Within a single day of the prime minister, Tony Abbott, taking to the microphone with attorney-general George Brandis and foreign minister Julie Bishop to announce the plan as a raft of counter-terrorism measures, the PM has:
- Broadened the justification for metadata retention from preventing terrorism to crime-fighting “in general”;
- Stated that the new laws are needed because carriers already store the data the government wants;
- Asserted that metadata retention will involve no cost to carriers because they already collect the data the government wants; and
- Broadened the scope of the data collection to Web browsing history, while simultaneously trotting out the national security establishment’s falsehood that metadata collection is no more than “reading what’s on the envelope”.