Whose watching you watching them?

Matt Tett

Matt Tett is the Managing Director of Enex TestLab, an independent testing laboratory with over 22 years history and a heritage stemming from RMIT University. Matt holds the following security certifications in good standing CISSP, CISM, CSEPS and CISA. He is a long standing committee member of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), Melbourne branch, and is also a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Enex TestLab can be found at http://www.testlab.com.au blog at http://enextestlab.blogspot.com and can be found on twitter as @enextestlab.

There has been a lot of public debate and emotive outcry over the government's proposal to enable a security agency to gain access to the historical user activity logs of Internet Service Providers. Under that provision the requirement will be for ISPs to retain such information for a period of two years and provide it if requested.

If this ever comes into being, don't forget they also have the current legal intercept laws, then the onus will be on ISPs to not only to store that subscriber information, but to store it securely. I would only presume that it is not going to take long for Australia to have its first public “ISP-record-hacking-gate” of a public identity’s personal web habits made public. The the ISPs will need to invest in beefing up their security and providing assurances.

But this all leads to the question of who watches the watchers. Another interesting article recently in the news, currently being beaten up by tabloid current affairs, is that of helmet mounted cameras for bicycles. While not a new technology, extremist mountain bikers have been launching themselves off ever steeper inclines, recording and sharing their death defying stunts for a number of years on these devices.

Now, however, vigilante commuter-bikers have got their hands on them and are using them to self-police those deliberately out to run them down on the street. Our governments local and state have been expanding their networks of CCTV surveillance systems in our neighbourhoods, but what about private surveillance cameras, are we going to turn into a society whose every move and action is recorded, both online and offline for later adjudication. Where does it stop and who will enforce the volumes of complaints and information?

Will the animals take over and will 1984 prove true (albeit a bit late)?

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Tags: data retention, law, ISPs

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