Pirate Party Australia has made a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department regarding the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.[1]

In its submission the Pirate Party calls for an end to blanket exemptions for intelligence agencies like ASIO, encouraging the application of the FOI framework to all government organisations and agencies. The submission refers to several cases involving the Party’s own freedom of information requests, notably the lack of success in bringing transparency to meetings between the Attorney-General’s Department and industry regarding file-sharing, and the refusal to release draft national security legislation which has been appealed to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

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Pirate Party Australia made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on the issues paper “Copyright and the Digital Economy”. The paper examines the relationship between copyright and changing social practices, discussing the need for adjustment of the Copyright Act 1968 to greater reflect current trends.

Joining a chorus of submissions the Party called for a more appropriate copyright framework for modern Australia. Included among the recommendations made by Pirate Party Australia were the legalisation of backup copies, quotation rights for all kinds of creative material, a technology-neutral approach to reform, and a solution for the problem of orphan works. The submission also recognised the legitimacy of non-commercial/non-market transfers of culture, information and knowledge, recommending that allowances for such cultural transfers are respected by the copyright framework.

The ALRC will make their recommendations for copyright reform before December, 2013. The Commission will release a discussion paper in 2013, with a second call for submissions. Pirate Party Australia will also be making a submission at that time.

The deadline for submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s (PJCIS) Inquiry into potential reforms of National Security Legislation was August 20, and today, PJCIS allowed for the publication of submissions. Pirate Party Australia submitted a comprehensive response to the discussion paper.

In the lengthy submission the Party comments on many points in the discussion paper, including:

  • Strongly objecting to penalties for individuals who refuse to assist in decrypting information or provide their passwords, eroding a person’s right to avoid self-incrimination;
  • Strongly objecting to keeping all Internet users’ browsing and email history for two years, introducing an arbitrary violation of privacy; and
  • Suggesting adding controls to various powers that certain agencies have to breach individuals’ privacy.

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