Australia passes new data privacy bill for criminals

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Australian government has passed a new bill that allows the law enforcement agencies to spy on criminals and if necessary suspend or take over their online accounts on a permanent note.

Titled the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identity and Disrupt) bill, it will allow the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to get data disruption warrants to change, copy, add or delete data related to cyber criminals and suspects.

Security analysts say that such type of warrants allow the law enforcement obtain official permission from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to disrupt data and network activity of those found involved in crime and this includes distribution of child abuse content, terrorism, blasphemy content and those involved in cyber attack and related digital campaigns.

Early this week, the act was endorsed by the opposition and so was passed as an act by the Labor MP Andrew Giles. However, the amended act is restricted for acts conducted online and is not related to those using dark web, an anonymizing technology that is found to be encouraging criminals in developing and spread of crime.

Early this month, the act was put forward before the elected members of opposition and bureaucrats by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) asking them to recommend any improvements to the newly amended act that might get implemented in 2024 after the review by the Independent National Security Legislation body.

Note- Kieran Pender, a Privacy Advocate representing Human Rights Law Centre, condemned the bill as highly intrusive, hindering the basic rights of the criminals.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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