Feeds

Oz Ombudsman calls for wiretap oversight

Sniffs at poison chalice

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

With both political parties and most law enforcement agencies devoted to implementing more data retention in Australia's Internet, the Commonwealth Ombudsman has suggested it could have a role in overseeing such a regime.

Ombudsman Colin Neave has told the Senate committee reviewing Australia's telecommunications interception act that his body could handle the role with appropriate resourcing. He also said stronger public reporting mechanisms are needed to make Australia's metadata retention regime more transparent.

Its submission (available from the committee (page here) says there is “a clear requirement for the Ombudsman to ascertain agencies' compliance with the telecommunications interception and stored communications access provisions”.

While the office would not have the resources to test the compliance of agencies in the light of so much metadata collection, Neave told the committee a sampling regime combined with high-level oversight of agencies' processes would be feasible.

Meanwhile, Narelle Clark, president of the Internet Society of Australia, told the committee that the lack of standards defining what can be considered “metadata” is hampering both the debate and the legislative review.

Unlike the world of telephony, where the difference between metadata and content is clearly defined, the world of IP communications has no such technical specifications, she said.

“There needs to be clear technology standards for this," she said, so that equipment and applications can be built with data retention requirements in mind, with appropriate control.

"None of that I believe is in evidence at this point in time,” she said.

Clark also singled out the idea that system logs can be considered metadata repositories for criticism, saying that logs are designed for fault-finding, and are extremely verbose (and, The Register would add, frequently intrusive), containing “all sorts of detail” about connection attempts (whether or not they're made), route selection and other extraneous information. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.