Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Australia Communications Government Privacy

Australian Police Spying On Web, Phone Usage With No Warrants 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-we-get-paul-hogan-to-fix-this dept.
New submitter i-reek writes "Australian police, along with government agencies, are accessing phone and internet account information, outward and inward call details, phone and internet access location data, and details of IP addresses visited of Australian citizens, all without judicial warrants . In the last two years, some states have shown an increase of more than 50 per cent in these surveillance authorizations, which can be granted by senior police officers and officials instead of a magistrate or judge."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Australian Police Spying On Web, Phone Usage With No Warrants

Comments Filter:
  • Vic Toews (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:27AM (#39085549)

    Does anyone know if Canadian Minister Vic Toews (of #TellVicEverything fame) has been on vacation to Australia recently? It's the DREAMLAND of every politician that's "firmly on board' with the US IPR agenda:

    - draconian copyright law, drafted by US special interest groups
    - strict enforcement with all options on the table
    - and now warrantless spying on all citizens, including "government agencies"!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh wait... Where am I?

  • Like trying to run twenty sprinklers off of one garden hose.

  • So what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sasayaki (1096761) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:33AM (#39085597)

    So, as an Australian I know complaining about this is going to do jack. So how can we protect ourselves?

    As far as I can see, getting an Ipredator account (an encrypted VPN straight to Sweden) allows you to bypass the Australian system completely. All they know is "You have an Ipredator account." You can use Skype to do your telephony through the VPN and it, too, becomes obsficated and encrypted as well.

    Now, doing this will basically protect you from most things. If you're looking at 4Chan, or weird arse but legal porn (mmm, mechophilia), or prank calling Christian Weston Chandler or whatever, yeah, you're basically safe.

    Don't think that you can DDOS whitehouse.gov, though, or make bomb/assassination threats, or look up kiddy porn or whatever. If you piss off the FBI there's really not a lot, in the long term, you can do to avoid pound-me-in-the-arse prison.

    I wonder how long Ipredator/etc will be legal for Australians, or if it remains legal but simply using it will get the attention of ASIO.

    Years? Months? Maybe it already does...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So, as an Australian I know complaining about this is going to do jack. So how can we protect ourselves?

      Become a member of the [pirateparty.org.au] for free!

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Obfuscate your access. Use tools like trackmenot http://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/ [nyu.edu] to obfuscate your searches. Now you just need additional tools to randomly access web sites to obfuscate web access. Same can be done to background send email to mutual member's of a random email network (random addresses with random content content purposefully tongue in cheek).

        Floor some privacy invasive freaks desk with ten thousand times as much stuff as you actually access.

        I found a simple fun site http://www.randomweb [randomwebsite.com]

    • The government can just claim that the Ipredator system is being used to access child exploitation material and/or assist in terrorism. The people who watch the television news believe everything they see and if they spin that story they could get this system shut down. I wonder if the TOR bundle will really keep you safe... But Australia is following the lead of America at every turn, and any restriction in free speech on the Internet is only for our own good right?

    • by jpapon (1877296)
      Fight to get laws put in place which prevent it.

      In the meantime, don't do anything (or talk about anything on the phone) which could get you sent to jail.

      You are now completely protected. No need to do something silly like route all your calls through Sweden. Just fight to get laws changed. Routing your calls through Sweden doesn't actually help the situation (unless of course you actually ARE doing something illegal).

      • ... Can get you put in prison. And imagine the spin put on this: Technical Slashdot User Enables Child Pedophiles To Avoid Prosecution!

        It's like saying driving lessons cause vehicular manslaughter. Or Viagra causes rape.

        My question to the people who allow this kind of searching, without warrants or oversight, is... if it's so easy and cheap to bypass and avoid, and even modestly technical people can google for "How Do I Shot Anonymous Internet?", then whyare you really doing it?

