Australian law-enforcement has been exposed scooping metadata from thousands of mobile phones of ordinary citizens, using the same kind of equipment and methods previously attributed to US police and intelligence agencies, like the NSA and FBI.
A US-invented technique dubbed ‘tower dump’ is now enabling Australian police to learn the exact location, established contacts and duration of calls of a chosen mobile device (and its owner) over a certain period of time, Fairfax Media reported.
A ‘tower dump’ receives data from multiple towers all mobile providers using them, thus collecting information on countless mobile phones.
“It’s another example where [agencies] are collecting the entire haystack in order to find the needle,” Greens Party spokesman for communications Scott Ludlam told Fairfax in an interview. Senator Ludlam confirmed that this is the first known case of tower dumps practice in Australia.