Alarming police metadata access

Victorian police officers sought access to customer metadata 63,000 times in 2013/14.

Alarming police metadata access

There is currently a parliamentary inquiry as to whether phone and internet firms should be forced to hold customer data (metadata) for at least two years. Information provided to the inquiry shows that Victorian police officers sought authorisation to access customer data 63,000 times in 2013/14, just over 1200 times a week. When applied nationally on a per capita basis, and including the average of the past five years provided by the Australian Federal Police, we come up with around 277,060 requests for data last year.

Privacy advocates have warned that the implementation of forced data retention for telecommunications companies would see this yearly request for access rise significantly.

The Secretary of the Victorian Police Association, Ron Iddles, has defended the frequency of access to private metadata records, arguing that current request rates were reasonable and equated to one request per week from each detective in the force.

Mr Iddles also pointed out that without access to metadata, many serious crimes would remain unsolved. The recent high profile case of Jill Meagher is a particular example where metadata was the core evidential component in tracking down and convicting the accused party.

"We were able to track a particular phone which was contrary to the account which was given by the accused,” said Mr Iddles. "We were able to track Jill Meagher's phone through this data to where her location was, to where she was buried, and show that only one phone came back.

Read more from ABC.net.au

Read more from SMH.com.au

Opinion: Privacy versus security

Crime fighting and prevention techniques continue to evolve and the use of metadata by the police force is the biggest advance of the 21st century. No matter who you are or what you do statistics show that, more than likely, you are walking around with a mobile phone turned on in your pocket. Whether you are making a phone call, sending or receiving a text message, or simply have your phone turned on, your phone is sending data back to your telecommunication company which is then being recorded as metadata.

Since the word metadata hit the headlines last year, privacy advocates have been making out that when police access your metadata, they can read or listen to communications, which simply isn’t true. A phone-based metadata request will provide the police with the account holder’s name, time and duration of calls made, as well as the location of the device at the time a call is made. Internet based metadata requests provide police with even less information, with just IP addresses and email addresses used in internet communications revealed.

The reason why the current parliamentary inquiry is so important for police and security agencies is because some telecommunication companies have shown resistance to retaining metadata for more than short-term periods, while others have stopped keeping records, because the way they charge customers can change.

The police are only accessing the metadata required to solve crimes, so I cannot understand the reasoning put up by privacy advocates to prevent the mandatory telecommunication industry metadata retention plans. As long as we allow access to metadata records, the police will have the best opportunity possible to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice.

What do you think? Are you concerned that your private telecommunication information could be accessed by the police? Or is it a case of if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about?





    COMMENTS

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    DTB
    15th Jan 2015
    10:33am
    I see no issue with examining the metadata of persons suspected of being involved in the commission of a serious offence - plus, they are not simply 'fishing expeditions', as I believe that the police must justify any request for such access to Supreme Court Judge, who ultimately authorises, or declines, the request.

    The Supreme Court is where civil liberties are balance against the value of access to metadata and what it might prove.

    Bottom line - Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
    Pass the Ductape
    15th Jan 2015
    6:05pm
    Until it pops up out of the blue one day and affects you!
    Anonymous
    16th Jan 2015
    10:33pm
    DTB everything you said was great until you got to the last bit "nothing to hide, nothing to fear".

    Unfortunately, that catch cry is, to me, alarming….. Ductape is correct….. having 'nothing to hide' doesn't mean that it won't affect you.

    Do you have an opinion that differs from the government and voice that opinion?

    Do you NOT accept police corruption and speak out about it?

    Do you support your local group that doesn't agree with 'fracking' and help take action against the fracking corporation?

    Do you sign petitions to help people take on large banks or insurance corporations when they refuse to pay out legitimate claims?

    Do you support Julian Assange and his right to report government and corporate MALFEASANCE and CORRUPTION?

    Do you support Edward Snowdon when he revealed that his government was breaking American and International laws and collecting megadata on all Americans AND the rest of the world (yes, Australia too)?

    Any of these things could allow 'them' to make up a dossier on you and use it to BRAND you or simply remove you from the streets for interrogation for a specified period which at least in Australia can not be extended unless a judge agrees (in the USA you can disappear forever with NO recourse whatsoever). I can guarantee that when you get out, you will not be the same person that went in!
    Disco3
    15th Jan 2015
    11:08am
    I agree with DTB; metadata can provide evidence to support other evidence that particular persons MAY be involved in illegal or hostile activities.
    bartpcb
    15th Jan 2015
    11:10am
    We need to make our minds up. Do we want the police to be able to catch the bad guys or not. As long as the data is used for investigative purposes and to secure safe prosecutions what is the problem. You can't slang of at the police for lack of efficiency after you've tied their hands behind their backs with dumb arsed legislation. The number of times I've heard people say "Why aren't the police doing their job"? And they're the same people who cry like babies when the police pick their son or daughter up for some crime and say, "Why don't the police go after real criminals".
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2015
    11:20pm
    True, if you have nothing to hide it should not be a problem. If it helps to take the terrorists & general garbage off the streets I'm all for it.
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    11:21am
    Benjamin Franklin said it best : "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

    And for those that are saying "I've got nothing to hide, so nothing to fear", you need to read this: https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/you-may-have-nothing-hide-you-still-have-something-fear

    Essentially, I have nothing to hide but does it mean that I want the government knowing my business, who I call, what I do or where I go throughout the day or which websites I visit. No, I do not. And purely the fact that I don't want them to know, does not infer guilt of anything.

