Feeds

Oz Ombudsman calls for wiretap oversight

Sniffs at poison chalice

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.