That National Security Bill We All Hated? Yeah, It's The Law Now

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



    Bastards snuck it through eh..! :(
    Fortunately, I have a good VPN..! :)

    Last edited 01/10/14 12:54 pm

      Recommendation that doesn't sap much speed or add too much to my ping? My issue is I use smart DNS right now also, don't want to have to pick between UK TV apps and US.

        Private Internet Access is a good one. You will still have to pick between US and UK but they include a connection manager which makes you two clicks away from any VPN exit point they have

        Yeah, I think from memory you have problems with PIA, but they have improved... The big seller for me, and I mean BIG, is that they store nothing right from the start..! Would be nice if they had an Ozzy server, but I asked a month or so ago and that's not going to happen anytime soon... Pitty bout that.. :)

        Last edited 01/10/14 5:25 pm

          Nah I didn't have anything against them, my thing is just trying to keep my speed as high as possible, pings as low as possible, and easy UK/US/AU exit points without any settings changes so I can watch Netflix/Hulu/BBC/ABC.

            My experience has been that PIA is the best for speed (vs Cyberghost and VPN Unlimited), but I found it had problems with the connection going dead and needing to be reconnected before it would start working again. Frequency varied: sometimes after a couple of hours, sometimes not for 36 hours. Cyberghost didn't seem to have these problems. VPN Unlimited was just bad.

    And now the reason for Police camera crews to collect scary images for the nightly news in the 'Terror' operations become obvious.
    Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither

    Does this mean the terrorists won?

      Yep. Also proves that (as i have been saying), peaceful protests dont achieve much, especially where it matters.

      You have to be willing to fight, to kill and to drive the message home using whatever means possible. This is called a 'revolution'

      It is high time we had one in Australia.

        Lol, ASIO will be at your door in 10 minutes after that statement.

          Yeah. Normally this is the part where I mention that if a King pulled this crap we'd have his head, but I didn't shave this morning and it's a bit too cold to go shirtless so I can't use my tan lines to prove I'm white.

        People who feel oppressed in Australia really need to go live almost anywhere else in the world for a few years.

        We still have some of the best living conditions, weather, healthcare, welfare and education in the world. Nowhere is perfect but we have it pretty darn good in this country, regardless of which Muppet is in power.

        Everyone on these kind of posts keeps arguing against security and surveillance without offering an alternative.
        Go get your pitchforks and flaming torches when they cut off your water and blackout internet access, not when the intelligence agencies are trying to do their jobs.

        This debate will always be a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't". Everything is a "what if" situation. What if there's some massive attack that we could have stopped but didn't because people complained about surveillance? What if the government makes it worse and worse in the future? It's all speculation. Is it better to do nothing? We didn't get where we are by doing nothing.

        We already live in the nanny state... and you know what? I like having super low road death tolls. I like not having to worry about every second person in a supermarket carrying a firearm (or a knife for that matter).

        You need to do a lot more research about violent revolutions before suggesting Australia needs one.

        Last edited 01/10/14 4:23 pm

          "We still have some of the best living conditions, weather, healthcare, welfare and education in the world."
          and they are all under attack
          These laws address none of these

            So what's your solution???

            (also I don't think they are attacking healthcare, welfare, education or the weather)

              Those systems, education, etc, are not under attack. That was something a Labor back bencher said whom Shorten had to go into damage control over.

              Even Ludlam has gone as far to describe some of the earlier raids as a show because the media was invited. Sadly I don't see him being made to eat his own uncalled for comments any time soon.

              And you are right, Inquisitorsz. Despite the clowns running the country (both sides) we are still in far better standing based on what we have compared to others.

              This country is flaky in a lot of areas. But it has stability others can only dream about.

              Heck even these comments here now. What those who complain fail to realise is the fact there being able is make such comments is forbidden!

              I wish those who complain were made to take a plane to Lebanon, Iraq or any other such area, made to stay there for a week or two and then be asked what they think again.

              Last edited 01/10/14 5:05 pm

                So it's cool for them to erode our freedoms further, because it's still worse in Iraq.

                  And i think that is the point people are upset with.

                  You summed it up in another one of your posts. It's not cool but if nothing is done (especially since no alternative is being offered), the examples you brought with rifles in shopping centres will most likely befall us.

                Fallacy of relative privation


                Last edited 02/10/14 4:07 pm

                  That applies to @inquisitorsz as well for the original 'there are real police states out there' argument.

                  I'm only calling the situation for what it is, Fureien. No fallacies are coming from my end and it would do you well to not make unfounded and far reaching comments about my own posts.

                  Despite what is happening we are still better off yet there are those here in this country that are screaming lauder than those who live under oppression.

                  And then there is the core point from @inquisitorsz: many are complaining but none who do are offering an actual viable alternative.

                  A complaint without a founded and well thought counter alternative is just nit picking.

                  Last edited 02/10/14 4:50 pm

                  @vk9c9 @Wisehacker


                  i meant to elaborate and say that i agreed with you guys and that the way to discount what @inquisitorsz is trying to say is the explain it with Relative Privation

                  my bad for being lazy

                How the shit is education not under attack from the hack and slash government who are trying to give us an American style university sector? Guess who can afford to go to high ranked expensive as crap universities in Australia? International students, not bloody us.

                  How the shit is education not under attack from the hack and slash government who are trying to give us an American style university sector?

                  First, they are not Americanising it. That was coined by Shorten to scare Australians. The Coalition are deregulating it. Some fees will go up, others will go down. It is up to the universities.

                  If I wanted to hear this scare mongering form Shorten and his team, I'd watch question time.

                  And to call the Coalition a hack and slash government, just remember why they are a hack and slash government. Because Labor (like it or not) created a mess and things are only going to get worse the longer Labor continues to block the measures.

                  The measures should have truly been short term pain, to use Hockey's words, but will be continued to be drawn out while Labor continues to block repair measures to damages they know fully well they have created.

                  @WiseHacker Just remember why we're in deficit, because the Howard government got us in surplus by selling everything that wasn't nailed down which generated REVENUE. We never had a spending problem, we had a revenue problem, and Abbott and friends are going to make it worse going into the future by selling or ruining everything else that makes the government money.

                  It's all well and good making a giant pile of money to claim surplus that can never be repeated in the future, rather than having a steady income stream. Oh and we wouldn't have an NBN problem if Telstra wasn't privatised.


