[LINK] Data retention should last one year: AG
steven.clark at internode.on.net
Fri Feb 18 17:58:08 AEDT 2011
*Data retention should last one year: AG*
By Darren Pauli, ZDNet.com.au on February 18th
*Bilateral talks with the United States to unify data retention
legislation could lead to Australia keeping logs of its citizens' online
lives for a year.*
The talks, set for July this year, will lay the foundations to unify
current data retention plans
between the US, Europe and Australia.
Governments have proposed that internet providers retain information on
customers including websites visited, online searches and key data
required to tie verified account identities to IP addresses. The ideas
are being pushed as a means to assist law enforcement within and across
Some European nations insist the log files should be kept for as long as
five years, an idea being reviewed under public consultations
as part of Australia's move to accede to the controversial European
Convention on Cybercrime
However, both the US and Australia consider five years to be excessive,
according to Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.
"It would not be viable in Australia," McClelland told /ZDNet
Australia/. "We don't believe that and the US does not believe that."
"We don't believe we need to do that to comply with our convention
The talks will likely see the Federal Government adopt a US proposal to
temper the duration that web logs are kept and the scope of data
retained, as well as limit the number of agencies that can access the logs.
McClelland said governments have a "strong obligation" to balance the
scope of data retention — including when data should be destroyed and
who can access it and for what purpose — with the needs to assist law
enforcement to crackdown on online criminal activity.
The data retention proposal has irked internet providers across
Australia, the US and Europe, which argue that retaining the logs will
Many providers not required to retain logs already do so as a subset of
customer billing processes, although the scope of data and the duration
it is kept appears far less than that slated under the retention plans.
McClelland said the public discussions with the European Cybercrime
Convention will address "what standards are accepted by the community,
what ISPs are comfortable with and what is genuinely required by law
Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner and national manager of
high tech crime operations, Neil Gaughan, had previously said that data
retention will be an important police capability
"We can obtain intercepts ... on pretty much everything. We don't want
to see what people are watching on TV, we want to see what people are
looking at on the internet."
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