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.
Tagged With metadata
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.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
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.
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.
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.
1Password is one of our top password manager choices. Today, it's changing the way it encrypts your data to keep even more metadata protected. On the surface, this doesn't change much, but it is a welcome security addition.
One of the big question marks over the controversial "metadata retention" legislation requiring ISPs to keep detailed records of what Australians do online was how much money the government would cough up to help deal with the increased costs the plan would create. Now we have an official figure: $131 million.
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.
The controversial data retention scheme made its way through the Senate last night, meaning that the levels of surveillance of Australian citizens are about to increase. If you're privacy minded, what can you do?
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.
The metadata retention debate is heating up with Prime Minister Tony Abbott telling us the cost of not going ahead with compulsory retention of metadata will be incalculable and will represent a form of unilateral disarmament in the face of criminals.
One of the many things that is troubling about the current Australian government's metadata retention proposals is how rooted in the past they are, which could make them obsolete before they even come into force.
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).
Metadata, it's all the rage these days among security organisations, even if those in charge don't have the best understanding of what metadata actually is. Throwing a new spanner in the works -- if there weren't enough already -- is the apparent inconsistent nature in which ISPs retain your internet activities, with some pitching your data after a couple of days.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally presented proposed legislation to the Australian Parliament regarding the Abbott Government's plans for the retention of metadata.
With the leaking of a discussion paper on telecommunications data retention, we are at last starting to get some clarity as to just what metadata the Abbott government is likely to ask telecommunications companies, internet service providers (ISPs) and others involved in communications services to store.
The new Federal Government push for metadata retention has got off to a very rocky start, with government ministers offering nonsensical, incoherent and inconsistent explanations of what is proposed. Assuming that anyone in the Coalition ever manages to come up with a coherent explanation of what is proposed, what would the technical and legislative requirements of such a system be?