Pirate Party supports EFA/GetUp! petition against mandatory data retention

In response to the recent announcement that the Government will pursue a mandatory two-year data retention regime in Australia, Electronic Frontiers Australia and GetUp! have launched a petition opposing these plans[1]. The Pirate Party, which had a similar petition tabled in the Senate in February 2013[2], is fully supportive of the initiative and encourages all Australians concerned about their privacy and incursions into their right to free expression to sign it.

The petition is available at https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/privacy/mandatory-data-retention-efa–2/sign-the-petition

“Metadata is everything and nothing if you believe what has been unthinkingly blurted by each Government minister given the opportunity to ramble aimlessly on a topic they have no understanding of[3][4],” said Brendan Molloy, President of the Pirate Party. “What is clear is that there are far-reaching, negative consequences of the introduction of any data retention regime and we are wholeheartedly against their introduction.

“Please sign this petition to show that Australians are firmly against data retention measures that would not only be ineffective at combatting crime but would also unnecessarily and disproportionately impact on our civil rights to privacy and free expression. Australians have the right not to be treated as criminals by default. We’ve fought it before, we’ll fight it again, and we’ll win.”

The significant majority (98.9% by some estimates[5][6]) of submissions made to the National Security Inquiry in 2012-13 were against the introduction of a data retention regime.

It is unclear just what data will be collected and stored under the retention regime, however it appears from comments made by the Attorney-General that it will extend as far as the websites that Internet users visit. No legislation has been proposed, making it incredibly difficult to critique the proposals in detail.

[1] https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/privacy/mandatory-data-retention-efa–2/sign-the-petition
[2] https://pirateparty.org.au/2013/02/26/data-retention-goes-back-underground-as-campaign-turns-up-the-heat/
[3] http://www.skynews.com.au/video/program_agenda/2014/08/06/agenda-security-laws-may-collect-metadata.html
[4] https://soundcloud.com/something-wonky/george-brandis-dubstep (necessary listening for all true masochists)
[5] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sundayextra/905-segment/5655718
[6] http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/motion-data-retention