To date, Australia’s privacy case is in the limelight, the federal court of Australia blown severely to the local privacy law and narrowed the definition of “personal information.”
In April 2017 Australia metadata laws came into effect, stated that the internet service provider and telecommunication companies are officially required to record the metadata of their users. As per the legislation, metadata from phone calls, texts messages, email and internet activity tracked by the government and accessible by the intelligence. As per the law, metadata includes;
- Name, address, date of birth, email addresses and other identifying credentials
- Communication details; mode, location, timing, duration, receiver details, and network used.
Although the law does neither include website details nor user activities on websites, create a devastating confusion among the public and the media; leaving the Aussies in the weakest privacy regimes. Ironically, this law passed after privacy awareness week and surprisingly, this bill is in line with the trend of eroding civil rights in western democracies; most notably Investigatory Powers Act in the UK and the repealing the privacy laws in the USA.
This law contradicts with the democratic principles on which Australia was founded. This metadata collection laws cause indiscrimination between comprising ordinary people and the people who are accessing their data and restricting their digital freedom and privacy, and this would cause genuine harm.
How Can The Law Be Challenged?
Technologies have evolved the privacy paradigms. Aussies it’s the high time to start using technologies to secure your online privacy. Reviewing all the possible technologies is beyond the scope of this blog, we highly recommend you to use the following ones;
The topmost technology that needs to be implemented right away is the virtual private network, VPN. VPN merely hide your IP and replace with a fake yet untraceable IP and encrypt your communication in a secure tunnel; so nobody can record your communication. With an Australian VPN, you are entirely anonymous in the digital world. A VPN instantly hide your surfing details from your ISP; the day on which the metadata laws passed declared to be the ‘Get a VPN’ day. So, it’s high time to be a nobody in the virtual universe using the right encryption technologies.
Software like Tor – The Onion Router; protects your anonymity and conceal your internet activities from all the surveillance and intelligence is also an effective option.
A growing popularity of encrypted messaging applications reflects their effectiveness. But, be aware of some sub-standard and unprotected applications that fall back your privacy and security. So get reliable apps like Signal and Telegram and don’t be a prey of any other privacy-breaching menace.
Being Australians, you have the privilege to elect your representatives. The best way to oppose the current laws is to cast a vote in the favor for those candidates who reflect genuinely democratic principles of modern Australian society. An honest and critical open-debate can also save the citizens’ civil rights from deterioration; it’s essential to raise voice against such steps.
The Australian data-retention law is a distortion of the society and indiscriminately targeting all the Australians. You all must not allow the pernicious intent of a handful terrorists to be used as a lame excuse to harm your civil rights and change the fabric of your society. On an individual level, take every precautionary measure and follow other security protocols to save your digital existence; otherwise, your data would soon be exposed to the world.