Feds access 84,000 Telstra records

Government agencies accessed more than 84,000 Telstra customer records last year.

Government agencies and policing bodies accessed 84,949 Telstra customer records last financial year and according to the company’s first annual Transparency Report, only 3.9 per cent of these cases were approved by a court order or warrant.

Of the 84,949 cases of information being accessed, 6202 were related to life-threatening situations and Triple Zero emergency calls, 2701 were approved by warrants, 598 were approved by court orders and the other 75,448 were requests for carriage service records, customer information or pre-warrant checks. Telstra’s figures do not include requests from national security agencies as it is prohibited to publish such by the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act.

While Telstra received fewer than 100 requests across the countries outside of Australia in which its services operate, it reported that financial year second-half requests jumped 9 per cent from 40,644 to 44,305 in Australia. Making up around 50 per cent of the telecommunication market, it is safe to assume that other telcos have had information requested at a similar rate, taking the total number of requests to around 170,000 last financial year. This means the telecommunication customer records of seven people in every 1000 last year were accessed by a government agency of policing body, the large majority without a warrant or court order.

Read more from CNET.

Read more from The Age

Opinion: Show me your warrant

Last month, the Federal Government’s National Security Committee signed off on proposed legislation which will require telecommunication companies to retain the metadata of phone and internet users’ for two years. Attempting to explain the need for the legislation, George Brandis explained that data retention is required to battle national security risks and to keep a step ahead of terrorist groups' use of technology.

The proposed increase in the period required for data retention to two years will help our police and security forces to keep our country protected and to help in the arrest of criminals, but at what cost? The access of 75,448 Telstra customer records without a warrant or court order last financial year, making up 88.8 per cent of all data access requests, is very troubling. There is no question in my mind that the current digital laws need to be re-vamped to adjust for the changing digital landscape and the personal records of Australians need to be protected under law to allow for access by a court order, warrant or in an emergency.

What do you think? Should government agencies and policing bodies be able to access your telecommunication records without a warrant?





    COMMENTS

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    Tippie
    2nd Sep 2014
    11:45am
    Absolutely NO without a warrant. If the data is required for legitimate national security interest/serious criminal activity then a warrant is not difficult to obtain. I speak from experience. More disturbing is what else will the data be used for, perhaps identifying users that carry out unlawful downloads thereby impacting on foxtels's bottom line. It's a bonus for this govt-gotta help their best mates.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    11:58am
    You've been Spied on Forever ! Its only when TSHTF that there is anything said !!.
    Ever noticed that whatever Site You are on An Appropriate ADD will come up for whatever You are waffling on about !!..Enjoy the Privacy !
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:05pm
    Are you saying that you waffle on particolor? Never.
    What is disturbing about this government is that it has no respect for individuals. Now it is attempting to bring in laws to (legally) permit it to spy on any one of us for no real reason. This is wrong.
    If somebody is suspected of criminal activity then the various agencies should be forced to go through the coutrs. That way there is a trail if citizens are being molested by the incumbent government.
    I do not accept Scott Morrison's fob off about meta data as the intention is that the public is a lay down misere. Not on.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:14pm
    Yes You will be treated to a Treacle Pudding by a Stickybeak Polly !!
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:16pm
    COURTS LAW - bloody comedian's on this blog. they don't have those in Australia for good people, they are there only to protect and reward the criminals.
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:18pm
    sticky beak pollie stop talking about Chrissy pyne like that.
    Disco3
    2nd Sep 2014
    11:54am
    I don't see the problem here. It's metadata, so it only covers the numbers you call, how often and for how long. Should that be kept a secret? Why? It is easy to get into conspiracy theories but if anyone wants to know who I call, how often and for how long they are welcome to it!
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:02pm
    Same here !! They Might Learn Something ??
    Drew
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:04pm
    Phone metadata refers to information about a phone call, such as when it was made, whom it was made to and from, where it was made and how long it lasted.

