The Attorney-General's Department is looking into a data retention regime that would require internet service providers (ISPs) to log all of your communications, including the internet protocol (IP) address at each end, the date, time, duration and location. What, exactly, is on their mind? And how did this come about?
It was revealed in June that the government had been consulting with industry bodies — in secret. In a previous episode of Patch Monday we discussed what a data retention system might entail if it were modelled on the controversial European Directive on Data Retention.
On Friday, the Senate Inquiry into "The adequacy of protections for the privacy of Australians online" finally dug out the details.
Representatives from the department insisted that nobody would be getting new powers. Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Neil Gaughan reckons it's just preserving the status quo in the new digital world. And yet Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was clearly unimpressed with the lack of public consultation and with the department's representatives being unable to say exactly who'd got the ball rolling in the first place.
In Patch Monday this week we bring you the highlights of evidence given to the Senate committee — including Senator Ludlam's sustained questioning. It's the first definitive explanation of what the Attorney-General's Department is thinking.
Stilgherrian also takes his usual random look at the week's IT news.
To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.
Running time: 28 minutes, 18 seconds