We live in a world where both people and governments are becoming more and more paranoid about each other and their neighbors every day. Over the past few years, we’ve seen how the international political community has been rocked by the leaking of intelligence data regarding the NSA and the US government spying on both friends, its own civilians, and foes. While it’s an unspoken acknowledgement that all countries spy on each other regardless of relations, the US broke the cardinal rule of not getting caught. Now, as this sense of technological paranoia continues to grow, a new Australian law aimed at data retention and surveillance has begun today.
This newest law is proving to be controversial to say the least. It requires telecommunication companies to to hold on to metadata for 2 years, allowing the Australian government to access said data for security purposes. The companies would hold on to data including who called or texted, the amount of data sent/time spent on a call, the locations, the device used, the email IP data, and more. Holding on to this information would allow the government to access it easier and use it to pursue national security interests and concerns. With the rise of extremism and terrorism in all aspects of society, this sort of data can be used to learn about and prevent attacks of any sort before they begin.
As anyone can expect, this new law has been proving very controversial in Australia since it was first brought up. While the government claims that the law is necessary for protection from terrorism, both domestic and external, privacy activists and other citizens are claiming a breach of privacy and the possibility for racial and religious profiling. Along with claims of the law demanding too much information for crimes that are both major and minor, another concern is that a warrant is no longer needed to request any of this information.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.