PM Tony Abbott Confirms: We're Getting A Data Retention Scheme To 'Fight Terrorism'

That's it. It's done. No more talk. We're officially getting a data retention scheme, because according to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, we need to get on board with "Team Australia" (ugh) to help fight terrorists both foreign and domestic.

Giz Explains: Metadata And The Law: What Your Smartphone Really Says About You

In a joint press conference with other members of the Government's National Security Council, Tony Abbott this afternoon announced that Australia would be getting a raft of new legislation to help spy and law enforcement agencies combat home-grown and international terrorism threats. One of those new laws will compel telcos and ISPs to store metadata on users.

The data retention scheme is set to be developed by Attorney General George Brandis in tandem with industry stakeholders like telcos and ISPs. There isn't a huge amount of detail at this point as to who will store the metadata and how much it will cost.

"The question of cost is something that the government is currently in discussion with the telcos concerning," AG Brandis added. One could argue that such a response to a question of cost means that the Government is interested in offloading the cost to ISPs and telcos.

Stakeholders such as iiNet have mentioned that the cost of a data retention scheme would likely be passed onto customers over time.

We likely won't get the full breakdown on cost that until we see the legislation. Right now it's being drafted by the Attorney General's department. AG Brandis indicated that the legislation for data retention would go through the Parliament separately to the new counter-terrorism laws later on this year.

From the official press release on the new counter-terrorism proposal:

An effective counter-terrorism response includes the ability to identify and prevent known extremists from leaving Australia to participate in foreign conflicts.
We must be able to obtain and use evidence from overseas to prosecute extremists when they return to Australia and monitor and disrupt their activities at home.

George Brandis also mentioned that threats and hate speech on sites like Twitter and Facebook would also be encompassed in the new counter-terrorism provisions. That means that retweeting controversial terrorism messages might soon set off red flags with law enforcement agencies according to Brandis.

The ABC's Lyndal Curtis asked at the press conference this afternoon if there would be safeguards in place to make sure innocent people aren't "caught up" by the new terrorism laws, including data retention.

"There are a whole range of safeguards: we need to get legislation through the Parliament and while the Labor party has offered bi-partisan support for security, we will need to liase with them to get the legislation through. Democracy in the end is the most important safeguard.

"We also have the ordinary range of safeguards like the retained [Government security watchdog] monitor, the Joint Standing Committee on Security and Intelligence and we've got vigorous and independent courts which will exercise the usual oversight of Australia's laws. The important thing here is to give us the tools that we need to ensure that people who are a serious threat to our country are appropriately dealt with. people who are ready to engage in horrific terrorist activity and stating an intention in many cases to engage in mass casualty terrorist activities can be dealt with in this country. The last thing any government should be relaxed and comfortable with is a mass casualty event here at home.

The short answer? No.

Other proposals encompassed by the Government's new counter-terrorism legislation see the government lower its standards for approving search warrants in line with some states and territories, broaden the definition of terrorism, extend the offence relating to promoting terrorism, and expand the offence for training with a terrorist group.

Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, responded to the proposals a moment ago, saying that it needs to look at it all very carefully.

"It's most important that in the pursuit of national security we respect the concerns of not treating ordinary Australians as criminals. There is complexity in storing information about 23 million Australians, and we must get the balance right between strong national security and the rights of our citizens. We will carefully consider these matters."

"There is no doubt that our agencies need the right powers to fight terrorism and keep Australians safe," Shorten said, adding that the Labor party will "carefully consider the proposals" following a briefing it was given this afternoon. Let's not forget, however, that data retention was something that the Labor Party came up with and pushed for during its last term.

The Greens have vowed to fight the data retention proposals, with Senator Adam Bandt saying that such a regime would "treat every online Australian as a suspect".

At the end of the day, Prime Minister Abbott says that new legislation and new programs, including data retention, are set to be used to prosecute terrorists and gain an all-important conviction.

You can read the full announcement here.




      Surprise !!
      I trust Brandis as a free thinking bigot with our liberties at heart

    Fuck you Tony.

      Perhaps you would rather march with the inner west Pro-Palestinian crowd in the CBD the other day who were chanting "Death to Christians and Jews from Lakemba to Iraq".

      As one of the other contributors said, if it makes us a little safer then I am all for it.

      Perhaps if we didn't have our own citizens preaching rape of non-muslims and death to infidels (umm.. thats you and me by the way) we wouldn't have such draconian laws.

      26 upvotes for saying "Fuck You" to the Prime Minister is pretty sad - remember we are all entitled to vote them in or out at the next election.

