Under a suite of new proposals revealed in a discussion paper released by the Attorney-General’s Department, the internet and telephone data of every Australian could be retained for up to two years with access to this data granted to intelligence agencies. The proposal would also allow intelligence agencies increased access to personal data contained on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Civil liberty groups and some politicians have already spoken out on the issue. “This extreme proposal is based on the notion that all our personal data should be stored by service providers so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data-mining,” said Greens senator Scott Ludlam.
Australians all let us rejoice. For we are young and free. If the proposed changes to Australia’s internet and phone privacy are approved, there will certainly be nothing to rejoice about with every person’s freedom being taken from them. It is outrageous for ‘Big Brother’ to even suggest that they would force privately owned companies to store the data of a paying customer so that the Australian Government security agencies can search through the records at any time.
‘If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about’ may be one of your first thoughts and you wouldn’t be alone. The problem with this sort of thinking is that this is not about whether you have done something wrong or not, but that the individual’s right to privacy is under threat. The Australian Government doesn’t have the right to read my Facebook page and find out what I ate for dinner, nor do they have the right to know my most visited websites.
Similar proposals were discussed in England recently. Overwhelming opposition to the proposals is currently preventing the discussions going any further. Let’s just hope that similar level-headed thinking prevails in Australia.
Does the government have too much access to our private information?
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