Mandatory Retention: Who’s Telling The Truth?

Mandatory Retention: Who’s Telling The Truth?

While the government is denying that its controversial mandatory retention policy for ISPs would capture individual browsing histories, ISPs who were confidentially briefed on the proposal maintain that’s on the cards, and that the plans are also rife with other issues.

We noted earlier this week that the Attorney-General’s department had denied that individual browsing data would be retained. In a lengthy analysis replete with detailed quotes from unnamed ISPs, Ben Grubb at ZDNet notes that this essentially becomes an argument about technology. The whole piece is well worth a read, but the gist of the argument is that proxy logs (often used to speed up access for individual users) would need to be retained under the proposals discussed under confidentiality agreements with ISPs, providing data on individual visiting habits.

Other possibilities discussed in the proposal include retaining large amounts of data on individual customers, even potentially including passport numbers. It also appears questionable whether the plans would conflict with existing data privacy laws.

As the Internet Industry Association notes in its terse response to the issue, ISPs already routinely co-operate with criminal investigations and provide data. Requiring them to retain everything on the off-chance seems a completely unwarranted invasion of privacy, and a situation rife with potential for abuse.



  • So tell me guys,… Who do I vote for? The Kevinator turned out to be a Dud, the Budgie smuggler is a self confessed smarmy liar, and the Greens are too self interested and contentious! I’d stand myself, but I would probably invade New Zealand and turn it into a dumping ground for refugees ;} Short of going postal on them, I really believe that Big Brother has won already?

  • It’s a shame it’s got to this stage already. my prediction is the libs will win…just. But if they just removed all the oldies, including abbot, pulled in a fresh crew – they would win by a huge margin.

  • I would advocate voting Greens as, despite the fact they are specialist party with a certain ideology, they are the only mainstream party with respect for science and technology.

    They have strongly campaigned against the proposed internet filter on the grounds of both censorship and practicality and have no proposals of introducing an alternative (something which the Liberals have not ruled out):

    Also, their policies specifically promote net neutrality:

    • Voting for the Greens is just a vote for Labor because the Greens always preference Labor. Don’t do it. Besides the Greens are even scarier than Abbott and co.

      • Why do people always say things like this?
        Last I saw, this country used preferential ballots which means that each individual voter gets to choose their own preferences.

        i.e. if you want to vote for The Greens, write a 1 in their box. If you want to preference Liberal over Labor, write a higher number in the Liberal box than the Labor box.

        The *ONLY* time you allow a party to choose your preferences for you is if you vote above the line in an Upper House ballot paper. Every voter still has the choice (and the right) to order all their preferences they way they want by voting below the line.

        So if you want to vote Greens and avoid your preferences going to Labor, vote below the line and fill in all the boxes, with your personal preference.

        No party can ever forcibly steal your preferences. It’s always your choice.

      • Goose, this is half the story. You only get their preferences if you vote above the line. That is, if you choose to agree with their preferences.

        On a related note, Angus, please provide a guide on how to vote explaining this kind of stuff closer to the election. It would help educate people and be a really good thing given how uncommon it is to see some of this stuff outside a partisan context. I worked for the AEC for a little while and many people come to vote and think they have to vote according to some of those “how to vote” cards. I don’t imagine anyone who visits here is in that category but getting it all clear and creating discussion about it is really important.

          • This is lifehacker, not gizmodo.

            If choosing the next gov’t isn’t hacking your life, I’m not sure what is. 🙂

            Knowing how to vote correctly is just as high tech as, say, teaching your dog to stretch.

  • It will not matter at all who gets elected, the internet as we know it today will be nothing but a memory in a few years, a place for “Farmville Farmers” and other equally mindless pursuits, and to flog you stuff you don’t need and can’t afford.

    • There are always around mindless stupidities like this one.

      I’m surprised there isn’t already an implementation of IP-packets-encoded-in-farmville-artwork.

  • What a collection of bizarre comments.
    Anyway, Optus is already building a secure facility to record all internet activity. Weirdly, it’s in an exchange and not at one of the data centres.
    Given the time-frame it takes Optus to get moving on anything this has been on the cards for a while.

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