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Protests Against Australian Government Proposed Changes to Intelligence and Surveillance Laws

Outline
Circulating messages warn about proposed changes to Australia's intelligence and surveillance laws that, if implemented, may significantly impact on the privacy of Australian Internet users.



Brief Analysis
The protest messages are valid. The proposals outlined would provide intelligence agencies with much greater access to any material posted online and mean that the telephone and Internet data of Australian users would be retained for up to two years. The controversial proposals have quite rightly raised serious concerns among privacy and civil liberties organizations. It should be stressed that, at the time of writing, the changes are only proposals and are not already set to be implemented as new laws as claimed in some of the protest messages.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: July 31, 2012
First published: July 31, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Does everyone know that the Government is bringing in new laws that will make it compulsory for every telco and internet provider to record every phone convo ,every text.everything that you say on facebook etc and keep it for at least two years .....If you think that this is over the top please repost this and ring or email your local MP and register your protest with them ..Only your protest will stop this ...Your Silence will tell them that you don't mind ....!!!!!!!



Detailed Analysis
In July 2012, protest messages rallying against controversial changes to intelligence and surveillance laws proposed by the Australian Government began circulating via social media, email and word of mouth. If implemented the proposed new laws would give intelligence agencies considerably greater ability to snoop on the Internet activities of Australian users along with a number of other radical changes. The proposals discussed in these protest messages are real. A July 12 2012 Sydney Morning Herald article about the proposals notes:

THE telephone and internet data of every Australian will be retained for up to two years and intelligence agencies would be given increased access to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, under a suite of new proposals from Australia's intelligence community.
Revealed in a discussion paper released by the Attorney-General's Department, the more than 40 proposals form a massive ambit claim from the intelligence agencies. If passed they would be the most significant expansion of the Australian intelligence community's powers since the Howard-era reforms following the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Australian activist group GetUp has also raised concern about the proposals, noting:

The Government is considering the most sweeping and radical changes to Australia's surveillance and intelligence laws since the establishment of the original powers in 1979.

GetUp has created the following video that describes how the controversial changes could impact on ordinary Australians:

It is important that all Australians become aware of the proposed changes and the possible impact that they might have on their privacy and rights. The full text of the discussion paper can viewed on the GetUp website.

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References

Every click you make, they'll be watching
GetUp Petition
Get Up - Discussion Paper


Last updated: July 31, 2012
First published: July 31, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer