Roxon under pressure after severe public backlash

Does Nicola Roxon support the data retention plan? Is it a “proposal” or is it just an interesting hypothetical policy we can bat around?

The Attorney-General’s Department’s Discussion Paper groups data retention among the proposals which it was “expressly seeking … views” on.

As FreedomWatch pointed out, the Minister seemed to distance herself from data retention last month. At the time, Roxon rightly pointed out that the case for data retention has not been made.

But then came this speech, where she claimed data retention was a necessity because without it, law enforcement will be unable to “investigat[e] crime in light of new technologies.”

Last week, Roxon wrote letters to the editor of both The Age and the Herald Sun. She denies being the “cheer squad and number one advocate for all of the reforms.”

But then the Minister published this YouTube video online today. In it she admits law enforcement agencies already have the power to access data. She says these powers are “important for fighting crime.”

As Delimiter has highlighted, Roxon doesn’t mention the most recent amendments to national security laws. Those changes were made in late August and gave law enforcement agencies the power to order ISPs to preserve and store data.

So the only data law enforcement agencies don’t have access to is that of law-abiding citizens?

The Attorney General’s vacillation on this issue (not to mention the video) shows just how unpopular this proposal is.

But it’s also strange that a Minister has spent time making speeches and publishing a video about a policy she reckons she isn’t committed to.

Why launch such a passionate defence if data retention is merely a suggestion made by the Attorney General’s Department?

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