                  Just remember why we're in deficit, because the Howard government got us in surplus by selling everything that wasn't nailed down which generated REVENUE.

                  They didn't sell everything left right and centre. Howard had Peter "The Butcher" Costello. And he was known for taking a cleaver to everything. You name it, he cut it.

                  It doesn't matter how hard you and others try to paint the Coalition that way. It is still not true and it's not going to change.

                  We never had a spending problem, we had a revenue problem

                  Actually, we had both. When the surplus ran out, Labor paid in credit and bonds which had to be paid back. So we did have a spending problem. Especially when the schools program resulted in buildings being constructed well in excess of what they should have been.

                  Oh and we wouldn't have an NBN problem if Telstra wasn't privatised.

                  Oh we would. The problem wasn't the NBN itself or Telstra being privatised. The problem was Labor played the usual song and when things got rough they pushed it into the too hard basket (the Coalition is guilty of this, true) and washed their hands of the matter.

                  It doesn't matter how you and others twist it. Labor was removed because they were no longer fit. And we are stuck with the Coalition because there is no other alternative better than them.

                  Last edited 02/10/14 6:23 pm

                  Actually, we had both. When the surplus ran out, Labor paid in credit and bonds which had to be paid back. So we did have a spending problem.We never had a surplus to run out of - Australia (like most countries) has been in debt to various degrees for most of its life (somewhat over $60B when Howard was in power). Are you perhaps confusing that with a Budget Surplus, which is much smaller and just for the year of a given budget?

                  Especially when the schools program resulted in buildings being constructed well in excess of what they should have been.I think you missed the primary aim of that program - stimulus spending. When the whole GFC thing hit, a great many nations propped up their economies by economic stimulus. Pumping money rapidly into the economy was more important than making sure we got maximum value for each dollar. That significantly increased our government debt - but it worked, and the added debt was still far less for our size than most other countries.

                  Last edited 14/10/14 6:07 pm

                Note: this would be in response to your post further down if I could post there
                @fureien is making a valid point. It is true that there are countries where there is much less freedom of speech, and criticism of the government is impossible (if you want to stay alive). However, that is tangential to whether the state of affairs we have here is acceptable, and whether these laws are a bad idea. The fact that there are countries where people get shot for criticising the government doesn't make countries which only beat and imprison their citizens for criticising their government any less bad.

                The question is: does ASIO actually need these powers? Will it provide incremental benefits in their ability to identify and track terrorists without unduly reducing our (non-terrorist) freedom and safety?
                The problem with trying to address that question is knowing who to trust. There is no reason to expect that ASIO would have good perspective with relation to their investigatory powers vs civil liberties. Similarly, law and order and 'for your security' laws frequently go across very favourably with much of the electorate, in the same way the 'stop the boats' rhetoric does, so the government can potentially gain with many people by having this sort of legislation. On top of that, it gets ASIO of their collective backs, which is a pretty good thing if you're talking about the intelligence services. No government wants to risk the intelligence services going all J. Edgar Hoover on them. The rhetoric is even easier, because with 'stop the boats' people could point at boats and say 'there are boats' and then 'they have stopped'. With this, ASIO says 'there are secret terrorists' etc and who can argue? For all we know, they could be doing an FBI and convincing people who would otherwise not be 'terrorists' to agree to engage in terrorist acts before promptly arresting them for agreeing to engage in terrorist acts. Or they could just be saying 'there is high risk, so give us more powers'.

              Whats the solution?

              To have them continue how they were already doing things. They already had powers to stop terrorist plots in the past, now all of a sudden they need absolute power.

              As for Healthcare, Welfare, Education. You need to open your eyes.
              Healthcare is being challenged, a $7 co-payment doesn't sound like much but when people don't have much money and need to see their doctor a couple times a week (think pensioners), it ends of being a serious matter.
              Welfare is being challenged because they are screwing with Centrelink payments. Yes there is people who abuse the system, but for somebody like me it could screw me big time. I'm 20, I am an apprentice and a lot of my money gets spent on tooling for work and bills. If I was to lose my job, I wouldn't be able to get assistance for up to 6 months. Meaning I could fall behind on my bills and go into debt. There are many many people in similar situations. Just because there are people bludging off of taxpayers doesn't make this right. Instead of making people wait for 6 months, they should offer assistance for 6 months and after that, you are on your own or need to file for more time, etc. But acceptance should be done on a case by case basis to deem whether somebody is worthy of assistance. This can help stop the young dole bludgers.
              Education is constantly receiving cuts to funding, despite the number of students growing due to the increase in population.
              As for the weather, it could be put under attack in a manner of speaking. Pollution is getting worse and our government refuses to believe in climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence and continues to fight against it.

              This government continues to disgrace this country and people are taking notice, they are also getting sick of the way they treat the common citizen.

                What do you mean 'not offering an alternative'? The alternative is to use the laws that were already in place, and seemed to have worked fine as these were what enabled the whole 'terrorist raids' to be conducted to begin with. They DO NOT NEED more power.

          Hear, hear. (@Inquisitorsz)

          Last edited 01/10/14 4:46 pm

          Actually in the past 10 years our healthcare has gone down.
          Education - Down
          Even living conditions - Down!

          When my parents were young a single man could buy his own home.. Now I can barely buy one with 2 peoples wages. Corporations are paying upto only 10% tax down from 12 in the last 2 years while the people are now paying 39% instead of 37% as of 2 years ago.

          if 40% of every persons wage is going to the government you are DAMN RIGHT I expect great healthcare. you are DAMN RIGHT I expect good education.. but that's not what is happening..

          Instead we are getting security laws which waste money on government agencies so people can promote fear and hate so they can stay in power as they are seen to do something. Americas version of this said that they "May" have stopped upto 6 attacks with their entire metadata collection system. And they couldn't even tell if they didn't have this data would they have still stopped the attacks.. 6!!!!

          I don't mind giving them powers to DOA some terrorist on first sight if they can confirm that he is that. I would let them raid my house if they had PROOF that there was a good reason..

          But I will not let them take all my liberties and collect proof that they can then link to a crime that I can't contradict..

          Imagine I search for making a nuclear explosion
          then I got caught in a bad GPS loop and got directed the wrong way
          on my msn I have a friend who is a friend with someone being watched.

