This is absolutely shocking if true. Sources are reporting that the Australia government (who is already proposing North Korea-style censorship of the internet) is now looking into a proposal to make ISP's retain a log of every website its citizens ever visit. What's even more disturbing is they will also want ISPs to link that information to other personal data like your passport number.
Ben Grubb over at ZDNet broke the original story, and has now followed it up with a deeper insight into the proposed scheme. While the government is denying it would capture individual browsing histories, unnamed sources from ISPs are saying that the original data set sent to ISPs from the government said that they’d require allied personal information, including passport numbers.
For all you folks that condemned the Bush administration's strong-armed tactics to deny visas to foreign visitors-- this goes far beyond that. Potentially, Australia could deny its own citizens the very right to even leave the country if it believes that they have committed questionable acts. We all know what happens when you entrust the government to pass judgment on moral issues-- everyone gets held to standards developed by bureaucrats to satisfy the most prudish interests. Imagine if you had surfed some soft-core porn-- but somebody else might think the models on the site were possibly 17 years old. So you find yourself branded a child pornographer and denied the right to board a flight to go on vacation. Or perhaps you visited the site of Sharron Angle (who is currently talking up a storm on "second amendment remedies") and an airport official decides that you may be guilty of sedition or pose a threat to stage an armed rebellion-- so you are denied the right to board a plane.
You may think that I am over-reaching here-- but just think about the things that are going on right now in this country and then stop for a minute. Would you have imagined just five years ago that we would be where we are now? Don't you wish people would have stood up and objected five years ago to the powers we have granted the government over our private lives? Wake up, dudes-- we still have time to stand up and make some noise before we all end up governed and controlled by a xenophobic, paranoid, and militaristic society. It's not too late.