Wiretapping for all…

The federal government is pushing for sweeping reforms to allow law enforcement officers the power to intercept data across all fixed and mobile phone systems.

The federal government is pushing to make changes to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill to allow law enforcement officers the ability to intercept data across all fixed and mobile phone systems including Voice Over Internet Protocol, (VOIP) Internet Messaging (IM) and chat rooms.

The standing committee met on Friday to discuss the proposed changes which will build on the reforms already approved by the previous Howard Government. The move follows hot on the heels of last weeks’ announcement of proposed changes to workplace surveillance of electronic mail.

Speaking with Computer World, NSW Council of Civil Liberties president, Cameron Murphy, said the changes are unnecessary and will inadvertently subject hundreds of people to privacy violations.
“These laws will massively increase the number of interception points available for techniques such as wiretapping,” Murphy said. “Everything from online chatting, to Skype (VoIP) and mobile phone calls will be open to interception.”

Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesperson Peter Whowell said the TIA is stifling law enforcement efforts to catch criminals using multiple devices to communicate.

However the proposed reforms are being perceived as violating consumer privacy, according to Australian Privacy Foundation and Electronic Frontiers Association.

Source: Computer World

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