HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » International » Australia (Group) » Demand your liberties bef...

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:28 AM

Demand your liberties before they are taken

Last week was a busy one for Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and a dangerous one for the citizens of this nation.

Ms Roxon announced on May 4 that she wanted to give law enforcement agencies the power to bug phones and intercept emails for up to six months, and on the same day she, and her junior minister Jason Clare, announced a series of agreements with the US secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano on data sharing.


When it comes to national security and sharing data with other nations, the need for protections, safeguards and redress by individuals wronged should be of paramount importance because the consequences for them and their family of being entangled in that shadowy and brutal world can be life-threatening.

Yet both of Ms Roxon's announcements seem not important enough for the media to pursue. They are too interested in the short-term low-hanging fruit of former Labor MP Craig Thompson and the Speaker Peter Slipper.


We shouldn't be too surprised at this - look how tamely Labor rolled over when the Howard government wanted to pass laws that allowed children to be interrogated without either a parent or a lawyer present. But given the propensity of both ASIO and the AFP to get things terribly wrong, these laws are very disturbing.

And as Greg Barnes says, the media are simply not bothering. It's much more titillating to salivate over the sexual scandals of MPs.

2 replies, 1937 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply Demand your liberties before they are taken (Original post)
Matilda May 2012 OP
Esra Star May 2012 #1
Matilda May 2012 #2

Response to Matilda (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 06:16 PM

1. Bread and circuses

I'm afraid that the de-addling of the corporate brain of Australia and the human race
is a long slow process.
I suppose we are more civilised today than we were back then, but sometimes it seems that
we are going backwards.
In the end we have to be satisfied with what we can do, and do it.
And try not to become a part of the problem ourselves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:35 PM

2. War on privacy: committee sends Roxon back to drawing board

As Attorney-General Nicola Roxon prepares to head to the United States to further integrate Australia’s role in the War on Terror into the American security apparatus, the powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has knocked back her terms of reference for an inquiry into the further widening of intelligence-gathering laws, including the controversial data retention proposal.


Roxon’s piece for The Australian today was a peculiar piece of national security proselytism, using the “Underwear Bomber Mark II” and his “sophisticated new bomb technology” as the basis for a “call for constant vigilance”. In fact, the most recent Yemeni “underwear bomber” plot was, like most domestic terrorist plots “thwarted” by the FBI in the US, a creation of governments — the “bomber” appears to have been an agent working for western and Saudi intelligence services who initiated the plot himself and elicited support for it from al-Qaeda operatives.


However, Roxon uses this as the pretext for calling for a range of expansions in security and intelligence powers. She wants to ensure “that Australia has a wide array of tools to assist law enforcement to prevent, detect and disrupt organised crime online” (the inevitable child p-rnography got a mention) and “improving the quality and quantity of evidence of cyber crime that we have access to by joining the US in acceding to the European Convention to Cybercrime”.

Did you spot that sleight of hand there? “Improving the quality and quantity of evidence” in the context of the European Convention on Cybercrime means giving foreign governments access to your telephone and internet user data. And we haven’t yet acceded to the convention because the government’s bill to enable it — which, embarrassingly, had to be redrafted because it would have actually prevented accession — is still before the Senate, after the government’s effort to rush the bill through parliament came unstuck amid complaints not merely from civil liberties groups and online activists, but ISPs who would have to foot the bill for it.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread