Australia begins mass data retention under new law
What data will be collected
What Phone Data is Retained?
- Who you called
- Who you texted
- Missed numbers
- Time and Date of calls and SMS
- Duration of calls
- Your Location at the time of call or SMS
- Device data
What Internet Data is Retained?
- Your IP address
- Location and geographical data
- The volume of your uploads and downloads
- Time and duration of your web connections
- Your email data including emailed Date, Time and Attachment data volumes (If you use an Australian email service)
- While not mandatory, some internet providers may record the IP address of the sites you visit, mainly your Internet history
The bill was introduced to the Australian parliament when current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was communications minister. He said then it was “critical” for security agencies and law enforcement, citing investigations into domestic terrorism.”No responsible government can sit by while those who protect us lose access to vital information, particularly in the current high threat environment,” he said, in a joint statement with Attorney-General George Brandis.
How can a Australian escape this metadata retention scheme
- Instead of using the cellular network, use free apps to make calls or send text messages. For e.g.,
- TextSecure for encrypted text messaging, RedPhone for encrypted phone calls and Signal for both encrypted messaging and phone calls.
- Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that help hide your Internet traffic by encrypting the connection. Kindly check our article on the top VPN providers.
- Use non-Australian email, video, and social media platforms, such as Gmail, Hotmail,Facebook and Skype, as these are exempted from some of the data retention requirements. (Note: Government will be able to see that you use these services, but they won’t know whom you’re talking to)
- Use Public Wi-Fi hotspots. The public hotspots are not included in the data retention scheme however it can be risky to use public WiFi hotspots.