Several Australian law enforcement agencies and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) have submitted proposals asking the country’s senate for more surveillance power, and state police have even asked that the government move to log its citizens’ Web browsing history.
Several months ago, on the heels of revelations that Australian Intelligence had been sharing surveillance information with its partners in foreign nations, the Australian Senate opened an inquiry into whether the country’s Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act of 1979 should be revised to better protect AU citizens’ privacy. Unsurprisingly, the ASIO—along with Northern Territory, Western, and Victoria state police—has submitted commentary asking for more data retention and offering little in the way of more privacy protection.
In particular, the ASIO said that Snowden’s leaks will make it more difficult for the organization to collect meaningful data about a person, so the organization should be given more leeway to perform its surveillance duties. In its proposal, the ASIO asserted that certain technological advances are detrimental to its spying on bad actors (a refrain that is not often heard, as it’s generally accepted that technology is making it easier to spy on citizens).

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