back to article Data retention a very hot potato says Oz parl't commitee

Data retention – something that governments around the world have scrambled to defend in the face of a daily diet of new revelations courtesy of whistleblower / leaker / traitor / hero Edward Snowden – doesn't have so many friends in the Australian Parliament. Update: Since the report was released, federal Attorney General Mark …

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Gold badge

Surprisingly sane. I'm not against the government possessing a 2-year metadata TiVo so long as the restrictions on access are pretty damned tight, courts aren't secret and oversight is provided by civil liberties organizations, not government shills.

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Anonymous Coward

Also notable is the restriction on who should be allowed access and why - the free for all in the UK is a disgrace. RIPA has provided a voyeurs playground for curtain twitching types in councils and a number of other agencies, requiring permission from nowhere near far enough up the food chain. Anything short of warrants issued by judges and covered by independent oversight just isn't good enough, no matter how many morons torch their cacks at 38,000 ft.

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Silver badge

"Surprisingly sane"

Only if it's true that the Aussies aren't doing this already. The NSA were denying that they were spying on their own peasants right up until Snowden blew the gaff. Likewise GCHQ were claiming that intereption modernsiation was something for the future, but now it turns out they've been doing it all along. But for Snowden nobody would have been any the wiser. It appears to me that any country with the technology to spy on its own people is doing so enthusiastically, and you'd have to ask why the Aussie government would be the odd men out, or why the Australian population should believe them?

Sadly all this big data surveillance doesn't seem to result in any big wins in the wars on drugs, terror, organised crime etc, so the logical inference is that crime and public safety are not the actual purpose of mass surveillance. If I was to then suggest that the programmes are about opinion control, and the protection of the interests of government I'd have been labelled a tin-foil hatter two weeks ago. But now that's exactly how it does seem to be working. With the rise of social media, the old D notice system and equivalents has started to unravel, how else can the politicians control the message and try and hide their incompetence and dishonesty?

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Black Helicopters

Here's to hoping....

That this is actual thoughtful policy, and not a cover for "Australia is not doing this (because we have the NSA and GCHQ to do it for us).

I knew I should have taken that opportunity to invest in tinfoil hats.

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Gold badge
Gimp

"Needed in the wake of those domestic terror attacks.."

Except that AFAIK Australia has had no domestic terror attacks.

The European Data Retntion Directive (6-24 months) was bought in by the UK when it had the chair of the EU following the Madrid rail bombings. Note that Spain did not draft it or request it. The did not see the need for it (and Spain knows a lot about domestic terrorists).

"significant extension of the power of the state over the citizen"

Correct.

The principles of the UK Data Protection Act are below. Note item 3. This behavior is grossly disproportionate to the threat (what threat?) and basically says "you're all going to be criminals, we might as well start the paperwork now."

1. Processed fairly and lawfully.

2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes.

3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.. Read 1000 000 peoples data to (amybe) find 10 genuine bad guys. How many would only be caught by this and no other methods?

4. Accurate and up to date. Well I don't think that will be a problem as it'll be snooping 24/7/365

5. Not kept any longer than necessary.

6. Processed in accordance with the “data subject’s” (the individual’s) rights.

7. Securely kept. (99.99% of the data has no need to looked at. All storage should be strongly encrypted)

8. Not transferred to any other country without adequate protection in situ.

The Australian desert being used as a Taliban training ground is a very bad straight-to-video film script (I've seen it). IRL it's simply BS.

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Re: "Needed in the wake of those domestic terror attacks.."

Since when?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Hilton_Hotel_bombing

Sydney Hilton Hotel Bombing 1978 targetting CHOGRM, three people killed!

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: "Needed in the wake of those domestic terror attacks.."

"Sydney Hilton Hotel Bombing 1978 targetting CHOGRM, three people killed!"

My point exactly. It's not exactly down town Baghdad is it? Or even London in the mid 70s (There were a fair few bangs throughout the decade, mostly down to the IRA).

There is little justification for unlimited net surveillance and there is even less of it in Australia.

Beyond of course "Because we can."

I predict they will fall back to Plan B. "Hordes of paedos are grooming your children without your knowledge ready to lure them abroad for unspeakable practices. Only by watching everyone all the time can we keep...." Blah Blah Blah.

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Anonymous Coward

pirate party FTW

Theres a lot of references to "Pirate Party Australia" submissions in that document. Congratulations and thank you PPAU for your efforts to make a real difference!

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