        The problem is that at the cost of my privacy we might be a little safer... I personally don't think any of this data retention will help, at most a few months, no way will 2 years actually help prevent crimes...

          I definitely agree with you, however my thoughts are that we are going through very uncertain times. I don't think the data retention was prompted by some evil motive, I think it was prompted by people making specific threats to Australians. I believe there has to be a fine line somewhere.

            'Uncertain times'...
            Yech. Go die in a car fire.

            I also agree with you that the world is in a bad state, but it is seriously no worse than we've been even in the last few decades. People forget how bad the world was just a few decades ago. It is certainly not bad enough, or even close to being bad enough to justify the collection and aggregation of all SMS, EMail, HTTP and Cellular traffic meta data (which can mean anything from who you comunicate with to what you're talking about) with no warrant, no due process, no transparency, nothing.

            If the police request a warrant to track my movements over a period of time with a judge's approval and proper accountability then sure, track away. I am just completely against this "guilty until proven innocent" mentality.

            Last edited 06/08/14 10:30 pm

        Fuck you, @thewave, for selling out your freedom for a little false, imaginary safety.

          Telling me to "fuck off" because I express an opinion doesn't worry me, what worries me is the blindness that a lot of people display.

          Data retention doesn't seem to be aimed at you, it seems to be aimed at those who seek to hurt us - and that includes you. You should impartially look at what is happening versus what the govt proposes.

          Regardless, I don't feel like I'm "selling out my freedom" I feel like I'm just commenting on a website forum about a government proposal.

          So what if they see that I visit gizmodo, my organisation's intranet, ebay and all the other inconsequential sites?

          If I was visiting terrorism or anti-Australian sites then perhaps I would be worried..

            But who knows in 5, 10 or 20 years time 'for the good of the country' lets just see who has been badmouthing the prime minister (insert king, or usa president if you must) of the day and wait a minute, that tax evasion company, they need a look at too, and all the people that held an account at the same bank as them.
            Theres no guarantee that some government in the future wont grant access to the data, not just on the basis of 'terrorism', but maybe on a request on one of the many government agencies. Do you want Joe Policeman to stick his nose in emails you have written, or look at your bank statements from 2 years ago? on some flimsy goosechase?
            Far fetched perhaps, but if you think it cant (ever never never?) happen then maybe its you who may just be a little blind.

            You should be worried anyway, who knows what sites you visit today, that they might decide in a year's time warrant you being investigated. What if your kid at school has an assignment on terrorism and visits a ton of sites to do research and gets tagged as a potential terrorist?
            Most likely these will be used for companies like Foxtel to police their monopolistic agendas, rather than used for actual anti-terror measres.

            Privacy isn't as simple as 'I'm not doing anything wrong, so why should I care?'
            As someone pointed out, there is nothing wrong with taking a dump, but I don't want people watching me doing it and reporting on it to others.

        "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

          Liberty is the exchange of our human rights for security, so no.

            That's a quote by Benjamin Franklin in case you didn't know, and it's as relevant now as it is was when he said it.

            By the way if you genuinely want to give up all human rights for security, go and live and North Korea and see how that "liberty" works out for you.

        You can eat a *turnip* as well. I'm sick of being told what is for "my own good". Bit by bit these *mammals* are grinding down our freedom in the name of whatever cause they've decided on this week. If you honestly think they have your best interests at heart then I am sincerely jealous of you; I'd me much happier living in that bubble.

        Edit: My poor choice of words. This is in no way an apology as I still intended to insult you.

        Last edited 05/08/14 9:37 pm

          I think using a gay sex reference and using words like "cunts" in your answer only vindicates my reply to your first comment. I wont reply again as it would only encourage you, however I would strongly recommend that you do your own research, and read all sources to make an informed decision.

          Would your solution just be to do nothing? Data retention is aimed at people making extreme threats against citizens such as you and I.

          I am not aligned with any political party, however my own belief is that there are some very extreme views in the community currently and that we need to protect ourselves.

          On another note, it also presents a significant job / commercial opportunity for the very people that would read Giz :)


            There is only one thing worse than the broken promises and the actions of select front benchers and the PM undermining the Coalition as a whole.

            A freedom being ground down here. It's our (implied) freedom of speech. And it's not by the Coalition. It's being ground down by Labor, the Greens, PUP and their supporters. As it stand one can say what one likes but faces ridicule if it puts the above parties in a bad light no matter who true it is.

              Freedom of speech and expression cuts both ways - or did you forget that?

