Now banking data retention legislation is being developed


blog It’s not enough, it seems, for Australia’s law enforcement agencies to have unwarranted access to our telecommunications metadata. Now they’re going after metadata held by banks and other financial services companies as well. The Sydney Morning Herald quotes University of Sydney academic and former Westpac cybercrime executive Julie Beesley (we recommend you click here for the full article):

Ms Beesley, who will address a University of Sydney forum on crime trends on Thursday, said discussions were under way to legislate for banks to be forced to hand over IP addresses of customers to help counter-terrorism investigations, similar to the way telcos have been legislated to provide metadata.

“Data and more importantly, that related to financial intelligence, is simply becoming the weapon of choice for law enforcement,” Ms Beesley said.

This should hardly come as a surprise — I’ve been aware of this kind of push around financial services metadata for some time — but it is quite disappointing that, once again, this legislation appears to be being developed behind the scenes. Not one iota of public transparency. I’m not quite sure at what stage this push is at, although I’ll be attempting to find out over the next few weeks. If you know what’s going on, please feel free to get in contact with me, either with your real name (we’ll respect your confidentiality) or via Delimiter’s anonymous tips form.


  1. LEOs have had tracking in place on all local source/destination SWIFT(1) transactions for years; it seems now they want to add domestic tracking to their snooping, probably due to the manner in which international transaction have shifted from old school “wire transfer” through the low tech Hawala(2) and high tech [bit]coin, both of which they have no way of tracking


  2. Mac from the movie Entrapment will just keep 10 prototype superchips in his pocket. Worth half a million each, this payment will evade all metadata. Failing that, we can all barter with coconuts. Or pay with Bitcoin.

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