[LINK] Alert - Major Internet Privacy Issue
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 09:37:27 +1000
>From previous discussions on Link, and in other places, may I remark that
the Privacy Charter Council is right - but they're several years too late.
Under the current interception act, to eavesdrop on (for eg) the modem link
between the home PC and the ISP's e-mail server would be an offence, in the
same way that listening to the phone would be.
Once the e-mail is stored on the ISP's server, "reading" it no longer
involves "interception". Moreover, since ISPs routinely backup data files,
there could even exist an implied permission to make copies.
Other laws may cover the invasion of privacy if someone reads your e-mail in
the ISP's system, without your permission - but as it stands, the
telecommunications interception act is easily circumvented.
Now, I haven't read the proposed revisions to the Act - but if the
circumstances in which e-mail can be read by third parties were formalised
in law, it could be argued that citizens would be afforded greater
protection than they now enjoy (anything's better than nothing!).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger Clarke [mailto:Roger.Clarke@xamax.com.au]
> Sent: Wednesday, 20 March 2002 18:54
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [LINK] Alert - Major Internet Privacy Issue
> Importance: High
> >Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 18:28:04 +1100
> >The Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2002,
> introduced into
> >Federal Parliament recently, includes a highly alarming
> provision that will
> >drastically reduce the privacy protection afforded to
> communications in
> >An amendment to s.6 would clarify the law relating to interception of
> >telecommunications. The interception regime, with its
> strict safeguards
> >involving high thresholds (investigation of major offences)
> warrants and
> >relatively transparent reporting, would NOT apply to 'stored
> & forwarded'
> >communications such as E-Mails, SMS, pager messages and
> voice messagebanks.
> >These communications would be accessible to law enforcement
> agencies through
> >the much weaker provisions of the Telecommunications Act.
> >More and more of the routine communications of Australians
> are through these
> >convenient store & forward technologies. We are all
> entitled to the same
> >protection and safeguards as apply to 'old fashioned' voice
> >There is no rational distinction between 'real time' and
> 'store & forward'
> >communications that would justify the law enforcement
> agencies being allowed
> >to reap a technological dividend, at the expense of the
> privacy of all
> >I will be overseas for two weeks from tomorrow. I hope this
> >will not progress too fast, but all concerned parties should
> ensure that
> >they monitor its progress and intervene at all appropriate
> >Nigel Waters, Convenor
> >Australian Privacy Charter Council
> >02 4981 0828 or 0407 230 342
> The above open letter was posted to:
> >From: "Nigel Waters" <email@example.com>
> >To: "Senator Bob Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> > "Senator Brian Greig" <email@example.com>,
> > "Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja"
> > "Senator Stott-Despoja" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> > "Robert McClelland" <R.McClelland.MP@aph.gov.au>,
> > "Privacy Open List" <email@example.com>
> >Cc: "Paul Chadwick" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> > "Chris Puplick" <email@example.com>,
> > "Malcolm Crompton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
> Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
> Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
> mailto:Roger.Clarke@xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
> Visiting Fellow Department of Computer Science
> The Australian National University Canberra ACT 0200 AUSTRALIA
> Information Sciences Building Room 211 Tel: +61 2 6125 3666