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Controversial Cybercrime Bill Introduced In Australia 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-enough-for-me-and-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government instructed a committee to investigate required changes to cybercrime legislation. Having received the report, the government decide to ignore it and give the federal police almost everything it wants on a plate. From the article: 'The Australian Greens have questioned the decision of the Government and Opposition to pass the Cybercrime Bill unchanged through the House of Representatives despite recommendations by their own members of parliament to fix serious flaws. Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Cyber Safety Committee had tabled a highly critical unanimous report on the bill, proposing a series of amendments and requests for clarification which were not addressed in the House.'"
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Controversial Cybercrime Bill Introduced In Australia

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  • by Sparx139 (1460489) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @03:42AM (#37202494)
    The only sensible voice in your government is the Greens
    • by Co0Ps (1539395)

      Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth? Or because they agree with the scientific consensus that global warming exists, man has caused it and we should do something about it?

      I'd rather say that you're screwed if you're living in a state with a two party system and it's considered naive to vote on any other party.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:01AM (#37202602) Homepage Journal

        >>Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth?

        More because they've caused as many environmental problems as they've solved. Australia has around a quarter of all the uranium deposits in the world, but has no nuclear power plants. Opposition is greatest from Greens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Australia#Opinion_polls), and this in a country where only 7% of energy production comes from green sources.

        Fighting for the status quo is a horrible idea when the status quo sucks.

        • Australia doesn't have the infrastructure to process nuclear fuel and run nuclear power plants. The billions and decade or two required makes governments of all colours dodge the issue whenever they have the authority to implement it. In Australian politics nuclear power is nothing but a handy issue to bring up and divide the party in opposition.
          Whether it's a good or bad idea doesn't matter in this context - either way it's an idea that upsets enough people to have immediate political costs and the benef
          • by Cryacin (657549)
            Unfortunately for Australians, the government has really got the old boys club rocking, and now have a very pliable populace that they can tax, control and herd into where they want them.

            I remember when I grew up as a kid in North Queensland, most kids knew what a rifle was, had at least squeezed off a few rounds, and knew it was a tool to be used only in appropriate circumstances. Then good old Martin Bryant came and shot up 50 people in Port Arthur. The governments response? Put him in jail, and *Ahem*
            • And there was not the constant drive-by shootings we are having every day almost in the cities where the crime gangs are shooting up houses with automatic pistols. They take the guns off the innocent civilians and the criminals are still armed.

              Gun buy-backs do not stop crime.

            • Do you think it's wrong to have a rifle in the house? My very point is that back when I grew up, ALMOST EVERYONE had one. Do you see what they did there?

              You can still have a rifle in the house. It just can't be semi-automatic. This means that the guy who wants to do target practice or shoot roos can do so, but the guy who wants to easily kill as many people as possible in a short period of time has some difficulties.

              How is that a bad thing?

              • by turing_m (1030530)

                You can still have a rifle in the house. It just can't be semi-automatic. This means that the guy who wants to do target practice or shoot roos can do so, but the guy who wants to easily kill as many people as possible in a short period of time has some difficulties. How is that a bad thing?

                The guy who wants to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time is going to figure out a way to do so. Somehow people manage to buy drugs and that's illegal too. With no CCW and everyone's lame-ass bolt ac

                • The guy who wants to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time is going to figure out a way to do so. Somehow people manage to buy drugs and that's illegal too. With no CCW and everyone's lame-ass bolt action rifle in the gun safe a prospective mass murderer is virtually guaranteed a large number of kills.

                  Except that without semi-automatic weapons, the mass murderer can't do it on the spur-of-the-moment.

              • So why don't we limit people to only smooth bore match lock muzzle loading black powder firearms as those would be enough to take down a roo. I believe that the rate of fire on those is around 6 shots a minute for someone who is really good with one. This would really limit the number of people one could mow down at once while still allowing for hunting and target shooting.