    The Government pretty much writes their own rules. Once they have access to data, who knows what they will do with it. Police *should* justify requests for access is it possible that they might also be granted access without having to have the requests rubber stamped in future. What about ASIO, the NSA/FBI/CIA, the UK Government? Will our data automatically be shared with them? What right do they have to know what we do as individuals?
    Jen
    15th Jan 2015
    11:57am
    That's what worries me, where does it end? Is it open to abuse? Of course it is.
    Patriot
    15th Jan 2015
    12:56pm
    100% supported
    pamelafro
    15th Jan 2015
    1:59pm
    Some truth in this, but look at the source - American Civil Liberties Union.
    Gra
    15th Jan 2015
    2:43pm
    They can set up camp in my loungeroom for all I care. Would not worry me a bit so long as they took their shoes off first. Who in their right mind would rely on any information put out by the ACLU anyway, I would have as much faith in them as I would the Ayatollah Khumaini.
    As per usual there is always someone ready to sow the seed of fear but like DTB, Disco3 and Bartpcb said, we need police and our security services to have the ability to gain evidence as quickly as possible when investigating suspects. Don't moan and groan when terrorists do their foul deeds because police haven't been able to do their job because of restrictions placed on how they gain and use evidence.
    Reeper
    15th Jan 2015
    3:14pm
    I think you need to understand what is happening a little better. The government is not accessing your information, only requiring your ISP/Telecom provider to retain the metadata from your services. If, and only if, Police or Security services can prove accessing this data is appropriate will that data be given to them. It still doesn't tell them what you did on your phone or internet, only calls you made and services you accessed
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    3:22pm
    Those are not the only things that will be logged. Metadata covers a whole host of information, including location at time of call, duration of call, who you called. If you access the internet from your phone, they can also log the websites you visit and when. I think it is you that needs to be better informed as to what metadata is. Are you George Brandis by any chance? ;-)

    Here's an example of what metadata is and what data can be gleaned from it:

    http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/what-we-found-when-we-captured-senator-david-leyonhjelms-metadata-20141219-1242rf.html
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    3:46pm
    For those who say they have nothing to hide and have nothing to fear, remember that millions of Jews throughout Europe felt the same way before the Gestapo came knocking.
    niemakawa
    15th Jan 2015
    4:05pm
    Wally, unfortunately we have given away many of our rights in exchange for all the services that people demand from Governments. Now they have us where they want us and it will continue until the next revolution.
    Hasbeen
    15th Jan 2015
    6:10pm
    Woody just stop visiting those places you wouldn't want your wife or your kids to know about, & you'll be fine.

    Just how important do you think you are. If the cops were to try trawling through the information they already have on every little tin pot crook, they would need a cast of millions to do it. To do it through the information they have on a bunch of dead boring old farts is basically impossible, let alone useless.

