Feeds

Poll: Australians hate government data retention plan

VPN providers like it, though

Polling by Essential suggests that Australians aren't behind the government's plan to force the telecommunications industry to retain data about subscribers' online activities.

According to the research, only the government's own base of voters is in favour of the data-retention* plan, with 59 per cent of Coalition voters expressing support.

Folks from all other demographics and political persuasions are against the plan, giving the government's plan just 39 per cent support across-the-board, while 51 per cent of respondents oppose the plan. It's also a dead cat among younger voters, with 64 per cent of respondents in the 18-34 age range against, compared to 54 per cent of those over 55.

The split was strongest among Greens voters: 80 per cent are against the idea, while only 15 per cent are in favour.

It's not just pollsters that think Australia is wary of the plan. US virtual private network (VPN) vendor ZenMate says it's seen a “60 per cent increase in visitors from Australia” to its Chrome store in the last three weeks, thanks to the efforts of messrs Brandis, Abbott and Turnbull.

ZenMate co-founder Simon Specka thinks he has proof of the link between the government's new policy and increased Australian interest in his product because “We saw similar results following recent internet restrictions when Turkey’s PM banned Twitter.”

Specka's not saying what his baseline traffic is from Australia, or anywhere else, so perhaps his sales have risen from five a week to eight a week, in which case it'd be best to file this one under “opportunistic PR” rather than “serious indicator of sentiment”.

The Essential poll comes as yet another split emerges in government ranks. The Guardian's Australian edition quotes NSW government backbencher Alex Hawke as being “concerned” about the idea.

Having opposed the former Labor government's data retention proposals, Hawke said that the right to privacy is “essential”, and that any scheme needs protections including the right for citizens to know who is accessing their data. ®

*Bootnote: Vulture south has come to the conclusion that any distinction between “data” and “metadata” is meaningless in the current debate, given the lack of any stable definition in either legislation or from government members. Whatever the government proposes to collect will be data and described as such. ®

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
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.