    • by G4Cube (863788)
      This really proves that Australia is like the United States 50 years ago. The government and corporations do whatever they want the people are mostly happy so they let them do it. So what if we scrape a couple dozen square miles of the countryside down to the last coal seam and ship it to China. The government gets a lot of money, corporations get a lot of money, the people get a little money, oh what the heck so we poison a few rivers.
      • Re:So what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @02:23PM (#39087001)

        why 50 years ago?

        I see little diff between ANY country in the modern world, today; when it comes to snooping an spying.

        its human nature. the sooner we realize this is NOT a 'what language do you speak at home' thing and everyone is going to be spied on by their local and national govs.

        not american problem, not a UK problem, not an aussie problem, not a euro problem. its a HUMAN problem.

        humans do a bad job of being fair (by nature). we have laws to try to help our bad side be good. ...but its not working and the bad side of humanity is winning.

        world wide!

        • I see little diff between ANY country in the modern world, today; when it comes to snooping an spying.

          Then, alas, you're blind. Sure, what happens in Australia and other western countries might be sub-optimal. But to say it's as bad as what happens in China or Iran is to embrace the fallacy of the excluded middle: "A is not perfect, B is not perfect, therefore A is as bad as B." The differences include the size of the security apparatus (affecting how many people they can spy on), the existence of mechanisms for bringing the security apparatus to account (including, for instance, a free press), the process

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, all they know is "You have an Ipredator account. You must be doing something wrong, therefore wiretap, pull all information on this suspected terrorist, install a trojan on your computer so we can see the unencrypted information -- you know, the usual."

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      Why is ipredator apparently so good? I thought any encrypted VPN would achieve the same results?

    • If enough of us use encrypted communications it'll stop being remarkable. Won't happen, though: there's too much what-have-you-got-to-hide "thinking" going on in the community here.
  • Remember - (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:58AM (#39085739)

    Phone all your friends, and remind them, "Don't say the word BOMB! Remember, don't say the word BOMB! Whatever you do, never, ever say the word BOMB. And don't say ALLAH AKABAR Never, ever say ALLAH AKABAR. And expeciall don't say BOMB and ALLAH AKABAR in the same sentence. The whole thing will BLOW UP in your face. And really never mention the KORAN either. And never put them all in the same sentence, like KORAN blah blah BOMB blah blah ALLAH AKABAR! Now quick, call everyone and warn them, at least once a day, NOT to say KORAN BOMB ALLAH AKABAR!"

  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:25AM (#39085893)

    Police being able to do this things by themselves without having to ask for permission is the hallmark of a Police-State. Rather obviously not body can really want that. The judicial oversight is exactly there to prevent such things from happening.

    Note that I do not blame the police. They are just trying to do their job well. But exactly because of that, they are unsuitable to define in which cases this is appropriate and in which case it is not. They have the wrong incentives and the wrong perspective. Which, again, is not really avoidable and not their fault. And therefore somebody else, namely a judge, that has no stake in the actual outcome, needs to decide on this.

    • by dargaud (518470)
      What I don't understand, is why aren't juges fighting back this kind of thing to force to police to go through them first. They never say a word on the matter !
      • law 'enforcement' is one happy family.

        they don't shit on their own kind.

        pretty much everywhere. in the US its called the blue line of silence and you NEVER step over that if you are a cop and you saw another cop doing wrong.

        same with the rest of the 'justice' system.

        google 'testilying'. officials lie in court on a regular basis; so often there is a term for it.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Its legal now. Australia had its early hacking cases and its was no fun for the police.
        They had to understand what a phone line was, a modem was and how to record a modem for later play back in full.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_(computer_hacker) [wikipedia.org]
        They then had to present a case with very old trespass laws and invite the legal system to think digital with old laws about walking onto gov (~mil) land.
        Australia also makes movies, music and produces some form of scientific products of some value eve
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @12:17PM (#39086173)

    If the government begins to act outside the rule of law, it becomes a tyranny and loses all claim to legitimacy. Citizens of that country might not feel ready to take up arms to correct the situation, but they are certainly justified in slipping the constraints of law in likewise fashion. In other words, if police and government officials think it's mete to surveille private citizens without the sanction of law, then citizens are justified in surveilling those police and government officals, and their families, and their neighbors, etc. without the sanction of law. The tools and technical means are within nearly everyone's reach these days.

