Australian spying bill includes mandatory data harvesting

The Australian government is looking to enact a mandatory data harvesting requirement for ISPs and phone service providers, something that will be proposed in a bill set to be submitted in the near future. This will come alongside another bill being prepped that will give the government expanded surveillance authority.

The information comes from The Guardian, which says service providers in Australia, under one of the bills, will be required to both capture and store their subscribers' metadata. The move is a bid to prevent terrorism.

The data stored by ISPs would have to be kept for up to two years, being provided to law enforcement and spy agencies as needed. Critics, among them being ISP iiNet, have spoken out against the upcoming surveillance bills, with privacy reasons and concerns about wholesale spying being at the center.

It was acknowledged by the committee that there is "a diversity of views" within itself about the mandatory data harvesting requirement, saying, "This is ultimately a decision for government." Such bills come at a time when Snowden leaks have revealed similar widespread surveillance by the NSA.

SOURCE: The Guardian