You should probably know, dear readers, that a journalist information warrant to secure data retention for this website does not exist and is not currently being applied for.
This statement may now render me liable to two years in an Australian prison.
Sorry to any regular readers who don’t like partisan rants. Leave the page now. Normal service will resume shortly. Maybe.
I’m cross because both main parties in the Australian Senate agreed to pass a very flawed bill on data retention. Here is just one of the many ridiculous and offensive clauses taken from the third reading of the bill, which was voted into law quite comfortably by people who should know better about technology and who have little regard for human rights. I am happy to break this law flagrantly and will continue to do so until it is repealed. The statement at the start of this post might be breaking Section 182A of the new Act in two different ways. I encourage all Australians who care about privacy, government overreach or poor legislation to put the statement on their websites and emails, then turn themselves in to the police. Don’t worry if you don’t have a computer – to attract a two year jail sentence you can just speak the phrase into your phone.
182A Disclosure/use offences: journalist information warrants
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person discloses or uses information; and
(b) the information is about any of the following:
(i) whether a journalist information warrant (other than such a warrant that relates only to section 178A) has been, or is being, requested or applied for;
(ii) the making of such a warrant;
(iii) the existence or non‑existence of such a warrant;
(iv) the revocation of such a warrant.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.
Watch the deceptively softly-spoken Senator Scott Ludlam’s critique of the bill.
the Australian Government still can’t tell us how much it will cost; most importantly, they can’t tell us how they would protect the data which is now going to be something of a honey pot for people with malicious intent – and most importantly, they can’t tell us how trapping and storing the private information and the records of 23 million innocent people will make us safer or reduce the incidence of crime.
Finally, thank you to the 16 senators who voted against.