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OzLog: Unlimited Private Data Retention For Australia? 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-a-list dept.
AHuxley writes "Australia would like to follow the EU down the 'European Directive on Data Retention' path. Law enforcement agencies may have the option to request a log of all a users of interest telco usage without any review or time limits. From the article: 'The proposal — known popularly as ‘OzLog’ — first came to light in June 2010, when AGD confirmed it had been examining the European Directive on Data Retention (PDF) to consider whether it would be beneficial for Australia to adopt a similar regime. The directive requires telcos to record data such as the source, destination and timing of all emails and telephone calls – even including internet telephony.'"
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OzLog: Unlimited Private Data Retention For Australia?

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  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:15AM (#38826311)

    And very often if there is even a small advantage to doing so. The plus side of having a national policy and laws is you can have some sort of a framework governing the use of the retained data. The downside is that most of these laws just encourage big brotherish behavior

    • by Psychotria (953670) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:34AM (#38826393)

      Why on Earth should my telephone calls (source and destination) be logged and retained indefinitely? A "framework governing the user of the data"? Are you crazy? Any national framework governing the use of the data is next to useless. Once the data are there (recorded) no "framework" will guarantee how the data are used in the future. If I want to telephone my mother there is NO REASON AT ALL to log this. Indeed, if I want to telephone my drug dealer (I actually don't use drugs, but it's an example), there is NO REASON AT ALL to log that either. There is no "positive" (as your comment suggests) to this stupid proposal.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:49AM (#38826459)

        The solution is to "accidentally" dial the wrong number several times for every one time you dial the correct one. Eventually there will be enough complaints about the system and the data itself will be such complete worthless junk that they'll have to do something about it.

        And by something I mean probably ban people from dialing the wrong number.

        • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @06:08AM (#38826679) Homepage

          These people have no idea at all. I have younger relatives who don't have an email address at all, preferring to do everything via social networks. Then there is of course Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo et al.

          Then there are tools like this Track Me Not http://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/ [nyu.edu]. Tools like this will extend to every communications medium to flood records with junk connections, basically multiply by a factor of thousands the information to be stored.

          Computers are great at filtering and correlating data, they are even better at creating junk data making any filtering and correlation impossible, GIGO.

          • Sorry, I don't agree.

            Precisely because computers are so good at data, a smart operator can bust the junk pattern and then filter it all out. The basic idea is that I-BigBro don't care about the sum total of your calls, I care about whether particular hotspots get hit at all. Put simply as an example, you can have 88,000 pages of data but the filter in Excel will sort it all up and a "known terrorist phone number" is there.

          • just draw the attention of the authorities and other parties?
        • Easy enough to filter for calls > than 15 seconds or sort by most-connected numbers, unless you call the same wrong numbers regularly.
      • You do NOT have a right to commit a crime and calling your drug dealer is NOT something that society wants you to get away with.

        If society wanted people to be able to commit crimes, it wouldn't have created the police and spend billions on funding for it. It would simply have kept anarchy. The police instead have been given powers to track criminals down and this has always meant powers to track people and communication. Why should your phone logs NOT be available after a court order has been issued for the

        • by ibutsu (2528336)
          I never realized that *calling* a drug dealer was crime. Now I could understand it a bit more if the call was to purchase illegal drugs from him, but it is not possible to know that until the call is in progress at best.
    • by vencs (1937504)
      Assange read this in the cables much earlier and went for relocation.
  • Tits up (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Given that it's Australia, the data will be in an incompatible format, the people acessing it won't know what any of it means and the system that is supposedly gathering the data will be just making the shit up.

    If you really want to know what we are up to just buy it from china.

    • Given that it's Australia, the data will be in an incompatible format, the people acessing it won't know what any of it means and the system that is supposedly gathering the data will be just making the shit up.

      If you really want to know what we are up to just buy it from china.

      Yes, because Australia is a backwater nation that encodes all data in incompatible and undocumented formats of our own design. *rolls eyes*

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This does raise an important question: do eyes in Australia roll in the opposite direction from ours in the U.S.?

      • by Fluffeh (1273756)

        Yes, because Australia is a backwater nation that encodes all data in incompatible and undocumented formats of our own design.

        Actually, if you have ever tried to do anything in Australia regarding a log of phone calls or the like, it would seem that we do INDEED use incompatible and undocumented formats of our own design. This comes from many hours spent the phone with Telstra, Optus and worst of all Vodafone.

