The peak organisation for journalists, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), has condemned the new data retention law that came into effect yesterday.
The law, which was passed in March this year, means telecommunications and mobile companies are required to keep the metadata of consumers for two years.
Metadata refers to the who, what, when and where of a communication, but not the why. For example, in emails, the telco will know who you sent an email to, at what time, from where, but won’t know the subject matter. Read all you need know about the new laws here.
The law also means government agencies can access the metadata without a warrant. However, they will need to obtain a Journalists Information Warrant when trying to find out sources.
The MEAA released a statement on Monday, the day before the data retention laws came into place, condemning the law, saying it poses a risk to journalists and their sources.
Under the MEAA code of ethics, it’s an obligation to protect the identity of anonymous sources.
The MEAA said the new laws will mean government agencies will be able to circumvent these obligations. The Journalist Information Warrant scheme, mentioned above, was apparently a last-minute inclusion, and one which the MEAA deems “no safeguard at all”.
“Merely cosmetic dressing that demonstrates a failure to understand or deal with the press freedom threat contained in the legislation,” a statement on the MEAA website said.
The MEAA claims it was introduced without any consultation and will operate in secret “with the threat of a two year jail term for reporting the existence of a Journalist Information Warrant”.
The director of MEAA’s Media section Katelin McInerney said: “These laws are a massive over-reach by the Government and its agencies. They make every citizen a suspect, seek to intimidate and silence whistleblowers, and crush public interest journalism.
“We ask the Prime Minister to urgently review this and the earlier tranches of national security legislation, to restore a proper balance between free speech and security.”
By Suzanne Mitchell, Senior Director of Marketing at GoDaddy Australia As 2021 dawns in Australia, it does so with greater stability and hope for businesses and individuals than since the pandemic intensified locally last March. The Covid-induced digital transformation boom has created, in its wake, a hyper-individualised world whereby audiences have more control over what, […]
To celebrate brands going “above and beyond to act with purpose”, Mumpower has announced its first-ever consumer choice awards. The ‘Vote on Purpose’ Australian Business Award 2021 aims to crown Australia’s favourite purpose-driven company, with Mumpower now calling on both corporations and Mum shoppers to nominate a value-led company or a specific brand campaign that […]
Sports fans will have to pay $10 a month to sign up for Stan Sport when it launches later this year, according to reports. The Nine-owned Sydney Morning Herald, is today reporting that Stan (also owned by Nine) will offer Stan Sport as a supplementary service, meaning fans must also have a subscription to Stan’s […]
Global creative platform Shutterstock has launched the 10th anniversary edition of its annual Creative Trends Report, highlighting the trends that will inspire creative expression and ingenuity in 2021. Announcing the report, Shutterstock creative director Flo Lau said that, after the year that was, the company was encouraged by the “positivity, originality, and resilience displayed by […]
Outgoing and twice impeached President Donald Trump released a pre-recorded farewell as he departed Washington. But many of the US’ major networks didn’t show it. Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter in the wake of his supporters’ attack on the US Capitol on 6 January. His personal account on YouTube has also been suspended […]
New data from Facebook shows that an initiative aimed at supporting local news publishers is showing early signs of success. Australian and New Zealand publishers participating in the Facebook Journalism Project’s Reader Revenue Accelerator in 2019 and through 2020 secured more than 24,000 new paying subscribers and more than 160,000 new loyal readers (whether through […]