News

Why nothing you do online is private anymore

Under the Australian Federal Government's Metadata Retention Scheme, which passed the Senate in March 2015, telcos and ISPs are required to collect and retain customers' metadata for at least two years.
Under the Australian Federal Government's Metadata Retention Scheme, which passed the Senate in March 2015, telcos and ISPs are required to collect and retain customers' metadata for at least two years. Inga Williams

FOR all the years it dominated headlines across Australia, the Federal Government's data retention laws came into effect with little fanfare.

For some, the laws are Orwellian.

But what do they mean for the average Bundaberg resident browsing the NewsMail's website or making a phone call?

Under the Australian Federal Government's Metadata Retention Scheme, which passed the Senate in March 2015, telcos and ISPs are required to collect and retain customers' metadata for at least two years.

While this bill was passed in 2015, telecommunication service providers were given until April 13 to develop their systems and become compliant.

What is metadata?

Metadata is essentially any information that is generated when we call, text or use the Internet.

So for phone calls the metadata would be the date, time, location and duration of the call but not the content of the call.

The Coalition insists metadata is a crucial weapon in the fight against counter-terrorism and organised crime.

But privacy advocate groups argue the changes inflict on our online privacy.

CQUniversity School of Engineering and Technology senior lecturer Dr Ritesh Chugh said the average Bundaberg resident had nothing to worry about.

"Personally, I think it's something we have to get used to," he said.

"I see more advantages of the data being available to government agencies, whether they use it or not is a different story.

"I don't think they (residents) should worry about it and everyone should just go on with their life."

Digital Rights Watch chairman Tim Singleton Norton disagreed.

"It's important that we mark this date - and pause to remember that a detailed picture of the private lives of Australian citizens is being collected by telecommunication companies on behalf of the government," he said.

The change has seen an increase in interest in virtual private networks but Dr Chugh said there were risks involved.

A VPN encrypts data when it travels through the internet and the service usually costs about $10 a month.

"VPNs provide security, anonymity and protection against surveillance but I think it is an unnecessary trade-off in hiding our digital footprint," Dr Chugh said.

The retention scheme will be reviewed in 2019.

Topics:  cquniversity data retention metadata orwellian telecommunication virtual private network vpn



Male violence epidemic: The key steps we need to take

THE bodies of a man and woman were found inside a house at the centre of an Anzac Day shooting tragedy.

65 men, women and children murdered in Australia in 2017

BRRRR! Qld and Northern NSW set to shiver this Friday

QUEENSLAND is set to shiver through one of its coldest mornings

40 years of AgroTrend

McDonald Murphy Machinery manager Ross Cheshire is getting set for AgroTrend 2015.
Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail

Agrotrend celebrating all things agricultural

Local Partners

He used nails to stop landmines going 'bang'

PEACEKEEPER in the Royal Marines Commando and now Childers resident, Colin Deller-Smith marched in yesterday's Anzac Day parade.


Play School live concert coming to Fraser Coast

Come and celebrate with Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima at the Birthday Party for Play School.

Find out when and where to get tickets.

Toowoomba woman's Africa trip to share song

HERE TO HELP: Women in Harmony music director Elaine Coates (right) will travel to Uganda later this year to work with the African Children's Choir. Former members of the choir travelled to Toowoomba to perform last year incuding Elizabeth Panga (left) and tour manager Abraham Kiyingi.

A Toowoomba woman is preparing for a trip of a lifetime

Hundreds of cars going for bargain at record Coast auction

Mike Clayton at the Nambour car yard in the lead-up to a previous year's sale.

Impounded cars going under the hammer, no reserves

Netflix defends 13 Reasons Why

THE disturbing Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been dogged by controversy for its vivid depictions of suicide and rape.

Fiance’s rage: ‘It’s disgusting behaviour’

Felicity breaks down on Seven year Switch.

Man’s “disgusting behaviour” on Seven Year Switch shocked viewers.

This MKR judge’s face says it all

Although maybe she accidentally sat on a pine cone.

MKR semi-final recap: Squab heads and bad desserts.

Carrie Bickmore caught out before the cameras rolled

The bubbly host looked like her usual... but

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin given overhaul by stylist

The Croc Hunter family before their transformation. Picture: Nigel Wright

Family matriarch Terri was reportedly the most hesitant to change

Play School live concert coming to Fraser Coast

Come and celebrate with Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima at the Birthday Party for Play School.

Find out when and where to get tickets.

Toowoomba 'already proud' of singer ahead of TV debut

STAR: Brittania Clifford-Pugh is on The Voice tonight.

'We've applauded her many times in her performances'

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!