Australian surveillance law will legalize snooping on and hacking the entire Internet


“Don’t use your phone and don’t use mine
Don’t speak treason, they’re tapping the line
Break-in, stake out, tell it in code
Everything is legal, anything goes
The nights gettin’ darker and the ill wind blows
Your life’s in a databank at ASIO.”
[“ASIO”, Redgum]

References to VDUs and telexes aside, it seems like not that much has changed since that song was written 30 years ago.


Awwww … isn’t that cute? The ASIO wants to grow up to be just like the NSA and GCHQ (snark emoticon here)

Seriously, we need a “people’s internet”, something that has no government or corporate interference. I do know that there are some groups working on this, but it really needs support from the general public.


I would love an update when this guy gets hacked and his dirty laundry is aired.


As an American, I am outraged that a foreign government would dare to intercept my communications.


Why the hell not, Australia? Everybody else is doing it.

Cute like this?

BTW it’s just ASIO not The ASIO. Our spooks are interesting, because the average Australian doesn’t really think about what their job is and their existence and questions about what they do are rarely asked (and never answered).

The biggest thing with their plan is that they’re wanting telcos to hang onto metadata (though they seem to be confused as to what exactly constitutes metadata) for two years and to be able to access it without a warrant. I really don’t want to jinx it, but I seriously doubt they’ll get this shit through the parliament and if they do I am going to start a business that explicitly teaches people how to hide themselves.

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“Everybody else” meaning “all other English-speaking countries”.

The others just do it against “important” targets (governments, big companies) and then deny doing it. I haven’t heard anyone from continental Europe, from Russia, from China, or from Iran claiming that it’s OK to snoop on “regular citizens” on the other side of the world.

You don’t hear anyone in Iran, Russia, China, various Middle Eastern countries etc. really claiming it’s OK to snoop on their own people, either, but they do it. If they have the means and the desire to snoop on international traffic, they would do so, they just wouldn’t openly acknowledge that they’re doing so.

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… which is entirely compatible with my point. There is an implicit global consensus that these things are bad. And just like worse things, like torturing or even murdering your own citizens, they are often done anyway by corrupt and power-hungry politicians, or because someone thinks it’s a “necessary evil”. Outside of the English-speaking world, though, it is never defended as something that is entirely OK to do because “everybody else does it”.

This kind of justification makes it infinitely more dangerous and scary. I prefer a thief who says “I know stealing is bad, but my family has to eat” over one who says “It’s a dog-eat-dog world, everyone else would steal, too, if they were strong enough”. The former might actually stop stealing once his family is fed.

Additionally, I’d venture that the named countries do not have any desire to extend their intelligence gathering capabilities to private citizens outside their territories, so currently, the Iranian government is the Iranians’ problem, while the Five Eyes governments are everybody’s.


Just pointing out that I capitalized “The” because it was the first word of the sentence.

Whether its the ASIO, the NSA, the GCHQ, or any of the other spook alphabet, they all are doing the same thing, spying on us.They will behave with the belief that such mundane things as civil and personal rights do not apply to them.

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