Australian AG scraps ISP data retention plans

The Australian government has said that it will not move forward with plans for a mandatory data retention scheme.

Josh Taylor

Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has said that the government will not pursue a proposal to require Internet service providers (ISPs) to retain customer data for up to two years.

The parliamentary committee investigating the data retention proposal and a number of other proposed legislative changes to telecommunications and national security legislation today issued its report, and put the decision on whether to progress with a mandatory data retention scheme back on the government.

Law enforcement agencies have pushed for the scheme, as they have said that much of the so-called metadata — such as information about when a call is made, the phone number, the location, and the duration — is no longer being kept by telcos for billing purposes. The committee found that while agencies are generally for the proposal, the public submissions were largely against the scheme.

Over 40 government agencies made 293,501 requests for metadata from ISPs in 2011-12, all without the requirement of a warrant.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Australian government shelves data retention plans."