              Nobody is censoring anyone's posts here, just expressing their own opinions about them. There's no right to freedom from ridicule, and even if there was your view of it sounds remarkably one-sided.

                Freedom of speech and expression cuts both ways - or did you forget that?

                No, I've always known that it was a two way street.

                Nobody is censoring anyone's posts here, just expressing their own opinions about them. There's no right to freedom from ridicule, and even if there was your view of it sounds remarkably one-sided.

                I never said there was censoring. And contrary to your claim, we do have a right not be ridiculed. It's called treating the other person with respect.

                If I say something counter to another person's view, that person has no right to make attacks personal or respond with f**k off or similar derogatory comments (as what's happening to other users).

                My claim still stands, Namarrgon. One of our most important freedoms is under threat and the worst part is it's from peers and not the government.

                Last edited 06/08/14 8:48 am

                  This is Australia; I'm pretty sure the right to tell people to piss off when they're being drongoes is enshrined in what remains of our national constitution.

            What makes you think data retention would actually help?

            Any terrorist who was sufficiently organised to be a threat would have been using VPNs and strong encryption for a decade already, and these logs won't help a bit.

            OTOH, the potential for abuse is huge - both by dodgy insiders (ref LOVEINT), corrupt officials, external hackers, and by our own governments, who will inevitably find all that data too tempting not to mine whenever they feel like it (domestic crimes, undesirable politics, tax revenues, copyright witch-hunts on behalf of the content lobby etc etc). This has been repeatedly demonstrated in every regime that tracks all its citizens like suspects. Oh, and we get to pay for all it too.

            Even Conroy's idiotic filter was better than this.

              Welcome to governments 101. It's clumsy, inefficient, and overly bureaucratic, but hey, they are there to look after the people they represent. Why there should be outrage here when this happens so often outside the internet (speed cameras, state response to king hits) is beyond me.

              If you don't agree with this, find a more "liberal" party (even though liberalism originates from the idea that without rules people would kill each other).

            And there we have it.
            Weak spurious argument.
            Patient holier than thou language.
            Finishes up with..... "Commercial opportunity".
            That sir, makes a vested interest.
            To put it more blunt - intellectual prostitute.

        Yes am I am entitled to vote him out, but my anti-liberal votes till now get me nowhere so yes F you Lib Govt +1. This is a waste of money and resources nothing else. Too many sheep vote liberal as there is no alternative. They may protect our coffers, but they do not care for any of us. Until they govern with real policies on real issues EADC

        The phrase death to, isn't in the literal sense, words and translations and cultures change over time. Down with, would be a more accurate western phrasing.

          Perhaps, I am only going by what I saw and heard on the TV in which they used those words.

          However I was struck by the irony of a number of people marching who were also being told "death to you" or as you suggest "down with you" by the very same crowd they were supporting.

        Data retention does nothing to prevent any one of those protestors committing a crime. All it does is provide evidence after the fact. You have fallen for the "terrorism" hook. Data retention does not making anybody safer.

        If you know what data to look at beforehand then get a warrant.

          It actually helps investigations into suspect individuals, as was in several cases of Islamic groups plotting actions in NSW and Vic. Without that intel, those people couldn't have been arrested or charges, and in all cases, they went to prison based on phone taps and email intercepts. If you're not doing anything government agencies aren't interested in, whats the drama? We don't live in communist China. The High court has overriding rule over any of these matters, so theres many level of scrutiny. Why people think ASIO are after them is a little amusing. Thats what happens when people smoke too much weed.

            @kr00 - "they went to prison based on phone taps and email intercepts" - Yes, not a blanket catch all data retention system! They were targeted taps, requiring a warrant, because we don't live in a totalitarian society.
            Data retention of metadata and access to it requires no such oversight. In fact in the last year over 250,000 requests were made by government bodies to access metadata. This included requests from the RSPCA, Taxi Directorate and local councils...because they have to deal with terrorists too - NOT!!!

            This is the danger of such a scheme, that it will be full of scope creep and will be used for purposes other than the stated aim of beating the terrorists.

            Should we also allow the police to search our houses on a whim, just in case?
            Should we allow them to tag us all with GPS locators just in case?

            The government have no right to capture my online activities, nor that of my seven year old daughter or my seventy year old mother. We have nothing to hide, but we all still close the door when we go to the bathroom.

        Perhaps you would rather march with the inner west Pro-Palestinian crowd in the CBD the other day who were chanting "Death to Christians and Jews from Lakemba to Iraq".

