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Anything Europe does, Australia would like to think it can do better – and when it comes to snooping on individual internet usage, Australia is determined to lead the way. A report in ZDNet Australia this week reveals that the attorney-general's department has been holding discussions with industry on setting up an Australian …

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is it me ?

or are the australian government f**king insane ?

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Unhappy

Sadly, it's not just you.

Our government really are that insane. It seems to be a legal requirement now to book a lobotomy as soon as you become part of government. I've been thinking I'd like to emigrate to a country where the leaders have less paranoia. Like, say, Iraq.

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Megaphone

Its just you.

Oh, and the Government.

And probably me.

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In a word...

...YES!

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Flame

'Til now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke, but the fuckers are serious-we need help!

El Reg et al, Australian Internet users need help!

Up until now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke--a laughing stock of the world--but these fuckers a deadly serious. We need help from the world's Internet community to expose what's going on in Canberra.

The trouble is that we do not know what or who is really driving this totalitarian Nazi-like agenda.

This is extremely important, for if it succeeds here in Australia, then other governments will probably pick it up and run with it--you too will be knackered.

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Flame

You're right about 'The Australian Problem'.

I've already said in previous posts that if I could get out I would.

Only a day or two ago in these pages on El Reg a Canadian said he was just waiting for his Canadian passport to come through so as he could escape Australia.

Poor and imbecilic governance is really is an issue here in Oz.

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Flame

'Til now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke, but the fuckers are serious-we need help!

RE: 'THE AUSTRALIAN PROBLEM'

------------------------------------------------

El Reg et al, Australian Internet users need help!

Up until now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke--a laughing stock of the world--but these fuckers are deadly serious. We need help from the world's Internet community to expose what's going on in Canberra.

The trouble is that we do not know what is behind or who is really driving this totalitarian Nazi-like agenda in Australia.

This is important, for if it succeeds here in Australia, then other governments will probably pick it up and run with it too--you too will be knackered!

______

FYI: Here is a partial list of my recent El Reg posts where I express concern about (or where the post is related to) 'The Australian Problem'. Some are facetious, some are just hyperbole, some are serious but essentially they all relate to the same underlying issue--that of a serious problem with Australia's governance (and the Internet being an obvious focal point where it bubbles out):

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/785990

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/785984

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/785817

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/677089

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/677079

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/665301

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666189

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666268

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666300

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666292

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666307

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/666374

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/679417

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Silver badge
FAIL

Way to go, idiots

It will actually make things *harder* when this hit the mainstream consciousness. It will just push people towards Tor, Haystack, VPNs and other forms of stealth/obfuscation; plus applying crypto to messages etc.and there will be an explosion to new tools and gadgets to help the non-geeky, further ensuring mass adoption. Never mind the race for new methods and ideas to make everything even harder to crack.

Just how the hell will the police be able to investigate anything on-line when people are habitually using the likes of TrueCrypt as a matter of course? Or start switching to some for of darknet/undernet (call it what you will)?

What, other than creating a climate of fear, can the Aussie government possibly hope to gain from all this? The number of terrorists/paedos/whatever is so vanishingly small that all the money that is going to be wasted on this (and wasted it will be) would be put to better use funding traditional policing/enforcement.

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Anonymous Coward

It just crossed my mind...

... all they have to do is then make encryption illegal and you can be thrown in jail for encrypting anything. They wouldn't need to actually decrypt the packets.

Of course, that would completely blow a hole in Internet shopping, Internet banking, indeed probably the only thing that wouldn't be encrypted is pr*n ... but that's caught by the great Australian firewall anyway.

For crying out loud; why don't the Ausies just unplug themselves from the Internet and go walkabout. That's all they'll be able to do soon, anyway, with that lot of twits in charge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Way to go, idiots

"Just how the hell will the police be able to investigate anything on-line when people are habitually using the likes of TrueCrypt as a matter of course?"

--------

The Government will just make it a crime to be in possession of encrypted material or bring in RIPA style hand-over-your-keys-or-go-to-jail type legislation.

