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Oz patriot act moved ahead of sched


John Dolva
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http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48190

'WikiLeaks amendment' gives ASIO more power

Saturday, July 16, 2011

By Kerry Deligiannis

From GLW issue 887

''...In an interview (link) with Crikey, Ludlam said: “The government won't need to justify such extraordinary overreach because they know the opposition will vote for anything with ‘national security’ in the title.”

But the new amendments will permit ASIO to investigate individuals and organisations that pose no threat to national security.

Organisations such as WikiLeaks and activist groups such as Anonymous, alongside individual Australian activists worldwide, have worked, and continue to work, to reveal the lies, crimes and hypocrisy of the elites. It is now clearer than ever that the public’s right to access information is threatening to the Australian government.

Oddly enough, the committee behind the bill changed the original date of report from September 21st to June 22nd to rush the bill through the Senate. Why is there such a hurry to get this bill enforced?

In his speech, Ludlam said: “If [the legislation] is simply about attacking civil liberties or pursuing other agendas under the guise of national security, which is a term I think is now far too loosely interpreted under the amendments that we are considering tonight, then let us at least take a good, cold, hard look at what we are doing, because it is extraordinarily difficult to roll these things back once they are in force.”

The bill has many similarities to the Patriot Act in the United States. The Patriot Act was rushed through congress after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001. It expanded the power of federal law enforcement agencies, allowing the FBI and CIA to share evidence and spy on US citizens and non-citizens under the guise of “national security” and hunting down “terrorists”.

Unsurprisingly, the Patriot Act has infringed on US citizens’ civil liberties. If the new ASIO bill is passed in Australia, it could have the same effect.

This bill will allow further state control and interference with individuals and organisations that present no harm to the people, but threaten the government’s control and expose its lies.

We should oppose and fight against laws that further undermine freedom and privacy in our legal system. If we allow our government to make decisions that infringe on our basic human rights and civil liberties, then we too are responsible for the outcome of a morally bankrupt society.''

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