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Inside Australia's Data Retention Proposal

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-you-have-nussink-to-hide dept.

Australia 154

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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154 comments

Please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596018)

Will someone please pee in my ass!

Re:Please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596094)

Sure, ASL?

Re:Please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596660)

12/f/NYC

ok (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596122)

but only if you're female!

As a Danish immigrant to Australia... (5, Insightful)

aojensen (1503269) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596034)

... I have to say that this is nothing but seriously scary.

Re:As a Danish immigrant to Australia... (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596166)

Skimming hurriedly through the page, I thought for a moment that your comment was in reply to the one above it...

Re:As a Danish immigrant to Australia... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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:As a Danish immigrant to Australia... (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598142)

I believe that you are mistaken. The government wants the ISPs to log source and destination IP addresses of communications, but not the content contained in the communication. It's exactly the same as keeping telephone records; which has been done for many decades. The police will be able to subpoena records of who you talked to, but not what was said.

As a Danish faggot too... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596734)

... I have to say that splitting your post between the title and body is fucking lame as shit.

Dude I have to commend you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598194)

on your dedication at flaming these type of posts all across slashdot today. also, data retension is bad.

Do Australians care? (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596986)

I don't know too many Australians, so this is anecdotal, but they don't seem to be very active politically. As the old Kiwi joke goes, it takes 21 Australians to change a lightbulb, one to hold the bulb and twenty to drink beer until the room starts spinning.

Re:Do Australians care? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597162)

Yeah, I think most of us cottoned on that it doesn't really matter what the people think... they just pass laws anyway. Look at Work Choices (went through despite being massively opposed), The Emissions Trading Scheme (didn't go through despite being very popular), Broadband filter (went through because we need to think of the children).

Yesterday in the senate, Steve Fielding (of the Family First party - yes, Christian conservative) was AGAINST paid parental leave because..... people would get pregnant to get the paid leave, and then have an abortion after 20 weeks, thus having a paid holiday.
Yes, seriously. So now we have no paid parental leave because of one single dickhead and his imagined wave of abortions making baby Jesus cry.

The thing with Australia right now is that it's very successful - wages are fairly high, unemployment is low, in the middle of a mining boom, interest rates are still fairly decent (around 4%). People are happy with their lot, there's no burning issues that people want fixed.

It's like being in a taxi and the drivers taking the correct way. No need to tell him what to do. If he's taking the wrong way then you need to shout.

Frankly, this issue hasn't really got any mainstream coverage. People simply don't know about it. And if they did, the classic government response would be "well, if you're not doing anything illegal you have nothing to worry about"

Re:Do Australians care? (2, Interesting)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597264)

interest rates are still fairly decent (around 4%).

WHAT?!?!?!? can you tell that to my bank? they seem to be consistently increasing my mortgage, and have been since the GFC. Currently at 7% and scheduled to go up again RealSoonNow.

Frankly, this issue hasn't really got any mainstream coverage. People simply don't know about it. And if they did, the classic government response would be "well, if you're not doing anything illegal you have nothing to worry about"

And this is the problem. We geeks/nerds/whatever derogatory term you want to use for the people who fix your PC when you've visited a dodgy porn site have been trying desperately to get this issue (and the internet filter) the attention it deserves, but it's only just come to some peoples attention that the internet filter is going to be mandatory and most people still think it's a good thing. Seriously, most people just couldn't give a flying fuck sideways - and bringing up the topic for conversation is a great conversation killer and way to make sure you don't get invited to parties.

It's not going to stop me trying though.

Re:Do Australians care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598672)

4% RBA rates... the banks usually add another ~3% to that. savings accounts are running about 4% (bit more for long term or special promo ones), these are probably closer to the RBA rate. Only 18months ago, they were nearer 10% from the banks.

Agreed about the bringing to attention part, but it's really hard when people generally have no clue what filtering entails. Start a conversation about the "latest boatload of immigrants" and watch hours of hilarity ensue.

Maybe because the filter doesn't tek r jeeeeerbs (or benefits)....

