back to article Aussies face 10 year browsing lock-up

Anything Europe does, Australia would like to think it can do better – and when it comes to snooping on individual internet usage, Australia is determined to lead the way. A report in ZDNet Australia this week reveals that the attorney-general's department has been holding discussions with industry on setting up an Australian …


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  1. John Smith 23

    is it me ?

    or are the australian government f**king insane ?

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Sadly, it's not just you.

      Our government really are that insane. It seems to be a legal requirement now to book a lobotomy as soon as you become part of government. I've been thinking I'd like to emigrate to a country where the leaders have less paranoia. Like, say, Iraq.

      1. Graham Wilson

        You're right about 'The Australian Problem'.

        I've already said in previous posts that if I could get out I would.

        Only a day or two ago in these pages on El Reg a Canadian said he was just waiting for his Canadian passport to come through so as he could escape Australia.

        Poor and imbecilic governance is really is an issue here in Oz.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Its just you.

      Oh, and the Government.

      And probably me.

    3. Wombat

      In a word...


    4. Graham Wilson

      'Til now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke, but the fuckers are serious-we need help!

      El Reg et al, Australian Internet users need help!

      Up until now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke--a laughing stock of the world--but these fuckers a deadly serious. We need help from the world's Internet community to expose what's going on in Canberra.

      The trouble is that we do not know what or who is really driving this totalitarian Nazi-like agenda.

      This is extremely important, for if it succeeds here in Australia, then other governments will probably pick it up and run with it--you too will be knackered.

    5. Graham Wilson

      'Til now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke, but the fuckers are serious-we need help!



      El Reg et al, Australian Internet users need help!

      Up until now Australia's Internet policy has just been a joke--a laughing stock of the world--but these fuckers are deadly serious. We need help from the world's Internet community to expose what's going on in Canberra.

      The trouble is that we do not know what is behind or who is really driving this totalitarian Nazi-like agenda in Australia.

      This is important, for if it succeeds here in Australia, then other governments will probably pick it up and run with it too--you too will be knackered!


      FYI: Here is a partial list of my recent El Reg posts where I express concern about (or where the post is related to) 'The Australian Problem'. Some are facetious, some are just hyperbole, some are serious but essentially they all relate to the same underlying issue--that of a serious problem with Australia's governance (and the Internet being an obvious focal point where it bubbles out):

  2. The BigYin

    Way to go, idiots

    It will actually make things *harder* when this hit the mainstream consciousness. It will just push people towards Tor, Haystack, VPNs and other forms of stealth/obfuscation; plus applying crypto to messages etc.and there will be an explosion to new tools and gadgets to help the non-geeky, further ensuring mass adoption. Never mind the race for new methods and ideas to make everything even harder to crack.

    Just how the hell will the police be able to investigate anything on-line when people are habitually using the likes of TrueCrypt as a matter of course? Or start switching to some for of darknet/undernet (call it what you will)?

    What, other than creating a climate of fear, can the Aussie government possibly hope to gain from all this? The number of terrorists/paedos/whatever is so vanishingly small that all the money that is going to be wasted on this (and wasted it will be) would be put to better use funding traditional policing/enforcement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Way to go, idiots

      "Just how the hell will the police be able to investigate anything on-line when people are habitually using the likes of TrueCrypt as a matter of course?"


      The Government will just make it a crime to be in possession of encrypted material or bring in RIPA style hand-over-your-keys-or-go-to-jail type legislation.

      1. The BigYin
        Black Helicopters


        Illegal to be in possession of encrypted material? Well, that's Blue Rays and a lot of DRM in general fecked. Not to mention HTTPs etc. My passport too. Credit cards also. I mean, I'm a geek. Goodness know what I could hide in them thar chips or disguise as a legit disc.

        Hand over they keys? Sure, I'll do that. They won't find anything interesting ("plausible deniability" aka "rubber hose"). And if they can prove there is other data, then they are almost certainly of cracking the cypto without a key from me

        We are, of course, thinking on current tech an paradigms. This kind of sanction will just fuel further development. Say some kind of crazy double-blind system where the user has no clue whatsoever what the key is and is totally unable to provide it. Although that would still be a crime according to RIPA...

      2. Graham Wilson

        Because it would be illegal to use them.

