Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the internet, has used a speech in Sydney to attack the Gillard government’s data retention proposal. The government’s extraordinary plan is to store all Australians’ on line communications data for a two year period. Berners-Lee said of the government’s plans “you would have to treat them like dynamite – it could explode” and criticised the proposal saying that “the whole thing seems fraught with danger”:
“Storing data won’t contain criminals, it will only stop people who have taken out too many library books,” he said at the CSIRO’s launch of a $40 million research initiative focused on the digital economy. It is designed to improve the way health, financial and government services are delivered.
Sir Tim said cyber criminals would use identity blocking software such as VPNs to ensure they would not be detected by the system. He said it would instead be used to build “dossiers” on every single person in the country.
“These logs will know exactly what websites you gave gone to, what health URLs they’ve visited and the government could see exactly what kind of cancer they’re worried about,” he said.