30 March, 2015. 12:15
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
Senator George Brandis and the entire federal government are being praised this week over new “metadata” laws that received final ratification by the Australian Senate on Thursday night.
As a result of Brandis’ hard work, phone and internet companies will be forced to keep customers’ data – such as the origin, destination and time of phone calls, text messages and emails – for at least two years. Something that many citizens feel should have been happening for some time now.
Such data can be accessed by different government agencies, from telco firms without a warrant, however the application has to be approved by a senior officer or official.
There has also been widespread condemnation of these laws with a small community of privacy activists campainging against the “Big Brother” style policing of Australian citizens.
However, the critics are vastly outweighed by the large numbers of “ordinary citizens” in support of the new anti-crime measures.
IT worker, Jordin Colbie claims he spends most of his life online – both at work and during his down-time. Jordin is a vocal supporter of the metadata laws.
“I don’t behave on the internet, not many single men do…” says Mr Colbie with a cheeky smile.
“But look, theres terrorists out there – we need to be able to catch them before they do anything stupid. The same goes for pedophiles and dodgy asbestos removalists.”
“…and to be honest I’m kind of excited by the fact that a Liberal Senator can see what people like me are looking at. My porn collection is quite… diverse.
“Brandis could learn a bit from me”
“I’m a sick puppy… I want them to watch”
A range of integrity and anti-corruption agencies can also access metadata, generally with fewer than 10 staff empowered to approve access.
On the request of a Parliamentary inquiry into the new laws, Senator Brandis amended the government’s legislation to state that officials approving access requests must “be satisfied” that the invasion of privacy is justifiable and proportionate.
However, voyeuristic internet-enthusiasts seem to be pushing for more invasive measures.
“Brandis has been a big supporter of the freedom of speech. I want him to know that I am happy he has the freedom to peek,”