        Because it would be illegal to use them.

        Encrypted data streams may not be able to be cracked by The State but they certainly can detect them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It just crossed my mind...

      ... all they have to do is then make encryption illegal and you can be thrown in jail for encrypting anything. They wouldn't need to actually decrypt the packets.

      Of course, that would completely blow a hole in Internet shopping, Internet banking, indeed probably the only thing that wouldn't be encrypted is pr*n ... but that's caught by the great Australian firewall anyway.

      For crying out loud; why don't the Ausies just unplug themselves from the Internet and go walkabout. That's all they'll be able to do soon, anyway, with that lot of twits in charge.

    3. Gordon is not a Moron

      You forgot about phase II

      where they make use of any tech that doesn't allow government snooping, as if you are hiding anything from the powers that be you are obviously a terrorist or a peado or maybe both.

      Although you do have to admire the symetery of the whole thing, it'll turn a nation founded by convicts back into a nation of convicts.

    4. Pablo

      I'd like to think so

      Really, I would. But I have my doubts that even snooping on that scale would get the majority of people motivated to use encryption. Sure it would raise awareness a little, and provide motivation for a few new user-friendly encryption tools. But at the end of the day, I fear more people agree with Google... nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Either that or they're just too lazy to do anything about it.

    5. Graham Wilson

      Australia's answer would be to just ban encryption. And there's a possible precedent.

      Australia's answer would be to just ban encryption.

      There's a sort of precedent now--Drink Driving laws. Drink Driving laws do not state you have to be drunk to be charged, only that you are over the prescribed level of alcohol.

      Simply, using encryption--PGP or Tor etc. would be illegal irrespective of the activity one is involved in.

      If or when this happens you'll know for certain that you're in a totalitarian state.

      1. The BigYin


        There are reams of scientific data to show what alcohol does to human reactions and cognition. Just because it does not match your world-view is an irrelevance.

        Ergo, your comparison is totally absurd and adds nothing to the debate.

  3. Hugh Jorgen

    Just how stupid are these politicians?

    Seriously now, when it comes to dodgy back handed deals, manipularing legislation for bungs, keeping half a towns rent boys in business, having extra marital affairs, indulging in seedy (and illegal...) sex games, drugs rackets, conspiting with organised crime, fraud, profiteering, extortion.... etc..etc..etc, politicians are amongst the most notorious repeated offenders.

    How fuckin stupid do you need to be to then encourage all this t'interweb data retention? It'll be so easy to then hack these details out into the open and sink the lot of them. Surely sense would say to encourage NON retention of t'internet data so they can carry on their sordid little lives in the closet.

    Bunch of wankers, all of em.

    1. Steve Roper

      Nah, nah, nah...

      You're missing the obvious. Of course the masters and slaveowners won't have to suffer under this shit, just like they won't have to suffer the filter. They will have their own exempt connections so they can continue their corruption and porn browsing undetected. This is just for the slaves so they can control us, mate.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...what else can you say?

    I hope a certain person in governance down under, will have a very short political career as a result of this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Austrailian Attorney-General's Department

    sponsored by IBM storage systems.

    10 years is going to be a LOT of storage systems sales for someone...

  6. s. pam Silver badge

    Australia Facisim quickly heading to Nazism

    I am so glad we've escaped the dictatorship regime AKA -- Oz. I actually feel very sorry for folks there &/or watching Relocation shows now moving there. Not only is it a fascist state, a Nazism dictator running it. Why not just admit to the internet listening devices the AFP (Australia Federal Police) are supposedly use as well?

    Perhaps they should SUE each themselves like they're going to SUE Gargle?

    THis kind of carp makes me sick. Should make most of the IETF teams over the years puke.

    1. Roger Mew

      Getting silly

      1 dont governments realise that with hotspots etc people will use those-free.

      2 are those same governments not aware of hiding the IP.

      Both these render stupid Eye Spy games little more than wasting money. Its about time that these rightwing (now that cant be right 'cos labour was the same,mmm.) well anyway stupid governments wake up to the people are not stupid and will possibly wake up to you for a while.

      Incidentally to the young things out there, Shirley Williams in the 1970's stood up and said "we are not going to allow uncontrolled communication by the masses" (about CB) She, the silly moo would have had a field day about the internet.

