Thursday, 17 April 2008

Planned ASIO surveillance laws under fire

A Senate Inquiry has been told proposed amendments to electronic surveillance laws will allow ASIO and police to further intrude on people's privacy.

The inquiry sitting in Sydney today is looking at proposed changes to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Bill.

This morning the secretary of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, Stephen Blanks, said the changes would allow police and security agencies to monitor communication equipment that had not been identified in a warrant.

"The police will be able to add devices to warrants without any independent scrutiny so that they can intercept telephone calls and other telecommunications without any independent oversight," he said.

Greens leader Bob Brown has slammed the proposed electronic surveillance laws.

Senator Brown says the bill allows surveillance authorities to spy on people who are not even being investigated.

"There shouldn't be a blank cheque which allows the agency to pick and choose which devices it's going to listen in to, and inevitably the surveillance of completely innocent people," he said.


Email spy powers 'a licence for witch hunts'
Mr O'Gorman says the existing legal framework provides enough protection against terrorism."We have passed so many laws in the name of fighting terrorism that we're at ... serious risk of losing the balance between giving the intelligence services sufficient powers to fight terrorism while at the same time keeping longstanding and cherished civil liberties," he said.

Push for overhaul of laws on terrorism
Anti-terrorism laws are just 'state sanctioned terrorism' aimed at 'innocent people' and using them as 'scapegoats' for Australia's 'alleged war on terror'. These laws were meant to project 'fear' in the community that we somehow need to be protected so that the government can wage war on innocent people for resources around the world unchallenged.

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