22 June 2010

Labor elusive on web history collection

THE federal government has refused to make clear whether it will force ISPs to record the websites accessed by their customers.

Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam asked Labor frontbench senator Penny Wong in question time on Monday whether ISPs would be required to record the web browsing histories of every internet user in the country.

Senator Wong said the attorney-general's department had been discussing telecommunications data access for law enforcement and national security purposes with industry groups.

"This data collection is a valuable tool which has occasionally, under both sides of politics, been used by law enforcement agencies to identify participants in criminal networks and terrorist organisations,'' she told parliament

Senator Wong said data might include information which could identify people involved in a communication, when and where the communication took place, and its duration.

"But I understand it would not extend to the content of the communication,'' she said.

Senator Wong stressed that any data collection scheme had to strike the balance between preserving individual privacy, recognising commercial realities and upholding the community's expectation that crimes are investigated and prosecuted.

After question time, Senator Ludlam presented a petition to the chamber from almost 20,000 people calling for the upper house to reject any internet filtering plan.

The government wants to introduce a mandatory internet filter aimed at blocking access to illegal online material such as child pornography.

This is NOT about 'child pornography', BUT the beginning of the end of the freedom to browse the internet.

In the government draft it will use the term 'illegal material' which can have a broad spectrum.

This is about the freedom of speach or political views /opninions.

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