Despite Lack Of Evidence It Will Help, Australia Still Planning To Bring In Data Retention, Still Not Clear If It Could Be Used Against Copyright Infringement

from the learning-the-hard-way dept

Last year, we noted that one danger of bringing in data retention in Australia is that stored metadata might end up being used for all kinds of purposes that have nothing to do with fighting “terrorism,” its principal justification. One particular concern is that it could be used to hunt for people downloading files illegally. Several months later, the signals are still very mixed. On the one hand, we have the following, as reported by the Guardian:

Authorities are not interested in using the Abbott government’s proposed data retention scheme to go after internet pirates and would be prevented from doing so by the commonwealth ombudsman, the assistant commissioner of the Australian federal police, Tim Morris, has said.

Morris also said any changes to the way metadata is collected and used would have to be approved by the ombudsman.

But that guarantee is less than watertight because of the following:

The ombudsman, Colin Neave, has told Guardian Australia his office would not play a formal oversight role in the scheme and would give advice only at the attorney general?s discretion.

The Greens senator Scott Ludlam, noted that the ombudsman’s oversight provided only “weak” protection against function creep, and that the public could not therefore depend on Morris?s assurances that the scope of the scheme would not expand in the future.

Whether or not stored metadata will be used against copyright infringement may be in doubt, but it seems that the Australian government’s intention to bring in data retention is not, despite the fact that when asked on multiple occasions for evidence the move was justified, it has been unable to provide any. That’s not really surprising given the Danish experience that keeping this kind of data didn’t help, and may actually have hindered police investigations. Sadly, it looks like Australia is determined to discover this fact the hard and expensive way.

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Comments on “Despite Lack Of Evidence It Will Help, Australia Still Planning To Bring In Data Retention, Still Not Clear If It Could Be Used Against Copyright Infringement”

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Kenneth Michaels (profile) says:

Lamar Smith introduced the same in the US

Remember, Lamar Smith (the same guy who introduced SOPA in the House) also introduced the same type of legislation in the US supposedly to fight child pornography. It was called the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011”.

Everyone thought at the time that it was really just creating data to go after pirates in the US. Didn’t work in the US, but did in Australia.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What work have you made aside from “Cluck, cluck, cluck”? Hell, I’ve got a farm near my house that makes that “work” every day, for free! Why do I need to pay you for sounding like a rooster?

All the data retention you and the RIAA had for years and how many “pirates” did you nab? All of two dbags who got fucked over by having poor lawyers. Way to fucking go, champ!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Tell you what, make the time fit the crime(if you claim a download is stealing the same as shoplifting, then make the penalty match. Does a $40 fine for an album download sound about right to you?), punish those that bend or break the law ‘fighting piracy’ with fervor equal to that you apply towards the pointless fight against piracy, and stop trying to screw everyone but pirates in your vain attempts to stomp out any potential competition or ‘piracy’, and then I might agree with you.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘The ombudsman, Colin Neave, has told Guardian Australia his office would not play a formal oversight role in the scheme and would give advice only at the attorney general’s discretion.’

he’s the asshole who has been trumpeting all over the place about how Aus badly needs this! if it weren’t for him being yet another ‘bought and paid for’ official under the thumb of Hollywood and other members of the entertainment industries, none of this would be going on! what another waste of tax payers money doing something for an industry that wants everything it’s own way as long as someone else pays for it!
all officials who have been keen to ‘sign on’ for these duties for the industries need to be in the position of able to be prosecuted, even after they have left office!

Legendary Coward says:

Dumb is Good

I looks like this will go through in Australia. The “Labor” “opposition” is as worthless as it’s UK counterpart.

Australia has no Bill of Rights. We have seen some genuinely proto-facsist “national security” legislation under our current tea party government. The last couple of rounds saw ASIO granted broad immunity to prosecution, permission to hack anything anywhere, and the threat of 10 years jail to anyone (e.g. journalists, twitter users) who “share” classified material.

Maybe IngSoc will begin here.

The only hope is that the government gets ousted quickly. They are currently being investigated by federal police for trying to bribe the Human Rights Commissioner. Of course the government have massively expanded AFP funding and are giving them this bill, so a corrupt outcome is anticipated.

Kronomex (profile) says:

It has nothing at all to do with evil terrorists and protecting children it’s all about protecting Rupert and forehead knuckling to their corporate masters.

Oh yes, with the new three strikes crap that’s coming in soon business it seems is exempt from the new rules so I can imagine that ISP’s will be swamped with hundreds if not thousands of new “businesses” signing up for the business packages. There will also be a surge (hopefully) in the use of VPN’s.

Kronomex (profile) says:

Further to this nasty piece of legislation.,labor-backs-controversial-data-retention-bill.aspx?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=editors_picks&google_editors_picks=true

Labor Party = gutless bastards! You can also bet (and no doubt win at very low odds) that they won’t do anything address this when they get back in power. They’ll make noises about it and then put it on the back burner.

My favourite part of the article: “The citizen metadata should only be accessed for criminal cases, the report is understood to recommend – but the Attorney-General of the day should also allow use of the metadata for civil proceedings at his discretion.” means that George “Insert Corporate Brand Name Here” Brandis will jump to attention and then stick his head up his arse so he won’t hear the people screaming when his corporate paymasters demand action.

This is what happens when a fanatical right wing, fascist, money grubbing and sycophantic corporate arse kissing party gets into power. The Labor Party is a piss weak excuse for an opposition.

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