Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is worried about the security of your shit, and has slammed the Australian government’s proposed rules surrounding the retention of metadata as a “human rights violation” in a recent Fairfax interview.
Under the federal government’s current plan, telecommunications providers will be required to store the private data of every phone and internet user for a minimum of two years, on the off chance you might be doing something dodgy.
They’ll be made to store information about the duration and location of phone calls, as well as similar information about emails, and will be compelled to turn said info over to bodies like the Federal Police and the ACCC without the requirement of a warrant.
Wales, who is looking to bring his telco TPO to Australia in the coming year or two, and would therefore be required to abide by the proposed laws, was harshly critical of the plan.
“With proper judicial oversight, probable cause, warrants, judges and not just police overseeing it, the ability to get access to information is perfectly valid,” he said.
“Warrantless systems really bother me because I think there’s a real danger of them being abused and misused against people who haven’t committed a crime,” he continued.
He made a comparison to Russia, saying that countries where governments have access to the phone record of citizens are prone to injustice.
In an unrelated but still pretty hilarious turn of events, the ABC’s Lateline recently set up a hidden camera to test people’s willingness to give away private information in real-life situations.
They had a cafe worker behave as an app would, asking customers personal questions about their email addresses and there whereabouts the night before.
People were, not surprisingly, fairly shocked to hear these questions coming from a fellow human,unwilling to give away info that they would without a second thought on the internet.
Under Australia’s new plan, law enforcement and other government bodies would have unfettered access to exactly the same information.
Photo: Nadine Rupp via Getty Images