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You forgot about phase II

where they make use of any tech that doesn't allow government snooping, as if you are hiding anything from the powers that be you are obviously a terrorist or a peado or maybe both.

Although you do have to admire the symetery of the whole thing, it'll turn a nation founded by convicts back into a nation of convicts.

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Black Helicopters

@AC

Illegal to be in possession of encrypted material? Well, that's Blue Rays and a lot of DRM in general fecked. Not to mention HTTPs etc. My passport too. Credit cards also. I mean, I'm a geek. Goodness know what I could hide in them thar chips or disguise as a legit disc.

Hand over they keys? Sure, I'll do that. They won't find anything interesting ("plausible deniability" aka "rubber hose"). And if they can prove there is other data, then they are almost certainly of cracking the cypto without a key from me

We are, of course, thinking on current tech an paradigms. This kind of sanction will just fuel further development. Say some kind of crazy double-blind system where the user has no clue whatsoever what the key is and is totally unable to provide it. Although that would still be a crime according to RIPA...

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Silver badge

I'd like to think so

Really, I would. But I have my doubts that even snooping on that scale would get the majority of people motivated to use encryption. Sure it would raise awareness a little, and provide motivation for a few new user-friendly encryption tools. But at the end of the day, I fear more people agree with Google... nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Either that or they're just too lazy to do anything about it.

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Flame

Because it would be illegal to use them.

Because it would be illegal to use them.

Encrypted data streams may not be able to be cracked by The State but they certainly can detect them.

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Flame

Australia's answer would be to just ban encryption. And there's a possible precedent.

Australia's answer would be to just ban encryption.

There's a sort of precedent now--Drink Driving laws. Drink Driving laws do not state you have to be drunk to be charged, only that you are over the prescribed level of alcohol.

Simply, using encryption--PGP or Tor etc. would be illegal irrespective of the activity one is involved in.

If or when this happens you'll know for certain that you're in a totalitarian state.

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Silver badge

Huh?

There are reams of scientific data to show what alcohol does to human reactions and cognition. Just because it does not match your world-view is an irrelevance.

Ergo, your comparison is totally absurd and adds nothing to the debate.

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Anonymous Coward

Strewth...

...what else can you say?

I hope a certain person in governance down under, will have a very short political career as a result of this.

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FAIL

Just how stupid are these politicians?

Seriously now, when it comes to dodgy back handed deals, manipularing legislation for bungs, keeping half a towns rent boys in business, having extra marital affairs, indulging in seedy (and illegal...) sex games, drugs rackets, conspiting with organised crime, fraud, profiteering, extortion.... etc..etc..etc, politicians are amongst the most notorious repeated offenders.

How fuckin stupid do you need to be to then encourage all this t'interweb data retention? It'll be so easy to then hack these details out into the open and sink the lot of them. Surely sense would say to encourage NON retention of t'internet data so they can carry on their sordid little lives in the closet.

Bunch of wankers, all of em.

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Silver badge

Nah, nah, nah...

You're missing the obvious. Of course the masters and slaveowners won't have to suffer under this shit, just like they won't have to suffer the filter. They will have their own exempt connections so they can continue their corruption and porn browsing undetected. This is just for the slaves so they can control us, mate.

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Austrailian Attorney-General's Department

sponsored by IBM storage systems.

10 years is going to be a LOT of storage systems sales for someone...

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FAIL

In another thread

....I recall saying that Australia's government might appear batshit crazy from an outsider's perspective. It also appears to have trace amounts of paranoia and control-freakery.

I feel really bad for the Aussies - when even your own laws and government is trying to screw you over, what the hell are you supposed to do?

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Flame

Bogan Pride Alert: Australia Facisim quickly heading to Nazism

I am so glad we've escaped the dictatorship regime AKA -- Oz. I actually feel very sorry for folks there &/or watching Relocation shows now moving there. Not only is it a fascist state, a Nazism dictator running it.

Why not just admit to the internet listening devices the AFP (Australia Federal Police) are supposedly use as well while you're at it Aussie Bogans?

Perhaps they should SUE each themselves like they're going to SUE Gargle for violation of privacy laws? Nah, most punters in Oz are dumber than flaming sacks of s***...