          Police pick me up and tell me I am a terrorist. they have all this evidence on me.. HOW CAN I PROVE THEM WRONG.. even I would convict me on that!! you can't hold enough data until you link it with a crime.. you have proof of a crime then piece the evidence together

            *Slow hand clap

            Well said. Very well said.

          The idea is that we want to be the type of society that the more repressive regimes fear due to our openess and freedoms which they do not grant to their own people.

          These laws bring us closer to the oppressive regimes laws and are in fact playing right into Daesh's (ISIS) hands. The best outcome for Daesh is to force us to oppress our own people through legislation and then for locals to resent the minorities amongst us and start conflict here.
          Isn't it plainly obvious?

          I have NEVER experienced terrorism and I suspect you haven't either so why would you advocate for something the terrorists want?

            Firstly I never said I advocate for these new laws. I think they are excessive and very poorly worded (though admittedly I haven't read them in any detail). But I'm not completely against their necessity.
            I think that revealing ASIO agent identities should be punishable (just like revealing under-cover police identities). In some cases people's lives depend on that secrecy.

            It's like immigration law. Everyone complains about how terrible it is and how horrible we are for detaining people but they don't offer another solution. Should we just let everyone in with no control? That way of life you're used too... it didn't happen by chance. And it does have to be protected.

            As for the other stuff.... Like I said in my post. You haven't provided an alternative solution. It's fine to say we don't need this laws but isn't that just sticking your head in the sand? The same can be said about any military action or any geo-political topics that don't directly affect us. Just because we are isolated on an island ages away from everyone else doesn't mean we are immune to what's happening world wide.

            Saying that you haven't experienced terrorism doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I bet if you talk to anyone involved in the Bali bombings for example you'll get the opposite opinion (and that wasn't even religious or on Australian soil).

              There must be a balance between Security and Freedom. Clearly a lot of people think that our security is already good enough, but our freedoms are being cut away, bit by bit. The line is being redrawn too far away from the Freedom side, in the name of possibly reducing the likelihood of an attack.

              When security laws are written so broadly that even a public-service attempt by a reputable journalist to expose governmental corruption or embarrassment can result in a decade in the slammer, that ASIO can discard our privacy rights and poke through our personal lives at a whim, all in the name of reducing even further an undefined risk of an undefined attack with undefined consequences.. is it surprising that people object?

              Not only is this the very definition of the Nanny State edging ever closer to the ultimate absurdity of locking us all away for our own safety (and charging us for it), but history has shown repeatedly that broad powers like these these will be abused. That's what we're opening ourselves up to.

              I can't understand your logic. The alternative is to maintain the current laws.

              The very minute I saw the terrorist raids across Australia I said to my wife......legislation will be passed within the month for some ridiculous laws granting faceless government spies with unrestricted power. I questioned how many Australians watched that footage and never once queried their relevance or believed it lock, stock and barrell cause it 'was on TV'.

                So the alternative is to do nothing?

                The world is constantly changing. We can just sit and pretend like it's not.

                I'm not saying if these laws are good or not, I'm just trying to promote logical, unbiased debate instead of the usual government bashing I see everywhere online these days.

                  Lex malla, lex nulla - "a bad law is no law".

                  These laws are worse than doing nothing. You ask for alternatives - I ask why do we need one? In a matter of first principles, you need a much stronger case for why change is necessary - something better than what to me seems like "we just do" - before you can have a logical, unbiased debate about what that change should be.

          Generally, autocracies don't announce themselves with thunder and lightning - they develop incrementally via a gradual reduction in liberties afforded to citizens. I'd suggest you review how democracies have crumbled in the past to get an idea of the worrying direction ours is heading. Not blood in the streets worrying, but nothing to be complacent about, either. The appeals to security and the breaking of our social fabrics into us's and them's are definitely early warning signs.

          As to justifying alternatives, the proponents of legislation are the ones dealing in what-ifs. There's been very little cool-headed analysis and explanation. And a great deal of scaremongering and some deeply concerning dog whistle politicking about what constitutes an "Australian" and the threat posed by those who are unwilling to be part of the "team".

          I'm all for some perspective being applied to the debate, but the state of governments in other countries isn't really relevant. To paraphrase an old adage, if every other country in the world was more oppressive than ours, does that mean we should be more oppressed, too? For me, the benchmark is the UDHR Article 3, that all people are entitled to life, liberty and security of person. That order is deliberate, in that liberty should only be limited to meet the requirements for the preservation of life, and that security of person should be limited only to when preserving life doesn't unjustly impinge on liberties.

          Well that is one way to look at it.

          I have lived all over the place (1st, 2nd & 3rd world), but the one place I learnt the most about how "lucky" we really are was in Switzerland. The only place in the world that has a true democracy - a Direct Democracy.

          The whole reason that the Gizmodo comments section or 2GB talkback is the only outlet for your opinions on situations like these is that we adopted that godawful Westminster party system of politics.

          You believe whatever the party with the safe seat you live in wants you to, because that dude you "elected" knows all about what you want...

          I don't think the term 'nanny state' is even meaningful any more, mainly because people can't agree on whether being required to wear a seatbelt by law, having sin taxes on cigarettes, limitations on what rights you can give away by contract etc. constitute 'nanny state' or not.

        Social uprising is definitely coming, and the government just brought it a little closer.

      What terrorists? This was the government. Terrorists were the excuse that provided an easy way to pass through ridiculous legislation.

      No, it means that the corporate state and their privileged minions have.

      yes it does :(
      we are heading towards a world i really don't like, both overbearing governments and unstable non-state players.

    Scary world we live in here, with the dangers of Muslims receiving phone calls and making money transfers. Clearly we need to all be put in the big brother house for our own safety.

    It's just so messed up, what kind of democracy is it when major massive laws that take away such fundamental rights go by with out opposition.

      Exactly, where in this whole "debate" was the opposition? poor form from Labor on this one. Shorton needs to lift his game or move aside for Albo to take up the fight. Australian's are sick of this government!

        Well y'know it took years for anyone on either side of the the US Congress to speak up against McCarthy because they didn't want to be officially labelled communist pinko fags. Same principal here ...