                There are times when I was glad to have a semi auto rifle while hunting such things like prairie dogs, or coyotes, hell when hunting d
              • by v1 (525388)

                I think you accidentally copied your argument from the fully automatic weapons discussion?

                But that's ok, once the semis have been completely wiped you can reuse your argument once more for guns that use cartridge bullets, so we all have to go back to carrying powder and musket balls, just to keep the children safe.

              • by lgw (121541)

                You know, there's this weird thing about criminals that might have escaped you: sometimes, criminals disobey the law. Shocking, I know.

                • I remember reading somewhere that the largest number of gun related murders are committed by friends or family. So while the criminals may disobey laws, gun laws do work to keep your significant other from putting a hole in you because you left the toilet seat up. :D

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              To own a .22 target pistol, you need to spend about $5000 in total. Not for the pistol, no, that's cheap, but for the gun safe, the club membership etc etc etc.

              I don't have a problem with guns. Indeed, I go skeet shooting with friends reasonably regularly.

              However, I have to say I have _zero_ problems with laws requiring the safe storage of guns and at least some token gestures towards ensuring people are competent in their handling. Neither do any of my gun-toting mates I mooch shootin' time off.

              I lived

              • It does raise the possibility of indirect prohibition though. The great old tradition in which a government, finding it impossible to actually ban something they dislike, instead create a tangled mess of expensive paperwork deliberatly designed to be near-impossible to comply with. Traditionally used in the US to deal with sexually orientated businesses, abortion and sex offenders. Used in Australia to achieve an effective ban on unrated media.

                The anti-gun-control people are afraid of any and all regulatio
            • You stumbled upon the issue people have with firearms. Most people's only exposure to them (especially in urban areas) is through the nightly news where they are used in gang violence, criminal activity, or by crazies who shoot up crowds. I have been accused of effectively murdering my child (nothing has ever happened to him) because I happen to have firearms in my home by relatives who line in San Fransisco, Eugene Oregon, San Jose, and Detroit even though my firearms are stored properly. I have also gotte
            • by dbIII (701233)
              Nice rant and yes I did shoot stuff as a kid as well, but WTF does any of that have to do with my post, the post above or the article? The greens had NOTHING to do with JOHN HOWARD'S gun laws. They are way off on the other end of politics.
        • by MrKaos (858439)

          >>Because they "dare" question financial axioms like "greed is good" and infinite growth?

          More because they've caused as many environmental problems as they've solved. Australia has around a quarter of all the uranium deposits in the world, but has no nuclear power plants. Opposition is greatest from Greens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Australia#Opinion_polls), and this in a country where only 7% of energy production comes from green sources.

          Fighting for the status quo is a horrible idea when the status quo sucks.

          Australia also has none of the nuclear fallout the rest of the world has from Chernobyl and Fukushima. Australia also has large deposits geothermal energy, space for wind, tidal and solar. As a last resort they have oodles of coal they can burn because it is cheap high quality coal.

          Australia is burdened with uranium mining that is using a process call acid-leach in-situ mining, which is illegal in the U.S and Russia, on top of the great Artesian Bore, their ground water supply. Have a guess where that uran

        • by Lunzo (1065904)

          The greens don't fight for the status quo - that would be the major parties. The greens are vocal critics of coal fired power stations, especially the brown coal ones. They argue for renewable energy.

          • by ShakaUVM (157947)

            >>The greens don't fight for the status quo - that would be the major parties. The greens are vocal critics of coal fired power stations, especially the brown coal ones. They argue for renewable energy.

            There's a difference between the words and what actually happens. That's the problem Greens always face.

            "Wouldn't it be nice if we could ban those low-efficiency station wagons?" they ask - and thus the modern SUV was born.

