Federal Government in talks to monitor all web browsing

Federal Government in talks to monitor all web browsing

iiNet: Monitoring system would be technically easy but very expensive to implement

The Federal Government is considering the introduction of a system that would force ISPs to record browsing histories of every Internet user in Australia.

According to, the Attorney-General’s Department is considering introducing the new measure for security reasons. It had been analysing the European Directive on Data Retention, to see if it was suitable for Australia.

ARN contacted the department, which said the issue was ongoing. It is in consultation on the idea.

iiNet’s chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said any scheme that required user histories to be recorded was technically simple to execute.

“You would need a massive amount of storage and a change in the legislation to make it possible because I don’t believe it would be legal today,” Dalby said. “I would suspect the Government would start on the basis that we would pay for it but that’s only an assumption.

“Recording the URLs by themselves would not be sufficient. You’d need to record the identity and contact details of the individuals as well.”

But despite the ease of recording these details and the potential benefits to public safety, Dalby said iiNet did not believe such a measure was necessary.

“I don’t think anybody would be receptive to having their private activity monitored or recorded,” he said. “I think the current process where law enforcement agencies get a warrant to intercept and require us to provide information works well.”

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Tags iiNetAttorney-General's Departmentmonitor Web browsing

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