    Yes, be careful. Don't get caught. The police have guns and you don't yada yada. But if recorded conversations of the chief of police exchanging sweet nothings with his mistress and video footage of an MP jacking off in a porn shop start surfacing perhaps they'll do a re-think of pissing on the public's rights the way they are. Especially if you used a common tagline like "Free Australia" so they all know it's being done for a reason.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Australians cannot take up arms against tyranny. The Australian people have been disarmed by their government.

      The last hope against tyranny in Australia is the conscience of the armed forces and police who may refuse orders to support a police state.

      If that police state emerges, however, the people are powerless.

      Hopefully they can elect some better politicians and avoid going down that road.

      If they do, there will be nothing to bring them back. They're nothing like the Yanks, who, despite gun laws which migh

      • by vux984 (928602)

        Australians cannot take up arms against tyranny. The Australian people have been disarmed by their government.

        Just like you can't get any of those drugs the US government declared illegal in any city across all of America right?

        If that police state emerges, however, the people are powerless.

        Trust me, if the population decides they want guns in large quantities, the government will be powerless to prevent it. You'll be able to get them on every street corner in even the small towns.

      • One problem about the gun laws in America is that it is assumed that most people will have access to a gun.

        This leads to situations where the police can shoot somebody dead and get away with it because "It looked like he was reaching for a gun". So really, it swings both ways with gun laws. If you don't have them it's harder to fight back, but if you do have them, the police will be more inclined to kill you.

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        Australians cannot take up arms against tyranny. The Australian people have been disarmed by their government.

        The last hope against tyranny in Australia is the conscience of the armed forces and police who may refuse orders to support a police state.

        If that police state emerges, however, the people are powerless.

        Hopefully they can elect some better politicians and avoid going down that road.

        If they do, there will be nothing to bring them back. They're nothing like the Yanks, who, despite gun laws which might seem a bit strange in Europe, don't have to worry about a helpless descent into 1984. The problem the Americans have with guns is so many people who have been tossed aside, warehoused for profit, undereducated, and have nothing to lose. The guns aren't doing the shooting, it's the people who have fallen between the cracks.

        I wish we could have American style gun laws here in the Netherlands. I know if we cloned their laws we would not clone their violence because Dutch citizens don't fall thought the cracks into hopelessness and criminality. There might be some violence, but it is a small price to pay to protect us against the rise of another Hitler.

        I wouldn't underestimate the power of Australia's flawed democracy. The people here are just informed enough to keep governments fearful. The issue is how Australia's mega rich control the media and thus the population.

        It's been my experience that all it takes is some well reasoned lobbying to sway politicians in this country. They may not agree with you but they *will* listen. If they agree with you they will tell you how and what they are doing. If you interests align with theirs they will consult you re

    • by bug1 (96678)

      'If the government begins to act outside the rule of law it becomes a tyranny ..."

      Yes, if they too lazy to document their tactics things arent looking good.

      Vote is the easiest way to get rid of a bad government, armed rebellions sounds like it would a lot of work.

  • We're just hearing about this now? Here in the US they've been doing that since at least the 60's.
  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @01:06PM (#39086507)

    In Canada when the Canadian Securities Minister Vic Toews tried to get warrantless wire taping legislation passed this week Canadians decided to help out his information gathering process by:

    Sending the minister responsible our web browsing histories every day.
    CC the minister on all our email messages.
    Email the minister what we up to are doing several times a day.
    Updated the ministers Twitter account with what we are doing.

    So much data ran into the Canadian Parliament's servers that they either fell over or were deliberately taken off line. The fate of Bill C-30 is now being reviewed.

  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodet.
    Who watches the watching watchers?
  • Can we have the word 'and' back please? Stop being lazy.

nohup rm -fr /&

Working...