Monday, 29 December 2014

Brandis caught out by metadata

George Brandis, the Attorney General for Australia is proposing a compulsory metadata retention scheme for Australian ISPs. He showed on a TV interview a few months ago that he basically had no idea what metadata was all about, mumbling about addresses on (snail mail) envelopes. Well, this week it should have been brought home to him what the fuss is all about.

Brandis hosted a dinner party in London on April 4 for "a group of senior British arts representatives". The bill was £627, with £228 in alcohol charges alone. The Age newspaper reported this as "George Brandis' 'obscene' $1100 dinner funded by taxpayers".

The food and wine were the "data" in this transaction. The topics of conversation could probably be called data too.  The cost, and the people involved would be the metadata. We don't know what was discussed, but we do know that the metadata itself has left a big stain on Brandis' character and judgement. So George, metadata counts, and your proposed legislation needs to be very careful about what is collected and who can use it.

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