DIRECTOR of Warragul-based Internet Service Provider DCSI Mark McKibbin has expressed concerns about the federal government’s proposed metadata retention laws.
This article was first published in the 10 October 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
The Abbott government’s proposed data retention legislation would require telecommunications companies to retain users’ metadata for potential use by law authorities.
The exact nature of the information the government could ask companies to keep has not yet been clarified, however it could include details including names and addresses and bandwidth usage.
But the only data Mr McKibbin thinks the government would seek would be web history.
“Well, that’s as far as I can see, what else is it? What else are they going to get? They want to know where you’ve been, so it must be browsing history,” he told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“But it doesn’t matter what I think it is, it’s [the definition that] goes down in the law.
“I’m just against it. I think it’s just all wrong. I don’t trust who is going to end up with this information, that’s the problem.
“It doesn’t matter what they collect, they’re collecting it from everybody. One day you will have somebody in power, or someone in the intelligence services, who decide they need to lean on you for some reason and they’ll find something in there that is unsavoury and that’ll be it.”
Past discussion of internet filters and monitoring has raised the prospect of ISPs footing the bill for the data storage. Mr McKibbin said there has been no indication of the potential costs of the proposed data retention laws for ISPs.
“I don’t know how much it’s going to cost, I have no idea how big it’s going to be. At the moment we don’t retain anything and prefer it that way.
“If they want to put a big box on the edge of Australia where everything comes in and out that’s fine, that’s their business. But if they want me to do it it’s going to cost money, and it’s going to cost everyone money for something that’s not going to do anything except reduce our civil rights.
“Also, it must slow the internet down a bit if you’re going to start retaining information – it’s more stuff between you and where you want to go if there’s some big server skimming everything off the top.
“I know in America they do this and it’s proven to be a complete failure. I don’t think they’ve arrested one [terrorist], and so it’s just a complete waste of time.”
But not all federal internet policy changes have gone down badly with Mr McKibbin – he said reductions to the scale of the National Broadband Network will see Baw Baw connected sooner.
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