    Simmer down, take a quick Bex, a cup of tea & a nice lie down, & you'll be fine by morning.
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    7:23pm
    Aaaaahh, Hasbeen. Luv yuh :)
    Woody
    19th Jan 2015
    12:03pm
    Hasbeen, you seem to forget that the days of manual sifting through information are over. There are computer algorithms that do the sifting for you, highlighting suspect data for further analysis - these algorithms are refined further and further over time based on previous information they have highlighted to make them more effective at weeding out false positives. Have you heard of the term 'big data' yet? The more data they have (on a person for instance), the more that can be inferred.
    particolor
    19th Jan 2015
    12:15pm
    Well I home MY Inferences are Deferred Forerever ??..Thanks Woody
    Not a Bludger
    15th Jan 2015
    12:09pm
    Again left leaning moaning - the more info that VICPOL have , the safer I feel
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:11pm
    YES !! I'm not looking over My shoulder half as much now, after reading this !!
    professori_au
    19th Jan 2015
    8:47pm
    Yes but who will protect you from the police. Read the Horvath v Victoria case. There are many other cases I could list. However, let me make it quite plain, I am not attaching the many reputable police officers but have concern where complaints are made they are investigated by the police themselves. I learnt in the public service several things from the culture. First protect the department, then protect the minister and then find a scape goat, usually not from management or executive. Any investigations of complaints should be done by and autonomous organisation with wide ranging powers that allow them to get to the truth. Unfortunately there will always be some who will abuse their power and these should be weeded out.
    Judy in the hills
    15th Jan 2015
    12:17pm
    Certainly, if you've nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear. You never know, it may help you in the long run.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    7:54am
    Or run faster longer ?
    Idontforget
    15th Jan 2015
    12:20pm
    You lefties, greenheads and selfish people. Give a legitimate argument, without spin and conjecture and tell the public what is wrong with Police or other Government agencies accessing who I may have rung, where from and how long I talked if it was to save lives or solve a serious crime, read Jill Meagher. Just get off your toad stool down in the bottom of the garden and come into the front yard or do you want to stay there and float around with the fairies.
    brandydog
    15th Jan 2015
    12:38pm
    This is the first time I've posted on this site, so I obviously feel strongly about this issue. Police accessing metadata of suspects would appear to be a logical way of obtaining info. If it prevents one terrorist attack, one drug deal or the abuse of one child then why argue against its use, unless of course you have a skeleton in your closet.
    Pass the Ductape
    15th Jan 2015
    6:10pm
    With a tag of 'brandydog' - I'd love to know what skeleton you've got hiding in the closet! :)
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:19pm
    As long as the "b" is not a Typo Ductape were safe ??
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    11:32pm
    I had a cocker spaniel named Brandy 'cos he had a strawberry blonde coat.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    11:33pm
    Or maybe a silent "B"?
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:22am
    Its the Silent "F***'s" I worry about !!
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    9:56am
    Seriously brandydog, I agree with what you're saying.
    Some are so concerned about this invasion of privacy & take it personally,
    but forget about ultimate, possible & positive outcomes.
    When the world changes, we have to change with it.
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    9:59am
    And, the times they are a changin'..............
    Not Amused
    15th Jan 2015
    12:38pm
    Police are not interested in the nonsense people write on the internet or email content. They merely want to be given the tools that help them prevent and solve crimes and lives. Let them do their job, by whatever means. I feel safe with them looking after us.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    11:35pm
    I hope you are right.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    7:51am
    Will they be around to Tuck Us In at night ?
    clydecladidlehopper
    15th Jan 2015
    12:45pm
    Who is going to pay for the storage of all this metadata? I certainly don't want to pay extra to store my metadata so that someone else can access it later.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:21pm
    Plus GST !!
    niemakawa
    15th Jan 2015
    7:30pm
    They'll put it in a bottle and throw it in the ocean and see where it turns up.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:50pm
    Your safe !! They're not after Diddlehopper Info !! YET ??
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    12:55pm
    There are hundreds of thousands of terrorists out there so you have to examine all of the files.
    Seriously, the real issue is what is the reason for examining so many files. Is this connected to the Tax Office, are governments building files on people who oppose them or is there another reason? It is about time our elected representatives told us the TRUTH...something which they routinely choose not to do.
    As I keep saying: vote Independent and lets rid the nation of the dishonest and crooked eggs we routinely put into office.
    maxchugg
    15th Jan 2015
    2:17pm
    Gee, Mick, for once I'm almost agreeing with you. But seriously, you want our politicians to be honest? You want them to tell the truth? Seriously?
    Julia Gillard wound up in a spot of bother mainly because of one particular lie (or was it a non-core promise), then along comes Tony Abbott with so many lies he makes Julia Gillard look like Mother Theresa.
    I don't like the idea of voting for independents much either. Not impressed with Andrew Wilkie or Tony Windsor, and we won't mention Jacquie Lambie!
    My rule of thumb is to always vote for the opposition, because most good politicians almost invariably go bad when they get power. And if you chuck them out before they become eligible for parliamentary pensions, so much the better.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    3:43pm
    mick, is the rumour true that in your dictionary a terrorist is someone who does not agree with you 100% of the time? Or is it just people who vote LNP? Or both?
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:04am
    mick likes LNP's stance on terrorism & illegal immigration,
    but now,
    has less Labor/Independents/Greens agreeing with him,
    -- and seems to be impaled on the fence !
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    10:23am
    Of course you would not want your business known if you were minimising your tax by sending your money off shore mick. By the way did you buy that place in Japan?
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    10:28am
    I will vote for ALA.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    11:22am
    Me too. I would rather have a meaningful voice in the parliament than have some of the nutters we now have. Anti hoons, Sex, ???? What on earth is going on???
    I was happy to hear of a new party starting called the 'Small Business Party' a spokesperson said that if all small businesses hired 1 employee next week then 2 million more people would have a job.
    Both major parties when in Government do not see the need for a stand alone Ministerial portfolio for small business and yet it is the motor of our economy.
    The unions need to recognise that by being bloody minded they are losing their relevance, and will soon fall over themselves in a heap while the rest of the country walk over them. Frankly the unions should return to their original raison d’être. Advocacy for the battler. They should leave the complex jobs of economic management, security and well being of the population to those who have the political will and intestinal fortitude.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    11:52am
    I thin ALA will prove very popular.
    Thinking along the same lines.

