House debates

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Constituency Statements

Data Retention

9:54 am

Photo of Alannah MactiernanAlannah Mactiernan (Perth, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Ryan will note that on this side we are supporting your case by wearing red today. Over the last month, as I have been travelling around my electorate people have been raising with me their concerns on data retention, and I think many people will be horrified at the pre-emptory way in which these laws are being introduced into the parliament today, very much as we speak. To give you one example, Chris McCormack, who is a constituent, writes to me saying, 'I'm the owner of a successful small business of 10 years. I am a husband and I am a father. I oppose mandatory detention in Australia. The concept that innocence is presumed until guilt is proven is the cornerstone of our nation. I value my digital privacy. When I use the internet I want secure, private communication; I don't want to be surveilled and spied upon when I am not suspected of a crime. Mandatory data retention will be costly to internet service providers and the other technology oriented businesses such as mine. These measures are bad for business and bad for the economy.' He goes on and, quite rightly, says 'Stronger surveillance does not make us safer; it makes us less safe. The presumption that entities tasked with surveilling will not make mistakes with our data or face any type of corruption is not correct. As you know, corruption exists and mistakes and data often happen. They are, unfortunately, inevitable.'

These comments are very much reflected by people across the board in Australian society. Yesterday I went to a very interesting briefing with various industry and consumer leaders. They were absolutely worried about the potential for this legislation to fundamentally change our way of life and they point to the irony that, supposedly, under the justification that we need to preserve our way of life we are taking action that potentially will undermine our very culture and that very freedom that we hold so precious. Presentations were made by people like Clinton Fernandes, from the Australian Centre for Cyber Security, who showed us the very great reach of this data and that this goes well beyond just preserving the phone and email records. Indeed he made reference to the potential for the Internet of Things to monitor every part of our lives. (Time expired)