When it comes to indiscriminately sweeping up metadata from internet and cellphone users, Australia is the worldwide leader. Police down under have also either been deliberately misleading with why they want all your information—or simply can’t be trusted not to ramp up the War on Drugs when given the opportunity.
Since massive data retention in the name of law and order became de rigueur in 2015—sold to the public as a vital tool to protect national security and fight terrorism—Australian police have vacuumed up more metadata per capita than counterparts in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
All data, like IP addresses visited and location information for phones, must be retained for at least two years—and is accessible without a warrant. But more data is available with a judge’s permission, and so Australian magistrates have duly issued more warrants authorizing data collection than their allies in the war on terror.