Australian privacy at greater risk than ever – Planned boost in ASIO power sparks warning from WA Senator

Planned boost in ASIO power sparks warning from WA Senator

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Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam Wednesday June 22nd, 2011

The Australian Greens warned today that a Government plan to significantly broaden ASIO’s mandate was unjustified and dangerous.

Greens justice spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam tabled a dissenting report today on the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill, raising serious concerns about the proposed law and the shambolic process behind it.

“Last week the Bill was subject to a committee hearing, three months ahead of schedule and restricted to just 90 minutes, without any ASIO representatives present to answer questions.”

Senator Ludlam said the Government appeared “desperate” to pass the Bill but could not explain why.

“At the hearing, I asked why the haste and was told by the Attorney General’s Department; ‘I can assure you that it is very important’.

“The Government intends to radically expand the range of people and organisations on which ASIO can collect intelligence but gave incomprehensible answers on the reason for the expanded mandate.

“These so-called ‘Wikileaks Amendments’ are invoked if it is deemed to be in the interest of national security or ‘national economic well being’ – which can mean whatever ASIO wants it to mean.

“The public deserves to know – why is this happening and who will be targeted.”

The dissenting report will be available via:

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

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