[LINK] Wireless boost spooks the spooks
Thu Nov 21 01:11:42 EST 2002
Wireless boost spooks the spooks
By Adam Turner
November 19 2002
Federal Government plans to relax the rules for public wireless broadband
networks have spooked Australia's spies, who have told providers including
community groups they face close investigation.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Federal
Attorney-General's Department and another "law enforcement agency" are
contacting wireless providers seeking intricate details of their services,
telling them of their obligations under the Telecommunications Act.
Wireless providers who connect subscribers to the telephone network or
Internet will have to provide "technical details of the service being
offered, the customer base and distribution and roll-out plans". They will
also be informed of the "telecommunications interception warrant process",
"physical security arrangements" and "interception product delivery
The relaxed licensing regime, which will see the $10,000 minimum carrier
licence fee waived for wireless broadband providers using the 2.4GHz ISM
spectrum allocated to the public, is expected to spur competition.
A second-tier, free carrier licence with power restrictions is proposed for
community wireless operators in the Connecting Australia: Wireless
Steven Haigh, former president of the Melbourne Wireless community group,
who addressed the inquiry, welcomed the report.
"I believe there are very few issues that aren't mentioned in the report
and I am very pleased to see the inclusion of the carrier licence issue and
the recommendations for community wireless groups," Haigh said.
The report will provide key input into the deliberations of the
government's Broadband Advisory Group, said a spokesman for the
Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston.
The professional military mind is by necessity an inferior and
unimaginative mind; no man of high intellectual quality would willingly
imprison his gifts in such a calling.
-- H. G. Wells
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