Tech doesn't really get any traction here. Maybe because there's too many more emotive subjects for the pollies to bring up (healthcare reform, immigration, education, work laws etc.) that get politicians more air time. Hell... even fucking Corey Worthington got more airtime than this and the filter combined....

Re:Do Australians care? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598698)

Currently at 7% and scheduled to go up again RealSoonNow.

That is one thing I don't whine about, although I am fairly heavily in the red. I took out my first mortgage in 1990, when interest rates were over 17%, and giving every impression of staying that way. Compared to that, the current situation is fine.

Re:Do Australians care? (1)

Yoda's Mum (608299) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597372)

The filter hasn't gone through; they shelved it because they weren't going to be able tot get the votes in the senate.

Re:Do Australians care? (2, Informative)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598670)

I don't know too many Australians, so this is anecdotal, but they don't seem to be very active politically. As the old Kiwi joke goes, it takes 21 Australians to change a lightbulb, one to hold the bulb and twenty to drink beer until the room starts spinning.

Depends on who you ask. There are a vocal number of people who are reasonably savvy. There is also the general population who are slowly becoming aware of the situation and the politics. Previously there was some support for the filter on the basis that it's stated goal had an inarguable 'protect the children' motif. Gradually the holes are starting to show and this growing awareness is turning the tide.

However, the current government has been thwarted far too often (often by it's own inaction rather than the opposition leader Tony Abbott's tomfoolery) and this seems to be the one election promise they can fulfill. Granted it was to the one party (Family First) that seems determined to wrap Australia in cotton wool, blind itself and set fire to anyone who wanders too close to their kids.

They (Labour) are staring at an election that they could lose to an unpopular bigot and admitted liar who happens to be the 'lesser evil'.

Anyone want to trade countries?

Re:Do Australians care? (1)

Yoda's Mum (608299) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598768)

In fairness, the "admitted liar" bit is a positive to most people I've spoken to. Realistically, most people are of the belief that most politicians are lying on a regular basis to start with; Abbott's stating of that fact was a refreshing dose of reality.

Of course, his political opponents have tried to label him as "Phony Tony" because of it, but from what I can see it simply hasn't worked. Particularly given that it's coming from political opponents who in the eyes of the public have reneged on implementing the lion's share of their own policy platform since gaining power. Calling your opponent a liar when the public sees you as liar isn't exactly a sound strategy for winning political points.

They're only trying to make me LOOK paranoid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596036)

They're only trying to make me LOOK paranoid!

So...what's the next stage? (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596050)

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

Re:So...what's the next stage? (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596566)

The new masters will be the same as the old masters (we know - the new guys still renewed the Patriot Act). A wiser course would be a lawsuit saying the central government was never given the power to store private citizens' records, therefore the law violates the Australian constitution.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597356)

Neither the constitution or legal system of Australia affords citizens any 'rights'. We have precendents as to what legal outcomes should be in the case of speech, assembly and whatnot, but they can instantly be revoked through legislation.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (5, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597790)

Well, unfortunately it's not that simple.

Here in Oz we have a choice between the current party who have a particular bent towards nanny stating but otherwise aren't too bad, the Liberal party who are no longer liberal and seem to support the idea of moving back to the 1950's, xenophobia, conservative religious values, privatizing things even the US hasn't privatized, and bending over backwards for big business(and is also a direct continuation of the bugger we voted out last time), and the Greens, who are one of those parties who have a lot of really good ideas, but who are also raving lunatics.

So we have the choice of giving up our freedom, giving up our freedom, or giving up everything else in exchange for our freedom. It's not a whole lot different than the upcoming US election except that our lunatic fringe party is on the left whereas your lunatic fringe party is on the right.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597930)

Aren't the Greens as nanny state as they come? That was always my impression.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598730)

In some instances they are, but they are also a party that as a result of its "underdog" status is forced to listen to its electorate.

The major parties are too entrenched in their arrogance to bother. Labor probably has some redeeming qualities (though I can't offhand remember what they are), but in most respects they are indistinguishable from the so-called "Liberals". Except for the fact that Abbott is seriously scary...

