Feeds

More interception, less scrutiny as Oz Senate passes wiretap laws

Big Brother is listening

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Australia’s Senate has passed amendments to that country’s wiretap laws, allowing security agency ASIO to pass information across a wide range of government agencies, and apparently to conduct wiretaps on behalf of those agencies.

According to Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, the Australian Security Intellgence Organisation (ASIO) is already more scrutiny-free than similar agencies in the US or the UK. The new Act makes it possible for ASIO to conduct wiretaps on behalf of other agencies, by request. According to Ludlam, this represents an expansion of ASIO’s remit far beyond its stated purpose.

The senator also noted that the bill vastly expands the range of people with which ASIO could share information. For example, if ASIO turned up information relating to tax fraud, this can be passed to the Australian Tax Office.

Labor Senator Jacinta Collins agreed that ASIO is now allowed to share information with “a wider variety of agencies … rather than going through the AFP [Australian Federal Police], the information could now occur directly to the ATO”.

However, in the Senate debate, the government seemed unable to define precisely the range of agencies ASIO could pass information to, which Ludlam believes may be “right across Commonwealth and state agencies”.

Ludlam also raised concerns that the amendments to the act would allow information about individuals to be collected by ASIO and passed to other agencies, even when those individuals are not themselves under suspicion of any crime.

Since the Labor government and Liberal opposition voted together in both houses of parliament, the Greens’ questions were no more than a glitch in the passage of the Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.