back to article Metadata laws pass so it's time to STOP READING LISTICLES

Rugby player Sonny Bill Williams is a role model for many, a fact that's not gone un-noticed by the purveyors of a dubious fitness supplement who've created an ad that looks an awful lot like a news story about the athlete. Williams has nothing to do with the ad or the product. He's just been used to get people clicking. And if …

  1. LaeMing Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Hmmm. I wonder if enough people ran a background process that randomly walked the web with their spare bandwidth, would that completely trash the value of all this metadata?

    Would running such a process provide a plausably deniable mask for one's genuine activity?

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Devil

      But

      Stay away from Tasmanian dentists websites.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/09/australia_firewall_delay/

    2. James Ashton
      Thumb Up

      Spam the database

      "I wonder if enough people ran a background process that randomly walked the web with their spare bandwidth"

      This seems too heavy-weight. If they have to record every IP number we communicate with, why not just ping IP numbers randomly. You could do this at a fairly high rate before it impacted your performance or traffic costs but it would hit their database fairly hard.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Spam the database

        "Why not just ping IP numbers randomly?"

        Haven't read the law, but does it not provide for retention of protocol information? I assume it does, or certainly will if random pings begin to corrupt the database. We should not assume those who advised the lawmakers are technically clueless.

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      Interesting idea, but probably ineffective or counterproductive. The authorities will be using the "illicit" web site's URL and backtracking to (IP addresses of) those who accessed it, causing the random users to be caught up along with the targets. If they are serious, or if the data returned is too voluminous, they then will try to refine the search, and those whose web-site-contacted list is very large will be eliminated or assigned a low priority.

      The procedure would not proved plausible deniability for anything on your computer once investigators, based on the metadata search, gain access to it. It might result in avoidance as long as they are busy picking the low-hanging fruit represented by those who only or mostly accessed the site used as the original selector. Plausible deniability might better be obtained by running an open or WEP wifi setup on the outside of your firewall and ensuring that the logs are purged daily "for efficiency".

    4. Thorne

      "Hmmm. I wonder if enough people ran a background process that randomly walked the web with their spare bandwidth, would that completely trash the value of all this metadata?

      Would running such a process provide a plausably deniable mask for one's genuine activity?"

      The answer is no. They will have the evidence and you will need prove your innocence.

  2. dan1980

    Dear Brandis et al - you can have this piece of information for free: you are a bunch of stupid, narrow-minded, bastards who care nothing for the people you are supposed to be serving. This law is a land-grab of our privacy and the fact that it was passed, without major amendments, is evidence that you are all as stupid, corrupt and narrow-minded as each other.

    How is it possible that a law can be passed when those passing it are so utterly ignorant of the technical details that they cannot even define the basic terms, let alone the legislation itself?

    How is it possible that the Attorney General can lie, outright and repeatedly, to the country and this not be cause for his immediate removal?

    How is it possible that a regime of privacy invasion can be claimed to be justified on 'National Security' and 'think or the children!' grounds but then, amazingly, pass without any limitations to prevent that information being used for less serious issues like, say, copyright cases - CIVIL cases that are largely instigated by FOREIGN companies?

    How is it possible that 226 people sitting on leather benches can, at a stroke, sign away the privacy of twenty-three and a half billion of their fellow citizens; that 0.001% of the population can sell the rights of the other 99.999% for a pat on the back from the police, the NSA and the MPAA?

    How is it possible that these people can be so utterly opposed to the privacy and freedom and WILL of the people that this is what they have produced and passed?

    How can you lot be the best we can do?

    Every one of you who voted through this bill should be utterly ashamed of yourselves. You do not represent me and I would gladly see the lot of you pushed into oncoming traffic.

    How dare you.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Won't somebody think of the...

      ...oncoming traffic!

      (and full upvotes for the quite-justified rant).

    2. Gray Ham

      Dan,

      How dare they indeed!

      It is clear from Malcolm Turnbull's statements here about how people can avoid data retention, that this law is aimed solely at mass surveillance of innocent people. And both major parties connived at this.

      Have another upvote!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      How is it possible that these people can be so utterly opposed to the privacy and freedom and WILL of the people that this is what they have produced and passed?

      Only two things come to mind... the lust for power, or the fear of blackmail. Since this deals with security agencies, it's possible that it's both.

      I see the same thing here in the States... for the same reasons.

      BTW, that was a well said and well-thought out rant. Wish I could upvote it a dozen times.

  3. MrMeme

    Well if the Govt use the new Amazon unlimited storage for all this meta data, the cost will come down from ~$400m -> ~$75 ($us60)/yr

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/26/amazon_unlimited_cloud_storage/

    And even better still Amazon will be able to recommend us books, movies, etc without ever having visited their website! It sound like a win-win for everyone!

  4. Tac Eht Xilef

    Link to interview

    "The AM interview we've linked to above ..."

    Errr, no you haven't...

    Here it is: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4205850.htm

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    is it time?

    is it time?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So

    If the Feds and the drover's dog are going to have access to our metadata, then so will the Chinese, Americans....

    In the end freedom just evaporated away without a trace, and it seems no one cared.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: So

      You haven't been following things? Everyone else already has your metadata.... bwahahahaha...

  7. MrDamage

    Additional Legislation required.*

    We already have had Turnbal and a few other ministers come out and proclaim their love of apps which create absolutely no meta-data. What we need is for more legislation enacted that bans public officials from using any forms of communications that cannot be traced or tracked, in the name of transperancy.

    This will aid in the fight against corruption performed by our officials, as they will not be able to hide their shadey dealings behind these apps. As they like to say to us, if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

    But we all know this will never happen. We peons aren't meant to be able to hold our officials accountable for anything.

    Perhaps it's time to organise a grassroots movement, whereby out of work, or part time workers volunteer their efforts in physically following these people as they move about town. Public officials, in a public space, have absolutely no right to privacy.

    *This is not to say I'm in favour of the metadata trawling in the first place. Only if theyre going to do it to us, then they better be prepared to be held to the same standards.

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