AFP Says Data Retention Could Be Used To Police 'Illegal Downloads' And Piracy

Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin has said that data retention could be used to police illegal downloads and piracy.

Speaking at a news conference today beside communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis, the newly appointed AFP boss highlighted the importance of data retention in reference to the anti-terror raids in Sydney last month.

In response to a question about whether it could also be used to target copyright infringements, the nation’s top cop said “absolutely”, leading to a hurried intervention by Malcolm Turnbull, who sought to downplay Colvin’s response, saying copyright owners wouldn’t be interested in obtaining metadata.

The communications minister pointed to torrent streaming as a key source of pirated content.

“What the rights owners do is they use different programs to participate in the swarm and identify the IP addresses of the computers infringing copyright, and then they seek from the ISPs via subpoena the account details of the holder,” Turnbull said.

“They do this pretty much in real-time, so the two year holding of data doesn’t make a big difference in terms of copyright infringement, they’re dealing with the here and now.”

Gizmodo Australia has more here.

But now we know. Download Game of Thrones illegally and you might end up with the AFP knocking at your door.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.