Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Australia Government Your Rights Online

2 Year Data Retention For Australian ISPs 86

freddienumber13 writes "Following similar acts passed by foreign governments, the Australian government is now seeking feedback on its plans to bring into law the requirement for ISPs to retain user data for up to 2 years. They're also seeking changes to the law that would allow undercover ASIO agents and its sources to commit crimes which would include, for example, hacking into your computer."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2 Year Data Retention For Australian ISPs

Comments Filter:
  • by treff89 ( 874098 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @05:34AM (#40625975)

    I hope our pollies' blatant disregard of anything other than what will make them the most popular will contrive to prevent this from being passed!

    Also, first.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Kinda sad the only political party against this is the Greens.

      • australia doesn't have politicians anymore. politics was privatized and is now run by the mob at Fremantle Media that handle Big Brother.

        i wish i could vote for some person or party that weren't just the least worst. i'd like to vote for someone i actually agree with.

        the greens are as close as i can get, but they're certainly not perfect, and in any case number 2 on the ballot will end up with the vote, so i'm just bit-shifting my inevitable choice between labor and lib.

        • That's a feature (ie., "bug") of our system of mandatory preferential voting. If, out of all candidates on your ballot, candidate whom you placed second-last on your ballot gets in, you just voted him or her in. Optional preferential voting means you don't necessarily have to do that. That candidate may still get in, but it will have been without your vote without your having to cast an informal vote.
    • You may be overestimating the voters.
  • by indaba ( 32226 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @05:43AM (#40626021)
    "The final terms of reference for the inquiry match the proposals sent to the committee by Roxon, and include the controversial 2 year data retention proposal long urged by Attorney-Generalâ(TM)s bureaucrats. However, the committee has now also published a discussion paper prepared by the Attorney-Generalâ(TM)s Department to commence the inquiry, outlining the rationale for three types of proposals: those the government wants to progress, those it is considering, and those it is merely seeking views on." []
  • I've got a counter proposal. what about forever ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thed8 ( 1739450 )
      I think 2 years means it will all be gone by the time anyone wants to look, so if you really want the data then something like 10 years is needed along with a mandated retention system. Every litigation I've been involved in has lost data even when a company had a 7 year retention policy. Not through any malicious erasures but through hardware or software failures. One even had a printout but it was no longer legible. Do the Management and IT guys go to jail because a hardware device failed after 1 year 11
  • 1984 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @05:52AM (#40626075)

    Orwell's 1984 was supposed to be a warning Ms Roxon, not a guidebook for you.

  • As far as I've heard (don't take this as stone-cold facts) is that small amount of Marijuana is legalized in Australia, as well as growing it. Or at least ignored by the law. (For personal use etc).

    So this blows my mind, I actually thought that Australia was an amazing country to live in, if you ignore all the deadly animals, enormous spiders and godzilla-like snakes.
    • Yep. Most states here have decriminalised cannabis laws. I think the only state where it is still criminal is New South Wales. No idea what this has to do with data retention though...
      • Yep. Most states here have decriminalised cannabis laws .... No idea what this has to do with data retention though...

        You obviously don't smoke much cannabis if you don't know what that has to do with data retention....

  • Too many weasels (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @05:56AM (#40626095)

    Who are the weasels who think up shit like this ? I'm reasonably certain that if any citizen obtained the communication history of any other, they'd be thrown in jail.

    When these moronic wombles ( get the sack, Australia will be a better place.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry the privacy invasions will be totally random and you may sue them afterwards

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:05AM (#40626139)

    With police like these, who needs criminals?

  • Feedback (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barefoot Monkey ( 1657313 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:06AM (#40626145)

    Asking for feedback? You know what that means? It means that if you are Australian then you really ought to tell them what you think about this. Ideally before the end of the month to be sure that your feedback can be read before the hearings start.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ideally before the end of the month to be sure that your feedback can be read before the hearings start.

      And then roundly ignored for those who just dropped a few bags of cash off.

  • by indaba ( 32226 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:11AM (#40626169)
    Material stored for 2 years is the least of it. ASIO wants a much more permissive (weaker ?) warrant regime ...

