If the public has learned one thing from the Snowden revelations, it’s that the mass collection of personal data from private citizens does absolutely ZERO to prevent terrorism or improve public safety.
Unfortunately it appears that Australia’s NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione didn’t get the memo and is convinced that, “…Australians will have to sacrifice some of their privacy expectations in order to stay safe from terrorist attacks and criminal activity.”
“…Australians will have to sacrifice some of their privacy expectations in order to stay safe from terrorist attacks and criminal activity.”
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Scipione made the comments at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event in Sydney. He was responding to a Fairfax Media question about how data retention laws championed by Australian authorities would affect goodwill towards police in the community.
Data retention laws would require internet service providers and telcos to collect and store information about their customers’ internet habits in order to help identify potential security risks.
Mr Scipione said it was perplexing that, as consumers, people were prepared to sacrifice their privacy in order to receive discounts and better deals but not for the sake of their safety.
“At what stage does the community say, we’re prepared to give up some of our privacy in order to remain secure?” he said.
Mr Scipione has been one of the most vocal of Australia’s police commissioners pursuing the laws, which would also require carriers to collect information to identify who is involved in communications on their networks, including their location and the time they make them, but not the content of those communications.
They would be required to keep the information to be made available for interception warrants for at least two years.