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Oz cybercrime bill passes on the nod, unchanged

Amendments recommended but ignored

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While the surface of Australian politics is a roiling maelstrom of spite and hatred, the government and opposition manage to agree on some things – like the need to have spooks and police snooping Internet and telephones with as little hindrance as possible.

In spite of a bipartisan committee which recommended changes to the proposed cybercrime laws, the government and opposition have joined their votes to pass the Cybercrime Amendment Bill 2011 in its original form.

If it were to pass the Senate without amendment, the bill would mandate data retention by ISPs, and could allow international agencies to demand retention and hand-over of Australian data.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has said he will seek amendments to the bill when it comes before the Senate to try and improve the privacy and human rights protections offered under the new Act.

The committee that recommended changes to the bill noted, for example, that the huge amount of stored data mandated for ISPs and carriers posed an increased risk of data theft. ®

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