        Last edited 02/10/14 8:27 am

          "What Senator Brandis proudly summed up as bipartisanship, I would characterise as an absence of critique and opposition at a time when this country desperately needs it," said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam."I want to thank my crossbench colleagues from across the political spectrum for providing the only opposition that Australia has tonight."
          The only Senators to oppose the Bill were the Greens, LDP Senator David Leyonhjelm, DLP Senator John Madigan and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.
          It passed 44 to 12

          Read more:

            If the Greens dropped their ridiculous "Re-distribution of Wealth" policy....I would be all too happy to vote for them. But as it stands I still think one should be encouraged to generate wealth without the fear it will be taken away and used god knows where.

              Another name for the 'redistribution of wealth' policy is 'the welfare state', and in that context it is often looked on fairly favourably.

        They don't have the numbers remember..?

          GG needs to take us back to 70's and do the whole Whitlam 'dismissal' thing if Tony the gutless wonder won't go the double-dissolution route. They can't get their budget through so the whole charade should have been ended months ago, and none of this stupid bullsh*t we've let it get to. SERIOUSLY time for a or avaaz petition to the GG

            Yeah that's what's needed. More armchair activism. If only we had a way to choose who we want to lead us. An event where everyone had a say and it could be held say every couple of years so WE direct how this country is run. Then we would truly get the government we deserve.


              Hey, *I* didn't vote for Tony & friends. No matter how bad the Punch & Judy (Gillard & Rudd) show got, I knew any vote for Tony was one vote too many. Unfortunately not everyone saw it that way ...

              so what is you grand plan oh great and mighty Kato?
              i sure as hell don't like any of the policies that this government has implemented. but i either have to wait till the next election to vote for some other incompetent moron to lead us further down this crap hole or walk out on the street and start waiving homemade signs around waving them or finally resign to the fact that nothing i do really makes a difference and vent on the internet to make myself feel better

              The problem is that the parties advertise based on a few key things...the usual rubbish we all expect 'we won't increase taxes, we'll improve education and health etc etc'. We all know by now that once elected however, it's usually the opposite that actually happens. But that isn't my real issue. My real issue is all the other bull$hit that goes on that has nothing to do with election promises where they basically just do whatever the hell they want.

                There is a core way the major parties operate. There's a certain view of Australia, it's role in the world and it's subservience to the interests of the United States which doesn't change.

                They see the United States interests as automatically being aligned with ours even though they do not. So they go to war, we go to war. We didn't go into Afghanistan, Iraq and Iraq again for any interests of our own. It's in the USA's interests. We're just a small country in south east Asia and the government doesn't recognize that. They see us as English, American. The way the English saw Australia as just a place to get more troops during the world wars. When Australia was bombed the reaction was, 'let Australia fall, keep fighting to protect us.' We had to defy England to bring troops home to defend Australia. Something rarely talked about.

                The unimportant view of Australia is still there, this time held by the United States. They don't care about our interests at all, so why do we care about theirs? Especially when it's a country run on the interests of big business.

                The US is lining up to potentially having a way with China and Japan. If this happens, we as the Australian people have no choice but to be involved. Taking sides is not at all in our interest. However we automatically back America. We're allowing a huge american military infrastructure to be built here which will aid in such a war. You just have to look at how quick Abbott was to jump into the war or words with the saber rattling earlier this year.

                None of this, even these new surveillance laws are done because of our interests. It's done for the USA.

              Elections are necessary but not sufficient condition for a good democracy.
              The usefulness of elections is limited by the parties from which you can choose, and the extent to which a new party can actually form and exist. Then the usefulness is limited by the extent to which citizens are able to get involved in the political process by interacting with their representatives and having their representatives actually represent the citizens: not just the developers (thank you ICAC for showing that up) and scumbag unionists (not all unionists are scumbags, but some of those who are scumbags seem to have too much influence).

              Having a two-party system means that if the two major parties agree on something, then there is no contesting it. This is doubly the case because in Australia we have very active party whips, and someone who votes against their party on an issue will be expelled from the party (Labor policy) or nearly as good as (Liberals). If rather than politicians being effectively forced to vote with their party, they were able to cross the floor when it seemed appropriate and this wasn't seen as an unforgivable betrayal then I think we would have a much healthier democracy.
              Having more parties would probably help. It has downsides (it can be harder to get things done) but it means that more parties - and thus hopefully different perspectives - need to be involved and so one party can't so readily dominate. Hell, in Queensland where there is only one house there isn't even debate. The government passes the legislation it wants, and the opposition can do nothing about it which leads to crap like LNP donors getting new (and backdated) laws to protect them from prosecution for previously illegal quarrying. Not having a bicameral system is like waving a flag saying 'will (and can) make laws for money'.

              In order to have a working democracy, you also need quite a bit of transparency into what the government is actually doing, as well as the data and analysis used to make the decision. However, what we find when we actually get the data - sometimes via court action - is that the government has actively chosen to exclude modelling which would show problems with their plans, that they didn't do any planning or modelling, or other similar things. Hell, even when we have specific government bodies that exist just to assess whether infrastructure projects are viable and to which all major projects were meant to be submitted for assessment no projects get passed to them for assessment and politicians do things which align with their ideology irrespective of whether it will work, is a good idea, or there is evidence to support the decision. It is outrageous, but action ends at feeling outrages because people feel so disempowered that they don't even know what to do except maybe sign an online petition.

              Voting every four years is a good start, but there is a whole lot more to a good democracy than voting every four years, and a lot of what makes a good democracy is missing in Australia. The belief that voting every four years is what makes a democracy is poison to good democracy, because it makes people tolerate a bullshit mockery of good governance without knowing that it can be better.

                I'd like to see voting on individual policies not for each party. That way we don't have to compromise.... eg... throw out a broken labor government but screw up the NBN plans...
                Instead we could vote down labor leadership but keep certain projects going.

                the thing that annoys me the most about voting every 4 years is that long term development projects like public infrastructure, education or healthcare reform, NBN etc... have to survive multiple changes of government. They are projects that they 10-12+ years... It's like doing a group project at school but changing the group 4 times. It's a mess.

                Of course this sort of voting opens up lots of holes in structuring a whole budget, keeping finances on track. It would probably make budget cuts difficult to pass. But I don't think it's impossible. Could be an interesting experiment.

                The fundamental problem is that we elect (either directly or by default) "representatives" who don't actually do any real representation. Sure they might bring something up if enough people complain to them personally but they rarely actively engage the community to express their opinion and rarely do they instigate any real change.

