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Comment TIA Act, not the Privacy Act. (Score 1) 117

People, please note that the investigation by the police will be focusing on the Telecommunications Interception Act which governs the interception (inadvertant or otherwise) of anything that is traversing over the Australian Telecommunications Network.

The ATN is any medium and communications device that is directly connected to any Australian infrastructure. This includes all your home routers, all telephones and any other communications medium.

Compare this with the Privacy Act, (which may also apply) it is radically different. The privacy act doesn't really apply here.

Have you ever wondered why all call centres tell you they may record your call for training purposes? That's to get around the TIA act. Otherwise they would be breaching a very significant law.

It is also illegal in Australia to run a spam/malware filter without notifing and having the user agree to a machine intercepting your email. If you don't agree to this, your company or sysadmin is breaking the TIA act and is liable to be sent to jail. (@AussieSysadmins Pro tip: Make sure you have your arse covered.)

Please note that this isn't a money grabbing exercise by the government, it will only cost them money to investigate, prosecute and detain anyone. They will not be sueing Google for money. That's not how the law in Australia works.

Also note that it is not the same as overhearing someone in the street. The privacy act governs that and only applies if the person being overheard has a reasonable expectation of privacy while they were being overheard.

You can connect to any open wifi access point you want, it's when you capture or sniff any of the packets that you start breaching the TIA act and are liable for jail time.

I hope this clears things up for some people.

If you are interested, please have a flick through the TIA act here:

Comment Re:When will this end? (Score 1) 117

It's completely different to taping someone in a public place!!

That's the Privacy Act.

The law that Google has breached is the Telecommunications Interception Act. Completely different law concerning completely different matters.

You can connect to someone else's WIFI access point all you like, but once you capture or sniff any of that traffic you are breaching the TIA act.

Comment Re:In other news.. (Score 1) 117

If you read the actual law, you would realise that the overhearing something in the street is NOT the same as intercepting something that is on the Australian Telecommunications Network.

The only way that would be illegal is if the people had a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Privacy Act.

The TIA act only applies to the ATN.

Please research before making unsubstantiated claims.

Comment Re:give it a rest (Score 1) 117

The TIA would not protect against this.

You are sending your IP address to a tracker, which then sends the information to the copyright enforcers. Once it arrives on the **AA pc's, it's no longer on the Australian Telecommunications network, and therefore no longer covered by the Telecommunications Interception Act.

Comment Re:give it a rest (Score 2, Insightful) 117

It may be publically available, but it's very specifically prohibited under the Australian Telecommunications Interception Act.

If the AFP choose to, they would be prosecuted under criminal law, they wont be sued.

People can go to jail for this. The government will not be making any sort of money out of this. Only upholding the law.

Comment Re:No doubt Stephen Conroy is involved (Score 1) 117

The law they allegedly broke, has nothing to do with RF or open networks. It has everything to do with the Telecommunications Interception Act.

It's a very specific law which they broke.

Ever wonder why every single call centre you call gives you a warning you may be recorded for training purposes? The real reason is if they don't say you may be recorded, they would be breaking the same law that Google broke. It's got nothing to do with networks and everything to do with the Australian Telecommunications Network.

Comment Re:It's about scale (Score 2, Interesting) 117

The problem is the TIA act in Australia forbids unauthorised interception of *any* medium that forms part of the Australian Telecommunications Network, which your home network does in fact form part of.

This is a massive deal under Australian law. There is a specific law that specifically prohibits what Google did. So, yes, recording even a single packet is a massive deal under this law.


Submission + - German InfoSec Industry in the Mist (

SkiifGeek writes: "The German law that makes it illegal to create, own, distribute, or use 'hacking tools' has now come into effect. Groups such as Phenoelit have stopped all German-based activity, while the CCC has taken a more humorous approach to the problem. Recent activity has seen the sample exploit code that accompanied the Month of PHP Bugs taken offline.

Although the law has yet to be used in a real case, it seems that a number of concerned groups are not taking the risk, and the German Information Security industry faces an uncertain future."

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