The Australian federal government’s data retention package is close to its end. If one particular bill is passed, many believe journalists and their sources will face an even more difficult reporting environment in Australia. This interesting information came to us from The Guardian in their article, “Deal to pass data retention package leaves journalists and sources exposed.

The parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security recommended that a series of amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act should be passed. The attorney general’s power to determine which agencies can access metadata would be curbed, and the dataset for collection would be encompassed in the act, rather than by regulation made by the attorney general. This directly affects the metadata found in site visit histories and phone logs. Therein lies the concern for journalists.

Metadata gets a bad rap. It is a valuable tool for many applications. As we move into more business intelligence integration, remember that standards are what drives consistency. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.