Pirate Party Australia is deeply concerned about the increasing international trend of widescale surveillance, such as the possible implementation of the Trapwire surveillance system in Australia, due to the significant potential for abuse.
Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed ties between a government contractor and a company manufacturing sophisticated surveillance equipment that claims to detect “suspicious activity”, which ultimately means activity that marks a person as suspicious without the person actually committing any crime. To increase its efficiency, the system collects information from its multiple installations and combines it, even across borders.
“These systems claim to detect ‘pre-crime’ activities and tag individuals as suspects automatically. Such systems, when deployed in the public space, are an encroachment on the privacy of the users of public spaces,” said David W. Campbell, President of Pirate Party Australia. “They have the effect of suppressing the legitimate activities of law abiding individuals, who become justifiably worried about being mislabelled and prosecuted.”
“Although not yet deployed in Australia, the existence of these systems tells a cautionary tale. It strengthens our position that we must remain vigilant when our privacy is gradually eroded by increasing government surveillance powers.”
Recently there has been significant interest around the controversial National Security Inquiry (#natsecinquiry). It proposes extending the existing powers of Australian intelligence and security agencies, including greater provisions for telecommunication interception and penalties for refusing to assist in data decryption. It also contains provisions to conceal and protect the people and methods used in collecting this information.
On August 7th, 2012, Pirate Party Australia launched an online petition objecting to the proposals of the National Security Inquiry. The petition will be presented to the Senate.
Please help support your own privacy by reading and signing it.