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Key Details on the Australian Meta-Data Retention Law

Thanks to the new metadata retention laws passed by the Australian government, every phone call you make, text message you send, and email you write will be tracked by agencies.

These laws are allegedly implemented to protect Australia and Aussies against organized crime and terrorism. However, even if these laws actually help the country in its fight against terrorism, it is still considered as a major invasion of Australian users' privacy.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is actually a trail of digital breadcrumbs you leave behind on the web. Any information that explains your activities on the web is classified as your metadata. This includes your browsing history, people you've contacted on mail, or messages you've sent to other people.

So if you send an email to a client, the government cannot identify what was written in it, but they will know to whom you sent this email, at what time, and at what date.

What is being collected, and how does it affect your digital privacy?

Though it's not known how and in what way this data will be used by authorities, one thing has been communicated clearly: internet and mobile service providers will be required to hold onto your metadata for at least two years.

Your metadata will be collected by authorities, which includes your call data, browsing history and messaging details. It includes nearly everything you do on the internet, including whether you visited sites to download movies, or any other content, illegally or legally, plus loads more.

It might seem like it doesn’t give much away, but believe me, it’s very easy to piece together clues and recreate your digital life, and allowing a stranger to have access to it. The law is also costly than most people imagine it to be.

Tracking the metadata will burden ISPs and telecoms with massive bills, which the government will pay with around $131 million of taxpayers' money. After the initial set up, the government will take a step back and the cost will most likely pass on to the consumers.

How can you protect your digital data from being sold?

The cheapest and best way to protect your online data is by using a VPN. A VPN encrypts your online communications, making it impossible for anyone, be it your ISP or the government, to monitor or hack into it.

How can encryption help? Encryption provided by VPN companies makes your online communications unreadable and utterly useless for authorities. Even if someone does get access to your communications, they'll only find codes spread in cipher form, and no matter what they do, they'll fail to make any sense of it.

VPN companies further allow you to connect with servers from another country, saving you from metadata retention laws in Australia. Even your ISP will not be able to trace your browsing activities.

In such cases, it is necessary that you choose a VPN service which is trustworthy and operates in a country which is not burdened by any metadata retention laws.

Some things don't improve with time, and the metadata retention law is one of these things. Connecting with the best VPN for Australia will protect you against laws which are unfair and are a major invasion of your privacy.

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