The Australian angle on this is characteristically buffoonish, finding shape in the National Data Retention Regime. It demands that telcos and internet service providers retain data for a designated period of time – at this point two years – to be made readily available for law enforcement authorities to dip into. The drafters seem oblivious to the prospect that, in making such a pool of data readily available, malicious use of it is bound to happen. What is stored is bound to be accessed, however “secure” the systems in question.
What exactly that data constitutes suggests as much about the insentient authorities as it does about the cognitive deficiencies inherent in the entire effort to combat “threats” to the state. A “proposed data set” document that is doing the rounds says nothing about what exactly will be in the regulations, though it is predictably cumbersome. The ghastly instrument that will enact the regime, the Abbott government hopes, is the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014.