Aug 23, 2012

And softly went our privacy into the night

Little concern appeared to attend another significant extension of the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies yesterday.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

With the passage of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 in the Senate yesterday, the Australian government gained the power to demand the storage of citizens’ personal data from telephone and internet usage at the behest of foreign governments. This was necessary, we were told, because Australia had to accede to the European Cybercrime Convention.

The convention, described by the US Electronic Frontier Foundation as “one of the world’s worst internet law treaties”, is designed to enable governments to investigate citizens of other countries for activities ranging from terrorism, fraud and child p-rnography to filesharing, political activism and dissent. Crikey’s coverage of the bill’s progress is here.

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39 thoughts on “And softly went our privacy into the night

  1. shanghai

    I guess we the people were all too busy being ignorant consumers to care about freedom.

  2. Alex

    I, for one, am deeply concerned by this legislation and thankful for Crikey’s reports.

    Cheers, Alex.

  3. SBH

    This can happen because the opposition obsesses over carbon pricing and refugees rather than doing their job of subjecting legislation to scrutiny

  4. Greg Jones

    Maybe it’s time to set up a watch-list of politicians who are happy to be serenaded while these incursions of civil liberties march forward.

    Why not? Unseen eyes are watching everybody else, so why can’t everybody else be watching them and monitoring those politicians who sit on their hands and do nothing, some, not even lip-service.

    Of course we have ourselves to blame, but the politicians certainly have n’t helped….kudos to the ones who have.

  5. Smithee

    This is largely because parliament is devoid of both brains and ethics.

  6. tinman_au

    Most people wouldn’t even know about it. Because the Libs backed it too, “the media” wouldn’t bother covering it either…

  7. Sexual Lobster

    People who think a vote for the Greens is a wasted vote: this is why you vote for the Greens. Thank you Scott Ludlam and co for standing up on this. This is a travesty.

  8. ian dale

    Australians are ignorant to what is happening because their major news outlets relegate an important piece of legislation like this to a mere mention while they pursue mindlesss c*ap such as the PM’s past work life or house renovations as featured in the tragic SMH.

  9. john proper

    Our esteemed canberra leaders are demonstrably IT illiterate, and are now selling out the average australian’s safety.

    When a fibre NBN (almost un-limited capacity) was discounted by pollies with plaintive wails ” it should all be wireless (a limited capacity)” I got concerned, now this extra invasion of our right to privacy, I am downright fearful.

    Couple this with the writing on the wall “Assange is the new David Hicks” , and it’s message, “the US can get you no matter where you are from, and whatever your perceived crime in their eyes is”

    I am more scared of the fall out on my life from this security sellout than global warming.

  10. Harry Rogers

    Thanks Bernard keep up the good work on reporting this issue. I’m gobsmacked at the ambivalence of Australians.

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