Electronic Frontiers Australia collaborated with Digital Rights Watch, Australian Privacy Foundation, Future Wise, The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, Access Now and Blueprint for Free Speech to produce a joint submission. With a month to respond this effort allowed us all to work to our strengths and produce a comprehensive report in a short amount of time.
Collaboration across organisations is critical, we are all resource poor, and we are all working on causes we believe in. The outcome is an excellent and thorough report that hits home the critical deficiencies of this legislation.
Make sure you take the time to give it a read: Submission-Assistance-and-Access-Bill-2018_collaborative_submission
The report contains 35 recommendations, and importantly we recommend that members of the Australian Parliament reject the Bill wholesale.
From the report:
"This Bill creates extremely broad powers with almost no oversight without any substantive justification. The possibility that such powers might be needed in future is not a proper basis for the making of laws. Among other things, the Bill effectively enacts nsecurity by design, which will almost certainly create additional obstacles and exclusions for Australian companies seeking to operate in EU markets.
We recommend that members of the Australian Parliament reject the Bill wholesale, as this is the most appropriate response to the exposure draft in the opinion of the authors of this submission."
"We have numerous serious concerns with this Bill, in particular that it:
- Introduces a seemingly scopeless definition of “designated communication providers”;
- Increases the obligations on communication providers to assist with law enforcement agencies;
- Introduces covert computer access warrants enabling law enforcement to search
computers and electronic devices without an individual’s knowledge; and
- Increases the powers of law enforcement to use and apply the currently available search and seizure warrants."
Read the full submission: Submission-Assistance-and-Access-Bill-2018_collaborative_submission