Your top 12 stories of 2021 | Information Age | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack | #education | #technology | #infosec


Welcome to the Information Age annual roundup of the stories that captivated your attention this year.

After analysing almost a million pageviews, we found surveillance, Elon Musk, jobs, and cyber security made the cut.

Here’s your top 12 of 2021:

1. Australia is becoming a surveillance state

We took a look at the new powers the government would have, following the passing of the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020. They included the ability to modify and delete data, and take over online accounts of alleged criminals.

2. Elon Musk’s satellite internet comes to Australia

The imminent launch of SpaceX’s Starlink – promising vastly improved data speed, latency and uptime – was a winner with readers sick of the inadequate options available in some areas of Australia. At $809 to get set up, plus a monthly fee of $139, it was definitely not a cheap option, but for some, may be the only one.

3. Cyber security professionals ready to quit

The people we need most within organisations to protect systems are quitting in droves. Why? Extreme stress and burnout topped the list. But the job pays well and demand is strong. Is it worth it?

4. SA trials facial recognition for home quarantine

Isolating in quarantine at home instead of a hotel room sounds like a great idea, but for some South Australians who signed up to a trial, it meant being monitored by the government via webcam to check they were, in fact, at home.

5. NFT: why tweets and jpegs are selling for millions

Are NFTs the latest investment innovation or sure-fire scam? We explained why the latest use of blockchain is causing ripples around the world and how the face of music and art are rapidly changing.

6. The fake COVID apps fooling authorities

Where there’s a COVID certificate requirement, there’s a way to get around them. Reports fake certificates could be bought online and which looked as convincing as genuine ones had authorities scrambling for a resolution.

7. NBN technicians strike over pay

More than 100 NBN technicians walked off the job at a time Australians were needing fast internet services while working from home. Readers weren’t very sympathetic, with some describing the NBN scheme as a “horse’s arse” and urging a class action suit against the company.

8. NSW pauses online change of address

It’s amazing how many people thought COVID was a great time to move – until authorities worked out people were simply logging on and changing their address in the system, even though they had not actually moved. Why? To avoid suburb-specific lockdowns in NSW.

9. These are Australia’s most-needed IT jobs

The Australian government released a list of the top 800 jobs needed in Australia, with IT nabbing almost 10 percent in the highest demand category. The roles in demand were multimedia specialist, developer programmer, software engineer, ICT security specialist, and ICT project manager.

10. The most wanted programming skills of 2021

So many programs, so little time. Which languages were worth learning this year? Python and Java were high up the list, as was C and Javascript. The most in-demand programming skills included front-end development, full-stack development, and automated testing.

11. The best-paying certifications in IT

Which certification is more likely to be valuable once complete? With hundreds to choose from, we looked at the top-paying certs which included CRISC, CISSP and PMP.

12. Help government hack or face 10 years’ jail

Readers were not happy about the Surveillance Bill mentioned in our #1 story, outraged that police could apply for an “assistance order” requiring someone such as a system administrator to assist with hacking activities. Anyone who helped hack was protected from civil liability and those refusing faced 10 years in jail.

Which tech news stood out for you this year? We’d love to read your comments.


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