Surveillance Law Revision in Australia and Its Consequences
Fundamental ethical issues are raised on the reason for collecting and using personal information within the frames of surveillance. Currently, the new Surveillance Law is actively discussed in Australia. This law is aimed to simplify the access to personal data and personal communications tools by the security agencies. Scott Ludlam, the Greens Senator for Western Australia, expresses his concerns toward the new law. He explains that even the current legislation raises a number of ethical issues, and in case Australians knew about the huge amount of surveillance they were already subjected to, the wave of protests would flood the country. Mr. Ludlam explained.
Telecommunications data – email, IP address traffic, social media stuff, most importantly perhaps your telephone records which show everywhere you went with your phone, where you were when you made a call, which you rang and sent a text message to – nearly a quarter of a million of those access requests are made every year across a range of agencies. Thus, it appears that the government may know everything about any particular citizen of the country. This raises a number of issues regarding privacy policies adopted in the country and guarantying people a considerable measure of private space. It appears that the privacy policies are in contradiction with the Surveillance Law, which presents significant difficulty for the Australian legislation and its legitimacy. The debate within the Surveillance Law Committee will continue until 6 August, when this law is scheduled for adoption.