Feeds

Oz feds kick the metadata retention can, again

Please sir, may I have some more?

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Australian Federal Police is renewing its push to sweep up as much telecommunications metadata as is humanly possible, as a Senate Committee conducts a review into telecommunications interception legislation.

Metadata collection on a mass scale remains as controversial a topic under this government as it was under the prior government, and the AFP is just as keen as ever to get the government to adopt a telecommunications data retention regime.

Turmoil in the former government in 2012 sent the data retention plans to the back-burner, but the review of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 has given the AFP the opportunity to put its case again.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the AFP's Tim Morris has complained that telecommunications carriers here are not retaining metadata consistently.

“This is not data that contains content of conversations or content of SMSs or contents of emails,” the ABC quotes Tim Morris as saying. “What we're talking about here is the indicative communications data: the time of the call, the length of the call, and who the call was made to.”

As Vulture South understands it, this is an incomplete description of metadata: if a mobile phone is involved, the metadata also includes location; for Internet users, it would include IP address and account information.

In spite of its recent apparent successes, such as its participation in the January 2014 raids that dismantled a global child abuse ring, the AFP claims lack of access to metadata means “a third of all possible offenders in a child-exploitation image-sharing network” can't be traced because their ISPs didn't retain enough information.

The Senate inquiry is due to report in June of this year. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.