The Department of Censorship the Attorney-General has announced that it is considering a European style data retention system, which would require ISPs to log the phone calls and internet activities of its customers. This was revealed on ZDNet a last Friday.

So, it appears that the Federal Government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that its citizens cannot be trusted. Or, if you please, you may insert some other sweeping generality pertaining to our rights as citizens.

Frankly, I am not surprised. I am not pleased with the announcement, but I am not surprised. Currently, ISPs are required to give law enforcement data on customers only once a court order is produced. Under the proposed scheme, ISPs wold be required to log all traffic from all customers, essentially treating each piece of digital communication as suspect. There are claims that this will make the internet, that raucous no space place without politics or limitations, ‘safer’.

Combined with the proposed mandatory internet filter and the internet will become so safe that nothing bad will happen ever again. Ever.

I suppose I could wax lyrical about how governments are trying to reign in an ever growing medium that they cannot control. I could rant that the mandatory filter and the proposed data retention scheme is tantamount to burning books. I could maybe scheme with my friends about ways to subvert the system. Really, all I want to do is ask the government to consult the public on important policy proposals. 

I honestly believe in the principles of democracy. Hopefully the Australian government does as well. Otherwise, I know which party will get my vote at the next election.


Our friend, Big Brother…

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