You can’t handle the data ALYCIA GET UP

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You can’t handle the data


Alycia – GetUp!

6:43 PM (1 hour ago)

to me
Go dark


It’s happening. The Government’s data retention scheme looks set to pass the Senate tonight, with Labor’s support. If this happens, it’s a terrible outcome for Australians, and the media and whistleblowers who keep us informed.

This scheme is rushed, costly, ineffective, and against the public interest. A lazy amendment from the ALP – purportedly to prevent this dodgy data bill from having a freezing effect on the media – has as many holes in it as a slice of Swiss cheese. It leaves journalists and whistleblowers largely unprotected,1 and will see every one of us treated as a potential suspect. Essentially, it punishes the wrong people. But as the Government and Labor team up to rush the legislation through the Senate, we have a way of getting their attention by illustrating just how problematic this bill really is.

Can you join us in ‘going dark’ against data retention tomorrow to protest the Government’s dangerous and ineffective scheme?

The message we’re sending is clear. In its haste to rush these broad sweeping laws, the Government’s costly scheme has targeted all of us while ignoring just how easy it is to circumvent data retention. The truth is, anyone who wants to protect their privacy (yes, this includes people with something to hide) has a huge range of perfectly legal options to do so, including simply avoiding Australian service providers. Now that’s just bad for business!

The impact of this is that Australians familiar with technology will easily be able to protect their data, while those that aren’t as comfortable with newer technology will bear the brunt of the risks associated with data retention.

Across Australia tomorrow, citizens will be showing the government and Labor that this law will be another costly white elephant that doesn’t make us any safer.

Click here to sign up and learn how to go dark:

Alycia, for the GetUp team.

PS: If you’ve just got a moment, change your Facebook and Twitter profile picture to this image to help spread the word.

PPS: Even the Government’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull understands how important metadata is and how easy it is to avoid scrutiny. He has fessed up to using an instant messaging app which avoids retention, and joked last year that private networks (VPNs) could be used to circumvent data retention laws. By contrast, our Prime Minister recalls never being that worried about metadata back when he was a journalist in the 1980’s… at a time that pre-dated widespread internet and mobile phone use.2 Go figure!


[1] Data retention plan amended for journalists, but is it enough? The Conversation, 20th March 2015.
[2] Data retention: Journalists’ union labels Tony Abbott’s defence of metadata protections ‘ludicrous’, ABC News, Wednesday 18th March 2015.

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