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Roxon Retires: Attorney General Quits

Prime Minister Julia Gillard this weekend officially confirmed that Nicola Roxon has handed in her notice and resigned her post as Federal Attorney-General. No, it’s not just boring politics, you probably should care about this.

Roxon leaves behind behind an office still grappling with controversial national security reforms that include a data retention policy that would see your data held onto by ISPs for up to two years. The plan was proposed so that law enforcement agencies could access data easier during an investigation.

The data retention policy was opened up for comment in July last year with its inclusion in discussion paper containing other sweeping national security reforms.

The policy drew scathing criticism from civil liberty groups and even those in the political arena. Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlum said that the policy would “treat Aussies like criminals” regardless of whether or not they had committed a crime.

Roxon is reportedly resigning for personal reasons. She said in an emotional press conference today that she misses spending time with her daughter, adding that if she contested the next election and won, her daughter would be joining high school by the time she retired.

Roxon plans to sit on the backbench until the September election and quietly bow out after that.

Victorian MP Mark Dreyfus has been elevated to the position vacated by Roxon, and already he has expressed concerns about the privacy of individuals. We’ll have to see whether or not the data retention policy survives his tenure.


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