Roxon turns to YouTube for data retention argument

The Attorney-General has turned to YouTube to broadcast a message about data retention.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is continuing to try to stem the public backlash against data retention, offering a YouTube clip for not-for-profit organisation GetUp! to broadcast.

The organisation has declined to accept the video.

“GetUp! claims that companies will be required by law to store every message you send, every website you visit, every conversation you have, or product you buy for two years. This is simply not true,” Roxon said in the clip.

Roxon also stated GetUp! has claimed ASIO can demand personal passwords to access computers and social networking sites or face jail penalties.

“Again, that’s totally false. There is no proposal that people give up passwords,” she said.

“But sophisticated criminals, particularly paedophiles, are known to encrypt their information. There are already powers for law enforcement agencies under warrant to compel suspects to decrypt data held on a computer to turn unintelligible information into compelling evidence against these serious criminals.”

While Roxon again stated she still had not made up her mind on whether the proposals on data retention should go ahead, she has previously stated law enforcement authorities need data retention to solve crimes.

Roxon recently wrote to the Herald Sun stating the the government is not proposing to store the contents of emails and Facebook data.

“As the Attorney-General, I want to make sure that our police and national security agencies can keep up with this rapidly evolving technology and the new environment,” she said in the video.

“Of course we must also have the right checks and balances in place to ensure that national security powers are not abused and that the privacy of Australians is respected.”

A parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security is currently carrying out an inquiry to consider proposals for reforms for telecommunications interception, telecommunications sector security and Australian intelligence community legislation.

One of the most contentious aspects of the proposals includes "tailored data retention periods for up to two years for parts of a data set".

The committee is expected to report to the government by the end of the year.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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