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Freedom from Surveillance

Terrorism and criminal organisations are real problems. However, the government’s response to indiscriminately spy on Australians is disproportionate to the risk. Likewise, the government’s mass surveillance laws enable warrantless access to data, grant the government access to private organisations’ networks, and enable government to take over Australians’ online accounts.

Government mass surveillance has steadily grown, especially after 9/11. Mass surveillance laws aren’t justified, are often rushed through parliament without scrutiny, and treat Australians as guilty without evidence. These laws concentrate too much power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.

  • No digital identity laws. Australians should be free to buy and sell and contract with each other, and free to move around and communicate with each other, without having to "show their papers" and without intrusive governments tracking their every move.

  • Abolish mass surveillance laws. Mass surveillance laws are an unnecessary invasion of privacy and have expanded excessively over recent decades. Whenever people can be made to be fearful, the government grabs even more power and money, which they never voluntarily relinquish.

  • Stop government hacking and seizure. The government can add, copy, delete or alter data on Australians’ devices, take over online accounts, and gain access to private networks. These powers are unnecessary and enable the government to plant evidence on Australians.

  • Devolution of surveillance laws to states and territories. After 9/11, surveillance laws were federalised, granting the federal government too much power over Australians. A return to states and territories handling surveillance laws distributes and dilutes power, ensuring Australians aren’t indiscriminately targeted.

  • Stop the collection of metadata. Despite government promises, metadata collection has expanded to local councils. The collection of metadata treats Australians as guilty without having committed a crime.

  • Require warrants for targeted surveillance of individual Australians. Surveillance must only occur after a warrant has been approved for specific individuals. The judicial system is an important bulwark against government overreach.

  • No cash bans. Cash bans enable government surveillance by forcing Australians to pay for goods and services with traceable bank-issued payment methods (e.g., debit cards). To protect privacy, Australians must be able to trade with each other without government surveillance.

  • Stop attacks on encryption. The government continually attempts to undermine encryption through laws that weaken security and promotes backdoors. Australians must be able to talk to each other without surveillance.

  • Focus government on improving its own cyber security. The government regularly fails its own cyber security audits. Improvement is required to avoid foreign governments compromising government systems. The effort the government spends spying on Australians is better spent protecting Australians.

  • Free Assange. Julian Assange alerted the world to the dangerous power of the State in the age of the internet. We will advocate for his immediate release and repatriation.