      So dear young things, look at where she is now, where she was then, and who you want to vote for next time.

      Dont say you were not warned!!

  7. s. pam Silver badge

    Bogan Pride Alert: Australia Facisim quickly heading to Nazism

    I am so glad we've escaped the dictatorship regime AKA -- Oz. I actually feel very sorry for folks there &/or watching Relocation shows now moving there. Not only is it a fascist state, a Nazism dictator running it.

    Why not just admit to the internet listening devices the AFP (Australia Federal Police) are supposedly use as well while you're at it Aussie Bogans?

    Perhaps they should SUE each themselves like they're going to SUE Gargle for violation of privacy laws? Nah, most punters in Oz are dumber than flaming sacks of s***...

    THis kind of carp makes me sick. Should make most of the IETF teams over the years puke.

  8. Thomas 4

    In another thread

    ....I recall saying that Australia's government might appear batshit crazy from an outsider's perspective. It also appears to have trace amounts of paranoia and control-freakery.

    I feel really bad for the Aussies - when even your own laws and government is trying to screw you over, what the hell are you supposed to do?

  9. Richard IV

    "You can't treat everybody like a criminal"

    One has to suspect that back in the days when Oz was a prison colony and most non-Aboriginal inhabitants actually _were_ criminals (excessively petty or otherwise), the population wasn't quite so heavily monitored. Maybe the cry should be "Please, treat us like criminals - it's got to be better than this."

  10. Anonymous Coward

    System Overload

    The easiest attack on a system like that is an automated random browser permanently running on your system (preferably 24x7), generating random queries to google and following the links on the first page. The recording system will melt down under the weight of all the generated data, and the project will be quickly abandoned as costs escalate.

    1. Urh

      One tiny problem... that because Australia's telecommunications sector is still stuck in the dark ages nearly all Australian internet users are stuck with monthly download limits (some ISPs do offer unlimited plans, but they are ludicrously expensive) - they'd only be able to generate so much traffic before hitting their monthly limits and being reshaped to dialup speed or incurring additional charges (and some ISPs charge as high as 18c per MEGABYTE).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Dead Vulture

      Re: System Overload

      Unfortunately the costs will be on the ISP. You don't honestly think that the political arm of the Unions AKA the Labor party would actually put their hands in their collective pockets for this, do you?

      Tombstone for the small independent ISPs who can't afford the storage costs.

    3. Martin.Hale
      Big Brother

      Re: System Overload

      If you're using Firefox, there's an add-on which does just what you describe - TrackMeNot. One can download it from:

      It allows users to configure the frequency of search requests, which search engines to include, and how to initialise the RSS feeds used to generate the searches. I've been running it for maybe two years now at 1 query per minute all focused on Google, where I do most of my searching.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a sec...

    This could actually be a good thing.

    It could do wonders to help push down the price of an on-tap pint all over the UK. Hordes of Australians would make their way to the UK meaning that availability of bar staff would rocket, bars could then hire 3 Aussies for the price of 2 Poles or 1 Brit. lower costs means more room for competition and more competition means lower prices.


    Now I'm off to post this before either a) the nurse arrives with my dinosaur strength anti-psychotics and this post no longer makes sense or b) I get hired to write government policy down under.

    Mines the one with the long sleaves that do up at the back.

  12. D. M
    Big Brother

    You folks won't get better either

    Gov all over are doing the same or heading to the same direction. Sadly most people are too stupid. No matter who's in gov, we get the same kind of idiots (or rather control freaks). 1984 after all, IS meant be instruction manual.

  13. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Why don't you trust the people who elected you!

    I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why? Properly! Like Paxman in the 90's Why? And what's up with the opposition there?

    Why don't you trust the people who elected you? Do you think they will trust govt ever again?

    Seriously if this keeps going I'd like to see private wi-fi mesh networks spreading soon.

    1. Wombat

      I'll tell you why

      You asked "I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why?

      Because this bunch of socialist idealogy-driven incompetents decree such regulations without ANY prior discussion. Usually the first time anybody learns about their crap is when it's too late. Furthermore, the media is so intimidated and tightly dominated by Rudd (our PM and wannabe world leader) that they're shit scared to publish anything that might offend him.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You ask why?

