Data Retention To 'Treat Aussies Like Criminals'

Are you an internet bad guy? Odds are, probably not. But the new "data retention for all Australians" plan aired by Attorney General Nicola Roxon yesterday is going to tar every Aussie internet user with the same brush as cybercriminals according to Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

After much to-ing and fro-ing about whether she would support the mandatory data retention scheme, Roxon threw her support behind the plan yesterday, saying in a speech that all Australian ISPs should retain the browsing history of users for up to two years. Roxon said in the speech that without these new powers, law enforcement agencies would be powerless to stop the bad guys of the future.

That's not how Senator Ludlam sees it though, saying in a blog post that the backflip by the Attorney-General is going to cost Australians their privacy.

"Does the Federal Government really believe all our personal data should be stored by service providers for two years so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data mining? It is premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects," he wrote.

The Senator goes on to add that Australians are already under more surveillance than could be deemed appropriate. Almost 250,000 requests for user information were made by law enforcement agencies under the guise of the the Telecommunications Interception Act in 2010-11, Ludlam said, and with these new powers will make things that much worse.

"Data retention as envisaged by the Government will entrench huge databases that can be mined for precise patterns of our movements, purchases, interests, friends, and conversations. This interception, copying, recording and disclosure of our data is a means to retroactively police the whole population.

"We are citizens, not suspects," he added.

If you don't think data retention is something to be afraid of, check out David Pope's latest cartoon featuring a giant cyclops-version of the Attorney General and a request page that we should all be afraid of. It's not far off the mark.

As Roxon now officially throws her support behind a mandatory data retention scheme, hackers operating under the Operation Australia banner — the same ones that hacked AAPT — have issued a hit-list of sorts, listing targets for cyber attack. The hits started last night, with the Attorney-General's website being the first hit.



    The Opposition managed to Godwin the whole debate within about five seconds with a Gestapo reference. I almost wanted to support the whole thing just to punish them for being such appallingly useless debaters.

    And wtf is up with that 'hit list'? Many of those groups would have made submissions to the committee that were completely AGAINST the proposed changes!

      Do you actually know what Godwins Law is? - Have you ever looked it up or researched it? - I doubt it.

      Its a statiscally observation, nothing more - God I am sick of supossidly smart tech people that throw this around. Mentioning the Nazis doesn't mean you lose the arguement.

    Governments want the people afraid of it when, in a democracy, it is they that should be afraid of us.

      Agreed, and bring back political assasinations - it's been too long

        Ive always thought it would be a good Idea to have the right to kick a polititan in the butt once in a persons lifetime. Though in sure most of us would have used our free kick already with the internet filter or the last governments refusal to think internet.

    This is incredibly distressing. What needs to happen is that a request is made by one of the authorised Australian security/police departments to the ISP to commence logging, and they should comply for up to two years / whenever the court said so. Bang, instant judicial oversight, instant proportionality and requirement for "reasonable grounds".

    I would gladly surrender 100% of my privacy in return for eliminating criminal behaviour and I cannot imagine why anyone would feel otherwise.

      100% you say? What kind of life would that be? Come home from work, greet your wife, kids and domestically assigned police officer all sitting at the dinner table, monitoring you and your family for any signs of suspicious, illegal behavior? Sounds worth the sacrifice, knowing kids out there aren't illegally downloading Kesha's new song!

        MotorMouth is a known troll, feel free to just ignore him.

      Do you walk around naked then?

      "Those who surrender liberty for security deserve neither"

      Here's an article you should read and think about

      This is so absolutely idiotic that it HAS to be a troll.. the only way I can answer this is with a quote...
      "Those who would give up Liberty for a little safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

      Unfortunately, that isn't the issue here...

      The question that you need to answer is would you gladly surrender 100% of your privacy in return for a politician's belief that it will eliminate criminal behaviour?

      (Reply is for MotorMouth)
      That's wonderful. How will you feel as the definition of 'criminal' changes over time I wonder? Also, do you realize that there is 0 possibility of ever 'eliminating criminal behaviour' as you would pretty much have to eliminate human behaviour altogether. This war on human rights is like the war on drugs. It is impossible for them to catch the worst criminals so they instead go for a blanket surveilance & prosecution tactic for everyone suspicious. Treating the symptoms was what I was looking for there.
      The main point is that if we don't stand against this sort of thing now it just gets worse for everyone as time goes by & the authorities get more desperate to 'eliminate criminal behaviour'.
      *Also, I have known many law enforcement officials over the years, very good & upstanding people that still will break whatever laws they feel necessary in order to survive. That is human nature not criminal nature.

      Can I read all your mail please MotorMouth? Just send a copy of all letters sent and received each week to the GPO and I'll go have a look at 'em, OK?

      Next you'll be saying how you'd gladly give up your free will. Hell, why not install some cameras in your bedroom and one in the bathroom. Heck, if you have done nothing wrong it shouldn't matter that strangers are spying on you 24/7.

      Basically you're spineless and your comment disgusts me. If you do something wrong, you get in trouble. If you don't do something wrong then you shouldn't be punished or have your rights taken away. This data retention wont be used for criminals, it will be used to keep people in line and mine data. It's revolting to think she can even attempt to implement this policy.

        MotorMouth is ex-mil, he's been the state's bitch before, and he liked it.

