Australian data retention laws are deflecting discussion about real issues: barrister

Proposed anti-terrorist data retention laws are driven by “deflection politics”, according to South Australia’s Council for Civil Liberties (SACCL).The Federal Government wants to force telecommunications companies to keep metadata for two years to beef-up the powers of law enforcement agencies such as ASIO as part of the fight against “home-grown terrorism”.Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed there would be an “explosion in unsolved crimes” if the government’s proposed legislation did not pass Parliament.
Also see:Data retention absolutely necessary: assistant commissioner Tim Morris
Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Tim Morris is on a mission. With just days before a key parliamentary committee delivers a report on proposed data retention laws, he has a message: data retention is necessary for policing, especially counterterrorism.Mr Morris said “92 per cent of all our counterterrorism investigations use metadata”.”Across a whole range of crime types, terrorism is at the foremost of our minds for obvious reasons,” he said. “But metadata and telecommunications data is a vital aspect of all serious crime investigations, whether it’s child exploitation, serious and organised crime, cyber crimes, but yes, terrorism absolutely.”

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