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Australia Privacy

Australian Government Rejects Data Retention Law After Report 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-sir-I-don't-like-it dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "The Australian Government has shelved its plans to proactively store communications data of every citizen ostensibly to assist with law enforcement and intelligence efforts. The shelving (video) comes after a scathing report by Australian parliamentarians who investigated the Government's plans, and three months ahead of a federal election in which the Government is expected to lose office."
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Australian Government Rejects Data Retention Law After Report

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    "A Senate committee has slammed Australia's proposed data retention scheme, recommending it only be considered if it only collected metadata, avoided capture of browser histories and contained rigorous privacy controls and oversight." - Basically, we want the American system and not a bit more.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      contained rigorous privacy controls and oversight

      That doesn't sound like the American system at all.

    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Monday June 24, 2013 @07:00PM (#44096847)

      Actually, based on what has been happening in Australia lately this is a huge change of course, and probably a sign that the average citizen is getting a little sick of the shenanigans pulled by the current government, (sometimes pulled by only a minister here or there, without the consensus of his own party).

      As for it being basically the American system, that is not true at all, because regardless of what they say they collect, you can be sure the NSA collects your entire email, not just the headers. And the us system has no such thing as privacy controls.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Actually, based on what has been happening in Australia lately this is a huge change of course, and probably a sign that the average citizen is getting a little sick of the shenanigans pulled by the current government, (sometimes pulled by only a minister here or there, without the consensus of his own party).

        This is pretty much the story with every Australia-bashing political story on /.

        Frank P. Frankston, Member for Frankston introduces hit pet bill into parliament. Seeing as no-one else wants it it doesn't pass.

        No doubt the minister you're eluding to is our "honourable"* Mr Conroy, his pet project internet filter has consistently failed to gain any traction in parliament over the last 6 years. Its as dead as Sam Newman's career.

        * Honourable is just a title, politicians are the most dishonourable peop

        • sick of the shenanigans pulled by the current government, (sometimes pulled by only a minister here or there, without the consensus of his own party

          Please. If you have to pass unpopular/shady/questionable policies and laws, always always set it up as one individuals doing and claim - "its not the parties policy" - they acted alone. This is standard politics, fall on your sword type devotion to the party - preserve its good name. Please dont be fooled by the massive sleight of hand (well, sleight of mouth/marketing)...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Edward snowed in, autralian for hero

  • by PPH (736903) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:53PM (#44096145)

    Thank goodness there's a pacific Ocean between Aus and the USA. Or this subversive thinking might infect us.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:01PM (#44096193)

      Thank goodness? No!

      Thank Snowden instead, that man is a hero.

      This bill (or whatever it is) has been rejected thanks to Snowden.

      Snowden has made too obvious for the People what governments do against them.

      • Re:Democracy works! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bloodhawk (813939) on Monday June 24, 2013 @06:24PM (#44096685)
        Normally I doubt the influence world public opinion has on moronic pollies, But I suspect in this instance this is actually correct. The current government has tried to get other orwellian legislation passed including internet filters so them actually being against it themselves is unlikely. I think Snowden has highlighted how unpopular such ideas are and with a government that is almost certainly getting thrown out for incompetence come september they hardly need another nail in their coffin.
        • by icebike (68054) on Monday June 24, 2013 @07:07PM (#44096897)

          If only Snowden hadn't been such a true believer in Obama, he would have released his cache before the prior election and forced the issue into the spotlight in the US. Both parties would be backpedaling furiously.

          As it is, the administration (along with the opposition party) will do everything in its power to demonize him, when in fact he should be getting the Medal of Freedom. Here's hoping there is another Snowden in position to divulge the illegal spying in the run-up to the next election and perhaps some headway can be made on this issue. If not, it will all peter out in the States, and then all pretense if restrictions will be gone.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by interval1066 (668936)

          The current government has tried to get other orwellian legislation passed...

          You talking about the Obama admin or another country? Becuase the current admin has been wildly successful and proactive at passing all sorts of such legislation, including the hideus Patriot Act that was created under Bush, and renewed with tongue-wagging fervor by Obama. So "tried" isn't the obvious adjective here.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          We have internet filiters here. Just recently 1200 sites were blocked for no reason.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            They were blocked for a reason, one site contained illegal content, the rest just happened to share the same IP address. It isn't a good reason but their was certainly a reason. It is one of the problems in the world of shared hosting, you suffer the same fate as the kiddie porn site that just happens to have the same address.
      • ...with some irreverant comedy rap : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnMPQmIPibE [youtube.com]

        Check out other stuff by these guys... they're great.

  • by davydagger (2566757) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:54PM (#44096147)
    In other countries, occationally orwellian laws are blocked by elected officials.

    In the US, they all shrug and try to explain away our rights.
    • by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:16PM (#44096295)

      In other countries, occationally orwellian laws are blocked by elected officials.

