back to article Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

Australia's attorney-general has dropped some new telecommunications legislation designed to drag carrier networks into the orbit of the nation's top legal officer. The plans, announced last week, would give the government power to demand information about carriers' networks and order changes to networks, with a civil …

  1. Philip Lewis

    "... indication that the laws won't be used against specific vendors"

    yep, that is totally believable, not?

    1. Adam 1

      Even if I take them at their word, how it will or won't be used is a useless fact, because they can only promise what THEY will or won't do.

      Good legislation is rather defined about what can or can't be done and whether some future activity will be ruled as legal or illegal under the act.

      Why is this government doing its best to pretend they don't understand what separation of powers is for and why it is a good idea?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As is normal with politicians you know they are lying because their lips are moving. You can't trust any of them because they always forget the law of unintended consequences.

        1. dan1980

          That's assuming that the 'consequences' are really unintended . . . (As opposed to what they wanted all along.)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like the Australian government is turning into the same shit that the EU Polit-bureau and CFR-run US government are: a farce and a puppet theater to entertain and distract you from the power grab that's really going on.

      All in the name of that ludicrous scarecrow of "terrorism".

      We are living on a planet run by organized crime, sitting comfortably on top of any elected government there is.

      Democracy is the ONLY government form that offers a 100% chance to be corrupted, which is why we must bring it everywhere, even if it means bombing runs.

      A Kingdom does offer some chance to corrupt, but nowhere near 100%. Of course, the son of a good King could be demented and make for a very bad king, but Banksters and Corporations might still not get what they want out of him.

      But in Democracy, it works every time. When you control the money and the media, you automatically gain control over politicians.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

    Notify, but not seek approval? There's a simple answer to that.

    Email after email sent every time any change is made to the network. The government asked for this level of detail, and this level of detail they shall get!

    Any time a new TCP connection is established by a customer, causing changes in NAT tables in routers or changes to the cache content of proxies, they shall be notified.

    I predict they'll get tired of it after an hour.

    1. CanadianMacFan

      Re: "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

      I was thinking the same thing. I'd flood them with change notifications for every little thing I could think of. And if I had to patch 100 switches then I'd make sure that 100 separate notifications would be sent in instead of one saying that all of the switches were patched. It wouldn't be hard to script something. I'm sure the admins would be properly motivated to create one.

      I do the same type of thing when I go into a couple of stores that insist on checking backpacks when you leave. I don't go often because of their policy but sometimes I have to. They just like to do a quick glance because all of their merchandise has the magnetic stickers that set off the alarms. But I force them to look everywhere, hold everyone up, and usually in a loud voice say things like "oh that half used pack of cough drops that have obviously been in there for months, do you think I stole those? No, you are going to check everything. You've accused me of stealing from you and I'm going to prove I'm innocent."

      1. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

        It's a government agency, not some local store. The reporting requirement will be spelled out as to format and frequency and will not be discretionary. Also, there might be no requirement on the government's part to actually look at the data. My experience with US government entities (none with Australian, though) is that they thrive on collecting data, so killing them with kindness will have the opposite of the intended result.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

      That's hundreds and on a bad day thousands of change orders for a network the size of Telstra a day because any corporate VPN or large wholesale deal means a recompute of the LSP paths and a change to some or all of them to make sure they are where you want them to be to comply with contract terms.

      Someone in the attorney general's office is smoking something very cool. The really criminal bit is he is not sharing.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "However, Stanton noted the government's indication that the laws won't be used against specific vendors."

    I the laws aren't used against specific vendors then against whom are they to be used. AFAICS "against specific vendors" makes no sense at all so let's delete it.

    "the government's indication that the laws won't be used"

    So why have laws that won't be used? Because "we" (i.e. the govt.) can?

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I feel for you guys in Oz. So the national security folks have to be contacted which in itself just doesn't feel right to me. Sort of like.. 'we know you moved and now we found you again."? And approval by government... which means that someone who is probably a political appointee with no knowledge and maybe a lawyer or two will decide? Where's the guarantee of technical competence to approve?

    It started in New Zealand, now it's your turn. I wonder what country will pick up on this next? The US? GB?

    1. CanadianMacFan

      If Harper gets in again (shudder) then we'll probably see something like this here in Canada next.

  5. streaky

    Order Changes

    order changes to networks

    Including installing this little black box we have here, don't ask what it's for. Patriot Act school of network eng one assumes? Notify us of changes (honest it's nothing to do with us back-dooring your gear). I'd literally rot in jail/raise up and army before I found any of this acceptable.

    Terrorists? These guys are jokers, try fighting a few thousand people who know what the fk they're doing.

  6. Medixstiff

    Why would anyone send anything through to a Government that couldn't even protect the new ASIO offices blueprints from being stolen?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those who can't

    Always try to leverage off those who can.

    So the Australian Government internally don't know how to design/operate a network, so they pass a legislation to find out how the specialists do it?

    I hope any Telecommunication Providers with Government contracts in Australia haven't based there future on re-signing any service contracts with their Government customers.

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