Roxon takes to YouTube to dispel data-retention hype

Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has responded to GetUp's campaign against proposed data-retention legislation by hitting back with her own YouTube video.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has taken to YouTube to respond to GetUp's campaign against the proposed data-retention legislation that is being debated with a parliamentary joint committee.

Roxon first responded to recent allegations that she had thrown her support behind the scheme, stating that she is in the process of asking the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for its views before forming her own in her capacity as attorney-general.

She also attacked GetUp's campaign against the proposed legislation, stating that some of its claims are false.

"GetUp claims that companies will be required by law to store every message you send, every website you visit, every conversation you have, or product you buy for two years. This is simply not true," she said. She clarified that the proposed legislation is only looking at metadata — information about who a message was sent to, when, and where — not the actual contents of conversations.

Roxon also disputed GetUp's claims that people refusing to give up their passwords to their computer or Facebook could be sent to jail.

"Again, that's totally false. There is no proposal that people give up passwords," she said.

However, Roxon did go on to state that law-enforcement agencies already have the power, under warrant, to "compel" suspects to decrypt their information, and that the proposed legislation would look at extending this power to live communications and chat rooms.

Roxon offered her YouTube video to GetUp to distribute to its members, but, according to her office, it was declined.

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