Pirate Party

June 11, 2010

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It was revealed today that the Australian Government has been making inquiries regarding a policy of storing the browsing history of every Australian Internet user1 in another move that displays the federal governments contempt for the privacy and civil liberties of the Australian people.

"Pirate Party Australia is shocked and appalled by the news that the Australian Labor Party is now considering this sort of indiscriminate data surveillance. Pirate Party Australia was formed to campaign for privacy and Internet freedom and this is a direct attack on every Australian's right to privacy." said Rodney Serkowski, Party Secretary.

The Attorney General's Department has made inquiries into the feasibility of requiring ISPs to store every Australian Internet user's browser history for a certain amount of time for use by Law enforcement.

Rodney Serkowski said "This hypocrisy comes just a short time after Senator Stephen Conroy labelled Google "creepy" for collecting wireless information with street mapping vehicles and accused the popular online company of "the single greatest breach in the history of privacy." 2

"The cost of implementation for any ISP of such vast and widespread data retention infrastructure is enormous, especially for some of the larger ISPs. This inevitably would mean higher costs for consumers, and any gain in 'security' would be completely illusory."

"Like the proposed Internet filter, this legislation would be trivially circumvented by the very people it is targetted at, for example using HTTPS or a VPN. It will be just as ineffectual and even more damaging to the privacy of the Australian people," said Shu Ning Bian research assistant at School of IT, University of Sydney.

This proposal represents a move towards unprecedented powers for the government and law enforcement, with no justification for the level of proposed surveillance. Exploiting the emotional issue of sexual child abuse, and under the guise of national security, the government is pushing for the introduction of what can only be considered a stepping stone towards a surveillance state. There is absolutely no need for this level of near 'Orwellian' monitoring and data retention -- it is an unjustifiable and disproportionate incursion into the fundamental right to privacy, and is likely to be abused.

Full article here