Update 4 September 2021:
NSWCCL is disappointed that once again Government and Opposition have caved to unnecessary additional powers demanded by law enforcement. By passing the Identify and Disrupt Bill, the two major parties have introduced an unprecedented incursion onto civil liberties, giving law enforcement agencies the power to take over, copy, alter and delete the social media and other online accounts of ordinary people without proper oversight.
While justified under the guise of fighting child sexual abuse, the powers can be used to "disrupt" a broad range of offences including minor offences and to investigate whistleblowers.
The once science fiction notion ("Minority Report') that law enforcement should have extraordinary powers with a new type of "warrant" in order to prevent possible future crimes from being committed is now a reality in Australia - the latest in a two decades long process of expanding powers of law enforcement and spy agencies.
The Identify and Disrupt Bill hands sweeping new powers to the AFP and the Australian Crime and Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to hack into the devices and networks of suspected criminals.
NSWCCL made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) review into the Bill, in which we argued that the Bill is a catch-all formula for abuse of power without demonstrated need or regard for proportionality.
In our view, these new powers are next in an accelerating wave, strengthening the powers of the state without any humility about the cumulative erosion of democratic freedoms they entail.
This bill builds on this ominous trend and takes it to a new level, providing unprecedented new powers for law enforcement to interfere and ‘disrupt’ communications of citizens without effective restraint. The abuse of power this bill enables will happen.
- Read our Submission
- Planned AFP data powers are like Minority Report Innovation Aus 15 Feb '21
- Australian powers to spy on cybercrime suspects given green light The Guardian 25 Sept '21