Government Passes National Security Laws Against Public Interest

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP and Communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam today condemned the Government for rushing through Parliament extreme surveillance laws.

“These laws will make a secretive government less accountable and tilt the balance further away from the public interest,” said Mr Bandt.

“Everyday Australians will now have their computers, phones and devices opened up to security agencies, even though they are doing nothing wrong.

“The Greens moved amendments that would have limited the number of computers that a single ASIO warrant could access and would have bolstered public interest protections for journalists and whistle-blowers.

“Australians rely on Parliament to hold the government to account and protect the public interest, but with Labor cravenly signing up to Tony Abbott’s khaki campaign, it was left to the crossbenchers to hold the government to account.

“It’s a shame that Labor failed to support the Greens and, as with so many other issues, chose to support Tony Abbott instead.

“Just like Senator Brandis in the Senate, Justice Minister Michael Keenan repeatedly failed to answer serious questions about the implications of these laws on innocent Australians.

Senator Scott Ludlam today announced the Greens will now begin the fight against proposed data retention laws.

“What’s coming down the pipeline next - now the Parliament has criminalised national security reporting - is warrantless metadata surveillance of the entire Australian population,” Senator Ludlam said.

“This will affect every man, woman and child and every device in the country. Now the Government has rammed the ASIO laws through the Parliament today it is now turning its sights on every internet user in the country.

“The Greens will ensure the metadata bill doesn’t see the light of day.

“Today we put the Labor Party on notice: start behaving like an opposition – you are not going to be able to sit this one out.”

 Audio here: