"They weren’t so much concerned about being tracked during their daily movements but more concerned that, given Parliament House is supposed to be the centre of Australian democracy, they shouldn’t be, you know, tracked while at work there”.ASD flagged that, while preferable, this would also remove the metadata of journalists, Parliament House staff and other people who work in Parliament House, as well as the approximately 680,000 visitors who enter the building annually: “This will create the possibility that persons intent on unlawful activity in any number of areas could undertake planning and preparation of criminal and/or terrorist activities while in Parliament House with no electronic record being available.” At least one committee member also expressed concern that such a system might look like politicians “seeking special treatment”. It is understood another member pointed out that the media had already demanded and received special consideration under the legislation. "They're in no position to criticise," he said. ASD said that the system would need to be located at a significant height to generate a field that would cover the entire Parliament House precinct, suggesting the flagpole that sits astride Parliament as an ideal location. “The proposed location affords 360-degree coverage while at a height sufficient to minimise any potential electromagnetic risk to building occupants from the scrubbing field.” The proposal will now go to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval in the 2015 budget process, with the “communications annulment tool (generator in flagpole)” system expected to be operational by April 1, 2016. *April Fools!
Flagpole will afford politicians ‘special treatment’ on metadata
Politicians concerned about their metadata being collected will be protected inside Parliament House following complaints to the powerful intelligence committee.