      "I don't quite understand, has no one pinned them down (say on a national tv show) and asked why?"

      Because the national "current affairs" shows in Oz are only interested in dodgy tradies, fad diets, the latest in lingerie and beating up on boat people or those of a middle eastern background. As soon as these shows try something serious, viewers switch to the infomercial channel in their droves.

      So it is down to widely scattered stories like this across the web to influence the voters, fifty percent of which are busy finding and downloading as much porn as possible before the firewall goes up and the other fifty per cent are busy following up on the diet story they saw on the telly.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why don't you trust the people who elected you?

      Maybe because in Australia people are forced to vote. So politicians can't be sure of how much of their support is genuine (because everyone has been made to vote rather than them volunteering to do so because they agree with a candidate's policies).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the HELL has happened to Australia...?

    What was once - IMHO - the coolest country on earth seems these days to have gone totally mad.

    Crocodile Dundee has become a corduroy-jacketed, thick-spectacled jobsworth, who lives with his Mum and dreams of 'doing it' with a proper woman. The corks on his hat have become rubber stamps. What a waste of a beautiful country.

    "He'll rule the world ... if he can get a government grant".

    1. Il Midga di Macaroni
      Thumb Up

      "The corks on his hat have become rubber stamps"

      Sir, you have an awesome turn of phrase. That's all.

  15. Doshu

    wow.... just.. wow.....

    It's loony shit like this that slowly, but surely, can end up radicalizing sane people. I mean damn, what the hell do you do when your govt choices are "crazy-insane" or "insane-crazy".

    My sincere sympathies.

  16. Juiceman


    How does the data retention system handle Gmail using SSL?

    1. lpopman
      Thumb Up

      titular requisite

      Probably using the same technique as people use to bypass a firewall, using an https proxy. Easy enough to implement at the isp level, and keys both ways would be available.

      A man in the middle attack, so to speak.

      ISP's will always be a weak link in security...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well if they want information

    give them information,

    I hope nobody writes a program that sends lot's and lot's of random emails to accounts, perhaps setup by mates just to receive these rubbish emails, and then the other stuff can just hide in the haze of rubbish. It could be quite entertaining to see how much storage the government would have to buy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just send 200 emails a day to each other...

      ...or even just to ourselves, at alternate and instantly cleared email addresses. Plain text and containing nothing but a list of keywords/links calculated to ring bells with big brother, so not only would central storage get out of hand very quickly, but they'd have a lot of sifting to do.

      Nothing illegal there AFAIK, but possibly worth it just to upset the nanny state brigade.

      1. lpopman
        Thumb Up

        titular adornment

        Also send the emails with several compressed attachments at the heaviest compression settings, with a password and encryption. These will not be very compressible at the other end and will eat storage much more quickly.

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge


        They'd just do you for spamming.

      3. BongoJoe

        We don't need to do anything

        The spam bots will simply do our work for us. Imagine the storage required to maintain ALL of the Viagra messages going over the interweb.

    2. Mark 65

      The stupid thing is

      They want ISPs to keep a track of emails yet a large portion of users will have a Google/Yahoo/MSN address rather than a change it every time my ISP changes one. Ho hum.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    It makes perfect sense

    They need to require 10 years of data retention before they get voted out since it may take them that long to get back in government and then they will be going back to the old logs to find out who was causing them trouble on line.

  19. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @What the HELL has happened to Australia...?

    They used to have a very sensible system of simply imprisoning all their politicians as soon as they were elected. Now they are free to walk about making crazy laws.

    Personally I think it's the heat - ever noticed how right wing white people get when they live somewhere with too much sun?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      @What the HELL has happened to Australia...? → #

      The UK New Labour Party, centre to left wing propose the UK RIPA bill. So why say that this snooping is the preserve of the right wingers?

  20. Maty

    Back in the day ...

    Eastern European communist countries used to require people to have licenses for photocopiers so they did not spread socially subversive material.

    Nice to see Oz leading the march into the Stalinist past. Now, presumably someone voted these dingbats in, so can't they vote them out? It seems (so far) to be working in Britain.

    1. Graham Wilson
      Gates Horns

      At this rate perhaps we should relocate Starlin's tomb in Canberra.

      Yeah. At this rate perhaps we should relocate Starlin's tomb in Canberra.