          I am ex-mil and I take offence to that. Motormouth is a tosspot and would be a tosspot regardless of past occupation. I would actually doubt he is ex-mil as most mil adn ex-mil guys I know are big on privacy. After all I know of 8, including myself that use a VPN for eveything.

      Have the loss of any of our freedoms and rights to date actually reduced/eliminated any criminal activity?

      NO. and this database wil not achieve anything either.

      In the long list of trollish Motormouth comments, this would be the peak. I remember at one point becoming convinced he must work for MS, but subsequently came to the conclusion he just loves the brand THAT much. This comment tops even that.

    Do they really think actual criminals would not proxy all their traffic offshore? This is a useless initiative, it will stop nothing and just be another precedent in our progressive to an Orwell fashioned existence.
    Why is our country run by idiots?

      Ask the three "idiots" who put them in power.

    I bet they'll bump it up to 5 years, 10 years and longer eventually.

    I'd also bet they've been doing it the last 10 years, but now they're getting the laws to actually admit it

      That be nasty, only been on VPN for the last 6 months ...

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

    Imagine if this data managed to end up in the open

    Just use TOR?

      Yes but it is slow slow. Borderline useless. We shouldn't be forced to use such services just to avoid this ..

    Unfortunately comments about the proposed legislation demonstrate a great deal of ignorance about what it contains, especially with regard to safeguards which mean that the data cannot be mined by any organisation but only by those with a need to know and then only with specific approval for specific purpose. This means that only someone who has been brought to the attention of organisation like the AFP will be subject to search within the database; the rest of us will be ignored.

    I cannot see this legislation as being anything like Australians giving up essential liberty. If the legislation is passed and becomes law I doubt that most of us will ever hear of it again, because we won't be affected by it. It would make more sense for people like the Greens senator to concentrate on all the garbage legislation passed by the Howard government, which puts all that useless "security" hardware into airports to achieve absolutely nothing and at great expense.

      And what safe guards will be in place to try to stop the inevitable abuse of the surveillance?
      How much of the cost of this system will the ISPs pass on to us?
      What evidence have the police provided to indicate that this is necessary?
      Will potential employers request me to ask my ISP to provide the data they have collected on me ("what have you got to hide" they'll ask)? Do I even get to see "my" data?

      MOC has never heard of bureaucreep.
      Give them a little power and - amendment by amendment - they get more and more.

      MOC: You are ignoring the possibility of the database being made available to non-authorised agencies due to hacking and/or social engineering.

      I don't trust *anyone* to have all that info all in one place.

        also there has never been a public servant or politician or police officer who has ever acted illegally or corruptly so i a guess all my info will be safe as the legislation says it will be safe

      Hope you are not serious. If you believe this data would not be misused you are either extraordinarily naive and/or don't understand how data/networks/people work.

      This plan is appalling. The presumption of innocence is most definitely an essential liberty. Roxon and the AFP should be told in no uncertain terms that this is totally unacceptable.

    Is this the final nail in Labors coffin?

      Surely no more room for any more nails, the wood has already split.

        the real issue is the rest of the parties aren't much better... either way we're going to lose because nobody in parliament has enough spine or moral fibre to stand up for what is right.

    *Insert obligatory convict joke here*

      labor and liberals, same poison different name.
      the person the people vote In as pm is no longer there and we didn't do anything against it. We'd be in a better place with someone in there fighting for the people instead of the next paycheck and pat on the head from America.

    Just go back 5 or 6 years and imagine if John Howard wanted this. Imagine the outcry!
    Regardless of your political persuasion just remember if the guys you like like get it, the guys you hate could have it after the next election. Assuming the incumbents don't use it to quash all forms of opposition as they do in some countries.

    I still can't believe there are people who would trust a government with this information. Given, that our current democracy is basically benevolent, that can change quickly. The Stasi would have loved this.

    And then the Government sells the information to 3rd parties for advertising etc to make an extra few million bucks...

    Given how inept Government departments are, I wouldn't trust a single organisation with my privacy or to secure my information.

    So who's starting the petition and where can i sign?

    As If using a VPN would not completely undermine this!!! What's the point? It's easy enough to go around these things

    I'll agree to this as long as Juliar agrees to a full investigation into the AWU slush fund saga. People are being threatened to keep the story under wraps, but we have to have our right to privacy stomped on? How is that fair? Who gets to see the data, who gets to store it and who has the right to ask for it? Looks like the KGB has come to town folks. Guilty until proven guilty.

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    thats who is tracking you right now as you read this. get ghostery to block it
    get 'https everywhere' if your browser can use it, most (but not all) of your seneitive data will apear encrypted to you isp, so most (but not all) of your sensitive data will apear encrypted when anyone else wants to snoop years later
    if your the tinfoil hat type use tor, its not hard to get started. it your tin foil hat has magnets and an earth wire become your own tor relay and use tails

    I'm in advertising and this would be great. I'd love to sift through everyone data and advertise from your browsing habits more accurately. Thanks government! My career is great.

    The Australian government seems to be taking a leaf out of the yanks who have an NSA room at every major service provider in the states includng satellite recieving stations and major server centres. Do we really want to be like America were the government is everywhere , were agencies lime the NSA have freedom to do what ever they like when ever they like with out congressional oversite.

    The depth of ignorance and stupidity in these comments leads one to believe their knowledge is gained by watching too many "Die Hard" movies. As one, rare intelligent commenter said, once this legislation is passed none of you will ever hear about it again (unless you're a crook of course).

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