        Oh, and by the way, I work for an Australian employer of over 200,000 employees. The data formats and accuracy that we have is utterly appalling. Even we can't read much of our data to any useful degree or match it with anyth

        • Having worked as a DBA in the mining industry in Australia, I can safely say that it's not just telcos that use multiple proprietary data formats and have very little regard for accuracy. The company I worked for took over a number of smaller organisations and the datasets we got from them were worse than useless.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:20AM (#38826345)

    That in Europe data retention is only for a finite amount of time, and can only be used to investigate major crimes, e.g., murder and terrorism (the real kind, not the US kind). Recent rulings by European courts confirm this (no IP addresses should be given to investigate copyright infringement).

    • With Europe's increadible laws protecting personal privacy of data, this seems to go in exactly the other direction. It's like there is us and them and we are the government and we know whats best, on one side and the other, no one should have your data, you should be protected (but not from us). These are hard philosophies to resolve together consistantly.

  • This puts a lot of private information in the hands of telephone companies and internet providers. I doubt their security is going to be very good. Anyone with any private information that could be of use to anyone else had better be encrypting it. This would bu businesses guarding their companies trade secrets, people in the public eye who could be implicated in scandals, or any political group with enemies. In the UK they recently had a scandal where the papers were tapping in to phones to get stories. Im
  • If I use Gmail, can my isp trace to whom I send emails ?

    These guys are creating a network with waited relationships between us all.

    If he is classified with a threat lever of 0.9 and my link to him is valued as 0.7 which is figured out by the frequency and timing of the emails and my relationships to other members he is related to that means I am a threat level of 0.63.

    Bogus email accounts simply end up with very small threat levels although a bogus email account would carry some weight on account of the fac
  • by silanea (1241518) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:50AM (#38826633)

    Oh, you mean the very same EU Data Retention Directive that has been condemned by the EU's own data protection authority [dw-world.de], slammed by legal experts [ejlt.org] and is currently under evaluation [europa.eu] within the European Commission and which, after being found in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Romania and staggeringly overpowered in Germany [eff.org], will probably be either restricted so severely it will not matter much anymore or, if enough political pressure can be built in time, completely taken back.

    Yeah, looks like a winner to me to introduce into your country now.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      It is a winner if your goal is to fight a war on terror (U.S.). You appear to view spying as some kind of negative? The American government thinks Australia adopting Data retention is a wonderful policy.

      BTW the EU is rapidly passing the ACTA. Apparently they don't care aboot privacy either.

    • by silanea (1241518)
      By the way, the German Max Planck Institute has found in a study [heise.de] (sorry, German only) that data retention does not help with fighting any serious crime - terrorism, homicide, armed robbery or, remarkably, child pornography. It would only be of (limited) use for "petty" crimes of online fraud and for civil cases, mostly in the field of copyright infringement. Not that that was not clear from the start, but it sure is nice to see it spelled out in very clear language by a highly regarded internationally recog
  • These surveillance and data retention laws are a violation of civil liberties and freedoms. There is no need for government to capture and retain all voice and most data traffice of common users. It's obscene and could only be justified if the person/persons being monitored have committed or are engaged in serious criminal activites. These laws treat everyone like a criminal or terrorist. Sheer insanity. Where will it end ?
    • I am v e r y concerned about this, too. We seem to assist at the emergence of a new sort of state: the control state. A democratic-looking, "soft" police state. Your use of the word "obscene" is justified. It will either end in sheer apathy, or in uprising / revolution, these also of a new kind. "Principiis obsta !" / "Resist the beginnings !"
  • by fostware (551290) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @07:25AM (#38826995) Homepage

    This will affect those stupid enough to use their ISP's email address, and call on their normal landline or contract phone.

    Others will use IRC channels, (occasionally) instant messaging, cycle through disposable or free web-mail accounts, use pre-paid no-contract mobiles using forged details, or just keep bribing those handling the data - just as they've done before.

    In fact this really is just theatre with a few headlining arrests to come... (which will be arranged through the previous wiretaps, investigation, and existing lawful methods)

  • Make the data available to the people being monitored. Be super up-front about it. If people don't like it, they will use other ways to communicate with each other.
  • As always. :-\

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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