Everyone from internet trolls to the Communications
Minister is sharing wisdom on how to avoid the capture of your
metadata. Why? Well, now that Parliament has passed the
controversial retention laws, your metadata's life expectancy
has improved out of sight.
Telcos and ISPs now need to store ALL metadata for two years,
and it will be available for trawling by 20 different government
agencies including ASIO, the cops, ASIC and the ACCC.
Merits of the laws to one side (so you know, we say there
aren't any), here's a handy list of tips for those who
don't want the wells of their virtual existence to be tapped.
And yes, it is completely legal not to create the metadata in the
first place. The laws only impose obligations on the telcos and
ISPs, not actual people.
Come on, get appy. A number of apps available
on phones and tablets allow you to message and call people without
leaving a metadata trace. WhatsApp, Viber and Skype all wor
Not made in Australia. Foreign email servers
like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail are outside the reach of the Australian
metadata laws. Those companies aren't required to store the
data, and even if they did, an Australian warrant wouldn't
grant access to it. Au contraire, if someone wanted to see how
emailed firstname.lastname@example.org, they could. And they would
be shocked by the volume.
Take a mini break. No longer the closely
guarded secret of Netflix aficionados, VPNs basically send your
internet on a holiday. To Italy? Why yes. Mejico? Don't mind if
I do. For Netflix users, having a VPN in the US means you can
access the local US content. For current Australian internet users,
it means that any metadata created while using a VPN will not be
'created' in Australia, won't be subject to the new
laws and will be outside the reach of the local cops.
We would never advocate breaking the law. We do advocate
protecting your privacy against police state-style intrusion, and
it just happens that you can do so completely legally. Knock
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Those types of personal disclosure may still be permitted under the Privacy Act as long as your house is in order.
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