back to article Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

Australia's current prime minister Tony Abbott has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to renew his call for the country's data retention regime to pass parliament as soon as possible. Relying on briefings from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Tony Abbott stated that there …

  1. MrDamage

    Critical?

    If metadata is so critical to investigations, then they can get a warrant to have the ISP's/Telco's retain said metadata once a person comes under suspicion of a crime. No different to how they require a warrant to search someone's home, or workplace.

    You do not hoover up the metadata for everyone.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Critical?

      What we really need is for Tony's ISP to start collecting "meta-data" free of charge. Let's just hope no-one accidentally gets hold of it.

      Seeing as "no new powers" are granted, it seems ISP's are all good to go on this.

    2. mourner
      Stop

      Re: Critical?

      Metadata?!

      Let's just call it what it is.... DATA.

      There's nothing "meta" about it. It's data that clearly identifies who contacted whom for how long (telephone records) and in the case of email the Subject of the discussion (email) - heh that's not the content of the message it's in the headers.

      There's some lockstep going on here between nations. In the last week we've had Cameron (UK) decrying encryption. Reporting of this nebulous "dark net" has been going for months (don't be silly boys - it's TOR, nothing dark about it as the Silk Road trial Ulbrecht clearly shows, it's not an invisible net even the BTC is traceable).

      We've had the frankly odd last minute UK Lords attempt to attach unpassable amendments to bills. Maybe they hope the more palatable alterntive will not get laughed out as an alternative.. lesser of two evils, when the choice is not actually one or the other, sleight of hand anyone?

      There's an agenda afoot to get these laws passed in the 5 eyes. It puts me on high alert, I hope it does you too.

    3. JamesTQuirk

      Re: Critical?

      Well only if you believe that this system will continue, with current crew of halfwits in charge, the Chinese Gov said 25/30 years ago, they where going to use Capitalism to Kill it, I think they are doing a good Job, the still Communist Gov, now own most of worlds debt, into African & South American Countries that hold most of rest, maybe get the Greeks onside soon, Just before they (I hope) tell World Banks to get stuffed ....

  2. John Tserkezis

    "You do not hoover up the metadata for everyone."

    That's nice, but they already do from some sources. Warrant? Never heard of it, we have direct link now.

  3. Bill Redmond

    Briefings from the people that want it...

    "Relying on briefings from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, "

    So lets get this right - he is relying on the people that want it telling him they need it - the same as my Granddaughter when she wants something.

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

    TISM need to reform just so they can release a song about Tony Abbott

    1. Anthony 13

      They already recorded an entire EP ...

      ... Australia the Lucky C***

  5. Gray Ham
    WTF?

    However, he said that while access to stored data is a “foundational” building block of investigations, it's impossible to stipulate how many convictions relied on it. The AFP's systems, he said, simply aren't configured to report the association between “metadata” and eventual convictions.

    So, he doesn't actually know whether metadata is useful or not ... but he can still declare that it prevents 90% of terrorist attacks.

    Probably this is why I'm not Commissioner of the AFP - when I talk bullshit, I blush.

  6. veti Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Someone didn't count their negatives...

    at least two important “mass casualty” counter-terrorism events in planning were prevented by metadata access

    Counter-terrorism events were prevented by metadata access? That's terrible. Ban it immediately.

  7. Adam 1

    Half term Tony trying desperately to get anything else on the front page.

  8. Glen Turner 666

    Maybe the Liberal Party supporters of metadata collection could publish their phone call metadata for the past few days of political instability. I can think of nothing more illustrative of the privacy dangers of metadata collection than that request.

  9. Mark 65

    Lying cnut

    AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin, appearing at the press conference to support the PM's statements, claimed that access to stored communications data is critical to “90 per cent” of both counter-terrorism and organised crime investigations.

    However, he said that while access to stored data is a “foundational” building block of investigations, it's impossible to stipulate how many convictions relied on it. The AFP's systems, he said, simply aren't configured to report the association between “metadata” and eventual convictions.

    Hmmm, so he knows as a percentage how critical it is because he can quote how many investigations found it critical but cannot say how many convictions relied on it. My, how convenient.

    Does anyone else think the pictures of this lying little lickspittle have more than a hint of Gestapo about them?

  10. Mark 65

    VPN

    Can El Reg do us all a favour and have the UK and Oz bureaus run some VPN provider tests? I guess if dopey Dave gets his way the UK ones will be short lived but there is hope for us down under.

    I'm thinking comparison of: cost, support, ease of use, security used, real world speeds, choice of endpoints etc. There are a fair few of your readers that will be itching to get something setup before wingnut Abbott's March deadline for legislation.

    1. mourner

      Re: VPN

      And so, it becomes a game of "who do you trust?"

      El Reg who seem impervious to calls for https?

      I'll happily do a VPN revue.. for a kickstart consideration of £500K.

      But who am I?

      You're probably better off going your own way. Source a vps in moldovia, russia or wherever and break out from there.

      Just saying - going the same way everyone else is may not be the best idea :D

      1. Mark 65

        Re: VPN

        I'm not talking about VPNs for doing naughty things, in which case you'd need your own server with intrusion detection etc, just normal VPNs from major providers because you believe that metadata is really data and that it shouldn't be vacuumed en masse but targetted via a court ordered warrant. I'm sure there are VPN providers out there that can be trusted so long as you're not up to some serious naughty business but rather minding your own business.

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    "Australia's current prime minister"

    But for how much longer?

    Anyway...

    If this 'meta data retention' is so critical then why have their own experts admitted that off-shore services will be exempt/excluded?

    Those obscure ones, like, you know, gmail, twitter, facebook, etc.

    http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/gaping-holes-data-retention-laws-will-only-hurt-australian-businesses-greens

    The whole scheme is crap, this is just a weak attempt to (change the headlines and) force labor into agreeing to a bad law that will save the kiddies from the terrorists!

  12. darwinite

    Note the reference to "organised crime". I was speaking to a Minister, a member of the Committee, last night at a community event, and he said the metadata databases would be available to all law enforcement, for warrantless metadata queries for any offence with a term of imprisonment over a year. The police could then use that warrantless query to produce a pool of suspects for which they can then get warrants for the content of their communications. The metadata would include the geolocation at the start and end of each call or internet connection, but any other geodata, e.g. for continuous or historical tracking, would need a warrant. He also suggested that the primary constraint on the police would be the expense of using the service.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The AFP's systems, he said, simply aren't configured to report the association between “metadata” and eventual convictions.

    Because once the Ministry of Surveillance has flagged a potential problem, and the perp is dragged to the Ministry of Love for debriefing with no further ado, but traces of this chain of action are not kept for later compilation into glossy reports?

    Wait, didn't there used to be a legal process somewhere in there before the 21st century?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Wait, didn't there used to be a legal process somewhere in there before the 21st century?"

      Exactly: So last century.

      But I'll give the lying clown full credit for his sense of humour in claiming that this will "confer no new powers". Are Australian parliamentarians sufficiently weak, servile, dishonest and stupid enough to vote for this nonsense?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Are Australian parliamentarians sufficiently weak, servile, dishonest and stupid enough to vote for this nonsense?"

        Do you honestly have to ask?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020