Greens Amend Terror Laws in Public Interest

Deputy Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP and Communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam today said that the Greens would be moving to amend the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 in the House of Representatives.

“There is widespread concern that the Government’s proposed counter-terror laws are overstepping what’s required and the Greens want to get the balance right,” said Mr Bandt.

“The Greens will oppose this Bill but if it looks like getting through the House, we will move amendments to protect Australians from surveillance and preserve the rights of whistle-blowers and journalists.

“The Parliament is dangerously close to giving the government unprecedented powers that would treat every Australian as a suspect.

“If laws that passed the Senate last week pass the House of Representatives this week, they will permanently remove freedoms that Australians enjoy.

“Under these new laws, the Government will be able to access your computer or your mobile, take it over and control it, modify what’s on it, even add files to it, even though you’re not suspected of having done anything wrong.

“Whistle-blowers who release information about a new ill-defined category of Special Intelligence Operations (SIO) will face jail time. Reporters who report on stories that could well be in the public interest will also now face going to jail.

Greens Defence spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam said: “Unscrupulous governments use people’s legitimate fears to illegitimately take away their freedoms and their rights.

“The Abbott Government is using this opportunity to ram through laws that will remove people’s freedoms.

“Our amendments would limit the number of devices that can be accessed by a single warrant to 20. At the moment, just because you happen to be on the same network, perhaps at work, at university, or just on the internet as someone who is a suspect, all those computers or devices can be caught by a single warrant.

“We think this is massive overreach. It should be limited.

“We’ll also move to amend the provisions that criminalise whistleblowers and journalists for reporting on these operations when it’s in the public interest to do so.

“I urge the Labor party not to be sucked into Tony Abbott’s fear campaign and not to hand over to the security agencies powers that most Australians would find abhorrent,” said Senator Ludlam.

 

Greens amendments to the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014:

Schedule 2, item 12, page 28 (after line 17), after subsection 25(6), insert:

(6A) Subsection (5) authorises the use of a device to obtain access to data only if the total number of:

(a) devices used to obtain access to data; and

(b) devices from which data has been obtained;

(other than devices owned by the Commonwealth and brought on to premises specified in the warrant for the purposes of executing the warrant) in accordance with the warrant is no more than 20.

[accessing computers]

(2) Schedule 2, item 25, page 30 (after line 23), after subsection 25A(5), insert:

(5AA) Subsection (4) authorises the use of a device to obtain access to data only if the total number of:

(a) devices used to obtain access to data; and

(b) devices from which data has been obtained;

(other than devices owned by the Commonwealth and brought on to premises specified in the warrant for the purposes of executing the warrant) in accordance with the warrant is no more than 20.

[accessing computers]

(3) Schedule 3, item 3, page 69 (lines 19 to 23), omit subsection 35P(1).

[secrecy]

(4) Schedule 3, item 3, page 70 (line 6), omit “Subsections (1) and (2) do”, substitute “Subsection (1) does”.

[secrecy]

(5) Schedule 3, item 3, page 70 (line 20) omit “(1) or”.

[secrecy]

(6) Schedule 6, items 1 and 2, page 81 (lines 4 to 13), omit the items.

[secrecy—entrusted persons]

(7) Schedule 6, item 4, page 81 (line 16) to page 85 (line 25), omit the item.

[secrecy—entrusted persons]

(8) Schedule 6, page 106 (line 2), omit the heading.

[secrecy—entrusted persons]

(9) Schedule 6, item 24, page 106 (lines 3 and 4), omit the item.

[secrecy—entrusted persons]

(10) Schedule 6, item 26, page 106 (lines 9 to 11), omit the item.

[secrecy—entrusted persons]

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