Pirate Party Australia applauds the recent remarks of Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull in relation to the interception and storage of digital communications.
Mr Turnbull expressed “very grave misgivings” about the proposal for data retention contained within the ongoing National Security Inquiry’s discussion paper. Mr Turnbull also indicated that he believes the right to private communications — including the ability to destroy correspondence and personal records — should be maintained, regardless of medium.
Pirate Party Australia is pleased to see a Member of Parliament actually voice concern over the proposals considering the immense public backlash against them.
“It is fantastic that finally someone is considering these proposals from a cautious perspective,” said Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer, Deputy Secretary of Pirate Party Australia. “So far it seems that, apart from Senator Ludlam, there has been very little concern from our parliamentarians that these provisions may go further than is necessary to perpetuate the safe society that Australia is.”
“The implications are simply not being given the attention they deserve, either from the Attorney-General, from whose department these proposals originated, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, nor from police commissioners or intelligence organisations. We encourage other parliamentarians to look into these concerns and recognise the rammifications of data retention. And we call on them to make sure they have an understanding of the technology the proposed legislative changes involve. It is simply not good enough for Members of Parliament to proudly state that they are ‘not nerds,’ and then legislate with little knowledge or consultation with experts.”
Pirate Party Australia has recently requested draft national security legislation from the Attorney-General’s Department under the Freedom of Information Act. This request has been rejected, and the Party will be taking the matter to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.