Australian Senate Agrees on Inquiry into Surveillance in Australia

Scott Ludlam
December 12, 2013

After several unsuccessful attempts, the Australian Greens finally today achieved Senate agreement to an inquiry into surveillance in Australia.

"The complicity of silence about surveillance in Australia broke today when we opened up an opportunity for Australian experts, agencies and individuals to participate in a conversation of what surveillance is necessary and proportionate.

"A review of the deeply flawed Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act is well overdue.

"Amended no less than 45 times since the events of 11 September 2001, it is the tool used to bug and snoop on Australians. Since 2007 warrantless surveillance of Australians through access to telecommunications data has been possible, with requests of nearly 300,000 in the last financial year.

"Since the revelations of Edward Snowden, the Senate has repeatedly voted to avoid knowing what is going on, until today failing in its primary duty as a parliament," Senator Ludlam said.

"In May 2013 the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor concluded that several of the 80 hastily made changes to Australian law after the events of September 11 were not effective, appropriate or necessary.

"The scope and reach of the laws were unprecedented, and included extraordinary powers of surveillance, detention and restriction and censorship on speech.

"This is a welcome first step to rein in surveillance overreach," Senator Ludlam concluded.


Originally published on Scott Ludlam's website.

Photo by devdsp.


PN member Senator Scott Ludlam is spokesperson for Communications, Housing, Heritage, Nuclear Issues, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities.

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