By Alex Kidman
Metadata retention has been on the table for a lot longer than the current government has been in power, however, and I think it’s wise to at least stop and consider what we’d be giving away, not in return for a product or service as in the online shopping sense, in return for “safety” that might not be there at all.
We’ve watched as the government first mooted its metadata policy — and to be fair, although it’s impossible to write about government policy without it becoming a political discussion, the previous Labor government also sought similar schemes — and as it has hilariously stumbled over matters as simple as a definition of metadata.
We at least now have a better idea of what the government is considering thanks to the leak of ISP consultation documents yesterday, although that hasn’t stopped George Brandis from essentially vacillating on metadata definitions during recent Senate hearings, declaring that “this is a term that does not have a precise definition.
Given the scope of some of the data being sought, and the fact that there are situations in my opinion where civil disobedience in the face of “the law” can be justified, simply filing government metadata surveillance as “anti-terrorism” is extremely blinkered and limiting.
Read more here: Gizmodo