    Have always had those thoughts about unions, Frank.
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    12:57pm
    You know what ? I was born, in Australia, a long, long time ago. I have thoroughly enjoyed living here most of my life. Had a couple of stints working/living in a couple of other countries. I feel my Government(s) have some flaws etc, my ADF (especially with my Son still serving for 34 years) doing a great job, my state (Qld) Police doing a pretty good job protecting me and mine, my Health Department saving my life on two occasions etc etc etc and a lot of other 'pros' contributing to me feeling pretty lucky to live here I'm not going to get too paranoiac about this issue. Also feel that some who feel so passionately about should feel free to try living in some other paradise like, say......????? (place suggestions here) :D
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    1:35pm
    Oh, forgot to say that I spent a little time in the ADF when younger, have raised a family of three bright kids, have lots of happy grandchildren and one great grandchild all living happily in Australia. It Is Good. p.s. the sun came up OK this morning also BUT someone in authority didn't tell me what time it would do so.....mumble, mumble, whinge, whinge, bitch, bitch etc ;)
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    3:28pm
    I hear you bob! What is the point in having the services of a well trained ADF, Security Agencies, State and Federal Police then tying one hand behind their back when we need them the most?
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    5:28pm
    Absolutely !! I like to think that the highest percentage of Australians working in all vital Australian Services are working earnestly and efficiently for the benefit of all Australians and CAN be trusted and relied upon !! I know that not everyone is perfect and that applies to every place in the world BUT I do believe that we are fortunate to have a lot of good people doing a good job for us most of the time. I get sick of naysayers, knockers, moaners, conspiracy believers and those who do nothing but whinge about everything and everybody and who, I suspect, have probably never contributed much for the betterment of their fellow citizens. If you can't believe in your fellow Australians and acknowledge their integrity and the value of the country that you live in, it may be better to get out from under the rock and go find somewhere else to live that will make you a more contented person. There we go.....rant over ;)
    ghoti
    15th Jan 2015
    10:53pm
    So, heyyybob, if someone wants to make our paradise a bit better, they should go find somewhere else to live? This country is pretty bloody good, but it ain't perfect, you know.
    From whom did Victorian police officers seek authorisation to access customer data over 1200 times per week? Did the judges, or whoever they were, ever seek information other than what the police provided? I doubt it. Such a "safeguard" is a farce.
    There have been cases where bad apples have checked up on their wives' movements, who she's calling, and so on. If a system can be abused or corrupted, rest assured that it will be.
    A freedom surrendered will NEVER be regained. I'm opposed to any more government interference in our lives than we already have.
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    11:59pm
    So, Ghoti, who wants to make our paradise a bit better ??? Who says ?? Who decides ? Not one or two or three or even four who may spout suppositions, 'beliefs', internet rumours. To quote you ....'did the judges, or whoever they were, ever seek information other than what the police provided ? I doubt it." If you doubt it - get proof and quote it before scare-mongering. THAT is being farcical. Quote definite 'cases where bad apples etc etc'. Who, if anyone said everything in paradise is perfect, or anywhere else in this imperfect world ? It is easy to be a gho(s)t and quote unsubstantiated 'facts' but better and more convincing and constructive to state facts with proof ;) Go for it :) Set yourself apart from the naysayers, knockers, moaners, conspiracy believers and those who do nothing but whinge and seem to thrive on the internet sometimes :(
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:14am
    Hold My Hand !
    I'm a stranger in Paradise........
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    9:56am
    Particolor, are there not 72 V's with you.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:11am
    Yes Heyyybob, This is a wonderful country,
    and whatever it takes to protect our freedom & way of life,
    it's definitely worth it!
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    7:19pm
    No it was a Con Job !! You get 72 of His Goats to Feed and Water !!
    professori_au
    16th Jan 2015
    9:32pm
    Our defence organisations have been downsized to the extent that I believe that if we were attacked it would be a walkover. Our intellectually challenged governments have outsourced our equipment to other countries. If war broke out where is our trained and experienced maintenance personnel coming from. We could e.g. be at war with the country our government has outsourced the manufacture of our military, naval and air force. Our manufacture and maintenance should be done here in Australia and don't tell me we do not have the trained and experienced people. Whose fault is that. Penny pinching government have cut our education and training to bare bones to save money so they can look good supporting the USA in wars they should have kept their noses out. Abbott and Costello, sorry Hockey, thinking of comedians but I had better not insult the comedians have signed secret agreements that allow multi corporations to sue us if they are denied markets they believe they are entitled. sorry they are contracting with a corporation not the lawful government, which is we the people. We need to regain the lawful government and once that happens then all agreements and contracts between they corporation should be null and void. We the people have not been involved so we have no contract with them. If these corporations wish to take it further then let them take it up with those politicians and bureaucrats, who negotiated them when they should have put it to the people for approval; (referendum). We have never been consulted. Parliament is our servant not our master, so why is the servant telling or not, the master what they are doing??????
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    9:47pm
    YEAH !!
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    9:52pm
    Paricolor ou have a great skill for summarising long anecdotes.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    9:59pm
    Even better on Antidotes !!
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    12:57pm
    Funny how the paid government trolls who post on anything political do not show up for blogs like this one. Tells a story.
    Oldie84
    15th Jan 2015
    1:21pm
    mick, do us a favour and give it a break.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:33pm
    Sorry. I am showing frustration that the webmaster does not block the blogger in question. I will try to retrain myself unless I see them on a blog.
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    1:34pm
    Unfortunately, the blogger in question is the CTO of yourlifechoices. I don't think the webmaster would be blocking him any time soon.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    3:53pm
    CTO???
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    3:59pm
    Chief Technical Officer
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:11am
    HSB... Head Spy Barsted !!
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    10:03am
    mick, your opinions are fast becoming like the Labor party you promote. Totally irrelevant. PGTWMP!
    Cat
    15th Jan 2015
    12:58pm
    If people approve of police accessing metadata that relates to a serious offence, then there should be no problem to make to a criminal offence for a police officer to access metadata unless there is a crime number that relates to that accessing of data, and some kind of evidence that supports reasonable suspicion that that person whose data they are accessing is a genuine suspect. If data is accessed without reasonable suspicion tied to an official crime number, then it should be mandatory conviction and sentencing for any government official to access that meta data. If what they claim is true, that it is only accessed for official business, than no one should have a problem with that. If our privacy was being respected along with the police legitimately doing their job, then a law like this should already be in place, and there should be people checking to make sure data is only being accessed correctly. Due to the amount of corruption, and the sloppy attitude towards dealing with it, along with public servants general decrepit attitude toward the public,I have some doubts.
    Gra
    15th Jan 2015
    2:50pm
    Wake up Cat. Do you really think just any police officer will be able to access any data? I know from first hand experience that accessing this kind of information has to be approved by a very senior officer and has to be formally applied for by written report. If the i's aren't dotted and the t's crossed the request would be denied.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:09pm
    I was waiting for You to say there... And must be conducted in the Presence of Queen Elizabeth ??
    ghoti
    15th Jan 2015
    10:59pm
    Gra: how many requests have ever been denied?
    Oldie84
    15th Jan 2015
    1:19pm
    As usual, there is not sufficient information to hand.
    I always thought that access had to be authorised, a Police Officer can't just assess the data willy nilly. Or so I thought. I agree to this if it helps solve crimes et al.
    Benjamin Franklins time was very different to the one we live in now.
    Cat
    15th Jan 2015
    10:51pm
    I do agree as long as there are strict protocols in place for accessing information. People go on about how if you have done nothing wrong you should have nothing to fear. Well, that is what I used to think too, but there was this niggling problem back in the mid to late 1970's when some scum of the earth double agent ASIO official freaks sold out the safety and security of everyone and everything in this country just for a few bucks. This involved literally terrorising innocent people for sensitive information right when they were in a vulnerable position and couldn't get away, which they were able to do by accessing private data, and these freaks had access to everything. I am not at all a paranoid person, but I have experienced enough to know now that you could not be paranoid enough to know what has really gone on, and how absolutely vile it is, after trusting government officials with privacy info.

