The Australian government has recently rammed through more draconian legislation. This comes as no surprise – even though in contrasts with the apparently ‘minimal government’ philosophy… oh but that only applies to social services and (negative) regulation of the market. What has pissed me off to no end is the critical response, published in a mainstream Sydney paper, of the authors: one a distinguished academic.
Whilst deploring the legislations implementation, Professor George Williams (director) and David Hume (an intern at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW) do little more than legitimate the legislation. In fact they actually endorse it.
The Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act provides for ‘the government to read private emails, text messages and other stored communications without our knowledge’ – specifically this ‘power extends to innocent people, called B-parties, if they have been unlucky enough to communicate with someone suspected of a crime or of being a threat to national security’. We all know what a crock of shit the term ‘threat to national security’ is…!
Further, the act enables the government to ‘access communications not only between the B-party and the suspect, but also between the B-party and anyone else. If you have unwittingly communicated with a suspect (and thereby become a B-party), the Government may be able to monitor all your conversations with family members, friends, work colleagues, your lawyer and your doctor.’
So of course I, and many others are outraged, yet as I said before, the response of the George Williams and David Hume are fucked to say the least! In their op-ed response, they go through details of what the legislation enables – for me a pointless waste of time. The legislation should not exist, they pander to it and at the least provide it credence. However they go further… No matter what clarifications they provide like ‘the law goes beyond what can be justified and undermines our privacy more than is needed’ they support it – as implied in this ‘clarification’. There opening comment on the act in the op-ed, after mentioning the bill is:
The Government should sometimes be able to monitor the communications of innocent people. This may be necessary to protect the wider community where a suspect can only be tracked through another person.
I don’t give a rats how benevolent a government is, they do not, and should not, have these (not to mention many other) abilities. The legislation is another piece of draconian, political shite. The response of these two academics is so fucking lame – wake up! What invasion of personal privacy will we accept next???