Friday, September 28


Pollies Gone Wild

In case you haven't been following Australian politics of late (and I wouldn't blame you one bit), our federal government - specifically, the Attorney General, Nicola Roxon - has been floating a trial balloon to collect unprecedented amounts of information on the people of Australia.  Between ASIC and the AFP - roughly equivalent to the FTC SEC and FBI in American terms - they want to record all online communications and phone calls of everyone, and keep all the data forever.

I estimate that to be around 5 exabytes per year, and growing at about 50% per year.  Hardware costs for the storage alone would run about a billion dollars a year, never mind the expense of managing and maintaining it all.

Meanwhile, Telstra, the country's largest phone company and ISP, has been giving out customer information to everyone from the local council to the RSPCA.  And similarly, Origin Energy have been giving smart meter data out to a disturbingly broad variety of third parties in Australia and overseas.

I have two things to say.

First, everyone involved in this criminal idiocy should be removed from office at the first opportunity.

Second, time to invest in VPN companies.

iiNet (my ISP) also made the point that such a database will be an irresistible target for hackers, and given the government's plans to foist the operation expense onto the individual ISPs (of which there are several hundred), it will get hacked.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:29 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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I would have thought they would have blamed it on Tony Abbott if it backfired on them.  They do for everything else.

Does the Australian federal government still have the Orwellian policy of maintaining a list of banned websites but refusing to let anyone actually know which websites are on the list?


Posted by: cxt217 at Sunday, September 30 2012 04:00 PM (fYUtJ)

2 Yup.  They've also been holding closed meetings on new internet filtering proposals, and blocking both FOI requests and parliamentary inquiries.

I'd be more upset if any of this could possibly work.  As it is, I'm merely livid.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, October 01 2012 04:01 PM (PiXy!)

3 And it won't do a d@mned thing about spam.

(As I mentioned to help, I recently had my blog spammed, and after I deleted the offending comments, my recent comments widget was borked.)

Posted by: Mauser at Tuesday, October 02 2012 06:59 PM (cZPoz)

4 Yes, the comment ordering gets kind of skwiffy and needs to be reset.  That should all be cleaned up shortly.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 02 2012 08:45 PM (PiXy!)

5 We'll be switching from MySQL to MongoDB soon because of this.  It's not a MySQL bug - it's a Minx bug - but MongoDB's indexing is more powerful and removes the need for the fiddly code with the bug in it in the first place.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 02 2012 08:48 PM (PiXy!)

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