Feeds

Telstra tries to hose down “network management snooping” story

You can't spin a tinfoil hat

Boost IT visibility and business value

Telstra has issued a statement denying that its network management systems are used for mass surveillance.

That accusation came from a Fairfax journalist, Philip Dorling, in a story that said that the carrier's use of products from Gigamon and Splunk amounted to a mass spookware implementation. As the original story put it:

“Confidential documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the secret technology used to trawl Australians' telecommunications and internet data for analysis by ASIO, the ASD and law enforcement agencies.”

The technology involved is so secret that Gigamon offers an extensive set of technical (and non-technical) documents in its white paper library.

Telstra's attempt to hose down the controversy is is in the form of a statement posted at Australian outlet Delimiter:

“Telstra does not routinely collect or store our customers’ telecommunications data to undertake mass surveillance on behalf of Australian national security agencies. Intrinsic to providing telecommunications services is generating data, for example the time, location and duration of telephone calls. We generate this data as part of providing a service to our customers and we store it for as long as it makes sense commercially and legally to do so. For instance, we are required to hold billing data for up to six years to meet out obligations under the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code.

“Telstra does not use any traffic monitoring system to conduct mass surveillance on behalf of Australian national security agencies. There are legally defined instances when we receive and are required to comply with lawful requests from national security agencies to provide specific data from our networks. We comply with the law and only collect and disclose information to these agencies only when we are legally required or permitted to do so.

“Telstra is not required by law to store all communications data for Australian Government agencies. All telecommunications companies in Australia have obligations to provide reasonable assistance to law enforcement and national security agencies, which can include disclosing certain data when we receive a lawful request from these agencies. These powers are outlined in the Telco Act and TIA Act.”

Because the statement was clearly assembled in a séance bringing together executives, spin-specialists and lawyers, it will do exactly nothing to calm the touchy nerves of the tinfoil-hat brigade.

Especially among an Australian media which still believes that a published contract is a state secret. ®

Bootnote: Thanks to reader Darren Pauli, @darrenpauli who alerted The Register to this PR from Splunk. Fairfax Digital is a Splunk user as well: presumably to harvest user data on behalf of the spooks. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?