tap the phones of innocent third parties
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General, Phillip Ruddock, says under the changes, phone taps will be placed on people not suspected of committing any crime althought will be subject to regulations and judicial oversight.
Former head of the Attorney-General's department, Tony Blunn, says he found existing laws needed to be modernised to deal with the increasing use of "stored communications", included text messages and emails.
Planned amendments also give intelligence and policing agencies the power to tap the phones of innocent third parties during investigations.
In other words, to allow police to secretly access the phone calls of a people who have no knowledge or involvement in a crime - but who may be in contact with someone who does.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties Cameron Murphy says the powers are unprecedented. "This is the first time ever in Australia's history that we see the police being given the power to tap the phones of people who are not suspects, who are innocent people and just people who happen to be in contact with someone, likely to be in contact with someone who's a criminal," he said.
"It massively expands police surveillance and it's directly targeted against innocent people who are doing nothing wrong."
AG Phillip Ruddock says any such phone tapping will be subject to strict oversight, strict regulation and used only as a last resort - all protections, according to the Attorney-General, against the abuse the powers.
"I don't have the confidence to trust the Attorney-General when he says that it'll be subject to strict oversight," Mr Murphy said. "We see in Australia already that Australian phones are 26 times more likely to be bugged than an American phone."
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock is confident the planned powers will be subject to enough oversight. "The issuing authority, that is the judge, has to be satisfied in relation to a number of other matters, that is that the privacy of a person won't be unduly interfered with," Mr Ruddock said.
Greens Leader Bob Brown says allowing police and spy agencies to monitor the phone calls, emails and text messages of people not suspected of a crime represents a dangerous incursion on civil liberties.
"The Howard government wants to give police the power to tap the phones of innocent people - people the police don't even suspect of a crime. Surely Australians who are suspected of no crime are entitled to their privacy," he said. "These powers will enable ASIO to intercept the phone calls, emails and text messages of innocent Australians for up to 3 months. This is a new low in the preservation of our civil liberties.
"Every reduction of our personal rights and freedoms in the name of law and order diminishes our vibrant democracy," Senator Brown said
SOURCE: ABC News
from the newswire
by Brother_Why? 2006-02-15 5:28 PM -0600
Lucky Country wins glamorous shiny new Police State
by Innocent Bystander Thursday February 16, 2006 at 06:23 AM
Yes we have
Mandatory detention for asylum seekers
Indefinite detention for same
Children anble to be locked up for years
Anti-Terror Laws that are the envy of Authoritarians everywhere,
Massive attack on free association of unions of workers
ID card on the way
Consciption (civilian then military?)
ASIO budget and powers boosted
Shoot to kill powers for cops and military during spectacles like
Olymics and Commonwealth games.
Increased Military training with US eg Depleted Uranium weapons in Qld
Haliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary owning the uranium train to Darwin from Alice Springs and eyes on many other resources...
Torture being debated as "rhobust interrogation",
new detention centers being built eg
800 people holding on far end of Christmas Island
Massive new one for Camp road Broadmeadows.
All quiet on decades of compliance with Indonesian mass murder in West Papua & East Timor
SAS in WA training with Kopassus killers again...
State funerals tax payer funded for richest capo in Oz Kerry Packer
Nationalist spectacles like Anzac Day, sport and Cronulla fascism
AWB exposed as scammers but only so US wheat Corporate farmers can now get a million tonnes of wheat export to Iraq instead...
What is next on the shopping list of the Howard Junta ?
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reminds me of the police state
by eidolon Thursday February 16, 2006 at 08:45 AM
I grew up in Queensland. My environment/social justice activities mean that I had/have a surveillance file run by the Queensland police. One interesting facet of the Fitzgerald Inquiry shows how citizens can be linked to 'extreme' organisations. It works like this: The Socialist group 'Resistance', is having a meeting in suburban Brisbane. The police are monitoring. They have a person inside the meeting, also, they record the numberplates of all cars in the street where the meeting is happening. You are visiting your Grandma for dinner. Your numberplate is recorded. Next month, Resistance has another meeting; you are visiting your grandma again. Your numberplate is recorded, again. The police link your numberplate and details to the Resistance file as a member of this 'extreme' organisation; or as a sympathiser. Don't laugh; it happened... You may have a friend who is doing a PhD in terrorism studies, or who may a Muslim or Irish and who works with those communities: Therefore you may be monitored by the police. Again, don't laugh, I remember teh Queensland government's laws on drugs. The police could go 'through, over, or under' any persons property to raid a 'suspected' drug premise and not have to pay any compensation to you. This means that the police could could break your front door, run to your back porch and jump over to your neighbour's house to bust them for a dope plant. You have to pay to have your door fixed. But that may be slightly better than when I went to visit a friend - saw the undercover team entering her house, waited - and found her bashed and bleeding in the bath (less messy, you understand). ciao
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It also means
by Dead Fred Thursday February 16, 2006 at 09:14 AM
This also means that political opponents and those who dissent will be gauged and gagged stood over and striped bare before they can even have some say in how things are run in this country.
Information will be gathered and used against them and they will just be set up and exposed as a threat by the dictatorship.
Profiling a scapegoat will become much more simple because they will be given first move which means they can and will second guess their victims.
The central govenment have declared World War 4 on the community who have no defence in any form of opposition to these draconian, fascist directives.
Not by the people for the people but by the dictatorship for neocons.
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Australia the Lucky Country
by From the newswire Thursday February 16, 2006 at 09:24 AM
Lucky if you're not exploited, jailed or detained.
What is the good of a luck country if people are used as a scapegoat and nailed to the wall for an illegal and degrading war on terror for nothing?
People languishing in a box within a box with no fresh air or sunlight for nothing? People who have committed no crime in "AAA" security! Doing jail with the worst of the worst offenders who have at least been found guilty of crimes regardless of their guilt or innocense.
Other people who were trying to escape tyranny in their homeland being held in detention centres indefinitely.
Those who made one mistake deported from Australia for their 'learning curve' regardless of the cross-cultural difficulties they face trying to asimilate.
What about disparity of the laws, good for the up yourself class and bad for the peasants and immigrants.
How come war criminals are running the cuntry?
Our courts are like chessboards and the pieces can be moved around in concert with the corrupt police verbals, frame up's and noble cause corruption. Corrupt judges who can manipulate to sway the jury with mumbo jumbo and falsehoods. And the corporate media giants working in tandem to find anyone guilty of a crime regardless of any person's guilt or innocence.
We don't live in a democracy.
We pay tax on everything we buy or earn.
We pay tax on anything we borrow.
We don't have any work choices anymore.
We now have draconian laws fit for robots and dictators. Whereby the standard of proof has been downgraded to that of an executive discretion. So if the executive doesn't like your head then you have committed a crime. There is no defence. They don't need evidence anymore to hold people in custody and convict people of crimes, just hearsay.
England's stolen resources from the Aboriginal Nation are not used to help the original inhabitants of this Nation have some say, get better health care or even housing and those stolen resources have and continue to be used to exploit the general population who are not in the up yourself class.
brother_x via brother_why?