    I know ASIO is a different department to the police, but it is the same thing in terms of trusting public servants and officials to have the freedom to do what they need to do to protect us, but it is proven that won't always happen, and can even be a danger to the public. Certain types of people are prone to temptation, and we just really need some safeguards in place so that metadata can be accessed for a legitimate reason, but like you say, definitely not willy nilly.
    Polly Esther
    15th Jan 2015
    1:34pm
    It doesn't bother me because I lead a bloody dull uneventful life anyway, sob sob and boo hoo, and I'm not paranoiac.
    Polly Esther
    15th Jan 2015
    1:41pm
    PS If it can help bring some rotten mongrel to face justice then I say go for it.
    heyyybob
    15th Jan 2015
    1:41pm
    :D
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:15am
    Exactly, Willie.
    If something wildy exciting happens in my life,
    hope they tell me about it!
    heyyybob
    16th Jan 2015
    11:44am
    :D
    Finni
    15th Jan 2015
    1:37pm
    In this day and age personal privacy is over rated, i consider myself a private and very ordinary person.
    I have no issue with metadata being kept
    If people want to access my info all they have to do is Google me

    Finni
    Tom Tank
    15th Jan 2015
    2:20pm
    If I recall correctly the new laws re Metadata retention are for National Security Agencies and not the police.
    It is already possible for those agencies, and police, to access Metadata but the Government want more access to our communications.
    Interestingly France, U.K and U.S.A already have extensive Metadata retention laws but that did absolutely nothing to prevent recent atrocities being committed.
    Our response to terrorism has the terrorists laughing their heads off as we are dancing to their tune by changing our way of life and giving up our privacy and our freedom.
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    2:27pm
    Now I'm wondering which side of the argument the author actually agrees with after reading this: http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/government-proposal-threatens-your-privacy#blog

    Quite an about turn on the issue.
    azpers
    15th Jan 2015
    2:42pm
    Don't do nothing bad no-how no-way nowhere no-one ain't, an ya probly ain't gotten to worry bout nothing no-how no-way ain't.

    phar canal.
    niemakawa
    15th Jan 2015
    3:00pm
    I am in favour. If it enables our security agencies to weed out the "terrorists" then that is fine with me. The only problem I see is the involvement of the Supreme Court. Will they on supposed grounds of discrimination refuse access in certain cases relating to one section of the community?
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    7:48am
    Don't be so concerned about them anyway ! They will get Parole !!
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    10:39am
    But all these surveillance laws have been introduced solely because of "Jihadists" and their thousands of "silent" followers in this Country.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    10:09pm
    I like their Garden Gnome Beards !!
    KSS
    15th Jan 2015
    3:05pm
    Anyone who has ever used the internet, done a search, sent an e-mail, bought something or contributed to a blog has been and continues to be tracked. Ever wondered why you get spam that just happens to be about something you looked at yesterday? Do you use an iphone or similar? They can already track where you are as long as the phone is turned on and you don't even need to have actually made a call.