      In the US, they all shrug and try to explain away our rights.

      Not at all. When the outrage gets too loud (think SOPA and the ilk), laws will be temporarily stopped and shelved, only to be re-introduced piece-by-piece in "Think of Rainbows And Puppies Act"

      I assume this is what is happening there -- a full law could not be passed openly, so it will be re-built quietly piece-by-piece later.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        I don't know about Australia, but most countries do not share the same enthusiasm for legislation by rider that the US has. Most likely Australia follows British law, where any part of a bill that is not covered by the long form title of the bill must be excluded from the act when it is passed by parliament.

      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        No - neither the Australian legislative drafting process, nor the way legislation is debated and passed (or not) in Parliament are amenable to that kind of thing. An Act covers only a single topic (dictated by the long form of its title) and can't have US-style riders attached to it.

  • You don't really think that the gigantic Utah Data Center was created to store a few thousand phone conversations, do you? Nope. I suspect that the NSA is storing ALL electronic communications such as phone and email from everyone in US. It might examine only a few thousand by hand, but it is all being recorded.
    • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:09PM (#44096247)

      It might examine only a few thousand by hand, but it is all being recorded.

      Data mining isn't "examining a few thousand by hand". It's the analysis on the mass data that matters. You may drill down to specific emails/calls/transfers/etc, but to know which ones, you need to be able to map entire networks of associations.

      This is not like the cameras on an ATM that stores unwatched images unless a specific event prompts someone to look at a specific time. Your personal data is not being blindly stored on these systems, unwatched since you've done nothing anyone cares about, it is being analysed along with everyone else's.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So instead of a "Bacon Number" you'll have a "Bin Laden Number"

        goodie

    • No, it's for large scale SNA (social network analysis for those who are unfamiliar).

    • by tyrione (134248)

      You don't really think that the gigantic Utah Data Center was created to store a few thousand phone conversations, do you? Nope. I suspect that the NSA is storing ALL electronic communications such as phone and email from everyone in US. It might examine only a few thousand by hand, but it is all being recorded.

      Only an idiot thinks the US can have datacenters large enough to record every single conversation, email content and video phone conversation on a daily basis, never mind the personnel when the State and Federal Government have downsized personnel by several million positions.

  • Remember (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ... the Government is expected to lose office ...

    When the current opposition party was Government they took Australia into Vietnam and Iraq and copied the 'war on terror' mantra. While no Australian politician can be anti-American, the current opposition party are arse-lickers of American politicians.

    • by _merlin (160982)

      Oh Gillard is no better - look how eager she was to give US forces even more access to Australian bases. We may as well not be a sovereign country at this rate.

  • More links on story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:27PM (#44096365)
    "The Australian Attorney-General Department's pig-headed push for Internet data retention were rejected by an Intelligence Oversight Committee for being vague and violating civil liberties. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the government needs to get the message and drop the scheme, and warned data retention could be used by PRISM. Head Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says data retention is off the agenda for now, though when the last AG made a similar promise they caught everyone off guard and passed new laws 12 days later"

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/06/24/national-security-inquiry-declines-to-endorse-data-retention [crikey.com.au]
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/06/24/keane-a-debate-we-had-to-have-on-security-measures [crikey.com.au]
    http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/465679/data_retention_needs_oversight_inquiry/ [computerworld.com.au]
    http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/465152/australia_suspected_prism_data_ludlam/ [computerworld.com.au]
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/roxon-puts-web-surveillance-plans-on-ice-20120809-23x9l.html [smh.com.au]
    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/312771,senate-passes-lite-data-retention-laws.aspx [itnews.com.au]

    The government is expected to lose office
    Yes they are, but the opposition hasn't ruled out doing the same thing.
  • It seems to me, that our elected representatives can sometimes do the right thing. It's when the executive and the faceless men do it all in secret that we have problems.

  • by GrahamJ (241784)
    It's great to see that Snowden's actions have had a positive effect on the world already. He is a hero.
  • The worst thing about all this stuff is, they say they reject the data retention law now, but, no one has questioned what the government will be doing with the planned centralised "National Broadband Network", owned and run by the government.

    They won't need data retention laws for ISP's nor companies such as google, the government owned infrastructure will be the isthemus of all digital communications in Australia. I just don't believe for a second that some sort of all-encompassing surveillance program isn

    • by marka63 (1237718)

      The fix to which is to encrypt all communications from the home / office to the rest of the world.

      The first thing ISP's could do is stop supporting insecure communication channels to/from their customers. There is no reason to not use STARTTLS with submission. There is no reason to continue to support POP/IMAP without SSL/TLS.

      Next they should use DANE to publish their CERTs to ensure that active MitM attacks are not possible.

      I call on all ISP's to disable unencrypted mail submission / retrieval with their

  • shelved = "I'll be back"
  • Why store data when the Americans are already storing it for you?

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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