  21. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Please don't give them ideas

    "That would be like tapping people's phones before they are suspected of doing any crime."

    Except that 10 years worth of all phone conversations would require much less storage, the data collected would have a much higher signal to noise ratio, and it is much less likely to be encrypted with military strength ciphers.

  22. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Enough with this police state mentality...

    I would expect the Australian post office would have similar laws to the UK laws against a post office opening and reading post (as these laws were pushed through back in a time when people fought for freedom from state interference. So back then such interference was deemed totally illegal and morally wrong, so the law protects against for example open letters and parcels). I guess you can see where I'm going with this. Because its about time all lobbying against all these intrusive forms of spying started to use the example of the post office, as a metaphor that everyone can understand, to force home the idea of how morally wrong the state is in its aims to use the Internet as a means to spy on everyone.

    Just because they can now open and read everything, doesn't mean they morally have the right to open and read and so spy outright on their population!

    It would be an unthinkable, (even a criminal violation of privacy), for the post office to behave the way the governments want ISP's to behave. Its time this disparity was brought to everyone's attention *worldwide* and the post office provides a non-technical metaphor to get the message across to absolutely everyone so everyone can finally stand against their utterly morally corrupt governments with their increasing attitudes of totally spying on an entire population!

    Its also more than time the Australians started protesting for a regime change. Enough of these arrogant Narcissists ruling over everyone. As the world becomes ever more connected, these arrogant Narcissists become ever more of a problem for all of us. :(

    They are elected representatives, so its time they started representing the people they say they represent!

    They sure as hell don't have the right to turn their countries into police states!

    1. KayKay
      Black Helicopters

      Internal mail can't be touched

      But PARCELS from other countries can be x-rayed and/or searched by every country.

      They could take the view that internet involves things coming from other countries, so may be searched on this basis.

      I wonder if they want to keep your searches that you type into the address bar? or if they're after every site you "visited"? would this include the nasty sites a Trojan redirected your browser to? then blame you for visiting places you've never even heard of?

      And why 10 years? the statute of limitations is 7 years on crimes at the moment.

      And what do they hope to gain from all that data, which they'd never be able to sort through? it's not as if it will give them warning of any terrorism in advance.

      The Customs precedent won't wash. It is very hard to hide, say, 2 kilos of cocaine in an email attachment.

      And if that kind of thing were possible, people might give priority to emailing letter-bombs to the idiots that dreamed up this spying scheme.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I am so glad I immigrated to Canada and not to Australia 6 years ago. I remember telling my now ex-wife that I would never move to a country that had a political party with the slogan: "Australia for the white people". I am so happy I was right. Bunch of right wing nazis they have on the government there. I don't pity the average Aussie though. They are the ones that put those bastards in power.

    They used to be such nice people. Is NZ crazy like that too? I hope the kiwis are not into this mess....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Talk about misinformed

      If you think think that we have a "bunch of right wing nazis they have on the government there" you probably believe that the tooth fairy made your wife pregnant.

      It's a far-left government of socialist idealogues, with an avowed communist as the deputy PM.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Who's misinformed?

        If you think the Labor party are left-wing, you really need to read the news a bit more. The only parties of any size at all in Australia who aren't right-wing are the Greens and the Democrats, and neither of them could really be described as far-left either. The Greens are moderate-left and the Democrats are fairly centrist. Labor is mostly right-wing, just not as hard, frothing right-wing as the Liberals. Labor are about as "left" as Britain's NuLabour.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So exactly how did these nutjobs get the power to do this? Are they allowed to do this? (seem so) I dont remember giving them permission to do this. So what are we going to do about it Australia? We expect the Iraqis to rise up against the axis of evil Al Qaeda leader Saddam Hussein yet we do nothing, too distracted to make use of the democracy we have, too stupid to vote any other way, too gutless to take action.. that's right the footy is FAR more important, enjoy the cesspool YOU have created, I wont be here, I tried to warn everyone about this years ago... the conspiracy is only a theory.

    1. Kevin Rudd


      What you do is not vote for either of the major party, ie nominally right or left, but strangely enough with the same policies and vote for another party, independent that favors common sense not batshit crazy.

      The idiot responsible is Labor senator Stephen Conroy.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    It's a sign...

