Written by Andrew Puhanic
The Australian Government has now been labelled as the most intrusive government in the western world.
In 2010-2011, more than 3,400 Australians had been spied on by more than 17 government law enforcement agencies. This includes state and federal police agencies, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Medicare.
The shocking truth is that these government agencies can access telephone and Internet data records without a warrant from a judge.
On a per capita basis, the Australian government is more than 18 times likely to intercept telephone calls than the United States government (Source: Sydney Morning Herald).
Even more disturbing, these government agencies accessed telephone and Internet data records an astonishingly 250,000 times without even recording why and when these intercepts had taken place.
A representative of the Australian Federal Police, Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, claimed on Australian national television that this alarming level of spying is ok because:
What Neil Gaughan failed to mention was that the power to grant warrants was taken away from judges and given to the administrative appeals tribunal, making it easier to obtain warrants.
In reply to Neil Gaughan, Cameron Murphy from the NSW Council of Civil Liberties was quoted as saying:
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