Thursday, August 28, 2014

Confidential Australia Data Retention Discussion Paper Leaked

It’s the secret industry consultation paper the Australian federal government didn’t want you to see.

Produced by the Attorney-General’s Department and distributed to telecommunications industry members on Friday, the nine-page document attempts to clarify what customer internet and phone records the government wants companies such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet to store for the purpose of law enforcement and counterterrorism.

The requirement is part of a proposed data retention regime, which has been given “in principle” approval by the Abbott government. It seeks to continue to allow law enforcement and spy agencies to access customer identifiable data without a warrant as prescribed by law, but would ensure the data is not deleted for a mandated period of two years.

When it comes to metadata, the AG’s department wants telcos to store a few things, including:
• present and past subscriber name
• address information
• 64-bit IMSI ID and other network identifiers
• financial/billing information
• account state and billing type
• upload/download volumes on mobile devices
• upload/download allowances on the plan
• phone number
• type of service used (network type, i.e. ADSL, 4G LTE)
IMEI device identifiers
• location of devices used
The paper explicitly rules out the retention of data that indicates what sites internet customers access but it does not rule out agencies asking for a customer’s web history if a telco does hold it for other purposes. Recently, it was revealed Telstra handed over URL information without a warrant to agencies.

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