    Internet metadata is a more complicated area, which has been anything but clarified by our politicians. It typically relates to similar information, such as what website a person accessed, for how long, where they accessed it from and any online aliases they may use.

    http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/12197/20140820/metadata-and-privacy-changes
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:09pm
    Drew ..If You called a Sex Line they could Time How Long You Lasted !!!
    KSS
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:28pm
    Yes Particolour but not what was said by whom to whom.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:45pm
    They are Missing the Good Part Maybe ??
    Drew
    2nd Sep 2014
    1:46pm
    Unfortunately particolor, they couldn't tell which end closed the call!
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    2:32pm
    Ill bet it wasn't the Rip Off End ??
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:08pm
    According to the CNet report above it looks like this is going to be a lot more than just meta data.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2014
    4:12pm
    Don't care, does not worry me. I am not a terrorist, pedophile and I am not a tax evader.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    4:18pm
    Tax Avoidance will not be Tolerated amongst the Poor !!.. Now LIFT !!
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:25pm
    Raddish: but do you make derogatory comments about the current government? I may be in some strife here.
    Anonymous
    3rd Sep 2014
    8:54am
    Yes, I will make derogatory statements and I have done so; in particular re the corrupt LIBERAL politicians in NSW. I did this recently. I say it as I see it whether it be Liberal, Labor or Greens etc. I am not a fan of Tony Abbott...we could have a better leader but as I stated in a previous post I do not vote for personalities.
    Anonymous
    3rd Sep 2014
    8:56am
    I might add why just pick on me...what about others on here who are rusted on Labor supporters who never, ever, say a derogatory thing about Labor.
    particolor
    3rd Sep 2014
    9:05am
    Yeah Radish .Well I think LABOR are a lot of Losers ..For letting The LIBS outlie them !! There !!!
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:05pm
    I don't Care !! They do it anyhow !!.. Dorry aint Dead .."Why wasn't I Told ?"
    KSS
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:34pm
    The collection of metadata is akin to the post office counting envelopes going to a particular place. They are not opening them and reading the contents. To do that they do need and will need a warrant.

