Thursday, February 16, 2006

Reasons to be Cheerful

Isn't it good to know that the Australian Government won't be having any truck with illegal phone taps of innocent citizens? Thanks to the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill, introduced into Federal Parliament today, we can rest assured that Wise King Otto will never have to stand up in Parliament and explain how tapping the phone calls of completely innocent citizens was all done in the interests of national security and the Attorney-General told him it was all OK really. That's strictly an only in America thing.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the bill is pretty clear on the future here in Happy Valley:

4. In implementing recommendations of the Blunn Report, this Bill will amend the Act to:

(a) insert a warrant regime for access to stored communications held by a telecommunications carrier;

(b) enable interception of communications of a person known to communicate with the person of interest;

That's right - subject to a judicial warrant, once this bill has been passed the police ans other security agencies will have the power to tap your phone, just because you're known to communicate with "a person of interest". Rather takes the gloss of on-line dating doesn't it?

Right now, all the opposition to this intrusive expansion of police powers seems to be coming from within the Coalition and the usual legal big-wigs. Well, Big Kim has too many other things on his plate right now - such as staying on-side with his backers without coming out publicly against Simon Crean's pre-selection.

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