Australia passes sweeping internet surveillance bill

“No one is safe under these new laws.”

From RECLAIM THE NET, August 30, 2021. By Dan Frieth
https://reclaimthenet.org/australia-passes-sweeping-mass-surveillance-bill/

The Australian Senate has passed a controversial law giving new and powerful surveillance powers to law enforcement agencies, including 60 amendments proposed by the House of Representatives.

After The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identity and Disrupt) Bill 2020 is signed into law, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) will have three new controversial powers to handle online crime.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

The two law enforcement agencies will have “data disruption power,” whose purpose is to prevent “continuation of criminal activity by participants, and be the safest and most expedient option where those participants are in unknown locations or acting under anonymous or false identities.”

Critics, including Victoria’s Senator Lidia Thorpe, pointed out that such power could be used to target a broad range of people – from political activists to young people downloading content from the internet.

“No one is safe under these new laws,” Sen. Thorpe said when the bill was first proposed last year. “It will affect grassroots communities across the country, it will affect children. It will affect anybody who downloads a movie illegally over the internet – they could go to jail for five years.”

The second power the law gives the agencies is called the network activity warrant, which allows them to monitor the internet activity of a suspect’s network or device. The law also gives the AFP and ACIC the authority to control an online account to collect more information for an investigation.

Some of the recommendations by the House of Representatives did make some changes that shield journalism. But, many activists and critics still feel the bill’s language does not protect vulnerable internet users.

“The scope of the new powers is disproportionate compared to the threats of serious and organized cybercrime to which they are directed,” Sen. Thorpe said on Wednesday.

“There is a lack of evidence justifying the need for warrants of this nature, beyond those already available… no other country in the Five Eyes alliance has conferred powers on its law enforcement agency that this bill will.”

Understanding the Surveillance State and Technocracy Threat

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Ungekrzte

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity ... the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This immaturity is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the [European] Enlightenment. "Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet [or vaccine], and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind ... should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts. "Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas [e.g., Leftist ideology, identity politics] these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use--or rather abuse--of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting immaturity. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from immaturity by cultivating their own minds." - Kant, "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment"

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