The measure will mean that details of personal internet and text traffic, but not the content, will have to be made available by telecommunications companies to public sector officials investigating crime, or to "protect the public". The measure will also cover VOIP — voice over internet protocol — calls such as Skype.
This is justified on the grounds that much of the information is already stored as billing information by the companies.
I'm pretty sure we can all agree that this is a Bad Thing. I would like to ask how far will people let their government go in the name of "protecting the public" before they start asking for protection from the government?
On the other hand, I think it could generally be a good thing, if implemented in the right way. Perhaps with a little taste of radical transparency in government this could be useful. If this goes through, could we publish the location/content of all the SMS/emails initiated from/to all government employees? If there is no expectation of privacy (for anyone), and they have done nothing wrong, then they have nothing to hide right?
On another note, what is the over under on how long till this program gets abused for something incredibly ridiculous? My prediction — three weeks till a govt. employee gets busted tracking their daughters/sons/wife's SMS and email for no good reason.