Feb 5, 2015

Officials admit: we can’t justify data retention

Inquiries into data retention show that there is no evidence it will do what the government claims it will do.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Senator Scott Ludlam asks questions about data retention during a recent Senate committee hearing

In a moment of downright Nixonian desperation, Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning sought to dramatically raise the stakes on national security against Labor, coming out to aggressively demand that Labor back his mass surveillance data retention scheme, more than three weeks before the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is due to report on it. Abbott called a media conference this morning to declare, standing next to Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin, that metadata was “absolutely vital” to the police, who were faced with a “burning platform” that was sending them blind.

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23 thoughts on “Officials admit: we can’t justify data retention

  1. Denis Vente

    So if data retention is not to manage crime, why is it so desperately needed?

    Is there a fear of uprisings?

    Is there some secret that must not be known so that every persons communications must be monitored?

  2. Coaltopia

    Disgraceful but utterly unsurprising bullying from Abbott on yet another topic he finds himself without scientific evidence.

  3. Grant Muston

    I would guess its because Murdoch is pushing the Libs to bring it in to crack down on people using Torrents to download Movies/TV show ect. instead of signing up to FOXTEL.In the end Murdoch wins and the public lose.

  4. Laurie Patton

    The Internet Society appeared before the PJCIS last week and told the committee members that the drafting of the Data Retention Bill is flawed, it will not achieve its stated aims and it is a risk to our privacy protection rights. They were so obviously taken aback by what we said, on the basis of the extensive technical knowledge provided by our members, that they asked us for a supplementary (confidential) submission. They’ll get it tomorrow. It seems inconceivable that the PJCIS will not have some very critical things to say to the Government. At a function this morning Parliamentary Secretary, Paul Fletcher, was asked about the Bill. His interesting response was essentially that Governments often listen to Parliamentary committees so we should wait for their report. Perhaps there are a few in the Government beginning to get the message?

  5. klewso

    Like watching the Simpson’s isn’t it? Now we’ve got “Sideshow Boob”?

  6. MJPC

    If the AFP is involved it has to be concerning detection of plastic swords or similar.

  7. zut alors

    We clearly recall Abbott & Co’s lively song & dance routine when there was no business plan for Rudd’s NBN. Didn’t the then Opposition go to town on that one. Now there’s no costing on their data retention scheme- &, should there be costings available in time, parliamentarians may not be made aware of them before voting for the legislation. Priceless. This is like blind signing a contract to buy a house without having actually inspected it & without being told the price.

    At least at the conclusion of Rudd’s no-business-plan-NBN the nation would’ve enjoyed the advantages of an up to date fibre optic network – whereas at the end of Abbott’s no-business-plan data retention the nation will have a mountain of expensive stored data which is of no proven use.

    Tony’s at it again, folks. But can he top the Prince Philip knighthood?

  8. klewso

    Isn’t this “Direct Distraction”?

  9. James O'Neill

    Bernard, actually having a rational justification for the data retention policy is not the intention. What we have seen since at least September 2001 is the government of whichever country using “terror events” as justification for ever more powers over the citizenry. As we now know that many of those events were stage managed by the governments themselves (Gladio B alive and well) the end game is not too difficult to envisage.

    Governments are terrified of an informed citizenry because its undermines the perpetuation of their system of rule. As we have seen, this involves, inter alia, perpetual wars for perpetual profit for the 1%. The US is only a more extreme manifestation of this. Exposing this racket threatens their privileged position. It is of course not unique. 19th and 20th century history is littered with periodic scare campaigns against the threat du jour; false flag operations to justify the latest war; and so on. Thanks to alternative sources of information an ever greater percentage of the population is no longer fooled by these tactics. Data retention is really a side show. The real objective is to control the flow of information which they thought they had achieved with concentration of media ownership and cross ownership of those corporations with the military-industrial hegemony. The internet briefly interrupted that, but just watch this space. That is surely the real target.

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