Flaws in Cybercrime Bill could undermine civil liberties, WA Senator warns
Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam – Thursday August 18th, 2011
The Australian Greens have put the Government on notice to fix serious flaws in the proposed Cybercrime Bill before presenting it for debate.
The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, applauded the tabling of a unanimous and highly critical report by the Cyber Safety Committee, which has proposed a series of amendments to the bill.
“We all want to see enhanced collaboration by law enforcement agencies fighting serious crime, but the proposed law goes well beyond the already controversial European convention on which it is based and could encroach on civil liberties. No explanation was provided for this overreach.
“The European Treaty doesn’t require ongoing collection and retention of communications, but the Australian Bill does. The bill also leaves the door open for Australia to assist in prosecutions which could lead to the death penalty overseas. These flaws must be addressed before the bill proceeds,” said Senator Ludlam.
“We have recommended a number of improvements to the bill including fixing these flaws and clarifying the Ombudsman’s powers to inspect and audit compliance with the preservation regime.”
Senator Ludlam said the Greens were concerned the process had been rushed.
“A disturbing pattern of behaviour has emerged – with the Attorney General’s Department repeatedly seeking to fast track legislation which extends well beyond its nominal purpose and encroaches upon on the civil liberties of Australians in the name of security.”
The Australian Greens additional comments:
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302