Re:So...what's the next stage? (1)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598236)

Here in Oz we have a choice between the current party who have a particular bent towards nanny stating but otherwise aren't too bad, the Liberal party who are no longer liberal and seem to support the idea of moving back to the 1950's

Mod parent up - (s)he's hit the nail on the head..

With elections looming around the corner, I feel more more like my vote is going to be cast as a choice made between the lesser of two evils, rather than someone I would actually want in power.

Dismal choice to have to make, I tell ya.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598710)

Thing is, the greens are not going to get into power. However if you vote for them they'll have legislation-blocking power in the senate for The Filter and Big Brother. So even if you disagree with their other policies, it's still best to vote for them, since they can't pass any of their own legislation without one of the major parties on side.

Re:So...what's the next stage? (1)

riprjak (158717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598394)

The conundrum:

Current government is incredibly totalitarian in its data retention and censorship policies, but is funding the rollout of a national fibre broadband network... making the task of achieving their former policies definately non trivial and probably impossible...

Other side is lead by a foaming at the mouth christian but we dont quite know where they sit on censorship and data retention (although we can perhaps add one and one there...), but they will cancel the funding of the national broadband network... making sure we get stuck wandering around with out pants around our ankles as the former state owned monopoly continue to monopolise telecommunications and, coincidentally, make sure it is slightly less impossible to implement a totalitarian information dictatorship.

The real question; is a giant cluster of fat glass pipes enough sugar to make me eat a guaranteed dose of big brother or risk a possible dose of bush scale christian extremism along with the bigbrotherness that accompanies it... or are there other issues to decide this election on (we haven't seen them roll out this terms big wedge issue yet, although there are a few hints).

Perhaps we could use a third party?? No, USA, we dont want to borrow Nader!
Damn democracy, pity all the alternatives are even crapper!
just my $0.02.
err!
jak.

Sup? (2, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596056)

Well the hell is going on in Australia lately??? Seems like every few days it is yet another article about YMBB (Yet More Big Brother). Does the populous want this stuff or did a new political machine take over or something?

Re:Sup? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596222)

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

Classic "anonymous" post.

Re:Sup? (4, Informative)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596316)

why?

I don't see any evidence that the filter will ever go through.
The government isn't even trying.

Even if they win the next election with a majority in the senate (and currently it's looking like they might not win at all), to put it before parliament Conroy is finally going to have to write down exactly what it is, which is something he's been utterly unable to do to this date.

Re:Sup? (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596398)

Well, we have no idea if making a big deal out of it keeps it from becoming law.

Lawman wants to watch us, we can watch back. Today Australia, tomorrow the world!

Re:Sup? (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596442)

Today Australia, tomorrow the world!

Previously:

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

May I borrow your time machine?

Re:Sup? (2, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597206)

Today Australia, tomorrow the world!

Previously:

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

May I borrow your time machine?

What he meant to say was: "Today Australia, yesterday the world!"

Re:Sup? (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Sup? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598808)

if the cops have a good reason to believe someone has committed a crime, let them get a warrant.

They can already do this. And with the resources they currently have, they are already having what I would call a significant measure of success in prosecuting child pornographers.

So it's pretty obvious to me that the real reason behind these encroachments on civil liberties is to suppress dissent. Sure, we can (and maybe will) vote the existing government out of office, but the Liberals are highly likely to at least attempt to implement something similar, given the chance. At the moment, all they have to do is keep quiet and let the government's unpopularity work for them.

Re:Sup? (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596524)

The government promised it prior to the last election, and Conroy (the minister responsible) has been pushing it his entire term. There have been public trials on the technology and many interviews and public debates on the filter.

The impression i get is that Conroy doesnt value the views of the majority of the population and is determined to implement it, no matter the cost.

The filter has even been criticized by the US which have a very poor history on Internet freedom themselves, e.g. roaming wiretaps (that was the previous leader though)

What makes it a "vague intention" ?

Re:Sup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597764)

Conroy is probably a Chinese asset, instructed to push the filter in australia to make china's retarded attempts at censorship look reasonable.

Speaking as an Aussie (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597144)

that doesn't make it suck any less.