        If you are going to go around making wild claims, you need to back them up. Even more so when they do not in any way sound credible. Here, I looked it up for you. ‘‘Palestine is Muslim land ... Jew and Christian will not stand ... From Lakemba to Gaza ... You can never stop Islam.’’ Wow, that is quite inflammatory. Not quite what you were saying, though.

        Perhaps if we didn't have our own citizens preaching rape of non-muslims and death to infidels (umm.. thats you and me by the way) we wouldn't have such draconian laws.

        What a load of vague nonsense. You can't extrapolate some generic Daily Tele rage piece against Muslims to all of them. Meanwhile, the extremists that are out there LOVE it when people like you do their work for them. Western culture is their greatest enemy, and the greater the wedge between Islam and the west the better. Or did you think 9/11 was to make friends? Scare people? Get revenge?

        No. It was provocation. It was a wedge. It was to spark conflict, and to lure the Americans over. It was also as much about forcing the Muslims to action as it was the west. It was a trigger for Jihad.

        Same thing happens in the Gaza conflict. There are elements on both sides that will not accept anything other than the destruction of the other - and therefore peace is not desirable. Increased hate, conflict and violence serves their goals.

        26 upvotes for saying "Fuck You" to the Prime Minister is pretty sad - remember we are all entitled to vote them in or out at the next election.

        Tony was the one who dragged politics in this country even further into the mud and he did so brazenly and shamelessly. Now we should go soft on him? If you can dish it, you should be able to take it.

        The REAL problem with this is that in the US with their massive data sweeps I believe they have attributed 6 people to the data sweeps which they could not have gotten any other way. 6 people with all their computer hacking. email storing, phone tapping BS.

        It doesn't make you safe. it makes it easy to silence you when you want to speak out against the government. This is not about terrorism. this is about being able to find and punish people like snowden and assange.

        Data collection with a lower definition of the word terrorism.. og yeah its for my safety. real safety would be to take that $5 per costomer from an ISP and put it into police.. so that when you call them with information they have the manpower to act on it.

        It's not an either or scenario mate...

        LOL at commenting on, blaming 'the Muslims' etc... Consider looking at a big picture view.

        As for this ideas about safety, govt intrusion in public and private sphere as which are linked:
        Small government I think not... We have such draconina laws because in part of views such as yours that are narrowly adversarial and other-focused in nature... Maybe you should look closer to home first.

        "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"
        -Benjamin Franklin

    "The terrorist threat ... is as high as it's ever been"
    it's low?

      Exactly. It means as much as saying the threat of a Sharknado hitting Sydney is as high as its ever been.

        FUCK! Quick! Give the military 500 billion to combat the threat of sharknados!
        Also, refugeenados! Jebus... I'm wetting my liberal party knickers.

          Actually if the military wanted 100bil to MAKE sharknadoes I..... I'd actually think that was pretty cool.

          "WW-3: America brings the stealth bombers and warthogs, the UK brings the SAS and the harrier jump jet and Australia sends in the MOTHERFUCKING SHARKNADO.:

            This is Australia mate - Not wussy yanks. We'd have CROCLONES and they'd be freaking 300KM ACROSS!

            sorry to burst your bubble, but we signed up to geneva convention and weather manipulation is considered a war crime under it thus illegal

    man. this guy. fuck this guy. metadata on my habits without establishing who i am or why they need to monitor me. guilty until proven innocent indeed.

      I dont get it anyway. secured transmissions are easy enough and no matter the storage itll be uncrackable...what a waste of money

      Next you will have to "show cause" if you are found to use VPN...

        Sounds about right. "If you use a VPN, it means you have something to hide."

        Hence all VPN users by default are lumped into probably terrorists/pirates

    More taxpayer money wasted on a scheme that will only result in increased costs and inconvenience to consumers, if it ever even gets past the significant technological hurdles it faces.

    In the meantime, actual criminals/terrorists/big-bads will continue about their business as usual.

      I know I'll get a lot of down votes for this, but in regard to it costing more money, it's possible that this will make the police and magistrates jobs a lot easier, meaning less tax dollars being spent on courts and men and women in blue

        That would be nice, but I really doubt that will be the case. Most of the court cases clogging up the system, most work the police do, is in no way central to the internet.

        Necessitating the retention of data will prove far more costly than the occasional aid such a scheme might provide in assisting law enforcement. Hell, we might even end up like the US, where they retain so much data they can't even manage it (re: ).

        Let's set aside for a moment the question of whether or not this will, in practice, make investigations easier.
        There is still the question of whether we actually want this data stored, even if it does make investigations easier. Not to suggest that these are equivalent, but it would also be a lot easier for police if they were able to match photofits against driver's licence photos, or indeed if they had processed DNA samples and fingerprints for every Australian.

