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The government can’t read your email, but it will be able to find out where you sent it to and from. Paul Downey/Flickr

It’s too late to debate metadata

There are still unanswered questions about the data retention bill, but it's now too late to get answers before it is passed into law.
Journalists tackle the Prime minister Tony Abbott at a typical media conference at Parliament House in Canberra. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Data retention plan amended for journalists, but is it enough?

The Abbott government's efforts to amend its data retention bill amid concerns about journalists protecting their sources is still a worry. And others should be concerned too, including MP.
There are still unanswered questions about the government’s proposed metadata retention bill. Lars P./Flickr

Expert panel: metadata retention report

What the experts think of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security's report on the proposed metadata retention laws.
Questions still to be answered on what metadata is to be kept from internet connections. Flickr/Jakub Hlavaty

How much will Australia’s metadata retention plan really cost?

The metadata retention debate is heating up with Prime Minister Tony Abbott telling us the cost of not going ahead with compulsory retention of metadata will be incalculable and will represent a form of…
The Australian government’s proposed data retention bill may be obsolete before it even comes into force. plenty.r./Flickr

How will data retention laws cope with the Internet of Things?

One of the many things that is troubling about the current Australian government’s metadata retention proposals is how rooted in the past they are, which could make them obsolete before they even come…
Leading Australian media organisations launched a ‘Right to Know’ campaign in 2007, citing the erosion of free speech by more than 500 laws and regulations. It’s been downhill since then. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Suppression, security, surveillance and spin: the rise of a secret state?

I am reluctant to give more ammunition to Pacific leaders who regard Australia as some kind of exemplar in media freedom – in this case a bad example. On the other hand, truths have to be told: in Australia…
Did MI5 send Michael Adebolajo a friend request? Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Blaming Facebook for Lee Rigby’s murder is nonsense

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of Parliament has now released its 191-page report into Lee Rigby’s murder. The report concludes that even though the ISC “discovered a number of errors…
New AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin was forced to backtrack over comments suggesting metadata could be used to prevent online piracy. AAP/Alan Porritt

ASIO more trusted than government with personal data

People are more inclined to trust ASIO and the police than the government and communications companies to store personal…
George Brandis argues that it is the government’s duty to investigate and prevent serious crimes – and that metadata can help. AAP/Alan Porritt

Metadata and privacy: surveillance state or business as usual?

Metadata, previously a word limited to the tech-savvy, is now not only a hot topic of public discussion but the focus of new national security legislation. The public discussion seems split between two…

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