This clown Conroy's views are not representative of the general public (I didn't vote for him </python>)

Re:Sup? (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598206)

Quite true. Two years retention is longer than most I think, but IP logs are retained in most places. It's not really any different from telephone companies keeping records of calls placed. The filter is, in fact, bat-shit crazy, but isn't law (yet).

Canada, the US and Europe have retention laws. Canada is about to put into law a requirement for ISPs to have intercept-capable equipment, essentially putting internet communications on similar legal grounds as telephone communications. The FBI and NSA do whatever the hell they want regardless of the law; which is much scarier than anything in Australia.

Re:Sup? (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596172)

Unless you're referring to the 20 year-old video game, the word you're looking for is "populace".

Re:Sup? (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596380)

Well the hell is going on in Australia lately???
Easy, both major political parties have super glued their butts to the right side of the religious see-saw (after extending said side).

Re:Sup? (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596494)

Isn't Australia one of the few democracies that are more right then the US?

Re:Sup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596536)

even the most nationalistic, right wing, Christian, conservative neo-nazi nutjobs in Australia would still be far to the left of the American centre

Re:Sup? (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596608)

No, I don't think that is really true at all. I understand you are going for hyperbole, but you went a bit too far.

Re:Sup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597698)

true, the anonymous gentleman above SHOULD have said:

"even the most nationalistic, right wing, Christian, conservative neo-nazi nutjobs in Australia would still be a tiny bit to the left of the American centre"

Re:Sup? (1)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597204)

Definitely not. For example, medicare and governemnt funded health systems have strong bipartisan support. The shape that that takes is disagreed on, sure, but even a relative hardliner like the leader of the opposition would never dream of killing it.

Witness just yesterday, when an attempt to re-frame a debate to make it about abortion by a strongly conservative senator was harshly criticised by the right and the left.

The US is MUCH more conservative.

Re:Sup? (4, Informative)

schwaang (667808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597298)

I remember backpacking around Europe 20-ish years ago. You run into many Aussies on walkabout, and some of them complained to me that this one guy was pushing their politics far to the right. By controlling the newspapers he had every politician running scared. The guy? Rupert Murdoch. [newstatesman.com]

Murdoch's grip on the Australian press is extraordinary. Of all the daily newspapers published in the capital cities, where most Australians live, two out of every three copies sold are Murdoch's. Three out of every four Sundays are Murdoch's. In Adelaide, he owns everything, including the printing presses.

At the time I remember thinking "Well, good luck with that!"

Fox News and the George W. Bush presidency later, I'm no longer surprised by Australia's bent towards authoritarianism.

Re:Sup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597316)

well as someone living here, we don't want it. It's more big brother we didn't vote for. It's seriously scary, Canada is looking more attractive each day

Re:Sup? (2, Insightful)

jmello (856993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597430)

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.

Re:Sup? (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598304)

well, it's like that anywhere with a two party-ish system, but the added twist down here is that voting is compulsory, so by and large elections are decided by "swinging" voters who sit in marginal seats (i.e. where margins of victory are 5%). The majority of those seats are in suburban belts around the major cities, and as such there's a strong incentive to appeal to the "won't somebody think of the kids" demographic.

The last 15 years the marginal electorates have had money thrown at them hand over fist, but now that it's become rather obvious there's other angles the politicians are targeting.

Re:Sup? (2, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598066)

Could be thin edge of the wedge global politics. With the Australia government being put under pressure by the US and Europe to try to squeeze in these laws, so that they can be used as an example by others to introduce them elsewhere.

Silly stuff recording emails sent and received, so what happens if you run your own email server (something that will eventually become the norm), by law you will be required to monitor your own activities and dob yourself in. Broadband always on connections, so you logged in on april 2005 and are still logged in, no what is the point of that. Recording all web site visits, easy solution web accessing equivalent of https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3173/ [mozilla.org] track me not a search engine obscuring addon .

Likely also in the future in will be more common to have a home web server that you and your family can log into remotely, to get and leave messages, access your content, to work on your content from remote locations, so will you have to record this and report any suspicious activity by you or your family.

