Stop the Secrecy

Buzzfeed: This George Brandis interview on government spying is just painful

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:59 -- Eva Prkachin

The Australian government wants to force telcos to collect subscribers' private information and store it for up to two years, but Attorney General George Brandis doesn't seem to understand what that data actually reveals. Do you think that a government that doesn't even understand Internet technology and information should be imposing these kind of laws?

Article by Mark Di Stephano for Buzzfeed

Attorney-General George Brandis had the interview from hell on Wednesday night, trying to explain the federal government’s new plan to retain all phone and internet data of its citizens.

It announced Tuesday that all Australian telecommunications companies would be required to collect all phone and internet metadata for two years, as part of its plan to fight so-called “homegrown terrorism”.

The plan was met with skepticism from the digital community, and Brandis went on Sky News’ blue-ribbon daily political show PM Agenda, hosted by David Speers.

But Speers did not let Brandis get away with his “letter” metaphor, specifically asking how collecting metadata was not the same as collecting someone’s “browser history”.

Throughout the eight-minute interview Brandis struggled to clarify what the government was trying to do, eventually claiming, “I don’t want to pre-empt the discussions, I think we are going down, as it were, the wrong path here.”

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