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Aug 30, 2017

What I learnt from Gillian Triggs’ metadata

Think that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear? Maybe you should just hand over your email password, writes Amy Gray.

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9 thoughts on “What I learnt from Gillian Triggs’ metadata

  1. Temac

    Which is why I pay $3 a month for a VPN.

    1. Glen Davis

      All a VPN does is spend $3/month and identify you as a person of surveillance interest.

  2. James O'Neill

    Your reference to the US Bill of Rights and the protection the European courts afford their citizens is very important. The latter do so by virtue of the European Charter of Human Rights and there is a special court to deal with its cases.
    Australia is unique among the so-called western democracies in not having any such protections for its citizens. Remedying that deficit must surely be a priority if we are not to fall further and further behind civilised standards. The current direction of Australia is truly frightening as Triggs and others have bravely pointed out. This weeks treatment of asylum seekers is only the latest in a long line of appalling decisions. Given our aspirations to be on the UN Human Rights Committee it can only be viewed as a sick travesty.

  3. spicelab

    Nicely succinct piece.
    The analogies of sharing your phone camera roll and email password are especially relatable.

  4. Pollietragic

    Edward Snowdon – , “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
    Totally agree with this article BUT does the Oz public really care? When Brandis introduced the metadata legislation, there was barely a whimper from the media or public.
    Metadata legislation initially insisted journo’s would need to release their sources! Where was the usual rabid feverish cries of press freedom and democracy being threatened? Media organisations addressed releasing journalist’s sources via quiet backroom negotiations that culminated in select Govt agencies needing a judge’s warrant.
    It is deeply saddening we give away our privacy to government’s so easily, after so many have fought to develop and preserve it.

    1. Pollietragic

      Ahem….make that Snowden. – BUT what a great quote!
      He would be fiercely critical of handing over your data and allowing insecure Comms Co’s to store it for 2 years, with an ever broadening group of Govt agencies and 5 eyes intelligence agencies accessing it.

  5. AR

    The only chance we, the People, have is to advocate a “free market”(HA!) solution to the misuse of our data.
    We cannot uninvent the technology and few of us would or could do without our toys – can it really only be less than 20 years since the Net & phones became, not so much ubiquitous but indispensable?
    The only counter I can see is the equivalent of charging for the copyright of our data – there should be a compact that the one person who is entitled to full and total disclosure of all that is held is the owner.
    A digital ID card as it were.
    We can’t stop Them harvesting our data but we can make sure that we know what/when/why & wherefore and be able to demand to see it.
    BTW, lest anyone imagine that the Alternative Liberal Party will do anything about this in our interest, remember that which party amongst those not raising a whimper when the legislation was passed was complicit in voting for it.

  6. Administrator

    The same government that voted itself access to Metadata also asked ASIS to spend your taxes to bug the Timor-Leste cabinet. Brandis himself issued the warrant to raid the offices of the Timor Leste lawyer and impound the incriminating evidence. The invasion of citizen privacy is ridiculously extreme. Yes, we need a revolution.
    Does “Five Eyes” amount to foreign allegiance, disqualifying participants from election to our Parliament?
    Is a voluntary poll regarding marriage rank in priority ahead of civil rights? Not for me !

  7. Administrator

    Amy,
    “In those moments he simply asks the person to hand over their email password. Feeling uncomfortable with that? Why? You’ve done nothing wrong, surely?” You thought that ended the discussion, right? Nobody would give the government access to their email without a warrant, huh?
    Guess what Australia Post is asking.
    Australia Post BillScanner seeks to:

    Sign you in
    BillScanner will be able to sign you in, and assign a unique and anonymous ID to your account.

    View your email address
    BillScanner will be able to read your primary email address.

    View your basic profile
    BillScanner will be able to see your basic profile (name, picture, user name).

    Access your info anytime
    BillScanner will be able to see and update your info, even when you’re not using this app.

    Read your mail
    BillScanner will be able to read email in your mailbox.

    Have full access to your calendars
    BillScanner will be able to read, update, create and delete events in your calendars.

    “…you will permit the application to scan your eligible email account to identify any emails received containing information or a pdf attachment which appear to have the attributes of a bill …”

    “Despite our reasonable efforts to ensure that the Service is secure, you acknowledge that all electronic and telephonic data transfers are potentially susceptible to interception by others. We cannot, and do not, warrant that data transfers utilising the Service, or electronic mail transmitted to and from you, will be secure.”
    It would be laughable if they were not deadly serious !