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Oz Mandatory Data Retention – Brandis v Ludlam

In Archive, ASIO, Australia, Big Brother, Big Data, Internet, Politics, Surveillance on August 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

via digitalfolklore


Australia’s Attorney General George Brandis is tackled by Senator Scott Ludlam (WA) in Senate question time regarding the proposed Mandatory Data Retention Policies. This is as the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014 goes through Senate. (18 Aug 2014 Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.)

This comes on a day when David Irvine speaks at the National Press Club, and as a suspected Australian terrorist was dragged from a plane at Melbourne Airport by Border Force officials after allegedly trying to fly to Syria to join a jihadi group.

Senator Brandis QC flails about with technical definitions to the delight of his detractors and his obvious embarrassment over his earlier attempt this month to describe “what is metadata?”  (p/word= porkish)  when the Government announced its intentions to update Australia’s telecommunication interception laws.

The super moon in August led to a period of chaotic confusion regarding  laws which will require telecommunication companies to retain customer data for two years, which precipitated in a leaked document  which explains that telco’s would be required to retain customer details such as name, address, registered services, and even the available bandwidth on a user’s broad band service. As perviously reported in previous LeakSource posts, this will only cause the cost of internet services to increase.

Senator Brandis mentions that there is not a set definition regarding what ‘metadata’ is , and with the following Reports to Committees upcoming a legal definition will be introduced to which the telecommunication companies will be required to follow by law.

This is a term that does not have a precise definition. It is a description rather than a definition.”  adding ..”The essential concept is that metadata is information about the communication, not the content or the substance of the communication.”

The Specific definition will be a statutory definition, the technical specification will be included in the legislation.”

Thankfully, all of this confusion is slowed in some reactionary capacity by Senator Ludlam not unexpectedly passing a motion to move the Reporting to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee to 29th October 2014.

The purpose of the Bill 


Schedule 2 – ASIO Powers

ASIO - schedule2


  1. […] Wednesday afternoon when pressed for a definition of metadata by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Attorney General George Brandis told parliament a “statutory definition” of metadata would be part of the legislation, meaning it would […]


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