[LINK] Wireless Internet Popular in Australia

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Tue Sep 21 16:33:05 EST 2010

On 21/09/2010, at 4:20 PM, Kim Holburn wrote:
> Strangely, I have read that the way mobile broadband is done means  
> that it is not nearly so easy to associate an IP with a person or  
> account.  I can't see how that would conform to European data  
> retention directives though.
> Perhaps a linker with more knowledge of mobile internet might be able  
> to clear that up.

I'm not in that category, quite, but surely it depends how the network is set up and how it's logged?

My own own experience with Telstra's Next G network is that is sustained IP addressed issued via DHCP even if you change cells. I've been in a car travelling Cowra to Bathurst, then Bathurst to Sydney. On each of those two legs the IP address was maintained even when switching between cells, even after drop-outs of six minutes caused by driving between hills. The Radius server assigning IP addresses would also log usernames, since that's how the whole thing is billed.

The situation would be no different with mobile ISPs with a DHCP server per cell, since it still is all linked back to a valid user login and, dare I remind folks, the unique IMEI assigned to each physical mobile device.

I reckon it works lie this: Unique IMEI, matched to human through Radius server logging into the network. This must be logged for billing, if nothing else. So if a European-style data retention directive comes in, well, all the pieces are there.



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