        In my mind, key issues relevant to deciding would be:
        What other uses could this data have for the police or government? (i.e. overreach/control)
        How could this be misused by police or government representatives? (i.e. prying)
        How valuable would this information be for someone outside the police and government? (i.e. desirability for theft)

        It can be hard to really ask these questions without coming across as paranoid, but you do need to keep in mind that other first-world governments have done things like pre-emptively arrest people organising protests for major events (e.g. G8).

        Edit: I'm sure there are a bunch of other key things to consider, too. I'm just going off the cuff here.

        Last edited 05/08/14 5:04 pm

    Serious question: What can we do about this BS? In the motley cacophony of "Kick this mob out", how can I add my voice to a number of people who will actually be listened to? I feel powerless to affect the government tasked with governing me.


      Last edited 05/08/14 4:07 pm

        You have made bad news worse.

        I was hoping we'd be able to get Clive to block this.

          Clive listens to no-one. He does as he pleases and changes his mind on what he pleases every time he gets up in the morning.

          Best you get is Pirate Party I think. They voiced their disdain or the policy.

            If the pirate party were not called the pirate party they might get taken seriously.

        Yep. The only way out of this mess we're in is to start a whole new party. One which doesn't owe any favours to big business or unions or any other group other than the voters (i.e. people, not corporations) who put them there. A party that straddles the centre, sensible part of the spectrum instead of the extreme left or right. We can call it the Common Sense Party, and its reign will be long and glorious.

        I'm too busy to do it myself, of course, but one of you guys is welcome to pick it up and run with it.

          The Pirate Party?

            I think the choice of name for The Pirate Party is a grave error. The perceived association with The Pirate Bay is poison (because let's face it, TPB is mostly a downloading-stuff-illegally site, whether or not there is justification for downloading the stuff), the term Pirate has negative connotations related to freeloading, and their platform isn't for wholesale copyright abolition which is what I think some would interpret the name to mean.

            Also, mostly not that different to the Greens (from what I can see).

              Not to go too far off topic. But technically you don't download from the Pirate Bay. It holds an index of magnet links or torrent files (carry over from the original form of BitTorrent).

              With this information you download from other clients/peers and can go uninterrupted even if the site goes down.

              Thus if site blocking miraculously works, piracy will remain as there is nothing stopping users from exchanging their own magnet links or the original torrent files for older downloads.

              Most BT clients also have distributed hash tables so they can find each other even without the magnet link or torrent file.

              And for those wondering how I know, I use Deluge (after ditching uTorrent) to quickly get Linux/BSD images (seriously, don't try HTTP downloads - you'll be there forever!!).

              And this is where data retention also fails. How can they tell that peer to peer traffic (assuming it is seen by the ISP for billing purposes) is malicious or just a group of users trying to get the next version of Free BSD? Honest truth, I don't think they can.

              Last edited 05/08/14 6:34 pm

                Sorry, yes. TPB is indeed just an index, but it is an index mostly of links to illegal downloads (so I think the point remains regarding the political party name). However, you're absolutely right that users can readily distribute magnet links or torrent files.
                The trackers could then be blocked, but thanks to the wonders of DHT that still doesn't actually prevent downloading (as you said). It just makes finding peers a bit less efficient. I think you still need to have a magnet link or torrent file though, because that contains the information required to find the chunks via the DHTs. However, they can be distributed any-which-way.

                (Note: none of that necessarily makes it hard to log downloads. A service dedicated to doing so can masquerade as a lot of peers sharing files and watch who connects to it. The above just makes it very, very difficult to prevent people from downloading).

                  Yes and no. With the growing use of DHT and Magnet Links, the role of trackers is weakening.

                  In fact, I would not be surprised if eventually trackers disappear altogether making the system fully peer based thus making it easy to detect a rogue node.

                  And truth be told, I also read Bram Cohen's original paper way back. It's hard to believe that a system mean to easily download files over unreliable networks (even if the original source is lost) is so easily branded as tool for piracy.

        Yeah thats the Crux of the problem isn't it.
        The political parties here in Aus are really between two evils. Lets face it, here either Labor or Coalition will get in, the other minor parties are so remote in their chances, and neither of these groups really listen to the people.

        With schemes like this put into place, it will be hard to even voice an opinion without being watched and scrutinized. Really the world needs a big dirty reset button.

      Exactly the same feeling here.
      To me, the answer is "electronic direct democracy". is the Australian implementation.

