back to article Australia's media regulator to oversee new data retention regime

Australia's government has tabled its data retention Bill and outlined a willingness to assist carriers and internet service providers (ISPs) pay for their retention rigs. The Bill also explains a little about how retention rigs will need to be constructed and anoints the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    source of the destination

    "(b) the source of a communication;

    (c) the destination of a communication;"

    "The Act will also “expressly exclude a person's web-browsing history”."

    FirefoxTor for AU

  2. dan1980

    But what the fuck is the 'destination' of the communication?

    As I - and many others - have said, IP could be considered the 'destination' but this is not super-useful for tracking as knowing an IP doesn't tell you which site was visited and thus doesn't help.

    For that, you need the actual URL but, for 99% of web requests, that IS the content - or at least is sufficient to know all the content the same way knowing the title of a book someone has read is sufficient information to know the words they have read.

    1. Mark 65

      Exactly. Turnbull is lying and he knows it. He is just relying on the general public's mass ignorance about how shit works (check) and that most politicos are luddites (check). The fact is, as stated, an IP address is useless given many websites can be hosted on the same server and hence destination IP. I'd imagine shitloads of people would be communicating with Akamei et al but for what? In order to know you need the URL and hence you have browsing history. That which he specifically stated would not be recorded.

      The only way to go once this is in is add another $10-20/mth for good VPN and then they can go "play with the traffic".

  3. corestore

    This whole idea...

    Is wrongheaded and counterproductive.

    Post Snowden, cybercrime, and snoopers, there's a real demand for privacy and anonymity online. There's a market; offering those services will sell.

    ISPs shouldn't be retaining any data beyond that absolutely necessary for the operation of their systems. If there's a law trying to mandate that they retain more, ISPs will start making a sales point of circumventing it for their customers - by basing certain bits of infrastructure overseas, and by providing packages based around TOR, or TOR-like systems, which largely or entirely negate the value of any data an authoritarian snooping government may try to force them to retain.

    There's a market for privacy, and this kind of law will drive ISPs to meet that market.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Who pays?

    Australia's government has ... outlined a willingness to assist carriers and internet service providers (ISPs) pay for their retention rigs.

    So the burden of cost is shifted from the customers (you and me) to the taxpayer (you and me). Remind me again, how do these idiots get elected?

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Who pays?

      Because they're duplicitous arseholes and there's only really two sides to choose from. A bit like bitching about alcohol or food prices before realising just two corporations hold 80% of the market.

    2. dan1980

      Re: Who pays?

      @Mahatma Coat

      "Remind me again, how do these idiots get elected?"

      Well, first you vote in a group that for the sake of argument we shall call "us", reasoning that they are better than "them". After a little while, "us" starts to fuck things up and so you look to "them". The country decides that "them" should really now be "us" and those formerly known as "us" should be relegated to "them".

      That'll fix the problem.

      That's all it is - we get the chance to change around who gets call "us" and "them" every couple of years but otherwise it's much of a muchness.

      After a few years (sometimes weeks), the honeymoon is over and the party in opposition seems the better choice because they haven't fucked anything up. The problem is that the only reason they haven't fucked things up is because they haven't got the power to fuck things up.

      But we change our minds and give them the power and they proceed to . . .

      Specifically here, both sides are and have been for this so what are we, the public, to do? It was better under Labor simply because they didn't have the votes to get it through by themselves and so needed the independents and greens, who weren't sold or the support of the opposition who, on purely partisan grounds, made it their mission to prevent any and all legislation being passed.

      In a way, that period was actually one of the better ones lately for that fact. A sad state of affairs indeed considering all that could be fixed but at least Labor's power to make bad decisions was somewhat kept in check. With the (lower house) majority the Coalition enjoys things are far more dangerous now - not least of all because the kind of decisions they are trying to make (and succeeding) are very hard to reverse. Privatise Medibank - practically irreversible. De-regulation of uni fees? VERY difficult to get back under control once that's out. Dismantling any and all environmental programs/departments/initiatives? Expensive to re-establish them.

      But this is of course not really a partisan thing - they are both a bunch of so-and-sos who pretend to represent and act for the benefit of the Australia people but do nothing at all of the sort.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    All hail King Rupert

    (bows and scrapes...)

  6. TimChuma

    But what are they going to use it for?

    I took 2 years to work out the metadata and IA for a single state government website. This will end badly. Nobody knows what metadata is for.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ACMA couldn't find their arse with a flashlight!

    It's an interesting choice selecting ACMA. When you look at their competence when regulating commercial radio, TV and press, it's clear they couldn't find their arse with a flashlight.

    This is one government organisation that needs to be shutdown - they cost us money and provide no value or benefit for Australians other than being a sheltered workshop.

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