Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It’s a short week with Anzac Day on Thursday, so let’s power through it.

1. Twitter (X) to challenge eSafety

Twitter (renamed X) has vowed to take The Australian eSafety Commissioner on in court, to challenge the Commission’s “unlawful and dangerous approach” of forcing the platform to withhold posted videos of the Western Sydney stabbing in Australia. “X believes that eSafety’s order was not within the scope of Australian law and we complied with the directive pending a legal challenge,” the company’s Global Government Affairs account said in a post, claiming that the Commissioner ordered the removal of posts that “publicly commented on the recent attack against a Christian Bishop”, and that did not violate platform rules on free speech. X claims that eSafety doesn’t have the authority to enforce a global takedown order.

2. Oh, great, another Musk-heavy issue of 5 Things

Speaking of Elon Musk and his legal challenges, Bloomberg reports that Musk’s ‘revisionist history’ is leading his legal challenge against OpenAI. Musk’s lawsuit alleges that the AI company has abandoned its altruistic principles in favour of profits, and therefore was out of the scope of his involvement early on when it was founded, but OpenAI has clapped back: “Years ago, plaintiff Elon Musk abandoned OpenAI when his bid to dominate the venture failed,” OpenAI’s lawyers said in a court filing. “Now that he has launched a competing artificial intelligence company, Musk seeks to leverage the success OpenAI has achieved and to direct OpenAI’s affairs for his own commercial benefit.” OpenAI wants the lawsuit dismissed.

3. Another TikTok divest-or-ban bill passes US House

TikTok is facing further pressure from U.S. lawmakers to either be divested from Chinese owner Bytedance or be banned entirely, with a new bill passing the house as part of a foreign aid bill package, per The Verge. The bill that passed the House last month has, so far, not made progress in the Senate, with its future in limbo. The new bill, as packaged with those other bills, will likely progress through the U.S. Senate faster.

4. Apple pulls WhatsApp and Threads in China

The Apple App Store has removed Meta’s WhatsApp and Instagram Threads apps in China, under orders from the Chinese government, per AP. Officials cited national security concerns for the removal, and comes as the U.S. House, as mentioned above, begins moving on TikTok.

5. Microsoft’s spooky new AI tool

Microsoft has demonstrated a new AI tool, dubbed VASA-1, that can take a photograph of a person and turn it into a moving video, per Engadget. The video looks fluid and expressive, with lip movements to match speech, but obviously it could be used maliciously – which Microsoft is aware of. As such, the researchers haven’t released any accessible product of the tool, and won’t until they’re sure it can be used responsibly in accordance with regulation.

BONUS ITEM: Colossal hater Tim Sweeney.

Have a lovely (short) week.

Image: Yalcin Sonat (Shutterstock)

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