• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business

    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?

    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions

    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5

    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Monday, May 7, 2012 11:31 - 7 Comments

    Pirate Party slams ‘unjust’ surveillance upgrade

    news The Australian division of digital rights political movement the Pirate Party has slammed Federal Government plans to “unjustly” boost online surveillance powers by law enforcement agencies, describing the initiatives as “steps towards a police state”.

    Last week, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon revealed a wide-reaching program to substantially reform its telecommunications interception and surveillance powers with the aim of bolstering the ability of law enforcement organisations to fight crime, including the introduction of a so-called “data retention” scheme that has attracted a great deal of controversy in Australia under the ‘OzLog’ banner.

    Provisions under the ASIO Act for the intelligence agency to request warrants are to be modernised and streamlined, and the agency is to gain the power to disrupt a target computer for the purposes of accessing the information on it — or even to access other third-party computers on the way to the target machine. The Government is also interested in establishing an offence which would allow Australians to be charged with failing to assist in decrypting encrypted communications. Also on the cards is a data retention protocol which would require ISPs, for example, to retain data on their customers for up to two years.

    Roxon said that the “potential” reforms would be examined by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security through public hearings, noting that this was “the beginning of the process”, and that the Government was seeking “diverse views” before determining which legislative reforms it would pursue.

    However, in a statement released this morning, the Pirate Party Australia said it was “furious” about the proposed legislative changes. “It seems to now be a weekly occurrence that the Government adds a new act to its ‘security theatre’,” said Brendan Molloy, Pirate Party Australia Secretary. “If the Gillard government cares so dearly about citizen input, why were expansive changes to the ASIO Act – changes that would potentially allow ASIO to target Wikileaks – pushed through last May without public inquiry?”

    “Nothing about warrants should be streamlined. It is an affront to due process to weaken judicial principles in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’, which seems to be the catch-cry of anyone unjustly wanting more power. We oppose these steps toward a police state.”

    The party noted that it also stood strongly against any data retention regime, on the grounds that it was “an unreasonable invasion of privacy and human dignity”. “Under the proposal ISP’s will be required to store all communications for two years so ASIO can go through our personal data at their leisure. This is akin to the post office opening and photocopying all mail before sending it on to its destination.” said Simon Frew, Pirate Party Deputy President. “The previous Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, tried to pass similar legislation but backed away after a significant public backlash.”

    “If the goal of the ‘war on terror’ is to defend ‘Western values’ we have to ask ourselves what those Western values are. Many of the rights and freedoms we have enjoyed are being taken away from us in the name of ‘national security’. With legislation like this we are losing our right to privacy and our right to due process. The attacks on the Occupy movement demonstrate the erosion of our right to speak out. Increased government secrecy is an attack on the fundamental right to know what our government does in our name. All of this is leaves us with the question: ‘have the terrorists won?’”

    The Pirate Party isn’t the only political organisation to have instantly registered protest against the changes.

    Last week, Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam said the Greens welcomed a public consultation on the proposed changes, but added that the Attorney-General’s Department was “notorious” for “cheerfully ignoring” the advice of experts, interest groups and the general public when it came to consultations. “This looks like an ambit claim for surveillance overkill, but nevertheless, the Australian Greens will work closely with legal and privacy experts as well as ISPs and concerned citizens to turn back this unwarranted invasion of Australians’ online privacy,” he said.
    Of particular concern was the Government’s data retention plans.

    “Today’s announcement starts the next chapter of the ‘data retention’ debate (#ozlog) which the Government should have backed away from,” Ludlam said in a statement. “This is the idea 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. It is premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects.”

    Ludlam highlighted the fact that the Australian public only knew about the data retention scheme plans ahead of time because of a “courageous” leak.

    That whistleblower understood that giving data retention powers to law enforcement and intelligence agencies undermines the very rights and liberties they are ostensibly empowered to protect,” Ludlam said. “Data retention as envisaged by this government will entrench enormous databases that can be mined for precise patterns of our movements, purchases, interests, friends and conversations. This interception, copying, recording and disclosure of our data is a means to retroactively police the whole population.”

    The Pirate Party’s opposition on this issue is somewhat predictable; the party notoriously jumps up and down whenever there is a civil liberties or privacy political issue with relation to the Internet which pops up. However, what is interesting about this situation is the changing dynamic of the players in the public discourse around Internet rights in Australia.

    It used to be that if there was an issue of digital rights in Australia, that Electronic Frontiers Australia would instantly and loudly speak up on the issue. This was certainly the case regarding the Government’s controversial Internet filtering plans. However, over the past year the EFA has taken a bit of a backburner on these kinds of issues. Now, whenever these kinds of issues arise, it appears that it’s more the Greens and the Pirate Party Australia which are raising their voices on the issues of digital rights and privacy.

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about this fact.

    On the one hand, it’s fantastic to have the Greens, who have a strong, mainstream voter base, campaigning constantly for digital rights. And it’s also great to have a relative fringe group such as the Pirate Party (although, as we have noted previously, its policies are actually also pretty mainstream in 2012) active constantly on this front as well.

    But the EFA had always stood apart as somewhat of an independent organisation which reached out to all sides of politics on these kinds of issues, and sought to present essential truths about the nature of the Internet, without an overt political background (apart from its strong libertarian streak).

    Personally, I would like to see the EFA try to find its voice on these kinds of matters again over the next year. If the EFA loses its voice on digital rights permanently in Australia, especially the kinds of critical issues which the Attorney-General’s Department raised late last week, then the Australian conversation on such issues will be all the poorer.

    Image credit: Anja Ranneberg, royalty free

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 07/05/2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink |

      This could be a vote changer. What does the Coalition say?

      • Posted 07/05/2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink |

        The Coalition has said nothing about it so far.

        • Troden
          Posted 08/05/2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink |

          and that’s exactly what the coalition do, say nothing and let labor did there own grave. sad really.

    2. Pepi
      Posted 08/05/2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

      The thought police are on the way :-(

      • midspace
        Posted 08/05/2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink |


        • Pepi
          Posted 08/05/2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

          I confess!

    3. Harquebus
      Posted 09/05/2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

      The Labor Party can do whatever it likes. It will make no difference the outcome of the next election.

    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

  • Most Popular Content

  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal turbosmart

      Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

  • Enterprise IT, News - Apr 17, 2014 16:39 - 0 Comments

    NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal

    More In Enterprise IT

    News, Telecommunications - Apr 17, 2014 11:01 - 92 Comments

    Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners

    More In Telecommunications

    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 0 Comments

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry

    Digital Rights, News - Apr 17, 2014 12:41 - 7 Comments

    Anti-piracy lobbyist enjoys cozy email chats with AGD Secretary

    More In Digital Rights