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National Security review – speak up now

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 10 Jul 2012

The Greens have warned that pervasive surveillance powers are likely to be expanded yet again through the Attorney General's inquiry reference to the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

"The Australian Greens will make a submission setting out our belief that Australians have a right to privacy online," said Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens communications spokesperson.

"Anyone who cares about the systematic erosion of privacy should also make their voices heard through getting their submissions in by the August 6th deadline.

"This inquiry will likely be used to again expand the powers of spy agencies when Australians are already under a phenomenal amount of government surveillance.

"Nearly a quarter of a million telecommunications data requests 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 data retention scheme - #ozlog - long-pushed by the Attorney-General's Department is on the agenda. This extreme proposal is based on the notion that all our personal data should be stored by service providers so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data mining. It comes from a mindset that imagines all Australians as potential criminal suspects, or mindless consumer drones whose every transaction should be recorded and mapped."

Senator Ludlam has cautioned against the growing ‘surveillance culture' in Australia and other industrialised countries:

"This review should look to expand inadequate privacy protections. We also need to see much tighter restrictions on how ASIO collaborates with the private sector, after the revelations in April that Commonwealth resources were being deployed to spy on environmental campaigners at the behest of the coal industry, and with the Federal Police contracting a private company to spy on civil society groups.

"In regards to the telecommunications interception - we need to see much stronger safeguards on when interceptions can be carried out and on which agencies can execute them."


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