Who’s snooping who?

The attorney-general doesn’t want Chinese authorities, through Huawei, snooping on our internet activity. Meanwhile, in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that no one should be tracking what’s happening online, except for the government.

This week on Twisted Wire we look at how governments are getting more and more involved in what’s happening on the internet. Nick Pickles from Big Brother Watch, a lobby group in the UK, describes Cameron’s proposals as indiscriminate.

I can see his point, although, as I discuss in the program, if all they are looking at is the logs of who has communicated with whom, without seeing the content of those communications, isn’t it a sensible step to study trends, highlight abnormalities and determine who they need to investigate further?

The response in Britain seems to have been as overwhelming as the first reaction here to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s mandatory internet filter.

In Australia, the reaction has been mixed to the attorney-general’s decision to ban Huawei from supplying equipment for the National Broadband Network. Paul Brooks from Layer 10 Advisory provides one strong reason why we should be careful when choosing our suppliers — imagine, for example, in a time of war, if our major network suddenly stops working. Isn’t that a possibility we should be concerned about?

Tell us what you think. Do you think the government is becoming too involved in analysing and restricting what we do online, or is there a role for them to play? Leave a comment below or leave a message on the Twisted Wire feedback line (02) 9304 5198 and have your say on the program.

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