Warrantless Snooping? Australians Make Americans Look Like Amateurs
Not so Australia, where the Federal Parliament is writing the nearly unfettered ability to snoop on it's citizens into law, and if you think that America's Patriot Act is draconian, Australia's Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act takes surveillance to a whole new level. The Sydney Morning Herald notes -
...the Government will be able to access communications not only between the B-party (someone a suspect has communicated with) and the suspect, but also between the B-party and anyone else. If you have unwittingly communicated with a suspect (and thereby become a B-party), the Government may be able to monitor all your conversations with family members, friends, work colleagues, your lawyer and your doctor.And we thought we had troubles here in the United States.
The Government may be able to use the information even though the information is not related to the original suspect. It also does not have to tell you that it has been listening in. While there are some remedies if you have been illegally monitored, these are pointless if you do not know you have come under surveillance.
Some countries are worse than our, but that fact doens't make me feel any better about the W, Rove and Co's systematic dysmantaling of our constitution.
I was incorrect that the surveillance is "warrantless". The act actually does require that a warrant be obtained, but it can come from Australia's equivalent of our Attorney General. In other words, law enforcement only has to go to their own top dog to initiate this nonsense. Imagine, for example, the FBI simply having to ask John Y--I mean Alberto Gonzales to issue the warrant to go after anybody they felt like.
David Hume. Heh. Good editorial, but wow, he must've gotten teased like crazy in his undergraduate history of modern philosophy class.
Who knows, anybody's guess as to scope, purpose, etc. their way.
Cartledge, I was on a plane to Australia the night the Howard government came to power. Halfway across the Pacific, they announced the results of the election. At that moment half of the plane started cheering, and the other half actually started throwing things at them.
I'm not sure "normal" is a term that can be applied to Australia. :-)
Libby, read the above comment...lose maybe...free, not so much.
Lily, you still can't go after and surveill people who aren't connected with the crime in the US, and since it's a Constitutional issue here, we still have a hope of getting abuses stopped. I don't know if a guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures exists in Australia, but from reading the article, it doesn't look like it.