The cloud services in their real application are distributed services (not big data centres renting access, the deluded dreams of the lock in monopolists). The traffic flow will be enormous and intertwined, as people collect, collate, alter, update and redistribute data in every direction imaginable. Logging all of it all of the time is simply a ludicrous idea, especially when people will take the logical step to protect their privacy by burying their actual activity under a mountain of automated obfuscating activity.

Re:Sup? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598222)

Apparently there's a legal situation where they (a political party) needs X number of seats of congress to choose their PM. Their "Florida" is obsessed with cyber security apparently.

A classic example... (1)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596132)

From TFA:

"I think they're being a little bit cute when they say they want the source and the destination IP addresses for internet sessions [while] saying 'we're not really asking for web browsing history' "

My mind wanders to Mark Twain's, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court":

"Verily, I cannot make it out. Ye've just said ours are the higher, and with the same breath ye take it back."

Re:A classic example... (3, Informative)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596220)

it would be true though. There can be many different (and unrelated) sites hosted on one IP address, and of course there can be many different pages on each of those sites.

There's a big difference between logging the ip addresses used in tcp connections and actually inspecting the http and logging page requests.
(Not that I'm in favour of either of them)

Re:A classic example... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596260)

All that they would find would be that whoever is at 192.168.1.2 is doing a hell of a lot of browsing.

Re:A classic example... (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596278)

Of course, TCP session information could be used to figure out which website on a particular server was actually visited. A certain pattern of connections resulting from the loading for off-site content (i.e. advertising), for example, might be used in making such a determination.

Re:A classic example... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597392)

Its Australia. They are hoping the IP address will point to something naughty by default and then have a trigger for constant logging of that user.
All this seems to be needed to get around the burden of proof.
If an automated search flags your usage, you become part of the enquiries linked to that url.
Nothing wrong with an NSA type network wide sweep for ip's of interest.
If your name drops out ....

Re:A classic example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597662)

you know that's not the case at all.

Firstly, the whole "it's Australia" thing is based on assuming every slashdot headline is 100% true, and not at all biased, inflammatory, or flat out wrong.

Secondly, they're not even considering - not even jokingly - a system where ISPs pass all the information they have to the Government, or where the ISPs proactively look for anything whatsoever.
They're just considering telling ISPs that any data they already have (ie. logs), they must keep for a certain amount of time so that when they are contacted by the police with a warrant, they can provide the required information...

Re:A classic example... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597940)

The isp's would store all the information they have to for the Government.
The gov of the day would have a massive long term distributed database of ip's, names and times.
The police with a warrant could then go fishing. An ip was flagged by the FBI?Interpol ect, we want a list of every Australian who went to that site.
So yes the ISP is passive but the backend would be a very powerful tool to anyone with the access.
Today a judge, police and warrant, then just a bureaucrat and the police, then just a bureaucrat and a multinational or classification office?
Australia was never good with police lab work in the 1970's/80's, verballing was name of the game.
We now have better protections for physical and interview evidence, but this will all be ip/ips/url logs again.

Will eventually lead to more robust anonymity (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#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).

Re:Will eventually lead to more robust anonymity (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598540)

This is true. The thing most people don't realise is that there are so many laws these days that everyone is a criminal, it is just too man power intensive to track it all. As more and more automation of "crime" detection happens more and more average joes will end up in court and jail.

Who are the funding the lobbyists? (2, Insightful)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596422)

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

Vote em out I say (1)

TexNA55 (1338761) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596458)

Bring on the next election. What is worrying is these 'crazy' ideas that keep getting pushed around- and its always the same old selling point A) Evil-Terrorists or B) Save the innocent children. Really, if this is so 'unimportant' why the hell would you want to keep this data for 2-3 years (let alone the time frame the article suggests for the law enforcement agencys are asking for)?

Re:Vote em out I say (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597172)

OK, but who are you going to vote for? The Mad Monk? I can't help thinking that his regime would very likely be even worse. Seriously, we're between a rock and a hard place here, Kevin '07 has pissed away all his goodwill leaving us with a nightmare choice between two right-wing Big Brother regimes. WTF????

