The Australian government is taking steps beyond mandatory metadata retention with its newly-announced counter-encryption plans. This interesting information came to our attention from AD Net in their article, “Data retention’s value for money still not proven: Criminologist.”

“It comes back to that very delicate debate about, well, if you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s your problem? We haven’t had that debate,” said Rick Sarre, professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the University of South Australia. “Maybe the encryption data debate is there because metadata has just simply not provided the sort of information we need, or metadata has provided such a wealth of information that we now want to go further and get the encrypted data. I tend to think it’s the former.”

Privacy and human rights expectations can be damaged by sharing metadata with nations with less stringent controls. Australia’s 60,000 police already have a complex job, as does law enforcement in developing countries. Cyber crime adds an entire new level of responsibilities.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.