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 FaaR on 9/29/2012 9:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
That's why you have the right to bear arms, you know.

Because millions of firearms in the hands of every joe out there is what stopped the patriot act, and warrantless surveillance, and warrantless wiretapping, and...?

Puh-leeze. You actually believe that claptrap yourself? You even as much as wave your gun in the face of the US gov't, you'll see just how far that supposed right to bear actually gets you...

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By glenco on 9/30/2012 11:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
wow, some common sense on this site

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By rdhood on 10/3/2012 5:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Because millions of firearms in the hands of every joe out there is what stopped the patriot act, and warrantless surveillance, and warrantless wiretapping, and...? Puh-leeze. You actually believe that claptrap yourself?

The second amendment was not created as a deterrent to prevent the U.S. lawmakers from passing laws. Read the Declaration of Independence. There may come a day when citizens have to fight the governement, but none of the infringements upon our freedoms has come anywhere near a declaration of war against our own government.

I suspect that when we have U.S. troops stationed in every town acting as a police force, when national marshal law is enacted, when the government in-power decides that elections are no longer necessary, when I am no longer allowed to get in my car and go where I want, when there is a video camera in my house that the government can view at any time... etc, etc, etc, THEN we may need to organize an insurrection. I think that we are a LONG way from that right now.

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