        • Except that while Nuclear Energy is cheap while the plant is in operation, the cost of stripping, renovating and updating nuclear plants (as well as storing the radiation-exposed material) when they get past their use-by date (30-60 years) makes it one of the most expensive forms of energy.
          I wish I could find a good, single-source primary sources, but I guess Wikipedia will have to do for the moment.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning [wikipedia.org]

    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:08AM (#37202626)

      Australia also recently greatly expanded its Surveillance State [crikey.com.au]. In combination with this new "cyberCrime" bill the game is set - This is the states power grab to control information on the internet [salon.com].

      Quote from that last link "A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State":

      The emergence of entities like WikiLeaks (which single-handedly jeopardizes pervasive government and corporate secrecy) and Anonymous (which has repeatedly targeted entities that seek to impede the free flow of communication and information) underscores the way in which this conflict is a genuine "war." The U.S. Government's efforts to destroy WikiLeaks and harass its supporters have been well-documented. Meanwhile, the U.S. seeks to expand its own power to launch devastating cyber attacks: there is ample evidence suggesting its involvement in the Stuxnet attacks on Iran, as well as reason to believe that some government agency was responsible for the sophisticated cyber-attack that knocked WikiLeaks off U.S. servers (attacks the U.S. Government tellingly never condemned, let alone investigated). Yet simultaneously, the DOJ and other Western law enforcement agencies have pursued Anonymous with extreme vigor. That is the definition of a war over Internet control: the government wants the unilateral power to cyber-attack and shut down those who pose a threat ot it, while destroying those who resists those efforts.

      • I pulled the wrong quote from that link. I meant to use this one [salon.com]: (Emphasis mine)

        This is the point I emphasize whenever I talk about why topics such as the sprawling Surveillance State and the attempted criminalization of WikiLeaks and whistleblowing are so vital. The free flow of information and communications enabled by new technologies -- as protest movements in the Middle East and a wave of serious leaks over the last year have demonstrated -- is a uniquely potent weapon in challenging entrenched government power and other powerful factions. And that is precisely why those in power -- those devoted to preservation of the prevailing social order -- are so increasingly fixated on seizing control of it and snuffing out its potential for subverting that order: they are well aware of, and are petrified by, its power, and want to ensure that the ability to dictate how it is used, and toward what ends, remains exclusively in their hands.

        I agree with GP - The Aussie Greens appear to be the only political party with a backbone on these issues. Where are the minority Aussie "right" parties which should also be objecting to this expansion of state power? The US has a few, even if they are completely ignored [salon.com] by the mainstream media circus...

        • "Right" has a different meaning outside the US. It usually goes more in the direction of fascism, in other words, MORE control of the population by the government.

          • "Right" has a different meaning outside the US. It usually goes more in the direction of fascism, in other words, MORE control of the population by the government.

            Even in the US, it means that in certain contexts. The right in the US tends to be both pro-law-enforcement and anti-regulation. Those two things aren't necessarily compatible, but that has never stopped a political party from trying. :)

            The strongest anti-regulation voices in the party are market deregulation, lower taxes, and the gun lobby (both manufacturers and owners). Party members generally don't trust the government to do things right, but they also want to government to punish criminals and have

            • In a nutshell, at least that's what I noticed, the "right" position is to give corporations as much leeway as possible while caging in the people as much as possible without causing an outright rebellion.

              • While grandparent's note that 'the real party is quite a mix of interests' is true and important to keep in mind, the curious dissonance that always strikes me is how often "right" means "I wouldn't trust the government to run a school; but I wholeheartedly support their running a penal system, an army, and a variety of clandestine agencies..."

                The fascists, on the one side of "right" and the libertarian anarchists on the other are at least ideologically consistent and the 'I have strong concerns about st
                • Once you managed to wrap your brain around the concept that you should pay your workers as little as possible (because they're easily replaced and generally expendable materials, there's plenty where that came from), and them using that lack of money for being not only the ones that are consuming your products but also able to prepare for retirement themselves that way (hey, if you don't have the money, you can as well spend it twice), I guess the suspension of disbelief is already at a level where Santa Cl

              • In a nutshell, at least that's what I noticed, the "right" position is to give corporations as much leeway as possible while caging in the people as much as possible without causing an outright rebellion.

