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10 Oct, 2014

Australian spies can access my metadata, so why can’t I? – Sydney Morning Herald

By Ben Grubb, Deputy Technology Editor.

This hearing isn’t where I expected to be 15 months ago when I sent Telstra an email requesting access to my metadata.

But, after more than a year of phone calls and emails and a private mediation session, it still hasn’t released the information or answered my one key question satisfactorily: the government can access my Telstra metadata, so why can’t I?

My local council, the Australian Taxation Office, spy agency ASIO and Australian law enforcement authorities including federal and state police and even the RSPCA can trawl through my internet and phone metadata, seeing who I’ve spoken to – and who has spoken to me – for how long, where and on what date.

They can also potentially see which websites I’ve visited, who’s emailed me, who I have emailed, and much more.

My geo-location at any time – sometimes down to the street or house – can also be exposed by metadata, thanks to mobile phone tower triangulation.

And importantly, access to this type of information by agencies is without judicial oversight and done more than 330,000 times each year. Considering this, you’d think I should be able to access it too, right? Apparently not, according to Telstra.

Read the rest: Spies can access my metadata, so why can’t I? My 15-month legal battle with Telstra.