Government Wants To Track Your Web Use: Inquiry Will Let You Have Your Say

The catchily named Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security has finally outed its terms of reference for the inquiry into National Security Legislation, and you know what that means: data retention is finally up for discussion via your submissions.

Spotted by Crikey, the committee is set to review several pieces of legislation including the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act, the Telecommunications Act, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act and the Intelligence Services Act.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon was found to be holding meetings with ISPs two years ago to kick around the idea of storing user browsing data for a specific period of time for the purpose of law enforcement. Cue the uproar. Now, the inquiry to discuss the legitimacy of these legislative amendments is finally getting off the ground after a few false starts.

According to the terms of reference, it's all about finding a balance between effective law enforcement with the aid of technology versus the privacy of citizens. You can view the full terms of reference here, but some of the more interesting points read a bit like this:

Government is expressly seeking the views of the Committee on the following matters: Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 14. Reforming the Lawful Access Regime a. expanding the basis of interception activities 15. Modernising the Industry assistance framework a. establish an offence for failure to assist in the decryption of communications b. institute industry response timelines c. tailored data retention periods for up to 2 years for parts of a data set, with specific timeframes taking into account agency priorities, and privacy and cost impacts

Other topics for committee discussion include the possibility of imposing an obligation on telcos that makes them responsible for dealing with attacks on their infrastructure, while imposing an obligation that sees them provide the government with detailed network designs in case of an attack.

The committee mentioned there is being chaired by Member for Holt Anthony Byrne. Reporting into him are members including Senator George Brandis, Senator John Faulkner and Member for Griffith, Kevin Rudd.

You can have your say on these proposed amendments. Submissions are open until Monday 6 August. [Senate]

Image: Stefan Postles/Getty Images



    that seems reasonable. If you read the other parts of the document it suggests that fewer people will be able to get their hands on your data in general, and there being a more standardized warrant (therefore giving judges a better ability to decide).

    I'm more worried about hackers and unscrupulous employees accessing my data. I can imagine data of celebs and politicians gaining a lot of attention from employees looking to sell it to TMZ etc.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    If the govt themselves held the info I probably wouldn't mind. But I know they love there out sourcing so who knows who are where my info would be stored and then if it's breached who do I blame ?

      I'd prefer no-one to hold the info, government or otherwise.

    I could already give them a list if they want
    A few news sites
    And YouTube

    Though I'm generally against the idea simply because if I ever have to violently overthrow the government for what ever reason I will need google to tell me how to go about it.

    Love the pretence of public involvement

    If recent history is any indication, retaining any sort of personal data is a bad idea.

    Data is compromised by external parties far to regularly as it is. This information would be too much of a draw card for certain types of people to resist.

    Not to mention that anyone who is doing anything nefarious could use a tunnelling/proxy service which would result in nothing showing to the ISP besides the first access point. Granted, that would seem fairly suspicious but unless their have been some drastic changes to our legal system actual proof is required in matters of a legal nature.

    I don't believe the gain of increased security and safety for the public would be sufficient to offset what many would consider invasion of privacy to otherwise law abiding citizens. I'm actually all for a police state so to speak but this is inefficient.

    This is just brown nosing to the US and will achieve nothing in the way of security. We don't (I assume) think it's fine and dandy for the government to steam open our physical mail, or spy on what books we read, and listen to our phone calls (without a warrant) - so why would tracking what we read on line or whom we communicate with be acceptable?

    The usual claims of "fighting terrorism" are a crock. Anyone serious about real terrorism are not going to be using the internet to plan world domination.

    The Terms "Fighting Terrorism", "Commercial in Confidence" , "National Security",etc are usually just a crock of BS and is purely to try to fool the public and make the idea of what they and the Big Companies who donate large sums of money to them want palitable to the public so the public will accept it without question, so if this is good enough for our Employees (Politicians and Government departments) to force on us it should also apply to them as I believe they are our employees and most things should not be kept secret from the public, and they are not a private company.
    No wonder they have tried to detroy and close Wikileaks for telling the truth to the public.

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