                Meh. That currently sounds like both Liberal and Labor parties at the moment here in the land of Oz.

                • Yeah, the left sure has learned a lot from the right recently. It's the old ice cream vendor problem.

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          Minority parties don't get to make policies so they can display more backbone. If they were actually given the power to implement things I bet they'd get corrupted quickly.

          • Minority parties don't get to make policies so they can display more backbone. If they were actually given the power to implement things I bet they'd get corrupted quickly.

            But theoretically that would take some time, and those 1 to 2 years of corruption-in-process would still have to be better than the current situation.

            • by KDR_11k (778916)

              Yes but unfortunately getting a majority share is a slow process so the bribers can adjust their corruption plans accordingly.

    • No, you know you're screwed when the only sensible voice is the Greens, AND you're in the US, where the Greens are less likely to be part of the government than an oil company is.

      Unfortunately, the only hypothetical part of that is the Greens being sensible, and even without that part, you're still screwed.
      • Since an oil company is 100% likely to be de facto part of the US Government, any level of support for the Greens will be less than that. Even Brezhnev never got more than about 99.8% of the vote.

        ...mind you, I really wish the Greens were sensible. I am myself an annoyingly smug environmentalist, but as someone with a scientific and engineering education who has dabbled on the fringes of politics, whenever they open their mouths I cringe.

    • by bug1 (96678)

      Its not that the major parties are antagonistic towards technology, its that they are ignorant.

      ALP(?) did get legislation through forcing government departments to consider open source software, its just that it took democrats and greens to translate the concepts into something the major parties understood.

      ALP is driving the NBN which is the biggest technological investment in this country in generations, they deserve some credit for that.

      This probably come about because the wikileaks drama caused some ign

      • Its not that the major parties are antagonistic towards technology, its that they are ignorant.

        ... WILFULLY ignorant!

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Meh, minority parties are generally smarter than big ones. I'm voting for the Greens in Germany because they also have the sanest stance on privacy and such (to be fair the liberals are also very anti-surveillance but they're going too far with their anti-regulation talk when our economy is actually less fragile than that of less regulated countries), not because I care about their approach to saving the environment. In a representational system those votes for minority parties strengthen their role in govt

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Come to America. The Greens don't have a voice in government, so there's no one sensible at all.

  • by acehole (174372) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @03:42AM (#37202496) Homepage

    It's a minority government with Labor depending on a couple of independents and a green to have the numbers in the lower house. When things like this come up, Labor and the Coalition (Liberals + Nationals) hold hands like old chums to make sure what they want gets through. Australia has pretty much the same problem as the US in the political system. Team Blue and Team Red. Anyone else that is voted for is just a token effort.

    Labor and the Coalition might have different ideals but they're both members of the same "old boys" club and be damned if anyone is going to threaten that.

    • Know a country where it ain't that way? Even Italy, which is renowned for having a billion parties per election, eventually descended to right vs. left coalition. It's the same all over the globe, in the end, you end up with two groups of parties.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Australia has pretty much the same problem as the US in the political system.

      You've got a party of racist religious extremists in the pocket of transnational corporations too?

      I didn't know. I'm sorry.

      • So is that the donkey or the elephant party in the US? I can't tell them apart when you use such general terms you need to mention specific religions, or specific corporations/industries.
      • by Bucky24 (1943328)
        I get the feeling your post was attempting sarcasm, but in all serious: yes, yes we do. In fact we have two parties in the pocket of transnational corporations.
  • Second only to the UK. It's so fucked up that shit like this happen and that the general populace don't care, or worse when they are informed support it because its only to stop bad people. Don't be fuckin stupid mate, its only gonna affect criminals! Sigh. No wonder I left.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      yeah, but the problem is where to go

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        I'm thinking maybe Canada, Europe is a possibility (i do have a UK passport) but that involves learning another language.
        • by metrix007 (200091)
          Canada is essentially the US, and most of the EU is a nanny state, although not as extreme as the UK. The US actually seems the best of the bunch for many reasons. Odd, huh.
          • by Dr Max (1696200)
            I agree the US does tick a lot of the boxes and i am tempted, but something about it doesn't quite feel right.
          • by Cimexus (1355033)

            Personally, I'd say that Australia has its flaws but I'd take it any day over a country that takes all 10 of your fingerprints on entry and has warrantless, industrial-scale monitoring of telephone calls etc.

