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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The 'emerging and evolving' threat to privacy and civil liberties in Australia

The 'emerging and evolving' threat to privacy and civil liberties in Australia

I have never been a fan of invasion of privacy, so I have been concerned greatly with the Australian government's current review of intelligence gathering laws.

I recently received an email from GetUp! which has summarised the threat posed by the proposed changes to these laws, essentially that the Australian government is considering significant changes to surveillance and intelligence gathering laws, which represent a major threat to the privacy and civil liberties of every Australian citizen. These changes include:

  • forcing companies such as ISPs and social networking sites to store our online movements, which includes every message sent, every website visited and every product bought, 
  • increasing the power of ASIO while reducing its accountability. For instance, ASIO will have the power to remotely access your computer without your knowledge, even if you have not committed a crime and they will have be allowed to modify, delete or add files on your computer.

A Parliamentary Review Committee will be considering a discussion paper entitled 'Equipping Australia against emerging and evolving threats'. Whilst we want the country to be as safe as possible, it should not come at the expense of our civil liberties. Some of the changes being considered are themselves an 'emerging and evolving threat' to the privacy and civil liberties of all Australians.

If you wish to read the government's discussion paper regarding these changes, please click here:

We need to speak up and tell the government that these changes are unacceptable in an open democracy such as Australia's.

GetUp! is running a petition which you can sign to oppose these changes. The petition will be delivered to Attorney-General Nicola Roxon.

To sign the petition, please click here:

GetUp! has also prepared the following video which explains the effect these changes will have:

I urge you to sign the petition and to encourage everyone you know to also sign it.

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