On Thursday, the nation woke up to some serious changes to their online habits, as data retention laws convincingly passed through the Senate, effectively leaving every single one of us vulnerable to data searches sans a warrant (tl;dr about the mechanics of this: ISPs will be required to retain customers’ data for two years. NB: this data does not contain the content of one’s communication – literally reading your emails and such still requires a warrant, but information such as the time, date and destination of phone calls, emails and text messages will be available). Welcome, fellow citizens, to an Orwellian situation that would delight Big Brother himself.
Today, a Fairfax report on the logistics of how the data retention laws will be managed on a day-to-day basis has been revealed, claiming that around 2500 officials will be responsible for managing the country’s metadata retention, and will be allowed to request and access phone and internet records of individuals across the country.
Fairfax claims that a “great majority” of these data retention vigilantes happen to be police officers, and will effectively be rolling around your shiz like pigs (pun intended) in mud.
According to Fairfax, NSW police officers make up 900 positions of the 2500 “officials”; Victoria police contributes 400 and Queensland adds 300. Beyond these numbers, the ATO, the ACCC, the Australian Crime Commission and the NSW ICAC all have staff who are able to approve requests on accessing metadata.
The passing of the data retention laws in the Senate on Wednesday evening was won in a Labor and Coalition voting block, winning 43 votes to 16.
Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlam was among the 16 who voted against the laws, and tore the move to shreds in the below video. Remember, kids: VPNs, offshore email servers like gmail, and messenger apps like Facebook are your friends even more than they were before.
Via The Age.