Feeds

iiNet to Senate committee: metadata retention an expensive joke

'An impractical idea'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

iiNet has tried to swim against the tide of government agencies bent on turning ISPs and telcos into outsourced snoops, telling a Senate committee that proposals for mandatory data retention are intrusive, expensive and impractical.

In this curt submission to the Senate committee inquiring into revisions of the Telecommunications Interception Act, the ISP takes the Attorney-General's department to task over its belief that metadata storage isn't a privacy intrusion.

Pointing to research from Stanford University (here), iiNet's submission notes that “telecommunications data when accessed and analysed may create a profile of a person’s life including medical conditions, political and religious views and associations” – which is probably exactly what police and spook agencies like about metadata.

“iiNet is uncomfortable with the notion that commercial businesses may be forced into a role as unwilling agents of the state to collect, store and safeguard very large databases for which the companies themselves have no use,” the submission says.

Then there's the cost of retaining data, which iiNet puts at perhaps $AU60 million to build and secure a 20PB* data centre.

That scale, iiNet says, would be needed because of the exponential growth in the number of mobile devices with some kind of Internet access, along with the predicted “Internet of Things” explosion in devices with IP addresses:

“It is an impractical idea to store such data and it is even more impractical to suggest that a law enforcement agency, can simply call up a service provider and say 'Give me all Joe Blow’s URLs for 15 June 2012”.

However, as Vulture South noted earlier this week, even the Federal opposition appears to have been captured by the country's spy agencies, making even concerted industry resistance to mandatory data retention appear at best a forlorn cause. ®

*Thanks to the reader that pointed out my error in the size of the data centre. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.