    People need to calm down here. All the Telcos already keep this metadata. The only thing that will change is the length of time they will be REQUIRED to keep it for. No-one is reading your e-mails, or listening in to telephone calls. You need a warrant to do that and will still need a warrant. Do you think it is OK for big business to hold all this information on you but exclude the Police and other law enforcement agencies?

    If access to this metadata aids in law enforcement, terrorist tracking and the safety of all, then get on with it and make it compulsory for Telcos to keep it and hand it over when necessary.
    jlhf43
    16th Jan 2015
    3:17pm
    Yes, KSS, all the sites we click onto on the web record our habits and track everything we do and third parties to those sites get our info as well. There is rhyme and reason to the need for this metadata collection and most of us will never have to worry about it. Even if you book a plane flight at an office, or enter a competition in a magazine, you get inundated with brochures forevermore, so it's not only the internet. Big business has tabs on our buying habits every time we wave our card over the screen or enter our pin in the supermarkets, DJs, Meyer, Target etc. Our privacy has been compromised for years, but what is proposed is for our protection and we should be okay with that IMHO.
    Reeper
    15th Jan 2015
    3:09pm
    I think civil libertarians need to carefully rethink their thinking. There is no doubt that accessing metadata has been instrumental in crime/terrorism prevention and prosecution and, I for one, I am happy to have my metadata accessed. I believe it is pointless to be against such access just for the sake of it. I don't believe it automatically means you have something to hide, but if you aren't doing something suspicious your records are unlikely to be accessed
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:32am
    Agree, especially, your words of,
    "...it is pointless to be against such access just for the sake of it."
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    11:25am
    Yes miss aisle, especially when it has been a legal ongoing activity for so long!
    arrow
    15th Jan 2015
    3:35pm
    If you have nothing to hide, why worry? As long as such data is used purely for the prevention of crime, the apprehension of criminals, etc., there is no reason, other than purely personal issues, that there should be any objection to such use.

    Arrow
    SGW
    15th Jan 2015
    3:38pm
    I agree with woody. And for those that are saying "I've got nothing to hide, so nothing to fear", your living in la la land
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:44pm
    I'm not Game to go near a Porno Site now !!
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    10:28am
    SGW is referring to a previous poster dippo! lol!
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    3:40pm
    Unless you live in a cave deep in the bush like Malcolm Naiden did (before the police finally caught up with him) you are "on file". Banking, passport, uhion membership, medical, insurance, superannuation, driving, taxation and credit records are already on file and accessible to government agencies. These files have been around for a long time so the only surprise is that so many people are still(!) unaware of it. I doubt that privacy is even an option for the average person anymore. Ever since 9/11 (and probably before)personal privacy has been diminishing. I would not be surprised that 9/11 provided the trigger to allow increased government snooping in the name of increased national security for the purpose of protecting us all from terrorists.
    So unless you plan to slip away in the night and go live like a cave person somewhere in the bush and forgo all your pension and medicare entitlements, get used to it. This, for better or worse, is life in the 21st Century Nanny State.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    8:36am
    Yes wally, it is hilarious that some people think they are incognito. I had someone remote in to my machine the other day. Highly sophisticated almost undetectable. Probably spent 24 hours looking around. Maybe I typed a hot word which was picked up by scanners?
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:28am
    Hope all the whingers read your comment, wally.

    Wow, Frank!
    Woody
    15th Jan 2015
    4:16pm
    For all those that continue to state nothing to hide/nothing to fear, this is worth spending a bit of time reading: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565
    Oldie84
    15th Jan 2015
    7:27pm
    I did Woody but I must confess that after plowing through the dissertation I am not much wiser. Lot to think about but can't quite figure if he was for or against. :-)
    Pass the Ductape
    15th Jan 2015
    6:08pm
    What? As if they aren't already doing it?
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:04pm
    "Hullo Constable Plod !! I've got My hands Up !"
    niemakawa
    15th Jan 2015
    7:27pm
    Where?
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:29am
    Up in the Back Paddock Mustering the War Horses !!
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    11:49am
    Move em on, head em up, head em up, move em on, move em on, head em up, rawhide.
    Cut em out, ride em in, ride em in, let em out, cut em out, ride em in, rawhide...
    ..rawhide.
    professori_au
    15th Jan 2015
    7:17pm
    Regardless and I do have some sympathy for the police, but I believe this is an invasions of privacy and before getting access to anyone's private data, there should be a detailed independent investigation into why the police need to have access. they are already accessing data from private sources of people who have no criminal or illegal activities.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:13pm
    I think they are looking at all the People who are writing If You have nothing to Hide You have nothing to Fear ??
    Jack
    15th Jan 2015
    11:00pm
    Well said Woody. I was thinking of the Benjamin Franklin quote; then saw you had beaten me to it.
    Given that this forum is populated by senior and widely experienced people, I cringe at the naivety shown by sone with the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear comments".
    Someone else has drawn attention to the plight of the jews in WW2 - and there is a comment attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller:
    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

