Big Brother Really Is Watching You
As of today (14th October 2015) the Australian Government will be able to track our emails, texts and mobile phone calls for the duration of the next few years. The new Metadata retention scheme was passed in our parliament earlier this year in a bid to track organised crime and terrorist activities in the confines of Australian shores. Information concerning the date, time and location (although not the content) will be available to the government including such agencies as ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation), local and federal police, and Border Protection among others. The provision is these agencies by law are only allowed to obtain such information if the suspected activities attract a minimum sentence of two years. The other two justifiable circumstances are if a life is being threatened, or if government income is at risk (Tax Evasion). However, ISP’s will be recording very personal information about our movements on the net, such as…
- Everything about the photos we take, the camera model used, if we texted them and who to
- The subject of every email, where you sent it from, the time you sent it and who it was to
- If an ISP so wants, the IP address of every website we visit
Now I do agree to this in principle, but it’s only in principle. If I was involved in illicit activities within Australia I have to think I wouldn’t be stupid enough to confine my internet activities to my country of origin or even a chosen location. I’d be using an overseas mail service, an overseas ISP, or even a VPN (Virtual Private Network) so if tracked, a pingback would show another location instead of Australia. No I’m not really entertaining such thoughts but I do value my privacy, although I certainly understand that I’m publicly posting a blog about myself online. As a matter of fact, I’ve posted this on an American site but that’s my choice and no-one can dictate otherwise. I don’t really send emails or I would probably be moving my address to a webmail instead of using my Australian based Internet Provider. As for my texts and phone calls? I would probably move that too (if I wasn’t very lazy and couldn’t be bothered). So thank you Parliament, thanks Government for spending tens of billions of tax payer’s money on building the systems, organisation of collecting the data, passing the law, and a myriad of other things that are related to manoeuvres like this.
This new system has sparked a lot of debate around the world, being slammed by many people who see it as an invasion of privacy, not a protection against crime and terrorists. I don’t blame them at all.
I have not included every bit of information about this subject, nor do I think that I’ve managed to cover every aspect of this highly flammable topic. Where do we draw a line and when does it stop? As the UK passed a similar law last year after MI6 show poke to their parliament, does this mean the trend will eventually pass to the entire world? Unanswerable at this time, but it’s easy to see panic works within those who handle who and how our laws concerning privacy and the Internet. Will it even protect us from organised crime or terrorist activities? Methinks not as the people concerned have and will get through, determined criminals such as these will find a way. Will this information even be admissible in our courts, or will the defense in such cases be able to find a way around this too? I honestly don’t know about that one but the concern is there. What will peopled decide to do and how will it play out around the real world? I’m going to use an old saying here – time will tell.
For further information, go right ahead and use you ISP to search the Internet about this and many other topics that you want to be recorded. You have about two years to do it.
So please excuse me, I’m going to take a photo of the email I sent this morning concerning the subject ‘Things I Do Behind My Mother’s Back’ to my mother’s best friend who works for Telstra so that I know if I want to graffiti a wall and get myself arrested, my mother will know how to find me.