        Shorten is as bad as Abbott on this stuff. He's as much in the pocket of the Americans as Abbott, maybe more. Everyone forgets or never heard it reported about his private meetings with the US consulate , talking about the inner workings of the government and the labor party. Pleading his credentials for approval from them to be leader of the ALP. It was in the wikileaks cables.

        The problem is, the government for the foreseeable future will always be Liberal or Labor and they play the same game. We don't have a choice about any of this stuff. The parties have minor differences but a lot of stuff, they both work to support the power of government and for some reason I don't understand. They have aligned power with Australia being a vassal state to the United States.

        They won't have debate, because they know they can't make a clear argument. Just fear mongering for power grabs for this government and future governments.

        Australians are always 'sick' of the current Government.

        And more to the point - speak for yourself. Or at least gain a little perspective.

          What perspective is that? Please enlighten me? Why these laws are not a bad thing for Australians?

          Bear in the government reports into our previous laws were considered them to be stronger than necessary.

        See there's the problem. Not all Australian's are "Sick of this government". It's precisely the kind of people that think we're under attack by Muslims that want "action" taken by the government, those kind of people want these laws, they think it protects them from all those terrorists wearing burkas and other "confronting" articles of clothing.

        There's no point trying to change the view of the government, they're nothing more than puppets. If we want change we need to change the views of the people who voted them in, and who still support these kind of draconian laws.

      It's the same democracy we've always had. Apathy.
      It's the democracy for people who don't give a shit. It's the same reason this stuff happens else where in the world. The majority of the population don't care as long as they can still go to work, raise their kids and buy a new car at the end of the year.

      It's really that simple. Until the majority actually bother to take a stand or express their opinions (without being forced to) nothing is going to change.

        Very true.

        However while they don't care about a lot of this stuff, apparently large numbers of them respond well to the baseless fear mongering. Whether about Asylum seekers or Muslims, climate scientists or whoever the government and press want to demonize.

          Those in power have always controlled the sheep. That will never change. The trick is to have good people in power.

          Sheep will always be sheep. And there will always be heaps of them. Whether it's the media, celebrity, social media or their own stupidity, the sheep will always be easy to control. Very few are intelligent enough or informed enough to make their own decisions.
          The general public needs to be told what to do, how to act, where to shop and what to eat. They rely on this.
          The only thing we can really do is make sure the information is diverse and that both sides of an argument are adequately represented.
          Unfortunately this isn't really happening... but, the technology and opportunity is there.

          Ultimately, the sheep need to open their eyes and start asking questions. The answers and information is out there.... you just need to look for it instead of expecting it to be force fed to you.

            I think it's where the media is insidious and how Abbott was successful in opposition. There was constant repetition of the narrative they want. People never thought, never considered. They pick up a general vibe.

            Look at the whole no carbon tax thing. No one cared that came about from having to form a coalition for government. No one cared it was part of transitioning to an emissions trading scheme, which is exactly what Gillard said she was going to do. Hell the no carbon tax clip had her a few seconds later say there will be a price on carbon.

            Facts don't matter, people pick up on the background noise narrative. Tony Abbott has broken dozens of promises directly. There is no liar narrative out there.

            Why will there always be sheep? Why does it have to be that way? Could it be because we have a cultural framework that fosters it. If we prioritised engaged citizenry as an outcome of education, so taught how the political system worked, civics and history then maybe people could actually understand the system as it is well enough to have an opinion on it.

            The trick is to have good people in power? So a benevolent dictator is fine? Maybe we should run with the philosopher-kings of Plato, or change the law so only those who are 'intelligent and informed' can vote.

              A benevolent dictator probably is fine.... except that's an oxymoron.

              I think by definition to have leaders means you need followers. It's been proven many times that the general population would rather be told what to do then make up their own minds. Perhaps this is slowly changing in the 21st century but I think we are hundreds if not thousands of years away from a truly equal and and intellectually level population.

              Inequality, hate, conflict seems to simply be human nature. We always strive to be better than our neighbors or friends. We always try to defeat our enemies and in a world this size with 7+ billion people on it, there will always be conflicting opinions, and thus conflict in general.
              I'm obviously not saying that this situation is good.... but it's a sad fact of life that is unlikely to change. A truly 100% selfless person is incredibly rare.

              The political system we have is pretty terrible. Not bad by world standards but not great by moral ones. We already get taught about all the things you mentioned. Probably more so than most other countries. But good overall living conditions make us complacent (see paragraph above).

              I think there will always be sheep because it's simply human nature. Not everyone can be a great leader. Not everyone can make the best life decisions every time. You can argue that it's all a product of the environment, abuse, corruption, bad luck, whatever... but until you can remove things like greed, lust and a thirst for power from every single human on earth, then we will always continue doing what we do now. How many times in the past has a terrible abusive government/dictator been removed (by force or otherwise) only to be replaced by someone just as bad?

              I don't have an answer to these issues.... but I don't believe anyone does.

              Last edited 03/10/14 9:39 am

      It's NOT a democracy, that's the whole point - see my comment above.

    For a country that has never had a terrorist-related death or injury on its soil, Australia has taken panic and paranoia to a new height, something even the Americans could never achieve. You have more chance of being injured making a cup of tea than you have of being hurt in a terrorist attack!

    This country is severely fucked up, run by a megalomaniac psychopath who is hell-bent on doing as much damage as he can in his, hopefully, very short time in office. As for Brandis, I'm not sure anywhere on this planet will be safe for him once he leaves office, except for perhaps with ISIL (who owe him thanks for doing their dirty work for them). Hitler would have been happy to have those two on his team.

      Hilton Hotel bombing in 1978 killed 2.

      Russell street bombing in Vic killed 1, injured 22.

      We aren't that immune, however we didn't go mental and implement laws like these.
      Considering people died on these 2 occasions and no one has died (other than suspects), it somewhat reveals the lazy nature of these laws as they have gone for a 100% blanket method to essentially tell us all "This is how things will be FOREVER".

      We suck.

        Wasn't Russell st bombing just a criminal targeting police? Didn't think it counted as terrorism (unless we use the broad definition the government & media uses)

        It's worth pointing out that Russell Street wasn't what the media/politicians would call a terrorist attack. Hell, get the right actors to play them and they'd become iconic Aussie heroes because if there's one thing Australians love it's white criminals sticking it to the police.

