Media Release: 14th June, 2010: Rudd government scared of everyone and everything.

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 14th June, 2010:

Rudd government scared of everyone and everything.

“First there was the seriously flawed internet filter, that expected ISPs to block web sites on a secret, arbitrary government list. Now there is the equally flawed proposal by the Attorney-General, which expects ISPs to record every web site you visit and keep copies of all your emails”, said ACT Democrats President and Privacy campaigner, Darren Churchill today.

The proposal is modelled on British legislation where telephone and Internet companies are forced to log details of communications for up to two years. But, only details about the date and time of each phone call, or each time a user connects to the Internet, are collected. The content of each communication is not stored.

“The Australian version is much more draconian. It contains no need for an interception warrant, as is required under current law. As far back as 2004, the Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) executive director Irene Graham said the that the then Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill “would remove all protection on users’ privacy and private e-mails and SMS messages would be easily accessible by government agencies”. And now the government wants to take us either further down this totally illiberal path.” stated Mr Churchill.

“Another major concern is the elimination of restrictions on how long the collected information will be kept by the government agency and to what extent it will be used.”

“Like the Internet filter, the Internet interception won’t work – for the same reasons. The real criminals will use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and encryption to avoid being caught.”

“So, what will the Bill achieve? It will place a massive storage burden on ISPs. It will significantly slow the Internet – on top of the slowing caused by the Internet filter. It will create a vast security problem – every ISP will have to keep these records secure and private, and there will be many copies at many ISPs for hackers to attack. It is a gross invasion of civil liberties and of personal privacy!” declared Mr Churchill.

“The government must explain why they regard this sort of legislation as necessary. If they claim it’s for our protection – then protection from whom? From what? And how do they believe the existing laws don’t do this already?”

Mr Churchill said, “The Democrats call on the Rudd government to stop being Big-Brother – stop treating ordinary, everyday people as if they are criminals. Don’t introduce draconian legislation that won’t even achieve the stated goals. Do the hard yards and find a solution that works without the flaws. And, the Democrats believe that existing legislation can achieve what is required.”

Darren Churchill

ACT Democrats President

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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