ISP Data Retention

So Nicola Roxon (Labor MP and Governer General), you think it would be a great idea to force ISPs to store our browsing history for 2 years. This is apparently needed to catch the bad guys. What could possibly go wrong?

Well for starters, it won’t actually stop criminals. Anybody doing anything illegal online will decide to use some form of encryption or anonymity.

This will only hurt law abiding citizens. The price of broadband will go up. Collecting and storing all this data will cost the ISPs money, and they will have little choice but to pass this cost on to their customers. Secondly, all this data is a goldmine – for advertisers, scammers and criminals. They will break into the ISPs and steal the data, making it available to everyone. You aren’t hurting criminals, you’re helping them.

Our privacy is important. Maybe I write pseudonymous fan fiction based on the tv show Glee, maybe I just googled “how to tell if you have herpes”. Maybe I don’t want the whole world knowing these things. Maybe some of your fellow MPs are into cross-dressing, or something equally innocuous they they nevertheless want kept private.

This is another one of those ridiculous schemes like the internet filter – there’s no win for anybody. It’s lose lose lose lose lose. Don’t be stupid Roxon.

For the same arguments written by someone better, check out Nick Ross’ article on the ABC.


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