Feeds

Data retention a very hot potato says Oz parl't commitee

Update: A-G shelves the idea, for now

Top three mobile application threats

Data retention: “significant extension to the power of the state”

Since it represents the focus of the Australian political debate, let's look at what the PJCIS has to say.

Vulture South cannot claim to be expert in the rules of drafting parliamentary committee reports, so we're not competent to comment on what the committee “should” have recommended. It is clear, however, that the committee does not have the same sanguine view of data retention regimes as is put forward by law enforcement.

While acknowledging the “significant utility” stored data offers to law enforcement, the committee notes that “the utility of such a regime to the national security agencies is not the only consideration” that matters.

“A mandatory data retention regime raises fundamental privacy issues, and is arguably a significant extension of the power of the state over the citizen. No such regime should be enacted unless those privacy and civil liberties concerns are sufficiently addressed,” it notes.

It says that content should be excluded from data retention; that access to stored data should be tightly controlled; Internet browsing data should be excluded; that “where information includes content that cannot be separated from data, the information should be treated as content and therefore a warrant would be required for lawful access”.

All stored data should be encrypted by default, the storage period should be no greater than two years, and there should be a mandatory data breach notification scheme. Any data retention regime should be audited for compliance, with oversight both by ombudsmen and the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

Finally, the report recommends that the JPCIS review the scheme's operation annually, and that it conduct a review into the effectiveness of any scheme after three years.

The Register notes that the committee's hearings – and its drafting period – took place long before Snowden's leaks brought the privacy and government snooping debates to the fore, teaching the world at large that metadata (who called whom from which phone in which location) is at least as intrusive than capturing content.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.