Australian telecommunications companies will be forced to stump up more than $130 million for the new metadata regime after the government promised just half the funding for the controversial scheme in Tuesday’s budget.
But perhaps the funniest part of the costed budget measure was this extremely basic graphic included in Treasury documents.
It illustrates the government's scheme to force everyone's metadata to be collected with a simple arrow ending in a folder. Data retention: It's that easy.
The government has been under-fire since the proposal was launched last year for being unable to articulate the process and define exactly what metadata is.
Attorney General George Brandis initially tried to describe metadata as the details on the front of an envelope before he was famously torn apart in a live, Logie-nominated TV interview, flubbing over the basic envelope metaphor.
The new metadata legislation is part of a massive $1.2 billion set aside for fighting terrorism in this year's budget. The government has costed its plans to bolster federal police and spy agencies and even set aside money to fight ISIS on social media.
It's pledged $22 million to push back against ISIS on Twitter and Facebook, in what some critics have dubbed "Australia's social media army".