Yesterday, as more news emerged of the government’s push for reckless anti-encryption legislation (Bernard Keane) — legislation that would rub against human rights charters if it appeared in our allies’ countries — Crikey readers noted that we are being made to feel like enemies within our own country. In other out-of-touch-with-the-people news, there’s also Morrison’s designs on religious freedom laws (as written by Conrad Liveris), which readers found hard to credit.

On the government’s war on Australian privacy

applet writes: We Australians deserve everything we will get for idling through these bloody awful laws. We have such a love for our third rate oppositions, second rate governments, and now a first rate personal intrusion apparatus.

zut alors writes: I have an unsettling feeling that the overwhelming majority of our MPs do not have even a loose grasp of the potential repercussions for our privacy should this bill pass. Not just our privacy … but also theirs.

Shadowboxer writes: New Zealand, as a card-carrying member of the Five Eyes club, has been conducting hundreds of privacy-invading searchers of devices of the law abiding while providing no real obstacle to committed criminals. While we are here, let’s not get too enamoured with Jacinda, please. We would be no better than the fools a year or so back gushing over “tar sands” Trudeau.

There are two defining characteristics of the Five Eyes club (beyond language and ethnocentricity): all of the members have almost non-existent external threats from other nation states, and hence the only threat to the execution of government policy must therefore emanate from within the country. Hence, the war on encryption. They need to know who is talking to who, where and when. To both prevent and plug leaks.

The more any government seeks to compromise encryption, the more it looks frightened of its own population. The Five Eyes countries are conspicuously safe and prosperous; why are they pushing so hard to compromise encryption?

On the push for freedom of religion laws

Draco Houston writes: In a country like Australia, I can’t see these laws being accepted at all, if passed there will be a lot of people asking why we fund their schools, why they run our aged and disability care sectors, why they are part of the job network and so on. They’ll be asking why they are exempt from taxes.

Wayne Cusik writes: As I understand it, the Australian Constitution prohibits the country from enacting law to favour one religion over another, or to promote one religion over another. But does that also cover the choice of no religion? Is enacting laws to promote the freedom of religions to discriminate unconstitutional because it promotes religion over non-religion? Also, in my opinion, if someone refuses to provide a service based on their religious beliefs, they are not exercising their religious freedom, but imposing their religion on others. Freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion.

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