Oh boy. Remember that piece of National Security legislation that we've been talking about recently? Yeah, those have just officially been passed into law.
That's right! The Parliament passed the Bill into law after a final reading in the House of Representatives this afternoon.
It's called the National Security Amendments Bill (No. 1), and it paves the way for more surveillance (read: privacy breaches), tougher penalties on the press (for doing their jobs) and a less informed electorate.
A few of the amendments include:
• a provision that ASIO can spy on an undetermined number of computers, potentially the whole internet if you wanted to get scary about it, with a single search warrant • provisions that enable Australia's spy agencies to work together more (because sharing whose privacy your breaching is caring) • greater penalties for those who reveal ASIO officer identities or release secret documents.
The Amendments Bill is likely to be the first in a series of Bills set to be altered in the name of National Security to give Government, law enforcement and spy agencies more power to spy, surveil and collect information in a streamlined and simple fashion. For those playing at home, privacy shouldn't be something that's so easy to bypass.
Attorney-General George Brandis has said that the bill to tackle Mandatory Data Retention (the other National Security Bill we hate), is being worked on right now, and it will be introduced into the Parliament before the end of the year.
Thanks, Government. Really, THANKS. /sarcasmfont