back to article Data retention saves Australia from TERROR says Labor MP

Former chair of Australia's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (JCIS), Labor MP Anthony Byrne, has urged the nation's federal government to implement data retention legislation to prevent what he calls “imminent” terrorist attacks. In a speech to parliament on Monday July 14, Byrne said the government …

  1. dan1980

    I live "on Australian soil". My family lives "on Australian soil". My friends live "on Australian soil". How about if you ask us if we want to trade away out privacy for this apparent security.

    Because I, for one, fucking well don't.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. James 63
    Black Helicopters

    Nope Nope Nope

    Given that the NSA with all its snooping failed to stop the Boston Marathon bombing (and being warned by the Russians to keep an eye on the suspects, if I recall), I am somewhat skeptical that

    " an attack “of the magnitude of the Bali event” ... would be prevented by data retention laws."

    Possibly useful after the event to catch those responsible, but prevention - not a hope.

  3. Gray Ham
    Thumb Down

    It is unfortunate that Byrne is using this one as a stick to beat the government - for one thing, the data retention regime was the one recommendation on which the Committee was (justifiably) ambivalent, even with the proposed safeguards, compensation for costs incurred by industry, and maximum period of 2 years, etc. As well, the concentration on DR is distracting from many of the other, useful, recommendations for modernising legislation.

  4. Persona non grata

    In a surprise move!

    Authoritarians seek more authority for themselves.

    And there's no other options to chose because they've corrupted our system so they're the only option*

    *well except for the Greens and some other smaller groups who are continuously ridiculed by the press for not following the establishment dogma.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Authoritarians seek more authority for themselves

      Yup pretty much sums it up. I guess if a threat is imminent and seemingly unavoidable then all the security to date is exposed as the theater it really is. Perhaps the spooks could start doing their jobs with the extensive powers they have already stolen from us or at least publicly admit that terrorism is low level warfare waged by sovereign states - like our friends across the pacific - for economic gain. Not quite as scary as bearded devils who hate us for our freedoms but admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it.

    2. Fluffy Bunny

      Re: In a surprise move!

      You misunderstand the situation. The Greens would do just as much spying, it would just be a different target - that knock on the door in the middle of the night because somebody at your house Googled electric heaters.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. ops4096

        Re: In a surprise move!

        Fluffy Bunny lies, libels and calls calumny with absolutely no supporting evidence. Indeed, examination of Green Party policy and transcripts of parliamentary debate and committee proceedings absolutely contradict Fluffy Bunnies ludicrous libel. On more evidence than Fluffy Bunny relies I assert that Our Lord Abbott, Master Shorten and Fluffy Bunny are enemies of Democracy in the pay of our Transnational Corpratz OverLords (google TPP and TISA) and their hired henchlings at ASIO/ASIS/NSA/GCHQ/CSIS/NZSIS.

        Oh, and an apology to GrumpyOldBloke for an inadvertent downvote.

  5. veti Silver badge


    What is it with the fscking video links on fscking news reports nowadays?

    Are you trying to exclude people for whom it's not convenient to watch a video right now? Or are you just trying to make it harder to quote accurately, or index what's said?

    There's a perfectly good text record. Fscking link to that next time. Please.

  6. MrDamage Silver badge

    I call bollocks on this.

    Bring in these laws, and the "terrorists" will just go back to the cold war handbook, and rely on snailmail, dead drops, codewords and face-to-face meetings to plan whatever attacks they want.

    As ugly and disgusting as it was, I think the Cronulla riots did more to prevent any home-grown terrorist attacks than anything data retention laws will do.

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I call bollocks on this.

      you mean the pros stopped doing cold war spycraft ? You know, the non-goverment operators the yanks trained to annoy the russians once. The extensive snooping by our spooks during cold war stopped so many terrible crimes. hang on ...

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    I'm game

    I'm game to live 'dangerously' but retain my privacy.

    But it's not about the miniscule risk of 'terror' is it?

  8. LaeMing


    Isn't the USA going to do this for us anyway?

  9. dan1980

    Data will be abused, lost, stolen or sold. Likely all of four.

    It is never a matter of 'if' but 'when'; it is inevitable.

    The only solution, then, is to collect and keep as little data as possible; the bare minimum required for provision of a service and for it to be destroyed once it is no longer needed.

    The type of data the government is talking about does not need to be collected so it shouldn't.

  10. Shane 4

    This is getting out of hand in all major western countries now, These dickheads seem to forget what our ancestors were fighting for. Freedoms which governments are now eroding away bit by bit. The terrorists have already won with out lifting a fkn finger, They have put fear into minds of governments causing them to act against its own people in the name of "safety".

    Next they will be wanting us all to live in glass houses that way everyone can see what everyone else is doing!

    Spend money on old school spies and overseas intelligence, Putting more restrictions or taking away privacy just shows that the fight is already lost in my opinion. You can not stop any attack just as you can't stop some completely normal citizen one day losing it for any number of reasons and going on a rampage hurting/killing other people, All the data in the world won't help.

  11. Tony Paulazzo

    Wow, the fucking NSA aren't even being surreptitious anymore. Wish our (UK) government had the balls that German woman did in kicking out the American spy masters from Germany.

    Can't wait for a zombie massacre to make all those reams and reams of data utterly useless.

  12. poopypants

    None of these are good ideas

    A lot of Bad Things can be prevented by imposing onerous restrictions on our freedom. We could save thousands of lives by engineering cars to be unable to exceed 30 KPH. We could prevent a great deal of violence by abolishing alcohol. We could prevent a lot of diseases like type II diabetes by abolishing fast food outlets and banning the sale of junk food. We could reduce terrorism by spying on everyone. None of these are good ideas.

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