Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

Ready or Not, Australia’s Data Retention Begins

Oct 13, 2015 08:21 AM EDT


Any data from consumers, as long as you are a consumer of telecommunications companies and internet service providers, all of your data are subjected to retention under law. Government, intelligence, public and private sectors are affected as a new step to national security by the Federal government. This would mean that all data collected would be accessed easily by criminal law enforcement and intelligence agencies like ASIO and the AFP.

The said project would cost the government around $300 million or more as the critiques expected. This regime would be used over the surveillance of crimes consistent online such as child abuse and pornography, and also as counter-terrorism campaign and many other major crimes would be observed.  

However, authorities are quick to defend that the data would only be accessed under warrant, and those who were not under warrant would be considered as "moving target." Dan Tehan, Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security stated that "The ability of our national security and law enforcement agencies to keep the public safe was being degraded, the Bill does not in any way provide for agencies to access any content of a communication, except under warrant." The range of agencies was kept open for the new ones such as the Australian Tax Office and it was recommended for it to be one of the "criminal law-enforcement agencies."

Although a lot of companies such as the ISP providers are not yet ready for this new scheme and stated that it still has a lot of flaws and is still pretty raw to be that wide, it will be enforced and will be in effect immediately.

Malcolm Turnbull, previously Communications Minister, had advised consumer to use third party instant messaging service if they do not want to leave any Meta data or footprint online. He told the parliament "We should never give fanatics the satisfaction of changing the way we live or the way we express ourselves," Turnbull told Parliament. "We uphold the fundamental values of our open, liberal democracy. Australians can have confidence in our democratic system of Government, and the rule of law and we will continue to respond to these threats as the fair, just and peace loving people we."

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