Australian metadata debate: the need for warrants should be our guiding principle by Bret Walker

There is more to the metadata retention controversy than the attorney general’s grasp of his brief. He and the more tech-savvy Malcolm Turnbull had form in opposition. Then, they claimed to regard Labor proposals to much the same effect as unjustified incursions on privacy – but the terrorist threats to Australia have not shifted enough, quantitatively let alone qualitatively, to explain their apparent shift of perception. Perhaps the fact that they were then in opposition and are now in government explains their shift.An important aspect of the debate is how vehement serious commentators are in their condemnation of the proposal, which would require businesses to retain for two years information that may not be significantly more revealing of private lives than records already kept.

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