    It's a sign that those making these decision have "certain uncontrolled urges" and if they have to wall-off an entire continent to protect themselves from themselves, so be it.

    Icon chosen because sooner or later, it'll be revealed that those pushing this insane agenda are flaming.

  26. Brian Miller

    Requirement is on the ISPs, though

    Unfortunately, the ISPs are the ones who are required to maintain the data. This means that the ISP will go out of business or raise rates to compensate. So that means that as the data piles up, the ISP rates will go up, and then everybody will link up to sattelite delivery and just skip over the Oz firewall, data retention, and insane snooping laws.

    Then the politicians will outlaw all sattelite communication, and will forget to write a provision for government exemption. So everything that communicates with a sattelite will be off the air, including things like GPS.

    Finally all electronic communication will be banned, and everything must be written (typed, no less) on postcards.

    1. Wila

      But who is the ISP anyways?

      Is the ISP that the citizen uses to connect to the internet going to be the one who has to snoop on all traffic and store the emails?

      In the case they use a non australian ISP for their email boxes, that ISP has no legal obligation to Aussie law, so they won't store the emails... Is it then not simply a matter of not using port 25 and 110, but the SSL encrypted ports instead and use the sending SMTP server of that non Aussie ISP?

      Its really too easy to circumvent this rule, rendering it completely useless and just costing Australian ISP's and tax payers a lot of money.

      There's so many other ways to communicate, email is for old people...

  27. cphi
    Big Brother

    don't blame the govt

    we do live in a democracy (more or less). ask around and most Australians would *want* this.

    had a surreal conversation with PhD lit student of Melbourne uni last week. she was shocked (and horrified) that the govt *wasn't* currently logging web traffic.

    Australia has never had any particular culture of individual freedom and that's what needs to change - spitting the dummy at the govt doesn't help

  28. Anonymous Coward


    Yeah... I have not read the report and to see if it applies to EVERYONE or just persons of interest., based upon PROVEN needs...

    OK so I can say this fucking nazi reigeme (where is dictiionary) stuff is just soooooo bad., and it is...

    But at the same time Austraia is as full of arseholes as everywhere else and I don't want arse holes getting away with all sorts of scams on a personal or national interest basis.

    And yes our governments are inclined to exercise the "night and fog" decree, using "official agencies" to exorcise fear and intimidation against our citizens.

    It's an issue tho - of fine tooth combing the entire nation through stratafied sources, using Google searches, using internet filtering, and keeping records for 10 years...

    And recording everything...

    Australia is filled with shitheads, and this is an excellent way to "get the dumber ones" who need to use these ways to communicate over longer distances, but I dunno.....

  29. BrettP

    What email to be tracked?

    What about the details...

    What do they mean by 'subscriber'?

    Does the email retention apply to Oz-based services only?

    Or accessed through an Australian ISP?

    Web-based email?

    What if I'm in Oz but using an overseas-hosted mail service (encrypted or not).

    What if I'm outside Oz accessing an Australian-based email service.

    Are Facebook messages outside of the scope of this? Why?


  30. Il Midga di Macaroni

    "Consulted broadly" with the telecomms industry?

    Based on past history, that means Mr Conroy rang up one of Telstra's government relations people and said "Yeah we're thinking of doing this, would you people object to it? How about if I threatened your job if you didn't comply? Good, thanks."

  31. Danington the Third

    i have an idea for the aussies

    Everyone just send eleventy billion emails and ping every site indexed by google on a daily basis. Then lol when you do something naughty and they have to get the ISPs to find it.

  32. Winkypop Silver badge

    Mad as cut snakes

    Don't be fooled.

    The current Oz government is beholden to the far-right xtian extremists.

    These morons actually think they can sanitise the Internet.

    They truly think they can.

    Asshats, the lot of them.

  33. John Angelico

    No worries...

    I'll let them have all the spam, and just keep a clean inbox :-)

  34. sabretruthtiger

    The truth

    OK, time to tell it like it really is, now LISTEN UP AND LEARN!!!!

    IT's not about terrorism or paedophilia, it's about controlling and censoring the spread of information regarding the atrocities committed against the world populations in order to implement the Draconian Global Government forming as we speak.

    The global banking and corporate Elite that control all Western Governments and ALL mainstream media are starting to panic as information available on the net is waking people up to the truth.

