Australia is proposing sweeping new powers to keep watch over its citizens, including laws to force telecommunications and internet providers to store their subscribers' data for two years.The data, including communications such as emails, would be available for police and intelligence agencies to check during investigations into criminal and terror networks.Further proposals include the extension of interception powers to Skype and social networking, and laws requiring suspects to provide passwords, enabling authorities to install tracking software, and simplified access to surveillance warrants.The proposals have been handed to the federal Parliament's joint committee on security and intelligence as part of its inquiry into reforms for national security legislation.
I've often wondered as the Iron Curtains of the Eastern Bloc fell where all the Stasi and KGB guys and girls would have found employment: I'm starting to get an inkling. If I was going to make anything compulsory, I'd put the movie The Lives of Others on every high school curriculum.
Civilisation is the movement toward privacy, a police state the opposite.
Nice piece on the Australian proposals, and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, by Myles Peterson. The final paragraphs sum up well:
Why any politician thought a policy of logging everything its citizens do online and mandating the permanent "retention" of such data is a bit mind boggling. Australia’s first telephone appeared in 1876, but did not see common usage for another half a century. Not once was it suggested that every phone call should be bugged just in case someone committed a crime facilitated by telephony.
That the Attorney-General of Australia would think it is at all reasonable to record the online activity of every citizen of Australia speaks volumes. Roxon has flip-flopped on the policy since announced, but the mere act of suggesting it should be abhorrent to a liberal democracy..