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Comments on the Assistance and Access Bill 2018 (PDF, 162 KB, 10 September 2018)
The Assistance and Access Bill seeks to give law enforcement greater powers to access private electronic communications through measures that undermine the purpose of encryption. The Science Party is strongly opposed to this normalisation of citizen surveillance.
Our comments on the bill focussed on the four following points:
- Device access laws increase national security risks by enabling a broad risk of hacking to all devices;
- This human rights violation is a serious threat to our democracy;
- The government asserts that it can't force a systemic weakness to be built or maintained, which contradicts the intent of the law; and
- This law risks sending innocent people to gaol—for even longer! The only way to be safe from prosecution under this law is to not own any electronic devices whatsoever.
Despite calling for comments on the bill, the Morrison government is pushing to pass these anti-encryption laws through parliament with little regard for the concerns raised in our submission and many others, including by the Australian Human Rights Commission and a joint submission by eight digital and civil rights groups.