Re:Vote em out I say (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597868)

Vote below the line for a third party candidate. Preference them close to last. Those two parties have been in collective power since 1928. Vote the power sharing fascists out!

Re:Vote em out I say (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598404)

1928? I think you mean 1941, unless you're counting the precursors to the Libs. If so, you might as well start at the beginning of Stanley Bruce's term.

Re:Vote em out I say (2, Insightful)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Vote em out I say (3, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Vote em out I say (2, Insightful)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Vote em out I say (2, Insightful)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Vote em out I say (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597888)

Vote below the line for a third party candidate. Preference them close to last. Those two parties have been in collective power since 1928. Vote the power sharing fascists out!

Get people you know to do the same. Explain to them why it's a problem. That if people keep voting for them we will get more of the same. Point to the hung parliament in the UK as an example of it beginning to work.

Capacity (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596502)

Keep sending an email from yourself to yourself every day, it doesn't have to have anything in the message, but it will waste the capacity of the ISP's logging hard drives having to log all the details of the email like time sent, from and to etc. etc.. The faster their drives fill up with garbage the faster they will burn through their profits, and maybe pull their fingers out of their backsides and protest against stupid laws.

Re:Capacity (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596656)

The faster their drives fill up with garbage the faster they will burn through their profits, and maybe pull their fingers out of their backsides and protest against stupid laws.

Hahaha... yeah right. Instead what will happen is your ISP bill will go up as they start adding mandatory "Regulatory Compliance Fees" to cover the additional costs. In the US we have "911 Connectivity Fee" and the "Number Portability Fee" that are implemented by the mobile providers to cover their costs and jack up profits. These fees make your $50 advertised rate actually end up being a $70 monthly bill.

Re:Capacity (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598646)

Thankfully we have a halfway-competent consumer rights commission in the ACCC and as a result regulatory requirements such as mobile number portability, emergency services and even mobile network unlocking are mandated to be free. I'd suspect any such charges would have to be hidden in a total package price or (more likely) would be tax-deductible for the ISPs.

Re:Capacity (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598678)

So taxes go up. Either people who use more data pay more, or everyone pays more and schools and hospitals keep missing out.

The crap thing about these ideas the government is playing with is that in the end have to pay for them. I don't mind my ISP hanging on to my data usage history for ever, as long as the Attorney General pays for the capture and storage out of his own pocket. No taxes, no requirements for ISPs to pay for it.

Fear (1)

Noitatsidem (1701520) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596532)

I get the idea that this is only a fear tactic, there's no way they could go through all that information. Even still, it is an invasion of privacy.

Re:Fear (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597438)

Depends on the skill of the database they have bought in.
They had this for every bank in Australia in the 1980's
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Transaction_Reports_and_Analysis_Centre [wikipedia.org] Interpol, FBI and federal police sites of interest in one end, your isp details out the other with time spent on the site out the other.
"the Privacy Commissioner has advised that [the proposal] doesn't breach the privacy act." so thats covered legally too.
Many new Australia to US private networks might form.

Broken by design. (2, Insightful)

samson13 (1311981) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Broken by design. (1)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597638)

s 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)

It's a good point, but not universal. I don't always feel guilty when break the speeding 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.

Not all laws are for problem solving, there are regulations, preventions and assigning rights and obligations. I'm not sure where this one would fall though.

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.

Laws are not about "hurting" anyone, or shouldn't be anyway. They are or should spell out consequences of actions.

4) Be technically possible.

This is a quite technically possible solution: Recording source and destination requests into a massive database. Now, wether this is useful info or not, remains to be seen.
I just want to highlight something about legislation creation in Australia (I'm assuming federally is the same as state) but most laws are requested by departments and make their way up to minister then parliament (the exceptions are big ticket items like the new mining tax etc)
The departments would have a need for something, an example, for the police to be able to do some sort of monitoring but current legislations does not support it, go through their head of department (or commissioner) to the minister with a proposal and then the minister will put it before cabinet and then parliament.
I have not had dealings with police, or other legislations, but in the emergency service I'm involved in, I've had input into proposed laws that were then sent to our relevant minister, which after about a year became law. These were initiated by us, and not by the minister.
The intro to this article came from the "industry reps" who were in on the meetings. This means that the relevant department is still in the consultation process. This is quite routine. It may or may not turn political. This remains to be seen.