    I have been in a work position where HR wanted to keep detailed information on people so individuals (with the right qualifications) could easily be selected for certain projects. Managers were assured that the data would not be used for anything else. but when I pushed, the best assurance I could get was that the CEO 'said so!'. I could get no assurances about the position/s to be taken by future CEOs and senior managers. Cut a long story short, the data was not kept.
    I was quietly told by the main movers ( ranked about my level) that they would 'get me'. They did a few years later, but in so doing, they gave me what I wanted - they had not realised the difference between winning battles and winning wars.

    So saying I have reduced problem with metadata being accessed, but ONLY after approval by a judge.
    speakup
    16th Jan 2015
    6:42am
    One more step to becoming a Police State
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:08am
    AH ! Don't worry about it ! They are probably like your Local politicians and will look into it in the Fullness of Time ??
    niemakawa
    16th Jan 2015
    9:57am
    Freedom comes, freedom goes.... GOING, GOING,GONE!
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    10:45am
    Just like fear, freedom is also a state of mind . The meaning of which can be very different depending on who you ask. speakup, your view may be very different to that of Nelson Mandela or Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    8:13am
    To those of you quoting Ben Franklin, let me remind you that survival is in the human DNA. You will do what you need to do. In the past that may have meant hiding in a small hole for days waiting for a very hungry animal to lose interest in you. These days it means allowing the free flow of information. When the politically correct can feel the warm breath of that very hungry animal they will scream for help. I just hope that scream is heard.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2015
    8:18am
    Sadam chose a Spider Hole But the Beast would Not Go Away ??
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    8:42am
    Sadam, Bin Laden, further proof that there is no place to hide if those searching have the will and the money. Why have expensive cops on the beat, when you can have drones flying in to deliver high pixel close ups?
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    10:22am
    That wise owl is spreading wisdom once again !
    Oldie84
    16th Jan 2015
    11:14am
    Spot on Frank. :-)
    Advocate
    16th Jan 2015
    11:38am
    As a youth, I was convicted of a (minor) offence solely based on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I foresee a lot more of this type of conviction happening where police/prosecutors will put up cases based on "your mobile phone was there so you must have done the crime".

    What about corrupt Police and officials?

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear is not true for everyone! ICAC is living proof of this.
    sybilla
    16th Jan 2015
    1:47pm
    In this day and age privacy is something of an illusion