            I suppose it depends which particular freedoms are more or less important to you though. You win some and lose some in each of the countries being mentioned...

            • by metrix007 (200091)
              Taking fingerprints isn't unique to the USA, and within its borders I have far more rights and freedoms than I do in Aus...
              • by Cimexus (1355033)

                Taking fingerprints in certain situations, for example if you are arrested, is indeed fairly common practice across the world. But we aren't talking about that - we are talking about taking all ten fingerprints of every single entrant to the country. As far as I'm aware that is, in fact, unique to the US (at least among developed countries).

                • by jpapon (1877296)

                  all ten fingerprints of every single entrant to the country

                  To be honest this isn't that big of a deal. You've always needed to be identified to enter the country... the fingerprinting is just a more rigorous form of identification. The difference between presenting a passport and presenting your fingerprints is really just semantics. Not to mention that you forfeit the right against unreasonable search and seizure when crossing an international border. The only thing that could change that would be the elimination of borders entirely.

                  After all, if you can't ident

                  • by Cimexus (1355033)

                    I agree that identification is obviously required and that a country has every right to search you or do anything they want, if you are seeking to cross their borders. No arguments there.

                    The difference is a cultural one. To Americans, the difference between presenting a passport and presenting your fingerprints is "just semantics", as you say. In fact Americans use fingerprints as an identifier in many contexts, and they don't give it a second thought. It's just the way it's done there.

                    BUT I think they do

                    • by jpapon (1877296)
                      I think a more interesting point is that they don't usually check the fingerprints of Americans entering the US... only foreign passport holders.

                      in most other countries, taking fingerprints is seen as something only ever done to criminals and is NOT used as a form of identification in any circumstances

                      I don't know about "most other countries", but I know for a fact that to get a French passport you have to give your fingerprints. I know this because I have a French passport in addition to my American one. As a side note, this makes it a hell of a lot easier to travel between the EU and US. You can take the "local" line on both ends =).

                    • by tqk (413719)

                      I agree that identification is obviously required and that a country has every right to search you or do anything they want, if you are seeking to cross their borders. No arguments there.

                      And I think you're nuts, or suicidally timid. Why people are so willing to bend over for gov't paranoia escapes me. If you've done nothing wrong, nor displayed any propensity for doing wrong, why are you EXPECTED to put up with this sort of !@#$?

                      The US, at least, used to go by this "Probable ..." thing, as in someone suspects you capable of dangerous stuff based on your known and demonstrable probability of doing harmful stuff, THEN you get looked at. Now, it's just dragnet; everyone's suspect. TSA! TS

                    • by Cimexus (1355033)

                      I wasn't saying I ~liked~ the idea of a country doing invasive searches etc. I was merely agreeing with the assertion made by the parent that the US (like any country) technically has the legal right to impose whatever entry requirements for non-citizens that it sees fit. Just as I am free not to travel to the US if I don't agree with their entry procedures. And just as the citizens of that country are free to get rid of those laws if they don't like them by voting the offending parties out (although in a

                    • by Cimexus (1355033)

                      Interesting. I also hold passports for two (Western, developed) countries and my fingerprints were taken for neither of them. The only entity that has my fingerprints in the world is a foreign (US) government.

                      I've been to France and didn't have to provide my fingerprints to ~enter~ (even as a non-EU passport holder), but that's not the same as actually applying for a French passport obviously. Plus it was quite a few years ago (2004) so things may have changed since then.

