[LINK] Senate committee probes AGD's data retention activities

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Mon Nov 1 20:49:56 AEDT 2010

rene wrote:

> Imo, the govt has a whole different, and much bigger, problem if they're
> going to mandate "data retention" by ISPs, etc, because they will have to
> clearly define precisely what it is that ISPs must keep. One can only hope
> IIA and ISPs in general realise, and point out strongly to the govt, that
> the govt must very clearly define what they must retain, otherwise ISPs
> will presumably be subject to prosecution for having failed to do retain
> something that it is later alleged they were supposed to have known that
> they should retain.

Perhaps the intention of such a proposal should be clearly stated by
the AGD. And the scope of that intent clearly defined.

Is it to obtain data similar to phone logs? If so, I'll take a stab
at the cyber equivalent.

   1. a la phone call: Retain a record of a TCP/IP session made from this
      IP to that IP, at this time, for this duration.

   2. a la SMS: Retain a record of a UDP packet sent from this IP to
      that IP, at this time.

The rest of the identifying data/content/whatever is private and obtainable
only under warrant. Such identifying data is private and to divulge an
analysis thereof without warrant is illegal.

Note that (1) and (2) preclude recording the port used, which is private
information. Port and connection usage can be mined to deduce private
information about network usage patterns, behaviour and intent.

When considering the port being used, the analogy to a phone connection
breaks down. Phones have one "port" and two "transport protocols" (voice
and SMS). Internet connections have 65535 ports and two basic transport

> (And none of the above should be perceived to imply that I think ISPs
> should have to retain data in the first place).

Data retention as described above does not invade privacy at the
log level. Further analysis only allowed under warrant is necessary
to provide detailed identifying information to law enforcement
to further their investigations.

The information thus retained and later analysed is a bit like a
phone log. It does not conclusively determine that Person of Interest
made the connection (phone or internet), but it certainly gives the
cops something to go on when they have a suspect in their sites.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I haven't tried before.
      -- Mae West

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