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Balance freedom and security or put both in danger

The Australian Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, warned the Federal Government to avoid jeopardising civil liberties and human rights in the pursuit of security in the wake of the Prime Minister's national security announcements today.

"It's a positive that the Prime Minister recognises that a secure international environment is built on trust, and reaffirmed the nation's commitment to multilateralism, but some of her statements and much of the Government's ‘security' agenda causes concern.

"The notion that online security threats are ‘the new terrorism' is already generating an expensive overkill in cyber security measures. The Government has touted a series of troubling measures including the proposed retention of the electronic communications data of all Australians for a period of two years. What's next?

"We are concerned by the implications of greater collaboration between Government and the private sector on online matters. While the idea sounds innocuous, what will be the implications for privacy, copyright, and freedom of communication?

"The Prime Minister glosses over Australia's legislative response to the crimes of 9/11 as though it was a resounding success. The Howard-Ruddock ‘anti-terror' laws were extreme, damaged civil liberties and undermined our justice system. The tripling of security budgets the Prime Minister cited has entailed the expanded apparatus seeking new ways to justify its huge and growing money pot.

"We will continue to subject the Government's cyber security plans to intense scrutiny, to ensure the human rights and civil liberties of Australians are not sacrificed in the fervent pursuit of a largely questionable agenda."


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