I am just emptied of fight. I know that's what they want but there's only so much that scattered, concerned individuals can do.
I wrote letters - I really did.
I expressed my concerns about the creation of vast honey-pots of data so attractive to organised criminals that they would be the target of perpetual, prolonged, well-financed, sophisticated attacks and that, with so many high profile intrusions in recent times, it would not be a question of "if" but "when" this will happen to the data that will be collected under this regime.
I questioned why there were no extra protections for this extra data to ensure that use of this new dataset would be restricted to those professed critical scenarios and specific agencies. Why, I asked, should this data that is being justified on national security and 'serious crime' grounds be available to civil litigants; how does such lack of control around access to the data accord with the reasons for collecting it?
I delved further into this, saying that once data is collected, what safeguards are there to prevent its for currently unknown purposes. What monitoring and oversight would there be to identify misuse and what penalties would there be in instances where this was identified? I referenced recent revelations that dozens of Victorian Police officers had been found to have improperly accessed the LEAP database, resulting in the -identified - misuse of over two hundred confidential records and that most of these uses were unauthorised. If police are currently able to access the existing information without proper authorisation, what does this mean for access to the vastly increased data set being proposed, given that it has been announced that access to the new data will be under the same arrangements as current data.
In an effort to address different issues and thus - hopefully - require a more considered response, I asked about ISPs and how retention of this data might impact their 'Safe Harbour' protections, given that a key part of the ruling that iiNET did not 'authorise' copyright infringement in the Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited case was that iiNET couldn't be said to be reasonably able to 'review and analyse' the alleged offending conduct. If ISPs are required to record and retain all this metadata, how would this affect such cases in the future - would ISPs be therefore required to police their networks on behalf of foreign rights-holders?
I got boiler-plate.
Apparently I know that Australia is facing increased threats of terrorist attacks and that law enforcement agencies are in need to timely data to help protect all Australians for attacks and serious crime.
I was buoyed to learn that the Australian Federal Government was committed to the privacy of Australians and the security of the nation's data was a top priority.
It was explained to me, ever-so-helpfully, that internet service providers currently provide information and that this is essential to law enforcement agencies and that no new information will be collected.
Not one concern I raised was addressed and not one question I asked was answered.
I watched the news and current affairs programs and read the papers and, but for passing mentions and inadequate explanations parroting ministers and AFP representative and the always reliable AG, there was nothing. No outrage, no calls to arms, no in-depth explanations of what data would be collected or challenges to those spreading misinformation and half-truths.
This law was always going to pass. The best we could hope for was to get some sensible amendments through. But the numbers weren't there.
People are free to vote how they please but ANYONE who voted for the Coalition or Labor in the last federal election is to blame for this. You gave unimpeded power to a set of humans determined to undermine the freedoms and privacy of all of the rest of us.
But hey - there's no more 'carbon tax' or 'mining tax' right? Phew - dodged some serious bullets there.