Tagged With metadata

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The Australian government wants new powers to access encrypted communications, but do they need them? Police and intelligence agencies already have significant abilities to access data about our emails, phone calls and text messages if we’re suspected of committing a crime, although it can be difficult to tell exactly what they’re doing with them.

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Late last week, the commissioner of the Australian Federal Police revealed that an officer has accessed the personal metadata of an Australian journalist as part of an investigation into that reporter’s sources for a story about the AFP. While Commissioner Colvin put it down to "human error” there is far more to this. What we have seen in this specific case is a complete breakdown of the protections we deserve as private citizens.

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Australia’s data retention laws became compulsory yesterday, which means all telcos and internet service providers must now retain their customers' metadata for two years. This is supposed to assist law enforcement agencies in their war against homegrown terrorists and other criminals -- but it arguably comes at the expense of normal Australians' privacy. Attempting to avoid these laws and send messages "off the gird" isn't easy, but it remains possible. Dr Philip Branch from the Swinburne University of Technology explains what you need to know.

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While we often get hung up on matters of privacy and security when it comes to the actions of governments and law enforcement, there’s also the matter of privacy at work. Can your boss snoop on your email? What about CCTV footage? How about listening into phone calls? Legislative and ethical challenges abound.

Shared from Gizmodo

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A long-running case on whether you're allowed access to view your own mobile phone metadata — retained by Australia's telecommunications companies for government snooping, including comprehensive call logs and location data — and whether that data is classified as "personal information" has come to an unceremonious end.

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With the Senate passing the Federal Government's data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of "metadata", what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. However, metadata is just the tip of the data iceberg. The debate about data retention is only just beginning, and the outcome could touch on many aspects of our behaviour and society at large.

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Like many other online services, Facebook releases regular transparency reports disclosing requests for user information from law enforcement agencies. Its latest report shows that it's pretty happy to hand over data to Australian cops: more than two-thirds of those requests received a positive response.

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We still don't know exactly what data will be retained, but the Federal Government confirmed this morning that it hopes to have legislation forcing telcos to retain a wide range of metadata about customer activities for a period of two years, something that's likely to cost $200 million or more (and therefore make the cost of internet access higher).