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Gillard Government Wants to Destroy Our Internet Freedoms!

September 4, 2012


  • Gillard Government behind DRACONIAN new Internet security laws
  • AFP will Monitor ALL AUSTRALIAN’S Internet usage for 2 Years
  • Changes Necessary for “National Security” says Government

Gillard Government lackey Nicola Roxon, is behind plans to introduce a controversial new scheme that will capture the online data of all Australians, despite only saying six weeks ago that ”the case had yet to be made” for the proposed policy.

The so-called “data retention plan,” will force all Australian telecommunications companies and ISPs to store the online data and internet behaviour of all Australians for two years.

In all, the Government is supporting a package of more than 40 changes to “national security” legislation.

If passed, the proposals would be the most significant expansion of national security powers since the Howard-era reforms of the early 2000s.

In a speech to be delivered at the Security in Government conference in Canberra today, Ms Roxon will say that law enforcement agencies need the data retention policy “in order to be able to effectively target criminals.”

”Many investigations require law enforcement to build a picture of criminal activity over a period of time. Without data retention, this capability will be lost,” she will say, in a draft of the speech mailed to The Daily Trash by an anonymous Gillard Govt whistleblower.

She will also say technological advancement since the advent of the internet is providing increasing room to hide for criminals and those who pose a threat to “Australia’s national security.”

However, according to our exclusive sources Ms Roxon appeared to have a different view two months ago saying ”I’m not yet convinced that the cost and the return – the cost both to industry and the [privacy] cost to individuals – that we’ve made the case for what it is that people use in a way that benefits our national security.”

Her dramatic turnaround could be a result of the influence of the AFP, who have long argued the “need” for mandatory online data retention. Neil Gaughan heads the AFP’s High Tech Crime Centre and is a vocal advocate for the policy.

”Without data retention laws I can guarantee you that the AFP won’t be able to investigate groups such as Anonymous over data breaches because we won’t be able to enforce the law,” he told a cyber security conference recently.

But Andrew Lewman, the executive director of the Tor software project, which disguises a person’s location when surfing the web, challenges that view.

”It sounds good and something sexy that politicians should get behind. However, it doesn’t stop crime, it builds a massive dossier on everyone at millisecond resolution, and creates more work and challenges for law enforcement to catch actual criminals.

”The problem isn’t too little data, the problem is there is already too much data.”

Proposals ‘characteristic of a police state’

The proposals are being examined by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security to provide partial scrutiny of Australia’s intelligence community.

The committee has thus far received almost 200 submissions from the agencies, members of the public as well as civil liberties and online rights groups.

In a heated submission to the inquiry, Victoria’s Acting Privacy Commissioner, Anthony Bendall, dubbed the proposals ”characteristic of a police state”, arguing that data retention in particular was ”premised on the assumption that all citizens should be monitored”.

”Not only does this completely remove the presumption of innocence which all persons are afforded, it goes against one of the essential dimensions of human rights and privacy law: freedom from surveillance and arbitrary intrusions into a person’s life.”

ISP iiNet said government had failed to demonstrate how current laws were failing or how criminals and terrorists posed a threat to networks, and said asking carriers to intercept and store customers’ data for two years could make them ”agents of the state” and increase costs.

A joint submission from telco industry groups argued it would cost between $500 million and $700 million to keep data for two years. It called for full compensation from the government’s security agencies.

The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office were among the few supporting the proposal to retain  telecommunications data.

The ATO said the proposal would be consistent with European practices and that being able to access real-time telecommunications data would allow it to ”respond more effectively” to attempts to defraud the Commonwealth.

The AFP, in its submission, said interception capabilities were increasingly being ”undermined” by fundamental changes to the telecommunications industry and communications technologies. It said telco reform was needed “in order to avoid further degradation of existing capability”.

Through the use of case studies, the AFP argued that on numerous occasions it had been restricted by what it could do under current telecommunications laws, and said that many offences went un-prosecuted because of this.


The AFP conceded that the volume of data and its retention by telcos for use as evidence for agencies presented “challenges”, but didn’t disclose how such challenges could be tackled.

Such challenges were highlighted in submissions by others like Victoria’s Acting Privacy Commissioner Anthony Bendall. He said smaller ISPs, for instance, “may not be able to afford the data storage costs, and these costs may be passed on to consumers”.

