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Australian Government Censors Draft Snooping Laws 150

coolstoryhansel writes "Stating that release of the draft legislation is not in the public interest [PDF] because it would prejudice decision making processes already in train, the Attorney General's Department has denied the release of the draft laws that would see wide-scale dragnet surveillance implemented along with an expansion of law enforcement powers for the purposes of 'national security'. Serkowski, speaking for the Pirate Party who lodged the FOI request labelled the Department response as 'disgraceful and troubling' saying the decision is 'completely trashing any semblance or notion of transparency or participative democratic process of policy development.'"
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Australian Government Censors Draft Snooping Laws

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  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:00AM (#41617235)

    Labor & Liberal yet again **voting together** to preserve and extend a _privatised_ police state [] in Australia, extend surveillance of Australian citizens without any oversight.

    for example:

    Flawed cybercrime Bill dodges national security inquiry
    20 Aug 2012 | Scott Ludlam
    Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy

    The Australian Government is pursuing a draconian cybercrime law scheduled for debate in the Senate tonight despite warnings from its own MPs and before an inquiry into national security legislation has taken evidence or reported, the Greens said today.

    The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said Labor's cybercrime legislation would open the door to Australians' private data being shared with agencies overseas.

    "This proposed law goes well beyond the already controversial European convention on which it is based, and no explanation has been provided as to why. The European Treaty doesn't require ongoing collection and retention of communications, but the Australian Bill does. It also leaves the door open for Australia to assist in prosecutions which could lead to the death penalty overseas. These flaws must be addressed before the Bill proceeds."

    Senator Ludlam said the Government had addressed only one of a range of problems identified by a unanimous Parliamentary committee on the legislation.

    "The Government ignored a series of recommendations from MPs on all sides of Parliament, and fixed one embarrassing drafting flaw that would have prevented accession to the European Convention and invalidated the whole point of the Bill.

    "The Attorney General's Department did the bare minimum they thought necessary to acknowledge the existence of the critical and unanimous committee report. The Government was urged by its own MPs to fix this legislation but chose to leave it as is. The national security legislation review - which will be looking at a highly controversial data retention proposal - has barely begun, yet the Government has now brought a key piece of enabling legislation forward.

    "We have recommended a number of improvements to the bill including fixing these flaws and clarifying the Ombudsman's powers to inspect and audit compliance with the preservation regime."

  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:42AM (#41617729)

    Thank you for asking; the answer to that question is undoubtedly of the utmost importance. However, I firmly believe that equipping you to answer it for yourself (assuming you're not a troll) makes much more sense.

    As such, here are more than a few relevant quotes that might broaden your perspective enough for you to do so:

    "A free people ought to be armed."
    ~George Washington

    "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."
    ~Richard Henry Lee

    "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits... and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
    ~St. George Tucker

    "[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
    ~James Madison

    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
    ~George Washington

    "A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."
    ~Larry Elder

    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
    ~Thomas Jefferson

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    ~Alexander Hamilton

    "By calling attention to 'a well regulated militia,' 'the security of the nation,' and the right of each citizen 'to keep and bear arms,' our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy... The Second Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the Second Amendment will always be important."
    ~John F. Kennedy

    "Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other."
    ~John Locke

    "No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."
    ~James Burgh

    "The congress of the United States possesses no power to regulate, or interfere with the domestic concerns, or police of any state: it belongs not to them to establish any rules respecting the rights of property; nor will the constitution permit any prohibition of arms to the people."
    ~Saint George Tucker

    "The right of the people to keep and bearâ¦arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..."
    ~James Madison

    "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants"
    ~Thomas Jefferson

    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone w

  • by Sabriel ( 134364 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:52AM (#41617801)

    Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.'s_Alpha_Centauri []

  • by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:14AM (#41617909)

    Ok, but none of these are western democracies

    And SOMEONE does not know their Western history! (Not surprising given the utter lack of proper history teaching in the West for the last 30 years. Thanks for that, Baby Boomers!)

    By 1776 the Magna Carta had been in force in England for over 100 years. England was then, as now, a monarchic Democracy, and certainly a Western state (Actually, they were THE Western State at that point in history.) This is, of course, what led to the American revolution. The colonists felt that they were being made serfs again by lack of representation in Parliament. After years of protests and complaints and a series of political, social and police assaults by the crown on the colonies (designed to suppress dissent) the colonies banded together and revolted. The large scale presence of arms in the colonies attributed in part to the success of the revolution.

    Nazi Germany was a Western Democracy prior to Nazi takeover. Hitler's election to Chancellor was by popular vote. It wasn't until after his election to Chancellor and subsequent seizing of power through political subterfuge (like having the army swear allegiance to HIM rather than to Germany or the German Constitution) that the people began to get a sense that there was a problem.

    Unfortunately for them, one of the first laws that Hitler passed even BEFORE seizing full Dictatorial power was to outlaw private gun ownership. He knew that an armed populace was a dangerous and uncontrollable populace, even when doped up on the Nazi propaganda that was inescapable in Germany at the time.

    So yes, Having an armed and engaged populace is antithetical to anyone that would seek to rule them by force. This includes Australia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:59AM (#41618223)

    I bet foreign powers get to see this bill, even if the public never does! Can I remind you also of Clean IT. The EU similar spying, monitoring, censorship law. Which follows the same pattern of secrecy:

    To sum up:
    1. It calls for widespread monitoring and censorship of the internet, and end to privacy and anonymity.
    2. It is largely agreed, with only some sections are marked for discussions.
    3. The discussion document is secret, those sections marked for discussion will never be discussed in public.
    4. The police forces and LEAs and governments will 'Commit' to this, i.e. they won't follow the law as agreed, they'll follow this document.
    5. Having committed to this, the document requires governments implement EU FD 2002, and EU FD 2008. So to remind you, they don't follow the laws as they stand, they commit to this document, then change laws to to suit this document later, as part of their commitment.
    6. Having committed to this, they will discuss how to fix the EU privacy laws to make it legal.

    Read the document on what they want, massive censorship, no anonymous cowards, everyone identified, everyone monitored, easy access to private data, privacy laws changed (eliminated) to permit this.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan