carrier can then access to provide telecommunications services to end customers or other wholesale carriers.   Below we set out the key considerations, carriers need to cover in their network access agreements. [Read more…]

Managed service agreements for IT companies

A Managed Services Agreement (MSA) is an agreement between an IT managed services provider (MSP) and its client.   An MSP will manage and provide a defined set of services to its client as set out in the MSA.  Some common services that are provided by MSPs are systems and application management, managed communications, data backup and recovery, data storage, cloud services, network monitoring, management and security and software support and maintenance, authentication services, as well providing any necessary hardware. [Read more…]

What is a software licence agreement?

A software  licence agreement (Software Licence Agreement) is a contract where one party (Licensor) grants to another party (Licensee) the right to use the defined software.  It is often used by software developers (Developers) so that they can build and own a core application, customise it for particular clients and provide them with a licence to use the core.  In many cases this licence has been the start of a substantial business enterprise.  The term Software Licence Agreement can apply to both installed software as well as cloud based applications.  That said cloud based Apps are commonly referred to as “Software as a service contracts” or SaaS Contracts because they involve the right to access and use a software application as opposed to a right to reproduce the code. [Read more…]

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