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EFA says cybercrime code will violate net users' privacy

Source: THE AGE
Date: August 20, 2003

Cyber attack A proposed Cybercrime Code of Practice for ISPs would result in massive invasion of internet users' privacy, Electronic Frontiers Australia, a group which campaigns for online rights and freedoms, has warned.

The draft code was recently issued for public consultation by the Internet Industry Association of Australia.

The EFA said it had been developed in secret over the last two years by the IIA and law enforcement agencies.

"The IIA is acting like Big Brother - they want ISPs to log and record everything Internet users do online," said Irene Graham, EFA executive director. "It's akin to asking a carrier to record every telephone conversation made over its system and asking Australia Post to photocopy every letter and record the content of every parcel it delivers."

Ms Graham said the data collection and retention provisions of the Code sought to establish a de facto extension of the telecommunications interception regime.

"It would enable access to vastly more communications and personal information without a warrant of any sort, than results from telephone call intercepts that require an interception warrant," she said.

"The information would be logged and kept by ISPs solely to comply with a voluntary Industry Code. More disturbingly, the logs could disclosed to law enforcement agencies and private sector organisations, such as those investigating alleged copyright infringements, without the accountability and oversight mechanisms applicable to interception warrants."

Ms Graham said the EFA had concerns about numerous other parts of the draft code.

"The code fails to take into sufficient account the existing provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Privacy Act 1988. Compliance with various provisions of the Code is likely to place an ISP in breach of one or both of those Acts," she said.

"Since it's taken two years for the IIA and law enforcement agencies to develop the code, it's clear there aren't any compelling problems facing law enforcement agencies that warrant the adverse impact on privacy. The code should be abandoned."

Original article at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/08/20/1061261191732.html

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