Telstra Hoardes a Bunch of Info About Us Regular Folk

The Sydney Morning Herald:

Confidential documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the secret technology used to trawl Australians’ telecommunications and internet data for analysis by ASIO, the ASD and law enforcement agencies.

Telstra was forced (or co-operated, we don’t really know) to install software called Gigamon, which is resold by Newgen (a Melbourne company) that sucked up all the calls and emails that went through 10 of Telstra’s exchanges, stored it in a rolling buffer, made available to Australian law enforcement.

I guess we all knew this was happening in some shape or form locally, but we didn’t know the breadth of it until now. How we feel as a community that there are servers somewhere, with our calls and email, is the sort of discussion these leaks are having. Maybe we’re okay with that. Many people aren’t, but many people don’t seem to have a problem with it.

It would be really nice to see the actual documents the SMH received from Edward Snowden/The Guardian in order to concoct this story, just so those of us with the knowledge of these areas can judge for ourselves, rather than Fairfax’s interpretation of it. The article doesn’t mention what happened with encrypted data, what if I don’t use a Telstra service? (e.g: my phone call took place on Optus, does this mean it wasn’t logged?) or what actual metadata and data was captured, how long it was stored for, what it was potentially used for and so on.

I don’t exactly trust most of the reporters who have this information to interpret it properly or fairly, without the colour tinge added when having to seduce people to read their article on a busy news website. At least with the information the journalists have made public, people can form their own opinions, if they so desire to take the time to look at the facts presented to them.