    "Modernise and streamline ASIOâ(TM)s warrant provisions" means fixing these perceived problems:

    • * if there are multiple computers on a premises, and it is only discovered upon entering the premises for the purpose of executing a warrant that a particular computer is not connected to the computer system specified in the warrant, it would be necessary to seek another warrant
    • * A new warrant is required in every instance where there is a significant change in circumstances.
    • * warrants under the ASIO Act currently last for a maximum of six months, except for a search warrant which must be executed within 90 days
    • * the current provisions in the ASIO Act do not enable a warrant to be extended.
    • * In approximately one third of cases more than one ASIO Act warrant type is sought against a particular target. Under the current provisions, this requires the preparation of multiple applications, each reâcasting the available intelligence case to emphasise the relevant facts and grounds to satisfy the different legislative requirements of the various warrant types
    • * Subsection 25A(5) currently restricts ASIO from doing anything under a computer access warrant that adds, deletes or alters data or interferes with, interrupts, or obstructs the lawful use of the target computer by other persons
    • * it is not always feasible to execute a search warrant on a person of interest while they are âat or nearâ(TM) the premises specified in the warrant.
    • * The requirement to maintain a list of the individual names of each officer who may be involved in executing a warrant can create operational inefficiencies for ASIO.

    naturally, there are solutions proposed for all these issues !

    • by egnx ( 1767774 )
      Same old same old: government terrified of the internet, USA pushing its own agenda in other coutries politics, police/spooks wanting to widen their scope to the point where they can do what they like, sprinkle in a few think of the children / terrorists and apply to just about any country just lately.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Classic fishing, choose the person you want to arrest, then fish till you find something to arrest them for. In the UK we have a catchall law, the 'extreme porn' law, that makes it a criminal offence to view porn that is classed as 'extreme' (pretty much all of it except vag penetration).

      It's been used several times now to put people away as a side crime after the search of computers and Internet data failed to make a case against the person they wanted to arrest.

      Egypt just elected a government, and the mil

    • by bertok ( 226922 )

      Disclaimer: I'm Australian, so this affects me directly.

      First of all, unlike some of the equivalent three-letter American agencies, ASIO is allowed to spy on Australian citizens. I personally disagree with this, but that's what the current constitution, the law, and their mandate allows. There are certainly cases where domestic spying may be useful. Uncovering trafficking, terrorist cells, counter-espionage, etc...

      Now, given that what they're doing is legal and may in some cases be useful, what they are req

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Consider the legal illogic of attempting to legally allow remote hacking of a computer. The very first thing they have proven is that the computer can be remotely hacked and information placed on it and taken from it outside of the users control. Benefit of the doubt, means they have proven that any evidence taken from the computer can therefore no longer be trusted, unless the investigatory agency can prove globally unique skills and ability.

      The question will be asked why would somebody want to hack the

  • by skegg ( 666571 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:34AM (#40626279)

    So much for a fucking democracy. Virtually none of us want this and yet it'll still get passed.

    And what the fuck is going on here: the same politicians who want all of our secrets are keeping mum when it comes to themselves:

    Web snooping policy shrouded in secrecy []
    No Minister: 90% of web snoop document censored to stop 'premature unnecessary debate' []

    How the FUCK did we end up in this bizarro world?

    • by dontclapthrowmoney ( 1534613 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:59AM (#40626391)

      How the FUCK did we end up in this bizarro world?

      This is how:

      Gillard FTW []

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No actually, Tony Abbott supports this junk just as much, Howard his sugar daddy was the one pushing us to do what the US was doing with their stupid patriot act style junk.

        This is the USA trying to force it's stupid policies on us, if this is how they want to play I would prefer closer ties with china instead.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      So much for a fucking democracy. Virtually none of us want this and yet it'll still get passed.

      And what the fuck is going on here: the same politicians who want all of our secrets are keeping mum when it comes to themselves:

      Web snooping policy shrouded in secrecy []
      No Minister: 90% of web snoop document censored to stop 'premature unnecessary debate' []

      How the FUCK did we end up in this bizarro world?

      By not doing anything.

      You want change? go make change, namely, get the right people in office, any way you can.

      • You want change? go make change, namely, get the right people in office, any way you can.

        where (on earth) does this work? I ask, honestly.

        I don't see any voting system that is honest and transparent enough to trust. I don't see any country that has a system where the people really do get their say and bad politicos are ousted in quick time. I don't see checks and balances working in any country. care to name this fantasy country you think exists??

    • I'm glad you said 'world' and not any one country.

      I think what we are seeing is the end of mankind. yes, I'm being a little dramatic but I don't see evidence of humanity being sustaining, in the long-run. there is just not enough evidence that people and their 'ruling systems' understand how to make things work long-term. eventually, even our best efforts at trying to be fair and just are not working! world-wide.

      this is a mankind style problem, not a cultural or geographic one. we are seeing what man i

  • and not ASIS and CIA in the first place...

    If ASIS and CIA have enough boots on the ground overseas, they'll eliminate the need for a large ASIO/FBI which can do domestic monitoring.