        Last edited 01/10/14 3:04 pm

        over 5,500 Australian's die every year from alcohol related illnesses. The AFP are busting through Carlton and United Breweries front door.

        The only things this political diversion will achieve is racial tension on the streets, people are going to be seriously injured, possibly killed, and it wont be from terrorism.

      The thing is I don't think anyone is really falling for it. The war in Iraq had supporters. People were angry, scared and generally freaking out. This stuff? The only time it seems like anyone at all is buying it is when I turn on the TV or listen to a politican. Even my paranoid nan who thinks anyone she doesn't know is just waiting for the chance to stab her doesn't support this stuff.

      Playing devils advocate.... you'd rather wait until there were deaths from terrorist attacks before doing anything?

      It's not as simple or black & white as everyone makes it out to be

        The issue here is that they write bills that are non descript. Will not say what the meaning should be..

        "computer" is now referred to as any networkable device or system. so they can monitor a whole university if they want to try and catch 1 person. They can now say "terrorism" for someone who is speaking out about action because the term is not well defined and then monitor all his communication so the government can find something to nail him on.

        Its not built for terrorists. because if they know the bill exists they will use other forms of comminucation.. IE snapchat/whatsapp/imsg that cannot be intercepted in such a way. googlemail encrypted mail. yahoo will soon have it too.

        What it is meant to catch is the majority of the general public who make phone calls and send texts. to control a population. Just like china.. Nothing to fear chinese people. now that we can sensor and edit all your data we can make sure no terrorism happens

        PS. "Beijing smog is not harmful.. it's helpful. Now our many enemies cannot bomb us successfully"

          I agree that the wording is terrible and vague. There should be more control.


          Why shouldn't someone monitor a whole university to catch one person? Is it any different than surrounding the premises with officers and searching everyone going in or out?

          People get carried away making assumptions that the government is out to get us. Everyone is ASSUMING that the government is crazy and making all these laws to control us. Well they probably said the same thing about the gun buyback in 1996. Today, we are all grateful for less guns in the community.

          What if, just for one minute, you consider the good it might do instead of the bad it might do?

          We don't make laws specifically to abuse them. No matter how poorly worded they might be, the intention should always be good.
          If it's not, THEN we have a major problem .... which would probably point to a despotic regime (which we do not have).

          Take a look at some of the shit that the US makes law (like companies buying congress to make laws that benefit them financially or restrict competition in the marketplace). That is the truly terrifying stuff. If a corporation can buy votes and legislate out any competition we'd all end up being at the whim of Telstra, South East Water and whoever runs the power plants. For that reason, I'm more worried about the Media in this country than I am about the government.

            I just had to comment that there are currently more guns in Australia today than before the gun buy back, so if you feel that we are safer because of the fewer guns we have, then you are just misinformed and biased.

              Got some stats to back that up?
              The population has grown by 20% in that time. Also the actual number of guns is irrelevant. It's how they are controlled and how accessible they are that matters here.

              Bottom line is, gun culture changed. That's the point here.

                Sure, quick search finds quite a lot of data
       based on a study from University of Sydney.

                Were you aware than gun related death were decreasing for 10 years prior to the gun buyback? No? The buyback continued that trend but it was not warranted at the time as it was already decreasing.

                Just because we still enjoy more freedoms than other countries, doesn't mean we should give in to the government taking small micro steps over the boundary, a million small steps can add up to a large movement and saying we are better than Iraq even with these new laws is bullshit, you are comparing apples and oranges.

                  I wasn't comparing specifically to Iraq. I think we have a much better country than the US overall.

                  Point is, all my comments are valid until someone provides a reasonable alternative.
                  Everyone who comments here says it's bad (and I don't necessary disagree) but no one has said what should be done instead?

                  I don't think doing nothing is an acceptable course of action.

                  EDIT: uhh so many double negatives... sorry. I hope it makes sense

                  Last edited 02/10/14 1:03 pm

                The problem is not that the idea is bad.. the ability to get a warrant and monitor a location or multiple computers for specific reasons is not necessarily a bad thing. not at all. I want them to catch people who want to hurt our country and reduce our quality of life.

                What the issue here is. I bet the wording for what the government can be sued for does not leave ambiguous words like users can sue for "damage" caused. because this could be emotional, physical, mental, time.. anything.. they would put "damages for person or property in the amount of restitution equivalent to physical damage that can be proven"

                These people who write these policies are the best at what they do. so when they make a word that can be interoperated in 4 different ways they are doing so for a reason. and the reason is not a good one. Otherwise the language would be clear. They can ONLY tap 4 machines from 1 target without a warrant and if more machines or devices need to be intercepted (especially when they would collect personal information from non target persons) this must then be set with a warrant with cause and decided on by ______

                This is how you know they are not trying to make it so they can spy on anyone for no reason. specifics in language. And when these are brought up and ignored as they were it just goes to show there is a reason they didn't want to change it. because they want to be able to make a call that "justifies" this that would fit into the ambiguous language

              What if I feel safer because of the changes in the firearms people actually have because of the category system which appeared in the law changes along with the gun buyback?

                A gun is a gun. A small caliber rifle can kill you just as much as as high caliber rifle.....

                  That's like saying that a 3-inch knife can kill you just as much as a machete. It is true, in the strictest sense that both of them can end with you being dead. I could likewise say that a potato can kill you just as much as a high calibre rifle.

            "Everyone is ASSUMING that the government is crazy and making all these laws to control us."

            Actually, I think people just look back at history to see the way powers are used when people are scared.

              We did the same as the americans and so did the british and the rest of allies. Hell We went and changed the name of some towns when ww1 started just because they were german names and dont forget the german shepard was renamed because of ww1 as well. We also fired on german merchant vessels the very moment WW1 and 2 were declared both ships were merchant vessels leaving port philip bay

                Yeah, I was just providing a single example but as you say, that example was repeated all over the allied nations.

        "you'd rather wait until there were deaths from terrorist attacks before doing anything?"
        Presenting the position as "do something or have deaths from terrorist attacks" is about as polar a position as you can take (and a false dichotomy, in my opinion).