I'm not sure I'll get this right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596716)

"They are all treated like a bunch of incorrigible POHMs who can't even be trusted to use the internet"

Is that the correct spelling?

Free? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597060)

So in summary Australians may have some free speech as long as it is saved and logged in such a way that the Australian government can study it in detail and decide if punishment is in order for speaking freely. Excuse me, my girlfriend is a little bit pregnant.

Re: Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597146)

Free speech is NOT guaranteed by the Australian Constitution

http://www.aph.gov.au/LIBRARY/pubs/rn/2001-02/02rn42.htm

Re: Free? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597270)

.. and? Are you saying free speech shouldn't be guaranteed? or are you saying that this is a gross oversight? or are you just providing a helpful fact thereby enabling you to participate in the conversation while sitting on the fence?

Re: Free? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597514)

Freedoms are just something nice allowed from gov to gov, with nothing in law.
Talk about anyone with deep packets and you could face a court.

Privacy Commissioner? (1)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597278)

Seriously, I really want to know who this privacy commissioner is who is all alarmed about Google accidentally capturing a few packets of data in a one time drive by operation and then deleting them, but who is perfectly ok with logging every single email recipient and every web site accessed. How can this person even functionally operate in the world when they are so schizophrenic?

Re:Privacy Commissioner? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597574)

Its legal for the gov of the day to do this, as in they can pass laws ect.
They also passed laws to protect data in transit and on any network from third parties.
Google knew of the privacy laws, data collection, storage laws ect in some parts of the world.
Just as the NSA, FBI can operate on a US telco, so our privacy commissioner understands the Australian gov of the day can.
Interception is legal for anyone with the govs ok, not any .com with a car and wifi collecting around the world.

Re:Privacy Commissioner? (1)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597904)

So what you're saying is that whether my privacy is violated depends on who is doing it? Person A knowing my private life is OK but Person B is not - and whether I feel violated should be based on the government's blessing?

This is not compatible with my definition of privacy.

Re:Privacy Commissioner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598022)

Nor mine, but look at the NSA Room 641A traction in the US press.
Once exposed, it just gets retroactive laws and the press drifts away, Dems and Reps close ranks to seal off any debate.
No COINTELPRO, FISA or Church reports for this generation.
Just a slow slide into a Stasiland with clerical fascism to protect us.
With the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement a few governments could to do some more blessing?

Re:Privacy Commissioner? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597810)

His name is Stephen Conroy, and he's not a privacy commissioner, he's the IT minister(for lack of a better phrase). Whether he is individually a loon, or whether he's the front man for Rudd's lunatic policies, or whether the government is just making him froth about lunatic policies to please the few right wing loons in the senate they need to get anything done I really don't know.

That said he's still better than the guy we had a while back who said Australia didn't need faster internet because all it would be used for would be to download porn. Australia is simultaneously the most forward thinking and the most backward place I've ever lived.

Re:Privacy Commissioner? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598374)

Actually, her name is Karen Curtis, the Federal Privacy Commissioner. She's investigating Google for the Street View Snooping. See here [securecomputing.net.au] for example.

Vote for the Pirate Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597534)

Australians, please vote for the Pirate Party in the next federal election.

Re:Vote for the Pirate Party (2, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Vote for the Pirate Party (1)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598502)

Actually, the single issue parties are great. It lets people that care about that particular issue vote that 'party' in at number one. The preference system lets you select the other large parties in descending order of who else you'd actually prefer to win.

If, for example, the Pirate Party somehow won the seat in that electorate, the nominated candidate would probably just turn it down. But, even if they don't win, the vote would show that any other candidate that stood for that same issue would have a commensurate increase in their own votes next time around.

The Pirate Party is confusingly named. What they stand for is extremely well reasoned - ie. they're NOT about completely abolishing copyright legislation and making piracy legal. It'll be interesting to see if they get enough members to register as an official political party before the next election.

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