    If the politicians castrate ASIS and CIA's ability to operate overseas in terms of manpower and/or rules of engagement, the foreign threat is not hampered abroad and can translate into a domestic threat by virtue of immigration and tourism. That makes a job for the ASIO and FBI, which means more power at home, which means the pol

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:44AM (#40626331)

    Lets have TOTAL TRANSPARENCY in government first (let's call it wikileaks diplomatic cables on steroids) AND then, and only then can you record any conversation or discussion or action for two or more years of those you govern... Feels different when it's on the other foot doesn't it...

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @06:51AM (#40626359)

    But I am in a somewhat safe liberal seat and writing to Steve Irons is likely to get no response or some sort of canned response about how important this is for the security of our nation.

  • by Antony-Kyre ( 807195 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @07:22AM (#40626473)

    If it's not okay for a private citizen to do, why should it ever be okay for the government to do? I haven't read the article, so unless they mean getting a court order in order to break into someone's computer (call it what it is), then I don't see it as being okay. (I'm not Austrlian.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      (I'm not Austrlian.)

      Well... if you pronounce it the way you spell it I reckon we could give you a passport.
      'Stralya will also pass.

    • Two things you need to know about Australia:

      1) There is no Bill or Charter of Rights. The Government can technically do whatever it wants.


      2) The pool of 'swing' voters (those people who don't vote for a particular political party no-matter-what -- many people here vote the way their parents did just out of tradition) is very small, and thus the Government of the day is very sensitive to an upset electorate, since a single issue can see them removed from office.

      Historically, the system has worked given 1

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @07:23AM (#40626487)
    Set up a dot matrix printer with continous paper and let it spool down the elevator shaft into the basement. If the spooks come looking for data, point them at the basement door...
  • ASIO don't handle domestic intelligence. So the only reason they would crack into someone's computer would be for foreign threats.
    • by jamesh ( 87723 )

      ASIO don't handle domestic intelligence. So the only reason they would crack into someone's computer would be for foreign threats.

      Really? [] disagrees with you

      The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service, which is responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage, acts of foreign interference, politically motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and terrorism.[2][3]

      ASIO is comparable with the United Kingdom Security Service (MI5) and the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As with MI5 officers, ASIO officers have no police powers of arrest and are not armed.[4][5] ASIO operations requiring police powers are co-ordinated with the Australian Federal Police and/or with State and Territory police forces.

      Maybe you have them confused with []... or maybe have the brain capacity of one of these []

      • by Stolzy ( 2656399 )
        Sorry for taking so long to respond to this. I decided to have a browse of the ASIO website, since I'd heard differently about the function of ASIO as to what you displayed from Wikipedia, and in their FAQ ( []) section found this:

        Q: Is ASIO the 'domestic' security service?

        A: No. ASIO operates wherever threats to Australia and Australian interests occur, and its mandate is not limited geographically. The Organisation works collaboratively with international intell

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      ASIO is a bit like the DHS/FBI/CIA - public, will show a badge, sit down with you, talk about that huge new paid in cash export order or made the tax issues go away if you inform on your friends, track people of interest, background investigations for .gov staff. All very in the day to day, in the light for a spook agency.
      If you make it up to ASIS your in more trouble. Their 1950's founding, training and ongoing missions are much more secret. They work with Australian special forces as tourists around t
  • by pipedwho ( 1174327 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @08:05AM (#40626691) []

  • by GiantRobotMonster ( 1159813 ) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @08:13AM (#40626751)

    Pretty useful for nefarious purposes to have access to the last two years of somebody's traffic...
    Identity theft will be impossible to guard against.
    The ISPs responsible for storing all this data, need to do it at the lowest possible cost. That always works out well....

    The best bit will be the assumption that all this data collected from the ISP couldn't possibly be wrong, incomplete, or misleading.
    Framing people for child pornography, murder, terrorism, sedition, etc, will become really really easy -- gain access to someone's LAN, and you can paint a big red X on them that lasts two years!

    Aside from coming up with a better system of government that won't use Orwell as a how-to guide, we need to massively ramp up the level of cryptographic protection considered acceptable -- a million orders of magnitude ought to slow the bastards up for a while....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who pays for this storage? Rent, Insurance, Electricity (now with carbon tax) adds up.
      Gutless ISP's not telling us it will add $5 or $100 a year extra on top of what we are paying now.

      Risk: If people think they are being watched, they behave differently, and may go back to dead drops.

      The solution is to 'Cloud' it with the cheapest provider, and that would be China or HK. Now assume all the Ministers and their families and relatives history records were read off and mined (or in case of royals sold) and use

      • by dcl ( 680528 )

        I had always wondered about the storage requirements of data retention policies, on first glance to me it seems prohibitive?

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?