THis kind of carp makes me sick. Should make most of the IETF teams over the years puke.

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Flame

Australia Facisim quickly heading to Nazism

I am so glad we've escaped the dictatorship regime AKA -- Oz. I actually feel very sorry for folks there &/or watching Relocation shows now moving there. Not only is it a fascist state, a Nazism dictator running it. Why not just admit to the internet listening devices the AFP (Australia Federal Police) are supposedly use as well?

Perhaps they should SUE each themselves like they're going to SUE Gargle?

THis kind of carp makes me sick. Should make most of the IETF teams over the years puke.

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Getting silly

1 dont governments realise that with hotspots etc people will use those-free.

2 are those same governments not aware of hiding the IP.

Both these render stupid Eye Spy games little more than wasting money. Its about time that these rightwing (now that cant be right 'cos labour was the same,mmm.) well anyway stupid governments wake up to the people are not stupid and will possibly wake up to you for a while.

Incidentally to the young things out there, Shirley Williams in the 1970's stood up and said "we are not going to allow uncontrolled communication by the masses" (about CB) She, the silly moo would have had a field day about the internet.

So dear young things, look at where she is now, where she was then, and who you want to vote for next time.

Dont say you were not warned!!

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Pirate

"You can't treat everybody like a criminal"

One has to suspect that back in the days when Oz was a prison colony and most non-Aboriginal inhabitants actually _were_ criminals (excessively petty or otherwise), the population wasn't quite so heavily monitored. Maybe the cry should be "Please, treat us like criminals - it's got to be better than this."

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Pirate

System Overload

The easiest attack on a system like that is an automated random browser permanently running on your system (preferably 24x7), generating random queries to google and following the links on the first page. The recording system will melt down under the weight of all the generated data, and the project will be quickly abandoned as costs escalate.

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Urh
FAIL

One tiny problem...

...is that because Australia's telecommunications sector is still stuck in the dark ages nearly all Australian internet users are stuck with monthly download limits (some ISPs do offer unlimited plans, but they are ludicrously expensive) - they'd only be able to generate so much traffic before hitting their monthly limits and being reshaped to dialup speed or incurring additional charges (and some ISPs charge as high as 18c per MEGABYTE).

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Dead Vulture

Re: System Overload

Unfortunately the costs will be on the ISP. You don't honestly think that the political arm of the Unions AKA the Labor party would actually put their hands in their collective pockets for this, do you?

Tombstone for the small independent ISPs who can't afford the storage costs.

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Big Brother

Re: System Overload

If you're using Firefox, there's an add-on which does just what you describe - TrackMeNot. One can download it from:

http://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/

It allows users to configure the frequency of search requests, which search engines to include, and how to initialise the RSS feeds used to generate the searches. I've been running it for maybe two years now at 1 query per minute all focused on Google, where I do most of my searching.

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Flame

Why don't you trust the people who elected you!

I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why? Properly! Like Paxman in the 90's Why? And what's up with the opposition there?

Why don't you trust the people who elected you? Do you think they will trust govt ever again?

Seriously if this keeps going I'd like to see private wi-fi mesh networks spreading soon.

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I'll tell you why

You asked "I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why?

Because this bunch of socialist idealogy-driven incompetents decree such regulations without ANY prior discussion. Usually the first time anybody learns about their crap is when it's too late. Furthermore, the media is so intimidated and tightly dominated by Rudd (our PM and wannabe world leader) that they're shit scared to publish anything that might offend him.

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Happy

You ask why?

"I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why?"

Because the national "current affairs" shows in Oz are only interested in dodgy tradies, fad diets, the latest in lingerie and beating up on boat people or those of a middle eastern background. As soon as these shows try something serious, viewers switch to the infomercial channel in their droves.

So it is down to widely scattered stories like this across the web to influence the voters, fifty percent of which are busy finding and downloading as much porn as possible before the firewall goes up and the other fifty per cent are busy following up on the diet story they saw on the telly.

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Joke

Re: Why don't you trust the people who elected you?

Maybe because in Australia people are forced to vote. So politicians can't be sure of how much of their support is genuine (because everyone has been made to vote rather than them volunteering to do so because they agree with a candidate's policies).

