Published On: Thu, Feb 16th, 2017

Telcos in Australia Could Be Offshoring User Data and AGD Has No Clue of Its Whereabouts

Australian telecommunication companies could be storing all of their user information abroad and AGD doesn’t know where accurately they are storing it, Sarah Chidgey, First Assistant Secretary National Security Division during AGD, told a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) Thursday morning.

Telcos are compulsory by a supervision underneath a information influence intrigue to store patron information that includes their call records, plcae information, IP addresses, billing information, and other applicable data. However, these companies could be storing this information overseas, and a Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) that is charged with overseeing this system, doesn’t know accurately where this information is stored.

Australia is clueless where telcos are storing user data

Offshoring information prompts concerns for a comprehension agencies of that information being theme to unfamiliar legislation. In a United States, a tech companies (not telcos) have refused to yield information that has been stored overseas, given that is theme to internal laws.

In a parliamentary cabinet conference into a telco confidence reforms today, Chidgey pronounced that a dialect doesn’t trust if storing metadata abroad is a confidence risk, though also certified that a dialect had no discernment into a turn of offshoring now in use underneath a inhabitant information influence regime.

AGD’s Chidgey pronounced a existent legislation does not need telcos to surprise a dialect of offshoring. It simply final them to strengthen a information in suitability with the Privacy Act and Telecommunications Interception Act.

“That’s something we don’t know since there is no requirement for attention to tell us,” Chidgey said.

“The whole predecessor to a [metadata] Bill was that they would tell us,” Labor MP and cabinet emissary chair Anthony Byrne pronounced in response. “What you’re revelation me is that they will not even tell we either or not they are storing a metadata offshore.”

Australia’s information influence laws came into work in Oct 2015, and need telcos to store patron personal data, their trade data, and upload and download volumes, for dual years. However, they don’t force telecommunication operators to store this information inside Australia. The law – or a repudiation of this sold requirement, to be accurate – lifted concerns about information confidence and privacy. Reports advise that during slightest one telco (iiNet) indicated it would find a cheapest choice for storage, that was in China, during a time.

AGD argued telcos were compulsory underneath a information influence legislation to sufficient strengthen a consumer data. This radically means that a supervision is relying on a private companies to firmly store information outward of a country when they could only be going for a lowest cost options.

Byrne pronounced a miss of departmental discernment was “ridiculous” and “completely unacceptable”. “You’re a supervision group that is obliged to slip this and we can't answer a doubt about how most information is being offshored, that is only ridiculous,” he said.

It is totally unsuitable that we don’t know how most information is being stored offshore … we need to be wakeful of that, since we can't make supportive decisions, in my view, or a comprehension agencies can’t, or offer a suitable protections if you’re not being given this information.

Byrne called on a AGD to “make it a priority” to find out a locale of a nation’s telecommunications metadata. Under a new confidence reforms bill that entered parliament last November, telecom companies will be compulsory to forewarn AGD of new outsourcing or offshoring of supportive tools of their networks. It will also be a requirement to forewarn a department when telcos pierce apparatus outward Australia, buy apparatus that is located outward Australia, or enter into new outsourcing arrangements. However, it doesn’t make any discuss of a existent information influence regime.

“This check would deliver a presentation requirement, and one of a kinds of changes that would have to be told is information that is being stored offshore,” Anne Sheehan of AGD said.

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