Australia's debate about warrantless access to telecommunications metadata has been heated of late, fuelled by revelations that just about anyone can access such records. Even local councils' have been named in the federal Attorney-General's department's Annual Report (PDF)) as having looked up phone data. Rural newspapers like …
Business as usual?
Given the actions of ASIO / NSA / GCHQ/ NZSIS and all the associated TLAs and ETLAs of late, does anyone think this bill will cause them to make any changes in their modus operandi?
It would seem that they all think the laws of the land can all be ignored in their 'relentless fight in the War on Terror'.
Black choppers, naturally.
We're very worried that Mr. Jones has't paid his council tax because he usually pays it on time and he's not answering calls to his house phone or mobile. There's a possibility that he's developed amnesia and wandered off and may be in danger. Can we see his mobile phone records so we can contact his friends, or maybe the police can track him for us?
Privacy and common sense
A few years back I was traveling home late at night on a country road and saw a crashed car on fire. Myself and another driver stopped, bust open the car and pulled the unconscious driver out. We both got cut in the process and get this bugger's blood over us. The ambulance came and carted him off and he survived.
So once the whole exercise was finished it was natural enough to be concerned about various infectious diseases the person might be carrying.
I phoned the hospital. Sorry, they can't say anything because of privacy laws.
So what about people who risk themselves? No rights for them.... Next time I'll just consider driving by.
That's a problem with these laws, they lack any common sense or fair play.
After much shagging around I spoke to the country cop who came to investigate the crash. He "asked around" and very informally and obliquely told me that there was nothing to be worried about. As much as there are privacy laws, they are still operated by people who - still- have a touch of common sense.
The same when using info for search and rescue. I would hope that we don't degenerate into a society where we need to take three days and sign a bunch of forms in front of a magistrate to try find someone who needs to be rescued NOW and not in three days time.
Re: Privacy and common sense
Straw Man please do get yourself tested.
As a long term member of the "Five Eyes" coalition of intelligence services the Australian administrations of both the Labour and Coalition political parties have clearly subscribed to the policy of data retention. That the Attorney General's Department has gone to the lengths of drafting model legislation clearly implies the need of legal justification of existing unacknowledged practices. Greens Senator Ludlam is the only elected politician daring to publicly investigate and address these issues.
If you WANT to go missing
IF you are really keen on 'going missing' then dumping your phone would be the first thing to do. I think there's been enough phone tracking on TV and in the movies for people to know that you can be tracked.
Phone location, even down to 900m accuracy, is a big help in missing person searches. I've been on plenty as an SES volunteer and when the Police can limit the search area it really does help speed things up. Now if only we could get elderly people with dementia to carry a mobile phone with them ... or for their care homes to secure the premises properly ...