“It would appear that public support for this type of proposal is largely absent,” Bendall said.


Bendall also said that data retention could “create an extreme chilling effect” not only on technology but on social interactions, many of which are now conducted solely online.

“Users may move away from using online services due to the fear that their communications are being monitored,” he said. “Simply put, the proposal could mean that individuals, due to concerns about surveillance, revert back to offline transactions.

“If this occurred, it would affect existing efficiencies of both businesses and government,” he said.


The Australian Privacy Foundation was just as scathing.

“Too many of the proposals outlined … would herald a major and unacceptable increase in the powers of law enforcement and national security agencies to intrude into the lives of all Australians,” the APF said.

The APF said the discussion paper released with the proposals was “misleading, and probably intentionally so”.


It’s not just privacy advocates and telcos that expressed concern with the proposals, but the journalist union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. In its submission it said it was concerned that any expansion of interception powers and the powers of intelligence agencies had “the potential to threaten press freedom”.

“There is considerable concern about the power of police and intelligence agencies to intercept communications, a concern not given proper consideration in the terms of reference,” the MEAA said.

Online users’ lobby group Electronics Frontiers Australia raised similar concerns to others but pointed out that one of the 40 proposed changes to national security legislation, which required people to divulge passwords, could lead to self-incrimination. It said should such a law be enacted it would undermine “the right of individuals to not co-operate with an investigation”.

The lobby group also highlighted concerns with another proposal which would allow the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to use an innocent person’s computer to get into a suspect’s computer.

“The proposal that ASIO would be permitted to ‘add, delete or alter data or interfere with, interrupt, or obstruct the lawful use of a computer’ could lead to some very serious consequences,” it said.

Such consequences could include, it said, pollution of evidence, potentially leading to failures of convictions. It could also provide the means for evidence to be “planted” on innocent parties, it said.

Why does the Gillard Government want to destroy our way of life…?




20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2012 10:44 am

    I can’t condemn this sort of unwarranted paternalism strongly enough!

    The old ‘national security’ excuse doesn’t cut it. When you let the bastards take away privacy like this you never get it back.

    Fuck the Gillard government with a clawhammer. They should leave the fkn interwebz the fk alone.
    It will be interesting to see the Opposition’s response to this. I’m guessing that they’ll either say very little or support it. I’m not confident that they wouldn’t do the same thing if they were in the big chair.

    Anyways, noone should be happy about the powers that be letting themselves into our private lives uninvited.

  2. JAWS permalink
    September 4, 2012 10:45 am

    This government just makes people feel so uncomfortable in relation to so many facets of life.

    Add this bit of policy to the general angst over job security and rising prices plus why do I get the feeling their will be a major tax hike (to fund the “surplus’) somewhere in the mid year review in December.

    So watch out if you earn over $80,000 pa. That’s far too much………….you need to pay a much “fairer” share of the tax burden……………….you’ll feel better for it

  3. JAWS permalink
    September 4, 2012 10:46 am

    “Anyways, noone should be happy about the powers that be letting themselves into our private lives uninvited.”

    Just add this to the new Media laws

  4. September 4, 2012 10:50 am

    Agreed, jaws. It goes hand in hand with that type of censorial shit.

    I’m also wary of Big Corporate Media in foreign lands manipulating our government to regulate the net & try & reinforce their attempted stranglehold on ‘intellectual property’.

  5. September 4, 2012 10:53 am

    ISP iiNet said government had failed to demonstrate how current laws were failing or how criminals and terrorists posed a threat to networks, and said asking carriers to intercept and store customers’ data for two years could make them ”agents of the state”

    We’re all (potential) cyber-terrorists now!

  6. September 4, 2012 10:57 am

    I suppose the Gillard Cheer Squad will proclaim that this is a “good idea” because there are some nasty bullies on the interwebz.

  7. el gordo permalink
    September 4, 2012 11:04 am

    ‘Fuck the Gillard government with a clawhammer.’

    Welcome to the dark side, bro.

  8. September 4, 2012 11:13 am

    “I suppose the Gillard Cheer Squad will proclaim that this is a “good idea”…”

    They have to. And they will.

  9. JAWS permalink
    September 4, 2012 11:13 am

    “…………there are some nasty bullies on the interwebz”

    Yes the web and Twitter is positively overrun by Trolls and very nasty people.

    You really need to be careful what you say these days otherwise it might come back to bite you.