    Truth/fact: 911 was an inside job, it's scientifically proven. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a scam, there is zero evidence to support it. The credit crisis was engineered through manipulation of derivatives. All major terrorist acts in recent times have been organised by the Elite controlled CIA.

    The collapse of global economies via the carbon trading scam, the credit crisis, the attack on fossil fuel infrastructure is central to their plans as they want to reduce world population, and desire world populations to be poor, scared, weak, and desperate enough to accept, even welcome the new Tyrannical, Orwellian Global Government.

    Now they're accelerating plans worldwide in multiple countries to censor the net. Wake up people and THINK!

  35. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    "plus applying crypto to messages etc."

    The solution has been around for quite a while -- people REALLY should start using IPSec. The main advantage being it's at the IP layer, so the crypto is essentially transparent. "They" will still be able to record what machines you are connection to, and possibly the port, but the http headers and junk would all be encrypted. The ISP probably couldn't even play "man in the middle" because the CPU load would rapidly become too high from handling all that crypto.

    This wouldn't help for E-Mail, of course, but there's already crypto available for E-Mail, plus the possibility of just not using your ISP's E-Mail server.

  36. kain preacher

    I can see it now

    Aussie gov : your web site shows restrict material . We are going to arrest you .

    innocent guy: But my web site is not hosted in oz and I'm not an Aussie.

    Aussie gov : to bad your site contains subversive material .

    Innocent guy: fuck off ass holes. I'm an American in the USA good luck on trying get me with this BS

    Aussie gov: Hello White house, we have located a Muslim terrorist in your country.

  37. Herby

    In the 18th century... the (then) colonies. We had this problem with firearms. It led to our (now famous) 2nd amendment. It seems that now in the 21st century the world needs something to prevent the sniffing noses of government out of our internet habits.

    Look, if they suspect something, let them get a warrant (or equivalent). But having everything on the internet recorded (which this appears to be coming to). This is like having every conversation that ever was recorded "just in case". How silly is this (very!). We don't have enough storage capacity to do part of this even now, so why are we even trying.

    Get real!

  38. Al 4

    Overwhem the system

    To counteract this what is needed is a WEB site obfuscator that is a browser add-on that would troll through randomly selected sites to hide the real browsing but would also create such a data logging volume that it would force the government to allow off line storage of the data because of the sheer volume and cost of maintaining the data online. The big problem is that politicians don't have the mental capability to understand the volume of data these moronic ideas would require to be stored.

  39. Michael Nielsen

    I don't get what is happening ot the "free world"

    Everyday you can read about some new law that is introduced, which negatively impact on the freedom, private lives, and reduction of civil liberties, where the state, and bureaucrats continually undermine those freedoms, that cost the lives of so many forebearers.

    I really wonder, the "free world" will very soon have to change the designation, as it's is no longer free, and it is starting to be comparable to china and other restrictive regimes. I won't be long before "the free world" will refer to china, iran, and so forth, if we keep going the way we're going.

    Most of the changes that "the free world" are introducing are measures that were the ultimate wet dreams of the KGB, SS, and various secret police forces.

    It's sad to see.

    And it's all brought in with arguments about pedophilia, terror, and other such things, completely ignoring the negative side effects of those laws, I really don't see what these new laws are giving us that we didn't have before, except for the loss of private life, civil liberties and so forth, because the state is not taking police powers that do not belong in a free society.

    And unfortunately, not a singel westeren country is excempt from this.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a laugh!

    Yes I completely disagree with it but can you imagine what a complete waste of time and effort this will be. I mean can you imagine ten years of emails of average person...

    "Hi Derek, yeah I'm great. How's the weather? See you and Susan on Tuesday. Bye"

    "Yo dude, lik wo't hapnin. sis'all fukd here man, yo cmin ovr man?"

    "I really like him, but you know, he's like really really like you know and I told Amy and she's all like you know and I'm like yeah but, you know wot like, but he's like you know?"

    Samual Pepys has nothing on this lot! Yep, a huge database full of the most staggering drivel ever passed between members of the human race. Still it will give historians something fun to read, when the human race finally grows up and realises that we let a bunch of dumb fucktards rule over us!

