There is no free lunch. We need to be reminded of that over and over again. Apparently the Australian government wants to mandate telcos store customer data for 2 years. This is ostensibly to combat terrorism.

The telcos don’t like this, so their PR spinsters are talking about how this would cost $500-700M/year, and those costs would be passed onto consumers to the tune of about $100/year. They even referred to this as a “surveillance tax”. FUD-tastic! Got to hand it to those spinsters – they know how to create a frenzy.

Even better, the government is trying to extinguish the flames with calming statements like:

“the public should not be concerned that there’s going to be gross misuse”.

and even better:

“I cannot understand why it is correct for all your privacy to be invaded for a commercial purpose, and not for me to do so to save your life,”

ROFL. It is not okay for our privacy to be invaded by anyone. I guess these guys never learned that two wrongs don’t make a right.

And then they have the voice of reason, who happens to be a dude indicted by the US for leaking info on the NSA. This guy mentions that collecting and retaining all that consumer data creates a huge and irresistible target for hackers. No kidding.

What could possibly go wrong with any of this? At least I got my belly laugh in this Thursday morning.

Photo credit: Shepard Fairey in London: Big Brother Is Watching YOU originally uploaded by tim rich and lesley katon