Roxon clarifies data retention proposals with ASIO support
For you own good, really
Australia’s Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has tried to take some of the heat out of the data retention debate.
In a letter to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is investigating data retention as part of its examination of national security legislation, Ms Roxon has written: “The government does not propose that a data retention scheme would apply to the content of communications,” adding that the government does not intend to allow warrantless access to “the content of communications”.
The letter comes after repeated criticism from ALP senator John Faulkner regarding the vague wording of the data retention proposals in the discussion paper before the committee.
Ms Roxon’s letter makes extensive reference to the European Directive on data retention – however, it does not explicitly state that the government wishes to implement Europe’s model.
Meanwhile, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has weighed in with an unclassified submission to the committee. Singing from the same sheet as its minister, the intelligence agency also points at the European Directive as “an important basis for discussion with Australian C/CSPs [carriers and carriage service providers – The Register], agencies and other stakeholders”.
If the EU directive were to become the model Australia imitates, it would return the data retention debate to where it stood in 2011, when new cybercrime legislation was first proposed.
Both Ms Roxon and ASIO are now at pains to state that they only seek retention of information about communications, not the content of those communications. This, presumably, could be met be the retention of server logs if the carrier, CSP or ISP hosts the service of interest. ®
'... the government does not intend to allow warrantless access to “the content of communications”.'
This highlights the real problem with the rule-by-fear mentality prevalent in the West and the unnecessary laws it brings with it. We promise we won't misuse it - but of course a future goverment - or more likely a local council wishing to make sure you're recycling your goods correctly or enrolling your kids at the correct school - can and will.
Which in this case is that once the data retention law is in place, the government will inevitably enable warrantless access at a later date - if not on Roxon's watch, then on someone else's. And she knows this just as well as we do, which makes her pathetic attempts at manipulating public opinion even more sickening.
So yet another little piece of freedom dies. I wonder how long I'll be allowed to keep using my VPN once this goes through? Rest assured, I won't stop merely because the fucking law says I must.
If you've done nothing wrong...
...you have nothing to fear.
Re: When the metadata is data?
And how deep can metadata be?
IP A connected to IP B on port 1234 at 12pm is Layer 3.
Thats pretty light and is a lot like telephones. A stupidly large amount of data though.
Email from User A was sent to User B at 12pm is somewhat deeper.
That actually means intercepting everything including the data and pulling the bits of interesting 'metadata' out.
User A is chatting to User B over IRC.
That goes really deep and isn't just a matter of listening to the headers. You need to listen to the entire connection for the entire duration that it exists and every fragment of data has to be analysed closely.
Its a lovely fluffy word to say but on a technical level it can mean any amount of deep packet inspection.