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Australia Government Privacy The Internet Your Rights Online

Inside Australia's Data Retention Proposal 154

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-have-nussink-to-hide dept.
bennyboy64 writes "New details have emerged on Australia's attempt at getting a data retention regime into place, with meeting notes taken by industry sources showing exactly what has been proposed. In a nutshell, the Australian government wants Internet service providers to keep anything and everything they have the ability to log and retain for two years 'at this stage.'"
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Inside Australia's Data Retention Proposal

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  • by aojensen (1503269) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:09PM (#32596034)
    ... I have to say that this is nothing but seriously scary.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:10PM (#32596050) Homepage

    (Hopefully 'voted out of office'...)

  • Re:Sup? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:17PM (#32596152)

    what's going on is that it's popular to make a big deal of every vague intention by the Australian government, without reference to the fact that none of it is law yet. (And in the case of the infamous filter, never will be).

    What is also usually missing from at least the summaries of these articles is that most of these things are based on already implemented existing laws in either Europe, the UK, Canada or the USA

  • Re:Sup? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:21PM (#32596222)

    (And in the case of the infamous filter, never will be).

    Classic "anonymous" post.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:24PM (#32596250)
    Seriously, the more that world governments try to push these proposals, the more demand there will be for robust anonymity online. Whatever data they collect will eventually be used against the citizens, and when citizens start seeing their friends in legal trouble, they will start looking into ways of preventing the same from happening to them. It will become a cat and mouse game, and if the game is allowed to continue long enough, we may see things turn violent (e.g. what happens in countries like China).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:28PM (#32596290)

    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems to me that this sort of policy would require ISPs to retain all sorts of illegal content - everything from illegally downloaded torrents to child porn.

    Since the ISPs are acting under orders from the government, doesn't that make the government an accessory to these crimes of possession?

  • Re:Sup? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:42PM (#32596408)

    what's going on is that it's popular to make a big deal of every vague intention by the Australian government, without reference to the fact that none of it is law yet. (And in the case of the infamous filter, never will be).

    What is also usually missing from at least the summaries of these articles is that most of these things are based on already implemented existing laws in either Europe, the UK, Canada or the USA

    All laws started out as intentions, so this is significant. If the people of Australia don't want these measures, it's a problem that their representatives in government would like to implement them. It's also a problem because of the precedent it either sets or follows; either way legitimizes the idea.

    Personally, here is what I want: if the cops have a good reason to believe someone has committed a crime, let them get a warrant. With that warrant they can search only that particular suspect or particular group of suspects and/or conduct surveillance only on those people to gather the evidence needed to make their case. If this process yields insufficient evidence, then better luck next time. None of this requires a backlog of what everyone has said and done on the Internet for the last two years. There's no genuinely good purpose behind this that outweighs the invasiveness and potential for abuse. I don't care if every country in the whole world has similar laws -- that would merely increase the number that are doing something wrong.

    Another thing: does the government intend to provide money to the ISPs for the data centers and hard drives they will have to purchase and maintain to archive such a large volume of information, or is this yet another unfunded mandate?

  • by CormacJ (64984) <cormacNO@SPAMboris-natasha.org> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:44PM (#32596422) Homepage Journal

    I'm betting Seagate dropped some serious $AU to get this passed.

  • Broken by design. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by samson13 (1311981) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:56PM (#32596550)

    As seems typical with this government they don't think through the consequences of their laws (or proposed laws). A good law should:
    1) Feel guilty if I break. (not applicable in this case cause it is a proscriptive law)
    2) Solve a problem.. In this case it will just lead to more off shore services, encryption and obfuscation in existing communications. This will just lift the bar so that a warranted tap will no longer be likely to provide anything useful.
    3) Hurt the bad guys more than the good guys. This just lifts the cost for everybody and depending on what the ISPs need to do to collect this data then it may effect performance.
    4) Be technically possible.

    I've got a plan with a static IP so my ISP doesn't do any transparent proxying so they don't automaticaly get my URL history. I'm running my own mail server so they don't get my email information. I trust them becuase I know they couldn't afford to be bothered.

    So the ISP is going to have to start doing deep packet inspection on all my traffic to pull out these bits of information to log. That starts to get expensive and intrusive to their operations and my bill.

    If we start to use more TLS on our smtp connections then they just won't have the information to log.

    If they are logging URLs then I'd be tempted to do my backups with encrypted data in the get request. Can't be compressed and can't be used. This sort of attack with expensive noise could be implemented on a lot of websites... Say google with their stance against the Australian governments stupidity put more hash codes in their URLs. It would make the hard drive manufacturers rich trying to supply the ISPs fast enough.

  • by zuperduperman (1206922) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @07:21PM (#32597248)

    I'm seriously scared by this upcoming election. There are only two possible outcomes and both of them are nightmares. If the neocons get in then we are up for all kinds of horrendous stuff and if Labor retains power then they will be claiming they have a mandate for turning the country into a police state. The only useful option seems to be to selectively target individual senators [filter-conroy.org] but that has only a slim chance of making a substantial difference.

  • Re:Sup? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jmello (856993) <jmello@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @07:50PM (#32597430) Homepage
    From what I understand, the parties in Australia are so evenly split that in order to win votes, they have to appeal to the christian right, and is doing so with a "somebody think of the children" approach.
  • by Eskarel (565631) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @08:52PM (#32597836)

    Personally I'm hoping for a situation where labor can only pass legislation with the help of the greens. That should tone down the crazy of the greens, and tone down the nanny of labour.

    Of course it would be even better if we could get that combination plus a liberal party who had some policy other than "oppose everything" so that some debates went right and some debates went left depending on the interests of the country.

  • by zuperduperman (1206922) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @08:57PM (#32597874)

    There's a problem: the libs will happily vote for much of the evil stuff that Labor wants. Abbott *loves* the idea of the filter and I'm sure would be all over data retention (of course, he won't say this publicly - but when it comes to a vote they'll back it). So there is no scenario where the greens will be able to protect us completely, even if they hold the balance of power by a significant margin.

  • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @09:04PM (#32597920)

    Australians hardly ever vote for parties with silly names. I propose the form a a coalition with other parties with civil liberties in mind and drop the silly names. We also have The Australian sex party. They get bugger all votes because "working family's" won't vote for a single issue party or a party with a silly name.

    I know it is frustrating but it is one of the issues that we face and that is one possible solution. It also concentrates the civil libertarian vote to gain more power.

  • by dakameleon (1126377) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:51PM (#32598588)

    And unless Rudd grows the balls to call a double-dissolution, it's only a half-Senate election in any case, so there's only so much shift that can occur. The Senate is our best chance to shaft them on this, but you have to keep the Liberals on the opposition benches in the lower house.

    This election and nation is screwed.

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