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    ZDNet Australia: Data retention not blanket, but targeted

    ZDNet in Australia reports on data-retention by Internet Service Providers in that country:

    Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will only be required to retain data for targeted individuals who are being investigated for serious crimes under the European Convention on Cybercrime, the Attorney-General’s department has told a joint committee tribunal.

    When the Attorney-General’s department flagged in May last year that it intended to accede to the convention, there were concerns that ISPs would be required to store information on all user emails and communications for later use by law enforcement agencies..

    Catherine Smith, assistant secretary in the telecommunications and surveillance law branch of the Attorney-General’s Department, told a joint standing committee on treaties this morning that the convention would only require ISPs to retain selective data on specific individuals who were being investigated for a serious crime. […]

    Smith added that telcos are supportive of the targeted measures because they would provide them with “clarity” of what data they are required to retain. Smith pointed out that the cost burden of retaining data was getting cheaper as storage goes down in price.

    Although legislation has not yet been developed, Smith said that, under the convention, law enforcement agencies would approach an ISP with a certificate, requiring information pertaining to an individual to be retained until the agency can get a court order or warrant. […]

    Parliamentarians overseeing the hearing also flagged concerns raised by the West Australian government that the amendments to federal telecommunications and criminal laws, which are necessary to accede to the convention, may have an impact on existing state laws regarding computer crime. [Angus McDonald, first assistant secretary in the national security law and policy division of the Attorney-General’s department,] said that as most crime covered by the convention involved telecommunications, not computer crime specifically, it was unlikely that there would be any impact.

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