3 min read September 26, 2012 at 12:16pm
In case you've been living under a rock, recently, the Government has been holding an inquiry into Intelligence and Security legislation reform.
You can follow the discussion on twitter here. (warning - the tag is where the opposition to the proposal is centred).
The goverment is running the sham line that only "meta-data" is collected - which means not the content of your email, but who you sent it to and what time it was sent.
On top of this, is the usual "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument. If you want to see what metadata retention can do for you, I encourage you all to check out this web-site: http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention
A German Green party politician requested his stored mobile phone meta-data from his phone company. This was then combined with info from his twitter stream, blog, and german parliamentary info which is available freely on the web.
Our government (and don't forget that DBCDE - that's the Goverment department that are responsible for "cyber-security" managed to lose a DVD with the address details of 8000 users of their Stay Smart Online program) want to retain this data about you for two years. And the nice chaps at ASIO and also the AFP and NSW police would really like it if it was kept for five years, thanks very much. Also, it delays their important investigations if they have to, you know, get a court order for your data - so we'd like to be able to bypass getting a warrant, too.
You might not be a geek, and you might not think that people who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear. Remember also that the goverment is big on Identity theft at the moment. And a goverment that can't even keep secure data from 8000 subscribers to an online safety service want your ISP to record everything you've done online for years. If you want to do something about this, then I would encourage you to:
- make a submission to the senate inquiry
- write to your local member
- consider joining a group opposed to the plan;for example
- Consider voting Pirate in the senate next election
My favourite quote in this area to finish. It's more relevant to censorship than datalogging, and it's from a computer game - Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (think Civilisation, but in space and better - check out Good Old Games - it's worth it!)
"Free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."