          It's not necessarily incorrect though. Inaction can be as bad as incorrect action

            It isn't necessarily incorrect, and inaction can be as bad as incorrect action. However, neither of these things actually provide any support for the new laws, because they don't actually provide any argument that action is better than inaction in this case, or that deaths would occur due to terrorist attacks without the laws (and those deaths will be prevented because of the new laws).

            Imagine this conversation:
            Person A: Will the news laws prevent attacks, and is action better than inaction in this case
            Person B: Maybe
            Person A: Well that's all I need. Let's change the laws

            That's the argument you're making in your previous post.

              What I'm trying to say is it's exactly the same from both sides. I'll reuse your example.

              Person A: Is what we have now enough to prevent attacks, and is inaction better than action in this case
              Person B: Maybe
              Person A: Well that's all I need. Let's not change the laws

                That's true, but the action isn't neutral. In the absence of further information, it would seem prudent to take the course which doesn't further erode individual privacy rather than the one that does.

                Expanding on the example:
                Person A: If I take one tablet a day, will it prevent cancer?
                Person B: Maybe, but it will certainly give you gout
                Person A: Well, that's all I need. Who doesn't love gout.

    Seriously , who cares what ASIO's powers are. What do people have to hide , I dont care what they see of me online , I am not planning criminal activities so no problem.

    Only criminals would be worried by these laws.

      If you want to watch a movie online without paying for it. You better think twice!

      "Only criminals would be worried by these laws."

      People that use that old chestnut don't realize, how easy it will be to be branded a criminal if and when the government deems it necessary to kick in your door... downloaded any TV shows lately?..payed all your Tax,,,outstanding traffic fines,,,

        Live in Victoria and change your own lightbulb?? dam dirty criminals!!


        Pirating media IS breaking the law. Not paying tax IS breaking the law. You MUST pay traffic fines, or you ARE breaking the law.

          I apologise to all the people I killed for streaming the Simpsons guy.

            So you only deem laws than endanger human life as valid?

              Look up joke.

              But to answer you. Simply. If the punishment outweighs the crime. Yes. I think it's invalid. A CD/movie/game/media isn't worth $700,000 and jail time.

              Laws exist to protect people. That kind of thing protects no one.

          chinese - serving a liquor to a skunk in nebraska IS breaking the law. Being a homosexual in several African countries and Iran IS breaking the law. Defaming the prophet in many majority muslim countries IS breaking the law. A 'law' is just a social compact between the government and citizens in a given society ... it's existence alone doesn't imply it is relevant, well thought out or serves the purpose for which it was originally intended.

          Last edited 02/10/14 8:31 am

            I am an ex lawyer.
            Please try explaining why you believe pirating media should be legal.

            I understand people like free stuff. But c'mon.

              You do understand that most the the things people pirate online, shows/movies..ect, are things that are either not available in Australia or not priced fairly. It costs over $100 a month to watch Game of thrones (Foxtel + Extra channels comes to like $121 a month, just for GoT), where as, in the US Netflix or HBO is very cheap, like $10-20.

              Most people would pay instead of pirating if things were priced fairly, but they continue to screw us over with pricing and release date. We could have a Netflix Australia if we had the proper NBN going through, companies would see a usable market where they can use high speed internet to deliver content. So until the government learns how the internet works, i will continue to not support Foxtel.

              Are you familiar with the artist 'Girltalk' aka Greg Gillis ? Does AMAZING work mashing together multiple pop, rap & rock tunes. Technically piracy, and therefore illegal. You know know the link that was posted here earlier in the week with someone inserting Tony Abbott in classic movie scenes ? I'm guessing it contains unauthorised use of media, so is actually illegal. Youtubepoops ? Illegal. Most of the 'memes' you see online ? Technically illegal.

              Media and copyright law needs a MASSIVE overhaul. If you're an ex lawyer, I'd suggest familiarising yourself with some of the writings by Lawrence Lessig, these will give you a good primer on where it's at ...

      I'm not worried about being watched. I'm worried about the insane lack of accountability the government and ASIO has now. They can just declare any screw up a secret operation and impose huge jail terms to anyone who tries to publicise their corruption.

      Easily put for you

      You search the wrong term on the internet lets say "kids playing" to try and find a play centre for your children.
      You are found through your GPS to visit or drive past childrens playgrounds when you do not have a child in your car..
      They find you looking up porn and see a "relatively young girl" in 1 of your images
      One day your ex wife wants to win custody over your children and suggests that you are a pedo.. police look into this and see a whole bunch of "unusual activity"

      Now tell me you have nothing to fear.. .. ..
      Bye Bye kids
      Bye Bye life
      Bye Bye reputation

      there is no way you can disprove all these claims.. even you would convict you. you cannot collect enough "anti data" to disprove their claims.. and now you are being raped in prison

      Or lets go simpler
      - You have a gf who claims rape.
      you have google terms for videos with the word rape..

      you claim you are innocent.. but now you look guilty :)

      Last edited 01/10/14 5:26 pm

        Except that stuff can already happen. People always dream up these crazy circumstantial situations as if no one has every been framed or mistakenly arrested before. Your assumption is that everyone currently in jail is innocent.

        Also these laws specifically state terrorism not domestic issues.

        Pedophiles are already monitored like the example you gave... but that's ok because they are criminals.

        Even your "simple" example. You're already screwed in that situation. Your search history is irrelevant.

        Our justice system works (or should work) on proof not speculation. I could search "how to steal a car" every day for a year and tell everyone that I've searched for that (or learnt how to do it) but without actual proof like fingerprints or DNA or video footage you'll never charge/convict me of car theft.
        That's like saying.... a car was stolen in X suburb. We're going to arrest the first person who comes up on our database as having searched about car theft. Pretty pointless isn't it?

          But. Wouldn't you want to prevent the crime before it happens?????

          If you're learning to steal a car/build a bomb. That's good enough.