    “New Zealand is small, nasty and vindictive. It’s a tiny, little village … a tiny country at the end of the earth,”

    Charlotte Dawson 5 August 2012 (New Zealand Herald on Sunday)

  10. Tony permalink
    September 4, 2012 11:47 am

    Would we allow government agencies to record our telephone calls and store them for two years? This is no different.

    It’s time politicians and public servants were reminded that they work for us, not the other way round.

  11. Ol' Sancty permalink
    September 4, 2012 1:15 pm

    The Dawson thing is a quite different matter. I couln’t really care less about her but I did have a look at some of the tweets sent her way and they were offensive to say the least. Pictures of dismembered children etc. Anyone who would even access, let alone distribute such material should probably be monitored.

    I’d be quite happy to see those who distribute such material at least exposed publicly.

    I don’t think you need to keep everyone’s records. You see a site, determine that it is of sufficient “danger” to warrant monitoring, then monitor that. Eg, kiddie porn or bomb building.

  12. JAWS permalink
    September 4, 2012 1:28 pm

    “The Dawson thing is a quite different matter.”

    I agree. I was just following up on reb’s comment about “nasty bullies” on the web.

    My point being that if that comment about her native country is anything to go by as an indicator of her combative style on social media then she’s asking for trouble.

    I’m not quite sure what she’s actually famous for

    Did anyone else realise her auto biography is out next month as well ?

  13. September 4, 2012 8:52 pm

    post “In all, the Government is supporting a package of more than 40 changes to “national security” legislation. ”

    so what color does roxon want this package?

  14. September 5, 2012 6:58 pm

    This came to me via the interwebz…

    “Hey Nicola Roxon, there is no balance between giving law enforcement what they want and protecting people’s privacy, those two concepts are philosophically opposed to each other. The government is not entitled to invade the lives of its citizens just because it wants to, there is no valid justification in the universe for presuming you have the right to follow us everywhere we go. Not terrorism, not child pornographers, not drug dealers or organised crime. Our lives are our own, we claim sovereignty over our lives and our information. Your attempts to lay claim to such are an act of war against we free people, a war you will not just lose, but will be destroyed by. You cannot possibly hope to overcome us, we are smarter, stronger, and we outnumber you. Your desperate tearing at the fabric of our society will bring nothing but your own, painful demise.”

  15. F**k off Roxon permalink
    September 5, 2012 7:51 pm

    Hear hear! Good work that person.

  16. September 7, 2012 3:29 am

    big sis number two would not approve of that reb

  17. September 14, 2012 8:31 am

    Celebrity Trolls, Dawson and Farah have done some bleating the last couple of regarding Twitter.

    TV NEWS is now peddling the retail bleating about online shopping and GST. On behalf of monster retail, of course.

    The corporatologists ar becoming unhinged when the little people start gaining an equal footing. Hint, watch the Pollies start dancing to the corpoatology tune.

  18. September 14, 2012 8:33 am

    CORRECTION, the last couple of WEEKs regarding Twitter.

  19. September 14, 2012 8:45 am

    “TV NEWS is now peddling the retail bleating about online shopping and GST. On behalf of monster retail, of course.”

    Yes, I watched that too 730.

    We already pay more in Australia for the same products you can buy overseas for much less, yet the retailers believe the solution to stop all this is for Australians to pay even more.

    Case in point, when I was in Penang recently, I bought a number of casual men’s shirts for $15 each. The exact same shirts are on sale at Politix for $149 each. Likewise I paid $30 for a pair of Vans brand casual shoes. The same shoes sell here for $99.

    We’re just being price gauged here in Australia, and Australians are voting with their feet and shopping offshore.

    Retailers, like Gerry Harvey, need to adapt and evolve their businesses to survive, not punish Australians for seeking out a bargain.

  20. September 14, 2012 9:18 am

    reb .. “We’re just being price gouged here in Australia, and Australians are voting with their feet and shopping offshore.”
    Couldn`t agree more reb, the retailers refer to Australia as `Treasure-Island` for the amount of gouging they can get away with.
    It looks like consumers are getting sick of it.
    PREDICTION, this weeks media will peddle copious interviews with Margy Osmond from the Monster Retailers Association. Bleating will include how disadvantaged the poor monsters are and, how it will all cost jobs if they don`t get their way. Fck them, and the duopoly supermarkets too.

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