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 Zaranthos on 9/29/2012 12:48:12 PM , Rating: 3
Really? Yet violent crime is worse in England. Less guns has made you less safe according to the data. You may have less firearms injuries and death but you're more likely to get raped, robbed, and beaten. I think I'll keep the guns and just be diligent my family uses them wisely. You think you're safer with less guns but the facts don't back that up.

RE: Just remember this, my friends.
By Lerianis on 9/30/2012 8:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for posting this. I was just about to bring up that people in the U.K. and Australia are much more likely to be robbed, raped and beaten because they have made personal defense weapons (including knives) almost totally illegal.

By martin5000 on 9/30/2012 12:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
In the UK pretty much anything can be recorded as violent crime for any petty reason such as if you verbally abused someone, this massively skews the statistics.

The murder rate in the USA is 4x that per capita than the UK, that is hardly consistent with the UK being as dangerous as you make it sound.

By Autisticgramma on 10/4/2012 2:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
The US constitution says all men are created equal. In god's eyes maybe.

However, as a 6'+ male, I can tell you this isn't true. Guns are equalizers, plain and simple. Gramma can take you out! and thank goodness. Protection is why historical (think old functional cultures i.e. India.) family units include grand parents. In America, this isn't the case, gramma has her own house. Guns, no one knows if you have one, are the reason.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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