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25 Aug 2021

Australia: Surveillance law passed, giving sweeping powers to intelligence agencies despite privacy concerns

Photo: Canva

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill has been passed by Australia's Parliament, which contains unprecedented powers for the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to monitor online activity, takeover accounts and disrupt data.

Many changes recommended by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding stronger safeguards have been disregarded, despite being regarded as 'crucial' by Australia's Human Rights Law Centre. Civil society organisation Access Now previously urged that the increasingly disproportionate surveillance laws not be passed, stressing the damage to privacy and stating that even the changes PJCIS recommended were insufficient to protect human rights.

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