Digital Culture –| 2008

electronic art, technology and culture

Digital Surveillance laws in australia

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I have found a few relatively new laws which may be interesting for those who are concerned with on line security and data mining.

Surveillance Devices Bill:

This law expands the capabilities of the Federal law enforcement agencies to covertly use / install listening, tracking, data and optical surveillance devices.

“Among other things, it enables Federal Police to obtain “data surveillance” warrants permitting them to covertly install key logging devices etc in computers. EFA’s submission to a Senate Committee inquiry expressed concerns about the high potential for data surveillance devices to be used to avoid the need for a telecommunications interception warrant unless the Bill was amended. Although the Committee subsequently recommended relevant amendments be made, the Bill was passed without amendment.”

This bill basically gives authorities to scan data that is being transmitted and could maybe result in using covert techniques like using key loggers and Trojans.

Now you may say you have nothing to hide but if we take myspace or facebook as an example, what these websites display is basically all your affiliations whether that be friends, family, groups joined, etc… They could also use this to expand a full biography that could cover things like personal traits, likes, dislikes by simply tracking what you have commented on eg: writing a comment about the war on iraq.

Lets make a scenario: You have not committed any crime. However you have a friend on line who has, therefor you have connection to this criminal. If police think that you have information on this person they have the right to bring you in for questioning and hold you for x amount of time with no contact with the outside world (i think its 2 weeks atm?) all because you have an online affiliation.

Ive attempted to find a published version of the bill… but i cant find it! ;I

Written by rust3d

September 22, 2008 at 4:59 am

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