      Be careful, that is getting into potential 'domestic terrorism' talk :\

      Some say that the only way to do it would be to do it within the system.
      Unfortunately the system is the problem and any talk of removing said system IS 'domestic terrorism'.

      Those without a voice don't see it that way, however those in charge and make the rules do...
      That is our major inequality and a system has been designed to protect those that wish to rule.

      The only thing we can do if our government is doing things that we don't like and they won't listen to us and what we want is storm parliament house and remove them by force, but that'll never happen because most people wouldn't have the balls, we'd also be labelled as "terrorists" for wanting to take control of our own country.

      Vote Green. Tell your friends to vote green. Donate money to them and never give a cent to News Corp Fox Murdoch. It going be a long slog but we will win!

      Only until the next election, then we can all make our decisions. Its one of the reasons (believe it or not) I actually like our political system compared to others around the world. Compulsory voting makes for (slightly) more honest politicians.

      Remember that rightly or wrongly... Libs were voted in by us. And if they abuse our trust we can give them the flick at the latest on 14 January 2017....

      Everyone who thinks they can run a country better should start a party and get voted in. It's pretty simple really.

    This will backfire when the data gets hacked and the browsing habits of politicians are revealed.

      Except they'll have some clause about it being illegal to track/obtain their data.

        This was pretty much the argument put last year. The idea seems to be that if you make data breaches illegal, then data breaches won't happen.

      Exactly: it's only when politicians from the government are affected that they'll do something about it

    if they wanted to know my internet use they could have just goes :Cracked,abc news, Kotaku, Gizmodo, lifehacker, listverse then repeated several times a day ............

    Last edited 05/08/14 4:11 pm

      You read Cracked? That sounds like a hacker site... terrorist! Into prison with you!

        Cracked also sounds like a drug site! Drugs and terrorism, boogoose is going away for a looong time.

        Watching the communist ABC news wouldn't help his case with the Lib's either.

        You know of Cracked? You too must be a terrorist! Off to prison with you!

        Wait. I also know of Cracked. Off to prison with me!

        And no, this is not a comic. This is flaw with data retention in general.

        Last edited 05/08/14 5:00 pm

      Lol, Mine's Jalopnik, Kotaku, Gizmodo, Cracked, The Chive, Redtube, Ebay

        upvoted for honesty...although why you are visiting ebay after redtube is slightly skeevy...

          I'm less inclined to impulse buy with a clear mind haha

    Well they need an excuse, so terrorism it is then..!! Idiots..!!

      Pirates, anarchists, witches, communists, terrorists, hackers. This is tedious.

    good to see all the money that's been cut from science and welfare is going to a good cause...

      Agreed. We seem to taking money away from active internet security to passive internet security. What use is this data if it's been encrypted by malware and the only way to release it is to give someone 0.6 bitcoins?

    /sigh. Gotta love government policies on technical issues that they no nothing about. I guess they've never heard of encryption.

    So much for privacy in this country. Welcome to the new Australia where you are guilty until proven innocent, every internet user is a potential pirate and terrorist, and the cost of maintaining this "security" network is born by you - the suspect. You are no longer a citizen. You are a suspect.

    F*ck this country. F*ck this government. F*ck the people who voted for them, and F*ck anyone who still supports them.

      How dare you say F*ck this country? Its one of the best countries in the world. You sir, are a disgrace. Rip up your passport and leave then.

      Australia is and always has been one of the best countries in the world, regardless of who you voted for. I would dare you to find a better country.

      Disgusting comment, and disgusting that you got a single upvote for saying F*ck Australia, makes my blood boil.

        Sten is saying it because he loves this country and doesn't want to see it destroyed and turned into a totalitarian state by the government in power.
        He dares to say it, because, for the moment, we are still a free country that protects free speech. He can say it as much as he likes, and others can say he is wrong, others can support him, that is how it works.

        Waveboy - Australia has been one of the best countries in the world - operative word being 'has'. The Australia I grew up in, which sadly isn't the Australia we have today. Once upon a time we were a proud multicultural nation with a glowing human rights record (except for our treatment of Aborigines of course), friendly people, a laid back lifestyle, innovative if under-appreciated science community, and the guy next to you on the street wasn't an arsehole. Then Howard (the original Mr.White Australia from the 70's) got into power and in 12 years those f*ckers pretty much killed most of what was good about Australia. We got a little glimmer back with Kevin 07 but that dream died with Gillard. Just when it couldn't get any worse we got Tony & friends. Sten I'm sure says 'f#ck Australia' to ABBOTT's Australia, which is why he gets my upvote. Australia WAS awesome and can be again. But as long as d$ckweeds like Tony, Johnny, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones are setting our national rudder, we're going to keep steering good ship Oz right into 'farkyazall' territorial waters ...

