Data retention legislation introduced into parliament

(Brendan Molloy) #1

It’s as bad as expected.;query%3DId%3A"legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr5375";rec=0

Press release:

Data retention bill
(Tim Challis) #2

You know, I wonder if this whole affair has the capability of being turned upon its head? The obvious (and thus probably most doomed) approach is to attack the legislation as the clear affront that it is; and no doubt much effort will be expended this way.

Why not instead either use this legislation as a kind of back-door F.O.I. (subpoenas based upon public records/logged information perhaps? May actually be useful in case law - bet they never saw that coming; or reveal holes in retention; or to generally ridicule the impracticalities.)

Or alternatively push to get this new public back-up and restoration “Aussie cloud” (govt. sponsored no less) utility rebranded as a positive service: “Your spook at your service” perhaps?

Too soon?

(Andrew Downing) #3

Tim, can you elaborate?
How would we "use this legislation as a kind of back-door F.O.I. " ?
The retained data, is kept at the ISP’s. You can’t FOI request an ISP. They are not government.

(Daniel Judge ) #4

I think he means things like subpoena the retained data for pollies and/or govt agencies, ie use it instead of an FOI

(Tim Challis) #5

I was more-or-less brainstorming the concept of how some kind of national data-retention sceme might be actually spun in a positive fashion to the public. I was thinking of applications like “instant alibi”: “No officier, you (meaning governement records) already prove I was not at point X when it is essential to your case that was so; so if you proceed you are going to fail…?”

As one of the pundits recently pointed out, the only people restricted in access to all this data just happens to be the public themselves, and that on the specious reasoning that they cannot be trusted to use it responsibily.

With regards the F.O.I. idea of course @AndrewDowning is perfectly technically correct, and encourage the alternate: “if this stuff has to be retained at all it must be presented in a consistent fashion for all taxpayers to use; not merely a privileged elite.”

@Feenicks got it exactly right regarding more leveraged potential applications. The applicant’s imagination ought to be the only limit. Wonder how soon the first remotely issued speeding fine will be issued based purely upon G.P.S. (or even mobile cell transitions?)


(Simon Jaques) #6

I believe the change in this law when enacted will void all commercial ISP contracts as the contract has changed since signature. Now I wonder if a mass canceling of ISP contracts will cause some backlash and force change?

(Ben McGinnes) #7

Except no one cancels a contract without signing up somewhere else, it’d just lead to a game of ISP musical chairs and it wouldn’t change the policy or legislation.

(Ben McGinnes) #8

That’s actually one of the arguments the Coalition are or are intending to use as a reason in favour of it; to prove innocence early in an investigation. Of course the price is the suspicion of everyone by default, only to be cleared of it when Big Brother mandates. Not to put too fine a point on it, but fuck that!

I’m sure this seems like a good idea to you now, but I must disagree. The data will still be abused by those in authority, it will most likely be kept from the public through various legal means even if in an in principle statement of public access were obtained (spooks and cops hate sharing jurisdiction amongst themselves, let alone the rest of us), it’s still an identity thief’s wet dream and, of course, even if the data was as accessible as you’d like to imagine, it would only be a matter of time before some dickhead used it to track down his ex and murder her.

So no, the best outcome is to stop the legislation and, if it cannot be stopped, then the means to circumvent or at least mitigate the data collection must be spread far and wide.

(Ben McGinnes) #10

Yeah, there’s a Coalition talking points document doing the rounds and that argument is one of the responses it includes.

I just skimmed through it and it’s quite a nice and thorough little effort you went to there. Scott Ludlam’s reply is entirely unsurprising, he’s pretty much leading the in Parliament charge against these Bills and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we and he are often on the same page. He’s a bit of a Piratical Green. :wink:

The only thing that can be said in favour of your MP, busily towing the party line there, is that he answered directly rather than hand-balling it to the A-G’s department for a canned response. The content, well, that’s another matter. Not least of which being the whole “prosecution of journalists and others at the discretion of the A-G” thing.

Yep and it’s an aspect of this plan which the Coalition are going out of their way to ignore. It won’t be ignored by the criminal networks around the globe, though, that’s one thing we can all be sure of.

In the case of Telstra, if it is the team which handles their billing system and the 144 E25Ks that handle that (with the SAN/NAS equivalent in hardware), then there’s a very good chance they can secure it appropriately. If, however, it is any other team, particularly those which utilise the IBM service contracts (all of which is off shore) then they have no chance of securing it. Optus is reasonably similar there except with less resources (and thus a faster time to failure).

More likely the system won’t be changed, but iiNet would need to task an employee to retrieving the data upon receipt of a lawful request. The weakness introduced by law enforcement will come with the transfer of data to law enforcement databases. You only need to look at the history of the Victoria Police LEAP database to see what kind of debacle is in store for us all (little things like police selling data to private special interest groups … like the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the Comancheros).

(Ben McGinnes) #11

Assuming he wasn’t lying outright tonight, Brandis confirmed on Q&A that the retained data will only be used for serious criminal cases and not civil cases (downloading copyrighted material was explicitly cited as something it will not be used for).

(Ben McGinnes) #13

Someone did, that was Brandis, surprisingly enough. It looks like the government isn’t quite giving the AFP their wishlist, just very close to it. Still, it’s worth watching this week’s episode of Q&A.


That, of course, is a serious problem, we won’t know for sure what that includes until it is too late to stop it, but it’s definitely something we can raise publicly to draw even more attention to both the perils of data retention and the TPP.