Proposed laws that would allow the web and telecommunications data of all Australians to be stored for two years have been dubbed ‘characteristic of a police state’, today’s Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The Federal Government has sent its contentious discussion paper on changes to the national security legislation to a parliamentary inquiry rather than introduce it as legislation.
In July, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, acknowledged the privacy and financial costs of the scheme, saying ”the case has yet to be made” for the controversial plan.
Civil liberties groups and telcos have slammed the proposals in submissions to the inquiry.
The Law Council of Australia said if the wide range of proposals were adopted, they would ”constitute a very significant expansion of the powers of Australia’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies”. It questioned whether this was necessary given the ”extensive catalogue” of powers the agencies already had.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre said the legislation was unnecessary and posed a threat to privacy rights.