Feeds

Australian politicians 'resisted' debate on new spook powers

Former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon spills the beans on data retention debate

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Australian politicians from left, right and centre took little interest in new laws designed to help the nation's security forces, according to the nation's former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon.

Roxon's steady term as the nation's pre-eminent law officer sailed into stormy waters when she suggested data retention laws for Australia. The reason? “Because terrorism”, as the young folks would joke.

The proposal did not go down well, with Anonymous taking aim at the government and industry groups criticising the proposal as unhelpfully vague.

We can now see why the proposal may not have been the government's best work: Roxon says members of parliament from her own Labor party didn't care to work on such matters.

Roxon yesterday delivered a speech titled “Ten housekeeping tips for a future Labor government” that reviews her time in government and offers some advice for colleagues.

The politically volatile sections of the speech will get a big run in general news media today, but the speech also includes the following observation about what seems to be internal reaction to Roxon's attempt to introduce data retention laws to Australia:

“Disappointingly, even senior and experienced MPs were shunning a chance to be in debates on complex issues - like the resistance and begrudging response I received when I commissioned the respected joint intelligence committee of the Parliament to assess a list of new powers and proposed changes to our intelligence laws that agencies like the federal police, ASIO and ASIS had requested. In my 15 years in parliament I’ve never seen such an unenthusiastic response from a committee being given a serious, real job to do - including, I am sad to say, senior Labor figures.”

The committee's members included representatives from the Labor, Liberal and National parties, plus independent Andrew Wilkie.

Roxon doesn't say if committee members' reticence was because of discomfort with the policy or general lethargy. Whatever the cause of the "resistance and begrudging response", her comments show data retention laws had little chance of becoming law. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.