by Byron Connolly

Greens condemn passing of data retention law

Mar 27, 20152 mins

The Australian Greens have condemned the passing of data retention laws through federal parliament on Thursday afternoon.

Under the new legislation, Australians will have two years of the metadata stored by telcos and ISPs.

“The ALP has caved in to Tony Abbott’s self-interested fear campaign and supported a bill that entrenches a form of passive mass surveillance over 23 million Australians,” said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam following the vote.

“The ALP will be judged for that, and we will ensure that people never forget who made this possible,” Ludlam said.

Ludlam said surveillance should be targeted, proportionate and levelled at serious criminals, organised crime and national security threats. This bill entrenches the opposite, he said.

“The government won’t disclose the costs of the scheme, is silent on the risk of unauthorised disclosure, and at no stage has been able to point to evidence that collecting the private records of 23 million non-suspects will keep people safer or reduce the crime rate,” Senator Ludlam said.

Ludlam said the Greens will be encouraging people to follow the advice of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been outlining techniques for avoiding the surveillance scheme that he “has forced on the rest of us”.

“Our work now turns to repealing this regime,” he said

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