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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Australian Government Accesses Data From Internet Companies

The NSA has said that it targeted non-US citizens in its information grab from large Internet companies. Australian and American government agencies have secured detailed data about Australian citizens. This fact came out in a new report.

In the first half of 2013 546 requests were made on Australians. Facebook provided details on 349 of these. The US demanded information on 20,000 users assumed to be Americans. Access was granted on nearly 16,000 US accounts.

Which government agencies made the demands was not announced by Facebook. Internet companies seem to have been given some sort of filtering power to decide what is released. This is strange considering such companies are not elected non-government agencies. Are they entitled to be above the law?

Requests to Twitter by Australia have risen 600 percent since the second half of 2012. All members of the international data oligopoly were approached. About two thirds of all requests were successful. There is a fine balance here. What happens if police want information that Internet companies will not grant? Are in-camera court cases about to become the norm, where information is deemed to be too sensitive for the public?
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