        Last edited 06/08/14 8:45 pm

          Or to put it another way - an Australia where The Bolt Report gets taken seriously ? Piss on you Jack, that's not Australia, that's frikkin Texas ...

        There is no fact in your words. Your word is pure opinion. I could say Yugoslavia is the best place in the world, and those words would would have the exact same amount of factual information in them.

        Do not get caught up in patriotism. If you think Australia is the best country in the world, state your reasons and try to be objective. In my opinion, you are meant to criticise your country.

        This comment was not meant to be antagonistic. Please heed my words.

        Spoken like every other person who has never traveled outside of their own country before.
        Blind patriotism is blind.

          I was raised in two different countries until my early teens, and have travelled far and wide - I have been lucky enough to have a partner who worked for an airline.

          My opinion, and yes Im allowed to have one - is that Australia is the best country in the world, and 12 upvotes for saying F*ck this country over a data retention scheme designed to investigate those which would do you and me harm?

          I love an intelligent conversation or debate, and usually that is what you get with Gizmodo from what I've read here, but you have really degenerated into something else here.

          I cant help but feel all of you are just parrotting some sort of political party line here, rather than looking at things objectively. I expected more.

      All these urgent matters and they still cant find that im not on the voting register.. morons..

    Pretty sure most ISP's will fight this.
    I can only image the difficulty and cost this sort of scheme is likely to create.

    How about law enforcement do some leg work and be pro-active?
    Too many leads to follow up? Employ more staff ffs.
    Data retention won't help after the fact.

      inb4 News Corp attacks ISP's for being against 'National Security' and assisting terrorist operations

    Looks like Tony has been watching too much of the TF original film. Reminds me of this:

      Up vote for you good sir! Guilty or innocent indeed!

    I think I may just die from an overdose of hypocrisy

      Ha awesome, was about to go looking for it. I knew they complained about it. Thanks :-)

      No, you see, that wasn't a "core promise" when they Turnbull said that data retention was a bad idea..... *head desk*

      You know Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott are two distinct individuals, capable of having their own opinions?

      Besides, Turnbull will have to tow the party line on this one, despite any previous misgivings.

        Yeah, he's only the Communications Minister, what makes anyone think he has a say in it..

    I remember looking at "bad ideas" on TOSTE back in 1997.
    I had no intentions to engage in terrorism or civil disruption, nor did go on to.
    It was just something cool to look at when you are thirteen.
    I'm sure you all have similar sites.
    What would happen to me today?

    God told him about retention. Remember the data retention, to keep it holy!

    So what VPN's are any good without significantly slowing my internet and costing me the world? EAD Tones.

      Private Internet Access (PIA) does it for me :)

        I'm going to check them out and see if I can get my router to route everything straight through them.
        (If you're running Tomato or DD-WRT you can do it)

        It worries me they're US based, even though the US don't have a data retention scheme, the govt is suing Microsoft for personal data held in overseas data centres.

      Does someone want to explain VPNs for me? If the traffic is being routed through some other servers and "masked" doesn't that just mean you're trusting some VPN host with your data instead of an ISP or whatever?

      The data still goes somewhere and still passes through servers that can be monitored... isn't it just changing one set of eyes for another? Encryption is different but VPN =/= encryption.

        Yeah you're trusting your VPN - which is why you need to use one who are serious about protecting your privacy by doing things like retaining no logs and doing the bare minimum to comply with any government data requests. If they retain no logs, the most they can tell the government is "yes, person x is a subscriber, no we can't tell you where we routed their traffic"

    From The Age:
    Australia's spy and counter-terror agencies will receive a $600 million funding boost to fight the threat of home-grown terrorism, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott says "has not changed" and is still "as high as it has ever been".

    Conveniently these statements would be true even if there had always been a negligible threat of home-grown terrorism.

    Also a favorite for me is

    "Preventing Australian citizens from becoming foreign fighters is now one of our highest national security priorities," she said.
    "To put the threat in context, prior to the NATO led experience in Afghanistan our intelligence and security agencies were aware of 30 people, Australian citizens, in Afghanistan fighting against the interest of the West, 25 of them came back to Australia.
    "Five times that number are of interest to our security and intelligence agencies, so this is a far greater challenge for us in sheer numbers."