            Sure, but you need to have specificity as well as breadth. If you investigate everyone who searches for 'how to build an x-type bomb' then you'll probably get a large proportion of the people who would build such bombs. Well, until they work out that they need to use other means of getting the information. And assuming that people who are actually a threat will be casually using Google to find the information rather than using existing connections to the organisations with whom they are apparently affiliated, who have actual experience is building bombs. Those two issues aside, though, you'll probably get a large proportion of the people who wanted to build those bombs.
            However, because the base rate of people who want to actually build those bombs is so incredibly low, anyone you investigate as a result of their search is much, much, much, much more likely to be not planning to build a bomb than to actually be planning to build a bomb. Think about the Boston Bombings: how many people do you thing searched for 'pressure cooker bomb' after that? Even now, I am tempted to stick it into Google out of curiosity. I've also searched for ISIS, and a bunch of related information because I am interesting in the crazy stuff going on. However, I'm not planning on blowing anything up or converting to crazy (not saying Islam is crazy; saying ISIS is more crazy than it is Islam).

            There is a decent write-up of the Base rate fallacy which relates to this on Wikipedia.
            RationalWiki also has a good article on sensitivity and specificity which covers similar territory from a different perspective (with a good example).

            The point is that as @inquisitorsz pointed out, the justice system is (or should be) based on proof, which requires a very strong tie between the crime or imminent crime and the person. If searching for information on how to make a bomb was a crime, then people could be reasonably charged with that (although it would be an unreasonable law), but to charge someone who searches on how to make a bomb as if they were actually going to make a bomb is a terrible idea, because the evidence is simply not there to say that they were indeed going to do it.

            tl;dr; the way to prevent a bombing crime is to catch the suspect with a half-made bomb and a map with an X drawn on it. That is a fairly reasonable level of evidence, but it is not one you'll readily get to by investigating everyone who typed 'How to make a bomb' into Google.

            Last edited 02/10/14 10:52 am

      I care what ASIO's powers are, because I have plenty that I wouldn't want everyone to know and that I would prefer to be private. If you're happy for them to see everything then do a Hasan Elahi and just send them details of your daily activities but just because you are happy with that doesn't make it right, not mean anyone else should be happy with it.

      There are plenty of things that people may not want others to know that aren't necessarily criminal: for example, anything that they find embarrassing.

      It would be easier for the government to catch criminals if they didn't need to get warrants to tap phones, if they could realtime access everyone's location at all times, and if they were able to put a video camera in every room of every house that constantly recorded but that wouldn't make it a good idea.

    Simple question: What's stopping ISP's from offering an in-built VPN package with their internet account offerings?

    If corporations use VPN's then wouldn't it make sense for iiNET to start bundling VPN services with their packages?

      If they are providing the VPN service, they would probably also be obliged to record the IP address for that too. Negotiating a package deal with an offshore VPN provider might work, though.

      Sometimes it's better not to wave a flag at a bull though.

    "For a country that has never had a terrorist-related death or injury on its soil"
    Sydney Hilton bombing
    Main article: Sydney Hilton bombing
    On 13 February 1978, a bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, which was hosting the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting. Two garbage collectors and a police officer were killed and eleven others were injured. As a result of the bombing, ASIO's powers and budget were greatly expanded. It was also a motivation for the formation of the Australian Federal Police.

    Sydney Turkish Consul General assassination
    On 17 December 1980, Sydney Turkish Consul General Şarık Arıyak and his security attaché Engin Sever were assassinated by two people on motorcycles wielding firearms in Sydney. The Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide claimed responsibility but the culprits were never identified and no charges were laid. The Consul General was gunned down despite having taken precautions in the form of not travelling in the official consulate Mercedes Benz vehicle and instead being chauffeured in the trailing security attaché's car.

    Turkish consulate bombing
    Main article: Turkish consulate bombing
    On 23 November 1986, a car bomb exploded in a carpark beneath the Turkish Consulate in South Yarra, Victoria, killing the bomber who failed to correctly set up the explosive device. Levon Demirian, a Sydney resident with links to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, was charged over the attack and served 10 years.

    WillD said "For a country that has never had a terrorist-related death or injury on its soil,

    No quite, there has been injuries & deaths like the Israeli consulate bombing 1 dead, Harkoah Club Bondi, Sydney Hilton Bombing which killed 2 (suspected ASIO was actually responsible), Turkish Consul General assassination Sydney, Turkish Consulate bombing Yarra
    Bombing of the French Consulate, Perth

    You have more chance of being injured making a cup of tea than you have of being hurt in a terrorist attack! Totally agree

    sigh...picking a pollie or pollie-groups is just a matter of picking the dog with the least fleas at the time :(

    but to all those tools who didnt think the mad monk could be this bad....congrats....looks what your miscast vote has now got us :/

    Does this mean ASIO will be able to see the private emails of companies hiding their tax offshore?

    Time for a new gizmodo poll and then article about the readers choice VPN service?

    My picks are: boxpn,, torguard.

    I'm okay with the entire government being deported to afghanistan under charge of treason.

    Now all we need is one of those secret courts the us has that wont even tell us what they voted on.
    Ahh who am I kidding. I assume we've had one for years.


    Last edited 02/10/14 1:58 am

      all the elipses? is that moderation in process?

      Just seeing it heaps on 'zippy' and not sure if it is just pointless responding.

        Nah, that's me self-censoring the stuff I wrote at 'stupid late' hour, because my kids need me so I don't want to end up in a camp ...

    IMHO (he said wisely) - The new laws that invade our privacy must NOT permit departmental trading of metadata. ASIO should only be allowed to act on metadata purporting terrorist acts/inclinations.

    If the police ever come knocking on my door to charge me over torrenting. It would be the last nail in the coffin. I'd leave for a friendlier country.

    Just waiting for the day when we each have an ASIO drone that follows us around & films our every know, for our own safety!

    I can't say that I like this bill however it is easy to go too far in misunderstanding what it in it, and I think many people are going too far. I don't speak legalese but I have two lawyer friends who do and they have gone through this bill for me and there is nothing too draconianin it. The ALP was able to get 17 amendments accepted and that watered down some of the government's worst efforts.

    The real trouble will come in the next two bills, I think. And because of this I think everyone should be already writing to and visiting their MPs and senators to express their opposition to what is happening.

    Well, I have to say that after all the deception this government has carried out in order to provide itself 'justification' for selling out the basic human rights of ordinary Australians, this is the first time I've felt completely betrayed by the people supposedly representing us. I hope these bastards are held to account at some point. As far as I'm concerned, the only people who are carrying out acts in order to create fear in the populace are all in parliament. Maybe they should start by having themselves arrested. Will they be subject to these laws too? Or will they conveniently have some sort of parliamentary privilege?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now