The Australian Government Wants To Monitor Your Download Volumes For Its Metadata Plan

Senator George Brandis, Attorney General & Minister for the Arts Getty / Quinn Rooney

Following closed-door discussions with Australia’s major internet providers, the Attorney-General’s Department has drawn up plans that show the types of metadata it intendeds to capture and retain, including upload and download volumes.

A paper, obtained by The Australian, says telecommunication companies should store records that identify the names and addresses of individual internet and telephone ­account holders, as well as information to trace the source of a communication and the device used.

The Government also wants to know where and when communication services originate and terminate and just how much you’re downloading and uploading on the web.

The “preliminary discussions” paper asks ISPs to store “any current or historical ­supplementary identification”, which could include “date of birth, financial, billing and payment information, other transactional information, or contact information”.

Nothing in the paper says destination IP ­addresses or URLs will be captured or stored – a win for consumers.

Interestingly, the discussion paper does not outline whether social media sites and messaging applications metadata will be mined and retained under the new scheme.

The Government will require telecommunications companies to store metadata for up to two years.

The discussion paper is at least more more coherent than Attorney-General George Brandis’ recent attempts to explain the Government’s new retention process.

More here.

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