Recently you may have seen news reports about Australia enforcing “Metadata” laws for Internet Service Providers. What does this mean to you and should you be worried?
Simply put the government is forcing ISP’s to keep years worth of logs about internet usage.
But what is Metadata?
I read this in an article somewhere and while overly simplified it gives you an idea of what is Metadata.
Imagine you are making a phone call from a mobile phone. The content of the conversation is not recorded but the phone number rang, the time that you rang, the duration of the call, which cell tower you went through is recorder.
So in internet speak the content of that file you downloaded is not kept, but the fact you went to Site A on a particular day and downloaded it to your computer will be.
So what if the government wants to record how many times I go to Gmail or Itunes to download music?
True enough who cares (well some people might 🙂 ), but what if that’s not the only place you visit? Ever get one of those annoying pop-ups that send you to a site you didn’t want to go? Yep that is all recorded against your profile. What about if you are using a torrent site to download…. ahem stuff? 😉 , that’s right that will also be recorded.
There is the positive side in the sense that if you have people researching how to make bombs etc, it can be potentially flagged as an early warning system but this gets too close to “Big Brother” for my liking.
Should I be worried and what can I do?
In all honesty not all the ISP’s are ready to meet the government requirement. However they do have a deadline of 2017 to meet with the legislation.
You have several options but the best is to use s secure VPN for your internet connection. There are many free and paid services out there (though the paid ones are generally more reliable). As to which is the best I will leave that up to you to decide. I have personally begun to use PIA (Private Internet Access) and it appears to be very good and quite easy to use. It supports all major operating systems as well as iphones/ipads and android phone and tablets.
So now you know and you can make your own decisions on the course of action you decided to take.by