Australia/Universal surveillance

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Concept.png Australia/Universal surveillance 
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Interest ofAnnika Smethurst

Universal surveillance of Australians is one of the most advanced in the world, after aggressive rolling back of civil liberties.


Pine Gap

In the 1970s, Prime Minister of Australia] Gough Whitlam attempted to close Pine Gap, a CIA run universal surveillance in Australia. He was removed from power in US Deep state-run bloodless coup in 1975.[1]


Under the 2012 Defence Trade Controls Act law, “supplies of technology” come under a censorship regime involving criminal penalties of up to ten years imprisonment. One commentator has suggested that it has potential to "[catch] open source privacy software, information security research and education, and the entire computer security industry in its snare."[2]

2015 bill

After a 2015 bill claimed that the government had rights to carry out very broad warrantless mass surveillance of electronic media, including banning warrant canaries. The powers claimed were so broad that they have been called "nearly unlimited",[3] but efforts continue to expand their scope and use more resources to track and monitor citizens.


Full article: Rated 3/5 CCTV

As of 2017, Australia was continuing to expand mass surveillance, spending $18.5M on iOmniscient, a system which "works by analysing images recorded by existing CCTV cameras.”[4]

Data retention

The Australian Department of Home Affairs said in December 2018 that it would take "considerable time and resources" for it to determine how many agencies across Australia's three tiers of government have accessed metadata held under the nation's data retention laws.[5]

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