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Abbott-Shorten coalition passes data retention regime

The Australian Greens have condemned an Abbott/Shorten unity ticket that has passed data retention laws through federal parliament this afternoon.

“The ALP has caved in to Tony Abbott's self-interested fear campaign and supported a bill that entrenches a form of passive mass surveillance over 23 million Australians," Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens communications spokesperson said following the vote. 

“The ALP will be judged for that, and we will ensure that people never forget who made this possible.

"Surveillance should be targeted, proportionate and levelled at serious criminals, organised crime and national security threats. This bill entrenches the opposite.

“The Government won’t disclose the costs of the scheme, is silent on the risk of unauthorised disclosure, and at no stage has been able to point to evidence that collecting the private records of 23 million non-suspects will keep people safer or reduce the crime rate.

“I want to thank all those who built a spirited community campaign against this measure. Publishers, journalists, the Law Council of Australia, the technology sector, digital rights organisations and advocates from across the political spectrum joined tens of thousands of concerned Australians to voice their anger, and the major parties shut them out.  

“I acknowledge the significant dissent within the Liberal/National/Labor parties but the inflexible party discipline that prevails in Australia means that not a single member crossed the floor to oppose the bill or support the dozens of amendments proposed by the crossbench. 

“I thank those members of the crossbench in the House and Senate who together with the Australian Greens did the job of opposition that the Labor Party abandoned. 

“We will be encouraging people to follow the advice of Mr Malcolm Turnbull, who in recent days has been outlining techniques for avoiding the surveillance scheme that he just forced on the rest of us.

“Our work now turns to repealing this regime,” Senator Ludlam.

For more information, visit our #stopdataretention page.
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