    Do you think terrorist organisations have qualms about privacy?
    jlhf43
    16th Jan 2015
    3:02pm
    We have already had instances in Australia where "undesirables" have been watched by the authorities, using this kind of records, and stopped from actions detrimental to others. I don't think the alternatives in those instances would have been welcomed by the community. I'm sure you all understand what I am alluding to. The PC Police might attack me if I spell it out and I'm sure none of you are dummies. I will simply add Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney. Enough said!
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    4:58pm
    Yes, the authorities need all the help they can get, jlhf43,
    so why would we want to make things harder for them.
    professori_au
    16th Jan 2015
    9:42pm
    Yes I agree. However, understand that our police are no longer government departments but corporations. Now who are they accountable to. Lawfully they should be accountable to you and I the lawful government. Every day we see incidents of misbehaviour by the employees of these corporations, yet they seem to be protected and an exception made so they are not brought to account. Under our constitution no one is above the law, despite politicians legislating protection for themselves. They are not above the law and anyone that says they did whatever they did because they were told to under the Nuremburg code that is not an excuse, so there are two sections of law that clearly state that; Our Commonwealth constitution and the Nuremburg code plus I believe the Helsinki Declaration and Un International courts make that clear
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    9:40am
    Yes, professori -
    Nothing is perfect, but
    there are many more benefits for this action
    than against it.
    Dotty
    17th Jan 2015
    9:14pm
    I am like DTB nothing to hide then nothing to worry about! Dotty
    jlhf43
    19th Jan 2015
    2:24am
    Professori_au, You are in error regarding the police being corporations now. The police in each state ARE STILL part of the government and are accountable to the government of the day in each state. I have several friends who are/were policemen & I wouldn't have their job for ANY amount of money. Two of them were in the elite forces in their respective states and how their marriages have stayed solid is a miracle! Sure some cops are total b@$t@rds, but in the main they are hardworking and honest. It may interest people to know that if an officer accesses drivers licence or rego records, they have to explain why they were, if prior notice and authorization were not given, so they can't just look up things just for the heck of it - they MUST have authority first!
    professori_au
    6th Feb 2015
    5:58pm
    I somewhat agree with you, they should be part of the government. Check Business Unit 18 or 19. Victoria has hoodwinked the public claiming they have brought in the separation of powers by bringing the police, judiciary and prosecution under the one unit. This is not a separation of powers as was meant when the constitution was signed and Victoria and also the other states were to bring their constitutions into line with the Commonwealth. I agree that some are (colourful adjective) bastards, while others are the genuine thing. I have friends within the police force and they have my respect. However, it is the rogue mavericks I have no respect for. They are bullies, corrupt and any other description that can be applied to them. These are a disgrace to what used to b e highly respected. When growing up as a young boy, the policeman, the minister, the teacher and the doctor were very highly respected. The police did not require weapons but we certainly would not behave to them today and it makes me wonder whether giving providing the police with weapons have been the cause for confrontational attitude between the police and the public. This is simplistic view and only part of the problem. There are other issues that are involved and some of them I would claim is the damage by so-called do gooders. My contacts in Britain advised me that, with some exceptions, police do not carry arms unlike here. There is not the same "them and us" attitude. In Victoria changes along the line of law enforcement have been draconian and outside of the authority of Victoria. As an Advocate I speak regularly with members of the police force and the view of many of them that they are now made the "meat in the sandwich". During the past two years I have seen the parliament pass laws that take away the rights of the people and try and use the police and the peace enforcement officers, who are employees of a corporation to act in a sense as militia, which you most likely understand is invalid under our Constitution. I have been a student of Constitutional law for approximately 10 years and have made information available to the public so that people know their rights. Take it from me, I do not "slag" police officers and am sympathetic to the position they are forced into and I would agree I do not envy them and would not wish to be in their shoes. That is not the position they should be forced into. I know and respect many many officers. Are you, or were you a member of the police force? I went to a public gathering of our trading corporations posing as council where the public wanted answers that were refused to be given . A recording of the meeting was attempted and the corporation suspended the meeting and called the police to remove them from the building. I arrived in the midst of this process and asked what was going on. The sergeant tol me they were rmoving the public from the building. I explained he could not do that as it was a public building owned by the people and unless there was a potential for a riot then they could remain. He told me that the council had contacted the police to have the people removed and to stop the recording, etc. I explained to him that under the constitution local government had no standing and this was confirmed in 1974 and 1988 under a referendum. local government is recognised as a department of a state government. For practical purposes these trading corporation didn't exist as a third tier of government or even as a lawful government department. Yet Victoria, outside of its authority, used a false 1975 Victorian Constitution as its power base to create the invalid 1989 local government act and gave authority for local government to be a third tier of government. S109 of the Constitution makes it quite clear that when a state act/law is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Constitution then the Commonwealth takes precedent to the extent of the inconsistency. There was quite a bit more to the conversation but the result was that I contacted the Federal Police and explained what was happening and then handed the phone to officer. After some discussion on the phone he hung up and said you do really know your Constitution and we had a good conversation with he and other officers and the general remark was that they were not taught that in training. I agreed that it was unfortunate and I believed it should be part of the training and in many cases would avoid angst and confrontation. We need the police as agents to keep the peace and to protect the people but not as an invalid militia. These so called peace officers should not be employed. If the parliament put that funding to provide more police officers who are properly trained then we would not have the sorts of conflict with the community and individuals. A good example is e.g. Horvath v Victoria where a young lady was brutally assialted by police officers. This matter had to go to the International Human Rights Commission and Victoria received a lambasting about its Human rights record and they were directed to bring its laws into line with international standards. It is slowly and reluctantly coming into line. That is not to blame the average police but the rogue parliaments and their factions. I was a regulator within the public service and liaised with the police and found these were good relations. However, there are some bad apples and we need to take steps to have them removed and bring the police up to the high level of respect they once had. It would take more than space here to provide examples not only of bad behaviour but the immense good behaviour of officers. Before the Victorian election I submitted a "My Will" letter to all of the parliament to show evidence of where ti received its authority to make laws or to amend laws that were inconsistent with the Commonwealth and were also repugnant to the laws of the UK from whence our rule of law originated. Not one politicians apparently could answer the question and such a simple question "Where did it get it authority...." Napthine did reply with a thank you letter for the correspondence and advised me that it would go into the archives. That was not a reply to the question. Any politicians should have been able to answer, whether Labor, Liberal Greens or Independent if they knew their Constitutional law. I think it would be a good idea that all government departments and the politicians should undergo some training on the State and Commonwealth Constitution. In listing these are corporations. the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CORPORATIONS and it seems the state and the departments have become subsidiaries of these corporation registered in the USA and accountable to USA law. We have never has a referendum seeking approval from the people to sign away our rights or to enter into trade agreements with other foreign powers. There are conditions where lawful parliaments can enter agreement but not carte blank. Cheers. I hope I have made it clear I am not an enemy of the police but would support them to carry out their lawful duties but we have to get rid of the garbage and the corrupt elements.
    particolor
    6th Feb 2015
    7:32pm
    Ive never had any trouble with the Police here. They have a Hard Job, And seem as Bamboozled as us on the Occasions we have had to call them ?? There seem to be certain things they don't like to Interfere in nowadays ?? Apart from that She'll be Right Mate !! :-)