    Anyone who has ever used a computer to access the internet or send an e-mail has left a footprint that cannot be erased. Stop using modern technology if you have a problem with that. Every search engine, browser and even facebook and other social media are mining this information and using it against (?) you. This legislation is just formalising what is already happening.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    12:50pm
    I virtually said that above !! I've noticed it for Years !! Nothing is Sacred !!
    They are Welcome ...Big Brother !!
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:10pm
    Meta data is a bit more than that. it can pin-point where you have been, for how long and when. I heard that it was used in a legal case in the last 12 months.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:29pm
    Its been around since Elliott Ness knew where Al Capone was going !!
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:37pm
    But not in Australia. And the laws regarding privacy have probably strengthened since then too.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    4:20pm
    On NCIS they can tell You what Street Corner You stopped on to Scratch Your Backside !!!
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:20pm
    They may even scratch it for you?
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:26pm
    You crack me up particolor...no pun intended.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:41pm
    Confuse us Say ... Lady Aviatrix who fly Upside-down have Crackup !!
    Tippie
    3rd Sep 2014
    11:42am
    In a previous life I collected and used meta data so I know exactly what it is, and it is just like auspost counting letters, it is huge. It is an excellent tool for law enforcement to catch the bad guys, but it MUST be obtained lawfully. I don't trust a govt that are using threatening and bullying tactics to cover up the illegall tapping of private cabinet meetings of the East Timor government by the former Howard govt. remember politicians lie and will do whatever it takes to remain in power and to cover up their lies. Both sides of politics do it, trust a pollie, no likely
    particolor
    3rd Sep 2014
    11:52am
    Sewer Rats are Dangerous !!
    Emps
    2nd Sep 2014
    2:38pm
    Certain "Keywords" initiate examination of online content. I won't name them so as not to invite black helicopters over my house
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    2:59pm
    The Satellite has Googled in on Your House now ! Just for saying that !!
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:11pm
    Google Earth is not real time is it?
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:21pm
    No ! I don't think it is real time ? but it is an Instant location device ! I've tried it !! Have You ??..Its fun for looking up old Addresses Etc !! I saw a Brand New house on the Block where I used to live ?? Very Interesting !! Look up places where You used to live as a Kid Mick and You will be surprised !!..Its something to do in an Idle Moment .....
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:39pm
    An idle moment? One poster was cheesed off with my dogedness (wuff) and demans to stay with the facts and told me to get a life. And you reckon I have a spare moment? Working on it!!
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    4:13pm
    I snoop around the Net for Hours sometimes finding things I'm Interested in !! And I don't give a Stuff who is tracking Me !! They might get an Education and a Life at the same time !!
    Ruralnurse
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:15pm
    Anything that will help in the fight against terrorism is legit in my view.
    Australians should not have anything to hide anyway. There is nothing in my mail etc to hide. Anyone who has even the smallest knowledge of the internet should know we are being spied upon. Google and Yahoo being amongst the worst offenders. Install an anti tracking app on your computer. There are many. I use Do not track me and it works fine.
    You would be amazed who is tracking you.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:24pm
    Great Idea ?? Now You are being Tracked PRIVATELLY !!
    MICK
    2nd Sep 2014
    3:42pm
    "Terrorism" is the word of choice to used get the public to agree. Its a con from a government which lied its way in, so what else would one expect.
    It is my hope that the public and media reject this as the courts are the only legitimate facility to allow this. At least the media has sel interest so maybe it will not get up.
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:17pm
    as long as it's not his privates. should be okay, unless they contain metadata.
    unicorn
    2nd Sep 2014
    4:51pm
    They're WELCOME TO MINE. AS I DO NOT GO THROUGH TELSTRA i doubt if it means much. Someone may enlighten me.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:24pm
    I think it all goes through Telstra !! Yours is only Your Provider ??
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:34pm
    Whether from a Great Height or Copper or Fibre Cable have comfort in the Fact that You are being Snooped Upon !!
    Foxy
    2nd Sep 2014
    7:33pm
    ....thought it was HELLSTRA ??? lol lol lol
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2014
    7:51pm
    And when its down I call it NOTELLSTRA...
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2014
    5:05pm
    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/newstart/protect-our-young-jobseekers/protect-our-young-jobseekers?t=dXNlcmlkPTI0ODUzMzMsZW1haWxpZD01NjAz
    Reeper
    3rd Sep 2014
    2:48pm
    If it is only metadata, then there has been a lot of hooha over nothing. Regardless, in this technological age, the government could access telecommunications records and say nothing; I would rather they access these records openly and with every users knowledge. Lets face it, your Telco has plenty of information on you and they are a commercial company with very few checks on whether that information is passed on...who would know? As for the crap about identifying illegal downloaders, all the Telcos have agreed to block it anyway, so some people need pull their heads in and get a grip on what information the government wants access to ...if needed!
    margot_reine
    5th Sep 2014
    7:24am
    1984. this spy system has been around since 1985, this spying on citizens. What do you think the 'spooks' are doing in Canberra, and it is Snowdon that has finally brought us this 'surprising' news. I've nothing to hide, so I am in the clear. Doing things illegally? then you will get caught. If you do something wrong, then you deserve the consequences. We have to protect our other citizens - the other 20odd million somehow. And if it takes spying, then it takes spying. Gosh they already have most of this information in any case, just not who we are phoning. They can't hear the conversation (Yet)
    unicorn
    16th Sep 2014
    6:50am
    I have just become 1 less Telsrra user for them to check on, at last after years of putting up with lousy service and higher than necessary prices we have got out of their clutches so they can go jump as far as I am concerned.
    particolor
    16th Sep 2014
    8:33am
    Worst luck is I've still got a year to go Before I JOIN YOU !! Far too expensive for what You Get ??


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