Print 49 comment(s) - last by Autisticgramma.. on Oct 4 at 2:50 PM

Country claims Orwellian measures are necessary to fight "white collar crime"

Steve Dalby has a big problem.  As the chief regulatory officer at Australian internet service provider iiNet Ltd. (ASX:IIN), he tells the Sydney Morning Herald that his company is struggling sustain the $3M USD a month service the government is demanding to spy on its citizens.

I. Orwellian Plan Could Cost Telecoms $3M USD a Month

Other service providers like Telstra Comp., Ltd. (ASX:TLS) are flat-out refusing to comply saying the government order to spy on everything from a user's Google Inc. (GOOG) searches to storing the numbers involved in their encrypted payments via eBay, Inc.'s (EBAY) PayPal is not only a gross invasion of privacy -- it's also likely illegal.

Security director Darren Kane told the SMH, "We cannot capture or provide any metadata or any content around something like Gmail because it is Google-owned, it is offshore and it is over the top of our network.  The real value of what we might have in a data retention scheme would be greatly diminished as soon as the organised criminals and potential terrorists knew that we were not capturing that data."

big brother is watching
Australia wants to "watch" its citizens' every digital communications. [Image Source: DeviantArt]

But that's precisely what the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) wants access to full access to all user metadata, including usernames and passwords.  It also wants to intercept and store copies of citizens' emails, social media chats, and text messages.

ASIC officials claim that handing ubiquitous spy powers to government regulators will help the ASIC fight "white collar crime".  But collecting the information may actually create criminal opportunity, as Telstra points out.  And industry officials suggest that the plan could cost up to $400M USD to put in place, plus potentially tens, if not hundreds of millions a month to maintain a full watch over users' data.

II. U.S. Presidential Candidates are Eyeing Similar Efforts

Australia is a pretty punitive nation when it comes to internet law enforcement, having been among the few to contemplate a "strikes" plan to disconnect users' internet.  But it's far from alone.  The Obama and Bush administrations both worked to bolster frameworks to allow non-transparentwarrantlessubiquitous spying.  This is unlikely to change as both the current President and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have defending domestic spying.

Mr. Romney expressed a viewpoint narrowly in line with the President's plugging warrantless wiretaps in an interview, stating, "If it means we have to go into a mosque to wiretap or a church, then that's exactly where we are gonna go, because we are going to do whatever it takes to protect the American people. And I hear from time to time people say, 'Hey, wait a sec, we have civil liberties to worry about', but don't forget... the most important civil liberty I expect from my government is my right to be kept alive."

Much like Australia, the U.S. is currently considering heaping a plan to sever "frequent" pirates' internet on top of the growing framework of non-transparent, warrantless surveillance methods.

In both nations the big pushback is coming from interne service providers and internet software service providers like Google.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By StevoLincolnite on 9/28/2012 7:41:27 PM , Rating: 0
That's why you have the right to bear arms, you know.

Except in Australia you don't have the right.
You need a permit before you can have that right, and if you don't meet the requirements, that right will be taken away.

With that said... We don't really need guns, Australian Media is some of the most free in the world, as soon as the Government even sneezes wrongly the media is all over it which can effect the party getting into power next election.

Banning guns probably won't work in a country such as the U.S.A, but here if you ask most Australian's they're actually very happy with the decision.

By Justin Time on 9/28/2012 11:26:12 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, gun ownership in Australia is not a 'right' - it's a privilege, that you need to justify and earn.

While it is not a cure for illegal gun use (criminals don't obey laws) as an Australian, I'm very glad that it's not a 'right' and that everyone doesn't have easy access.

However, privacy is another issue... I would have thought that a bit more of a 'right' - although not much is actually a 'right' in our constitution.

The current plans for data-retention and access haven't been fully thought through yet.

5 years of even meta-data, let alone actual data (as ASIC have suggested) will require a stupendous amount of storage space. I suspect that once the ISPs provide the authorities with the full projected costings, there will be a serious rethink.

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By bobogo2013 on 9/29/2012 2:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
Banning guns probably won't work in a country such as the U.S.A, but here if you ask most Australian's they're actually very happy with the decision.

Actually... the sheeple in the "U.S.A." are very happy to give over their supposed "rights". I wonder if anyone ever realized that a "right" is something you can accept or deny... hmm...

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By Lerianis on 9/30/2012 8:30:09 AM , Rating: 3
Not as many as you think. I personally speak out against these violations of Constitutional rights on a regular basis and 99% of people are with me in that these spying programs are overzealous.

The bottom line is that this ubiquitous spying will NOT prevent anything. Terrorists are smart enough to know how to use TOR, encryption, stenography, etc.

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By jeffkro on 10/1/2012 9:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
They also use the extremely low tech currier technique

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By Revoran on 10/1/2012 10:58:54 AM , Rating: 3
Australian Media is some of the most free in the world

Actually nearly all Australian media is owned by just a couple of companies who control all news content you and I get to see.

Ten is owned by Gina Rhinehart and James Packer/WIN. Rupert Murdoch's son is the CEO.

That is just an example of how concentrated media ownership is in Australia. We literally have some of the most concentrated media ownership in the world.

Not including ABC and SBS of course.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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