Feb 16, 2017

Govt admits it has no idea where your metadata is being stored

Where is your personal data stored under the government's data retention regime? The government admits it has no idea -- and that's not about to change.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Government officials have no idea where Australians' metadata, compulsorily retained under its mass surveillance laws by communications providers, is being stored.

Officials of the Attorney-General's Department made the extraordinary admission today in hearings of the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is examining the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. That bill establishes new notification requirements relating to Australian companies' data security and requires them to "do their best to manage the risk of unauthorised access and interference to networks and facilities" as well as giving AGD and the Attorney-General additional powers of information-gathering and direction.

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8 thoughts on “Govt admits it has no idea where your metadata is being stored

  1. Daniel Sharp

    I know this has been a year of shocks but……..the whole point of metadata is apparently that it is some type of chain of evidence….if you don’t have the highest degree of control and trust in that chain of evidence….. surely it can not be used for any serious activity such as law enforcement…There is no such thing as evidence collected which may be accurate…. The times we live in are just extraordinary….. It is like nobody cares about anything serious anymore…….. while everyone still thinks they are entitled to be paid more than the next person, mainly on the basis of seniority………. I read about a professional photographer who displayed his images for sale on a sale sharing website…..Despite being a loyal customer for years and accruing significant ongoing income from the website, this man quit the website once he realised that his images were being housed in China…. I mean, it was business 101 for him….This other stuff is law enforcement!

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    “…..was that the metadata of most of the population of Australia would be a highly attractive honey pot for organised crime and hackers.”

    And if a company that has ties to USA is holding the data, it is open slather to the FBI/CIA etc, which to me is a much greater risk to the population of Australia.

    It’s ineptitude on an Olympian scale.

    1. AR

      Is it ineptitude really? Can anyone truly be so stupid and still manage the intellectual demands on breathe in, breathe out?
      Therefore, given that such incompetence can’t be the simple answer, we are left to imply other motives – none of which are reassuring.

  3. paddy

    From the very beginning, the whole idea of mass data retention was always going to be a clusterf*ck. But oh my goodness, how much worse is it going to get?
    Sad, scary and bloody depressing stuff.

  4. zut alors

    Priceless! And the government’s gushings about our metadata being perfectly safe & secure are now exposed as gross exaggerations (at best) or blatantly porkies (more likely).

    Also, one wonders which foreign crims are currently sifting through our Census forms.

    1. AR

      Well, at least 20% of households are safe from that.

  5. Damien

    A scare campaign about metadata being offshored? Sounds like the sort of retrograde “protectionism” that Bernard normally loathes…

  6. AR

    I wonder when the transmission of data will move from the Net thangy to lycra clad messengers physically carrying shitloads of USBs from point A to point B for use in stand alone computer systems.
    “You don’t know what you got till it’s gornnnnnnn”

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