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Data retention scheme a lunge for vast surveillance powers

Australian Greens spokesperson for communications Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam today warned against further extending the already excessive online surveillance powers of Australia's intelligence agencies.

"Today's apparent backflip by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon could mark a dangerous new stage in the 'data retention' debate (#ozlog). Does the Federal Government really believe all our personal data should be stored by service providers for two years so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data mining? It is premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects."

"Australians are already under a startling amount of government surveillance. Nearly a quarter of a million telecommunications data warrants were granted in 2010-11 according to the annual Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act report. This includes detailed locational data logged by every smartphone, every minute of the day."

"The public originally only discovered secret negotiations were underway to create a data retention scheme because of a courageous leak. That whistleblower understood that giving these data retention powers to government agencies undermines our rights and our privacy."

"Data retention as envisaged by the Government will entrench huge databases that can be mined for precise patterns of our movements, purchases, interests, friends, and conversations. This interception, copying, recording and disclosure of our data is a means to retroactively police the whole population. We are citizens, not suspects."


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