                • by metrix007 (200091)
                  Japan does it, Brazil does it for certain visitors, and a few other countries do it. Not common, but by no means unique to the US. I also feel you are mistaken. Americans are not so casual about fingerprints, and like in most westen countries it is something only to be done when you are arrested. Still, it isn't invasive, and I think it may be a mental block on your part.
                  • by Cimexus (1355033)

                    Ok fair enough - not unique. I said "as far as I know", and I haven't been to Japan or Brazil. But of the ~15 or so countries I've entered, the US is the only that took fingerprints.

                • by lgw (121541)

                  I entered the country recently, returning from a trip abroad, and no one took my fingerprints.

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      As sad as it is, the US is becoming good in comparison. Let us not forget France's three strikes law.

      We're quickly nearing a need to have our own version of the Arab Spring, to establish some governments that respect technological freedom.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by janrinok (846318)
        Ah, the 3 strikes law.... I am currently living in France (and have for quite a few years now) and have not heard of anyone being prosecuted under that law (HADOPI), nor am I aware of anyone having had their internet connection withdrawn. I'm sure it must have happened, but it is not the doom and gloom that others seem to think that it is. I do know lots of people who regularly download films, music and pornography but none have experienced any trouble nor do they show the slightest concern for that part
        • This reminds me of an old joke:
          • In England, some things are forbidden and some things are compulsory and everything else is optional.
          • In Germany, everything which is not compulsory is forbidden.
          • In France almost everything is forbidden, and nobody takes any notice.
          • In Switzerland everybody does exactly what they like, but strangely it turns out to be the same as everybody else.
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Hold on there ... while I agree with your sentiment, this is far from being a done deal. It still has to get through the Senate, which in its current form it isn't likely to do.

      We often see overreaction on Slashdot (some guy proposes something bad, and people talk about it on here like it's already a law). Conroy's internet filter springs to mind - it never had a hope of getting through Parliament and being enacted, but people on Slashdot talked about it like it was definitely going to happen (and some stil

      • I think a lot of them are negociating ploys. Push for something far too ambitious to actually pass. After months of debate, rewriting and watering-down you still have something the original proposer wants, and it can go through, while the opponents claim credit for stopping something that was never intended to pass anyway.
      • by donak (609594)

        " ... Conroy's internet filter springs to mind - it never had a hope of getting through Parliament and being enacted ... "
        Have I got bad news for you! Although the legislation never made it off the blocks, three of the biggest ISPs (Telstra, Optus & Primus) implemented it anyway.
        I'm with Optus, and thankfully, I haven't noticed any major drop in my connection speed ... mostly ... yet.
        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/fractious-isps-may-fumble-their-chance-on-internet-filter/story-e6frgakx-12 [theaustralian.com.au]

  • W... T... F... Exactly what are the difficulties one might encounter in renouncing one's citizenship?

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      If you're a citizen of some other country, not many.

      If you aren't though, er, where exactly do you propose to go then?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We've been getting a lot of news here in Canada about American's living in Canada but never renounced their citizenship and who are now facing some pretty draconian tax issues.

      I met one former American who spent $5000 to renounce and has 6 more years ( out of ten) where he can't spend more than 30 days a year in the U.S.. No wonder most never bother to renounce.

      The U.S. is forcing Canadian banks ( through threats to specially tax their American subsidiaries ) to report on Americans. So just saying to hell

    • by Thornae (53316)

      Well, for one thing, they'll charge you $285 for the privilege [citizenship.gov.au].

  • "Cybercrimes" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Cybercrimes"? Is it a bill against software patents?

  • If my name were William and I were a cyber criminal, that's how I would like to be known. Cybercrime Bill sounds awesome!

  • Handwrite a letter and get up in arms about it!

    Constituents writing a letter scares politicians and when it's done by hand they get even more spooked. Pen to paper equates to genuine concern.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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