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Big Brother

You folks won't get better either

Gov all over are doing the same or heading to the same direction. Sadly most people are too stupid. No matter who's in gov, we get the same kind of idiots (or rather control freaks). 1984 after all, IS meant be instruction manual.

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Coat

Hang on a sec...

This could actually be a good thing.

It could do wonders to help push down the price of an on-tap pint all over the UK. Hordes of Australians would make their way to the UK meaning that availability of bar staff would rocket, bars could then hire 3 Aussies for the price of 2 Poles or 1 Brit. lower costs means more room for competition and more competition means lower prices.

Simples.

Now I'm off to post this before either a) the nurse arrives with my dinosaur strength anti-psychotics and this post no longer makes sense or b) I get hired to write government policy down under.

Mines the one with the long sleaves that do up at the back.

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Anonymous Coward

What the HELL has happened to Australia...?

What was once - IMHO - the coolest country on earth seems these days to have gone totally mad.

Crocodile Dundee has become a corduroy-jacketed, thick-spectacled jobsworth, who lives with his Mum and dreams of 'doing it' with a proper woman. The corks on his hat have become rubber stamps. What a waste of a beautiful country.

"He'll rule the world ... if he can get a government grant".

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Thumb Up

"The corks on his hat have become rubber stamps"

Sir, you have an awesome turn of phrase. That's all.

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WTF?

wow.... just.. wow.....

It's loony shit like this that slowly, but surely, can end up radicalizing sane people. I mean damn, what the hell do you do when your govt choices are "crazy-insane" or "insane-crazy".

My sincere sympathies.

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Gmail?

How does the data retention system handle Gmail using SSL?

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Thumb Up

titular requisite

Probably using the same technique as people use to bypass a firewall, using an https proxy. Easy enough to implement at the isp level, and keys both ways would be available.

A man in the middle attack, so to speak.

ISP's will always be a weak link in security...

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Anonymous Coward

Well if they want information

give them information,

I hope nobody writes a program that sends lot's and lot's of random emails to accounts, perhaps setup by mates just to receive these rubbish emails, and then the other stuff can just hide in the haze of rubbish. It could be quite entertaining to see how much storage the government would have to buy.

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Anonymous Coward

Just send 200 emails a day to each other...

...or even just to ourselves, at alternate and instantly cleared email addresses. Plain text and containing nothing but a list of keywords/links calculated to ring bells with big brother, so not only would central storage get out of hand very quickly, but they'd have a lot of sifting to do.

Nothing illegal there AFAIK, but possibly worth it just to upset the nanny state brigade.

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titular adornment

Also send the emails with several compressed attachments at the heaviest compression settings, with a password and encryption. These will not be very compressible at the other end and will eat storage much more quickly.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Nah...

They'd just do you for spamming.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

We don't need to do anything

The spam bots will simply do our work for us. Imagine the storage required to maintain ALL of the Viagra messages going over the interweb.

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Silver badge

The stupid thing is

They want ISPs to keep a track of emails yet a large portion of users will have a Google/Yahoo/MSN address rather than a change it every time my ISP changes one. Ho hum.

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Silver badge

@What the HELL has happened to Australia...?

They used to have a very sensible system of simply imprisoning all their politicians as soon as they were elected. Now they are free to walk about making crazy laws.

Personally I think it's the heat - ever noticed how right wing white people get when they live somewhere with too much sun?

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Big Brother

@What the HELL has happened to Australia...? → #

The UK New Labour Party, centre to left wing propose the UK RIPA bill. So why say that this snooping is the preserve of the right wingers?

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Grenade

It makes perfect sense

They need to require 10 years of data retention before they get voted out since it may take them that long to get back in government and then they will be going back to the old logs to find out who was causing them trouble on line.

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Back in the day ...

Eastern European communist countries used to require people to have licenses for photocopiers so they did not spread socially subversive material.

Nice to see Oz leading the march into the Stalinist past. Now, presumably someone voted these dingbats in, so can't they vote them out? It seems (so far) to be working in Britain.

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