    That 125 people must be a real challenge to monitor what with needing to get warrants and all... *cough*.

    Last edited 05/08/14 5:09 pm

    Terrorist threats? Australia or better the Australian government needs to get it's head out of it's own arse. The world doesn't give a rats about Australia let alone terror groups thinking it is significant enough that a terror attack would be justified.

      Hmmmm ... to be fair though ... the Aussie boxer guy holding up the two heads on Twitter last week (cannot be arsed googling to find his name - y'all know who I'm talking about) has made specific threats and possibly one or two of his buddies within ISIL are with him. And yes there are a bunch of 'home grown' nutbags they have to watch out for. But I'd wager you're right and we don't feature too highly as a priority attack target for these guys bosses in the 'main' terror groups out there.

        When the media first started reporting on this guy he actually said on twitter that he never had any intentions to carry out any terrorist activities in Australia and that Australia was safe.
        Once politicians started weighing in on the matter and a warrant was issued for his arrest, then he was obviously quite offended after trying to 'make peace' with Australia, and that was when he started making threats.

          Interesting Afro - did not know that (and of course the mass media have been careful to leave that out of all reporting) ...

      You've got to remember he's not talking about protecting Australia from terrorist attacks. He's talking about using data retention to reveal Australians intending on conducting terrorist activities in other countries against our allies. It's pissing money up the wall chasing shadows, invading our privacy to show that we take our role in the war on terror super, super seriously.
      Meanwhile when it's time to justify it to the Australian people he's happy to present it in a way that makes it look like he's doing this to protect Australians from terrorist attacks, because ironically his party is more than happy to capitalise on and manipulate the sort of xenophobia that actually does spark potential terrorist attacks.

      As Zippy says below, the Australian citizen who was holding up beheaded heads and making specific threats against Australia would probably beg to differ with you. Perhaps you should read what is currently being said in the community. Did you see the 60 minutes episode a few months back with the interviews in Bankstown?

    Yes, because of the huge problem Australia has with terrorism on our shores... yes, I need these morons to pretend to protect me from fairy stories while they hand over all that taxpayer funded data to US "anti-piracy" industry groups in order to further persecute Australians.

    I really wonder... just HOW much does this Abbot government hate Australians?

      As Luke Hopewell points out below, the government actually dropped its campaign to repeal section 18c. How on earth does that equate to the government hating Australians?

        Because of this move to save private data of every citizen to be used in whatever way it chooses.
        It plays into a larger pattern of contempt: cuts to the sciences, eviscerating the NBN, changes to unemployment payments, attacks on Medicare, the ABC and SBS, abolition of various aboriginal programs, and so on.

        All that stuff is completely outside of what is going on here, but the point is that the overriding principal of the Abbot government is: benefits for the wealthy at the expense of the majority. With that in mind, considering that domestic terrorism is not an issue in this country the motivation behind universal data retention is likely to be to aid in the persecution of ordinary Australians by making that data available to law enforcement and/or agencies seeking to prosecute individuals for "piracy" offences.

        As Luke Hopewell points out below, the government actually dropped its campaign to repeal section 18c. How on earth does that equate to the government hating Australians?

        OK, this one is easy. The government hates Australians because pesky annoying public opinion has forced them to humiliatingly back down from this and other policies. In fact I would estimate that the hatred the current Liberal Party has for the electorate has not changed, but is as high as it has ever been.

        The fact they had a campaign to repeal section 18c at all is a clear sign of their contempt for Australians. They fact that weight of public opinion was enough to have them drop it (for now...) says nothing other than they're scared of pissing us off to much, too quickly.

    "George Brandis also mentioned that threats and hate speech on sites like Twitter and Facebook would also be encompassed in the new counter-terrorism provisions."

    People don't have a right to be bigots on if it's on Facebook, George?

      For what it's worth, the mainstream story out of this is that the Government dropped its campaign to repeal Section 18c from the Racial Discrimination Act.

        Because it's easier to get fewer unpopular arsehat legislations through parliament than many. Not because they're good blokes.

        Which is a lot like when you're playing board games with someone who reconsiders attacking you ONLY because some smart-alec pointed out to them that if they don't attack you this turn, they can cluster-fuck you for ten times the damage next turn. Thanks!

    So, I know next to nothing about our political system, but seriously how is it that we're ok with a system where parties can pull this kind of crap without at least requiring public approval.
    Is it so messed up that we vote in parties to do what ever they please once they're in?

      As Winston Churchill said:
      Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
      (Mind you, there are various forms of democracy and I'm unconvinced that our current representational democracy is the best of them).

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