  41. Annihilator

    SMTP email

    The only way I reckon this would be easily done was if home users all used SMTP relays that belonged to the ISPs. As far as I can make out, SMTP in the home user scene is dying out in favour of Hotmail and Gmail etc, which would require at least DPI work to intercept, not to mention that they both support SSL encryption anyway and are surely not far away from switching it on by default.

    Again, stellar government thinking that is technically flawed from the start.

  42. Living Under a Rock

    Go back to basics

    With all thats going on with the internet you all have to think ouside the box.

    Cancel your Face book accounts, encrypt all (emails while its still legal) and finally go back a step and buy a portable typewriter from any op shop and type your letters and then send them through the mail.

    And when you have done this dont forget to photocopy the Item before sending it as well as remembering not to touch the letter or envelope without surgical gloves( finger prints and DNA) as well as getting someone else to lick the stamp and finally post as far away from home as possible.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    The filter

    Haven't any of you idiots realised that the filter infrastructure proposed by the egregious Senator Conroy is ideal for this kind of mass-scale interception?

    What did you think it was for?

  44. Automatic jack

    Protect your liberty - Use crypto

    As has been stated many times, there are so many ways to circumvent this kind of filtering. The reg did a great HowTo for securing your email a while back:

    And regarding Hotmail / Gmail - they already have far to much access to their users personal information.

    I use a nice (and free) combination of SSH / Putty and SOCKS to create a secure tunnel to the net via a cheap hosting account. Firefox can be configured to forward DNS requests to the remote proxy too, so my ISP has zero profile on my surfing habits.

    It's not that I have anything to hide (apart from my plans to geneticly cross breed the worlds strongest chilli plant), it's entirely about having the right to individual privacy - and that is a right that we all have to exercise or it WILL be taken away from us.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

    As true now as it was then, if not more so.

  45. Parsifal

    Whats Next?

    Will the Australian government require that people are fitted with voice recorders that record everything they say?

    Seems like the Australian government is attempting to become the poster child for totalitarianism.

    I guess you can only emigrate to Australia now if you have tendency towards Dictatorship.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not thought through....

    ...for two obvious reasons....

    Firstly, the cost of securely storing this amount of data for that period of time will be huge.

    Secondly, everyone, and certainly those at which this is aimed at will just start using VPNs and encrypted communications. I already make use of these services myself now.

    And surely it's a violation of your human rights or something like that - I mean if every postal letter you wrote was intercepted, read and a copy stored for 10 years...!

  47. HABIT12
    Thumb Down


    Someone puts an article on line that's so science fiction to be impossible and everyone gets the "CHICKEN LITTLE SYNDROME".

    That's the trouble when average educated people have to much coffee and are put next to a keyboard.

    Lots of "THE WORLDS ENDING" but no technical facts at all. Nothing is thought threw, Just ramblings of incoherent thoughts and emotions.

    From what I have read of the posts 98% are not deep thinkers, but try this on. Could it be that the press releases are put out for a reason? THINK, WHY? ....... To shake you up!.......

    After all half the game is phycological.

    Why spend the money when they can write articles that will get the job done for them for free.

    You'll see more article's. Ask yourself? who gets them published? Ever asked yourself that? Who's driving the agenda?

    They know your (lack of) education, how you spend your time, how many hours in front of the TV, the average IQ is about 100 ( not to bright). That's perfect for this type of campaign.

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING. ...Well,,,,,,,not really, He just wrote an impossible article about saving everyone's web browser activity for 10 years and gave it to a reporter and then went to lunch. There still laughing there ass off about this one over there. This gets filed under URBAN LEGENDS.

    You on the other hand are crouched beside your front window. Moving the curtains aside slowly with a stick because you thought a government agent was sneaking through your yard. Your computer is unplugged because of the new super government spy bug there using. You know the story is true because its written by the same people that said this story is true.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is encryption legal in Australia?

    I don't recall the WWII era restrictions on encryption ever being lifted, although there haven't been any recent prosecutions that I know of.

    We always had telecommunications policies reminiscent of other Asian nations (Burma springs to mind, China to a lesser degree), so I don't know why you are all acting surprised now.

  49. Chris in NZ

    10 years

    That's the old trick, then they "settle" for 5 and claim it to be a huge victory for privacy.

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